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Paris Fall 2014: Lanvin, Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, Nina Ricci

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(NEW YORK) Lanvin
It was the maison’s 125th anniversary this year and Alber Elbaz went to excesses to celebrate. This darky moody collection had plenty going on. There were plaid skirts with tiers and tiers of ruffles, slightly undone tweed coats sporting fringe at the hems and lapels, a femme fatale leather dress that was giving some serious Angelina Jolie leg (we imagine front row attendee Rihanna was taking note), plus lavish furs, twisty swing dresses, and slinky silk gowns. The latter were topped off with broad brimmed feathered hats that obscured the models faces, while the expertly crafted light, compliments of wunderkind producer Etienne Russo, highlighted the clothing while keeping a shadowy effect that set the stage. The show closed with flapper-style fringe on short cocktail dresses in shades of navy, red, and olive, with big square lariat necklaces. It was an elaborate collection that was dreamy and rich in its own excess. J’adore!

Rick Owens
This season Rick Owens toned it down a bit following up last season’s much-buzzed-about step dance spectacle, but that doesn’t mean his runway was any less democratic. Again this season Owens chose to dress real life women to show that his edgy designs look stellar on other figures than the waify runway mods. This time the women were Owens’ real life friends and family, some of them even employees.  Therefore, the theme was as tribal-inflected as last season and the clothes had a similar fierce warrior vibe. The clothing was mostly monochromatic in black, shades of grey, brown, and burgundy. A brown croc tunic dress was worn with a burgundy headscarf, leather sneaker boots, and opera-length zippered gloves where the hands became exposed through the zipper. A grey wool caftan top was worn over a shirt whose grey sleeves were actually gloves and the leggings were Space age style with knee guards, and a matching bag was worn cross body. These women of all ages came down the runway like soldiers ready to traipse through the modern landscape. How can you not love Owens’ all-encompassing vision of style?

Ann Demeulemeester
The future at Ann Demeulemeester, sans the designer of the same name, is simply black and white. There are no frills, no kooky accessories; there’s nothing beyond an assortment of avant-garde clothing. However, there were boys, who donned the most ornamental pieces in the collection including golden vests and discreetly ornamental coats. The femmes, on the other hand, wore simply stark pieces that were pure in both color and design, like a white wide-sleeved tunic. A trench-esque design was striking in many iterations, especially with a blouson shape. A touch of the labels’ signature was present, most excitingly in the form of wildly twisted hems at the waistline. Meanwhile, slim leather pants and rather baggy trou provided layering options underneath silk gowns. Save for a bangle here and clunky bootie there, the accessories were on the sparse side as well, allowing for the simple clothing to do the talking. 

Nina Ricci
It was a dark collection chez Nina Ricci for Fall, where the turtleneck reigned supreme. The first two dozen looks in the collection from Peter Copping alternated between dressy and casual, featuring buttoned-up suits followed by slouchy leather trousers. There were also many, many touches of fur, from a cape-like situation that was secured at the shoulders from Victorian-style blouses and fuzzy sleeves. And then, there were flowers! A romantic silk jumpsuit with purple fauna was followed by a sheer tulle gown accented with petals and lace, and ended with floral brocades placed on sculptural shantung silk. Elsewhere, floral vines crawled up the side of a velvet gown, revealing quite a lot of lace-covered skin. The shoes were very chic, with an almond shaped-toe, alternating in silhouette between a d’orsay style with an ankle wrap and a classic pump with a small platform. In hues of blue, pink, red, and black, a few versions even featured a pouf of fur around the heels, which will be a nice reprieve once Spring’s mules have been retired. While an overall theme was hard to pinpoint, it was a collection that featured several standout looks.

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