Art and commerce flourished in Paris with new statements in color, form, function, and performance. Below is the best of the Paris runways from le week-end!
Sliced bread adorned the hat brims at Loewe, presumably so we don’t all end up as burnt toast come…Fall? Whatever the meaning, the best thing since sliced bread on this runway wasn’t the hats, but the number of exquisite looks, like an ultra chic matching black blousson sleeve top and pants, a multi-material and patterned dress with a polka dot skirt worn on Liya Kebede, or a striped gown with lace accents, also on Kebede. And the leather ensembles? Divine, if you can stomach the dry cleaning bill. As for the cream knit sweater with unfinished hems, that’s something we could live in come Fall or while roaming around Magherafelt, Ireland, Jonathan Anderson’s hometown.
“Chromatic Fantasia” was the title of Issey Miyake’s Fall 2017 show. That meant overlapping, intertwining, rippling, and a shimmering effect in the house’s signature pleats. The shimmer of certain garments changed colors depending on which angle you viewed it from and how the fabric moved. The first 10 looks were inspired by the Aurora Borealis and were made from the raw wool of the Shetland sheep raised under the Northern Lights. The wool is first dyed in five colors and then combined into a single thread with ultrasuede strips that are woven in to create a sort of kaleidoscope effect. Next up were the baked stretch pieces, which is the technique at Issey Miyake where glue is printed on fabric and baked with heat to create pleats. The process of steam-stretching followed—creases are folded into a piece of cloth using thread that shrinks when steam is applied. This season, the steam-stretch technique was used in a layering of colors that also created an Aurora-inspired shimmer. Even the shoes, a collaboration with United Nude, showed different colors depending on the viewer’s angle. Perspective here was everything, which is a reminder to us all that everyone has a different point of view. The show notes called out that the collection was about “an endless cycle of re-creation. The vitality of life.” The eternal optimism at Issey Miyake is always a breath of fresh air—Fall 2017’s collection featuring cheerful, smiling models—while the clothes are steadfastly unique, not only in their singular design, but also in their technique.
Set to a soundtrack by Thom Yorke, Undercover treated guests to true performance art. Jun Takahashi created a fantasy world of queens, clergy, nobles, and workers. The latter came complete with intricate antique-inspired tool belts. The queens came with accordion pleated skirts and Princess Leia buns. The clergy came with Flying Nun hats. Velvet dresses and lace crowns adorned the nobles. In fact, the head pieces were a true highlight—a stylist’s dream. But underneath all of the costume were some seriously desirable everyday pieces with a twist, like a cut-out mariner sweater with a pronounced collar or the most enviable layered puffer coat. Nevertheless, the costuming was so impressive, they deserve a set beyond the runway.
Strong graphics, prints, and cut-outs accented glamorous silver-screen silhouettes at Andrew Gn. There were countless evening looks to desire, and when accessorized with exaggerated tassel earrings, they took on an even bolder appeal.
Voilà! The Yohji Yamamoto uniform complete with new ways of ruching, draping, and book-page pleats. Nearly every look in this collection was black to show off the work that went into the shapes, but it also doesn’t hurt that the Yohji Yamamoto customer has a particular affinity for non-color. For the die-hard Yohji clientele, this will be a collection to invest in heavily.
Nicki Minaj showed up to Haider Ackermann’s show in a one-breasted ensemble that has made its intended rounds on the internet already, but it was Ackermann’s muse Tilda Swinton that we kept envisioning in these clothes. Ackermann manages to infuse his androgynous power women with a sense of arresting glamour and poised simplicity so that they almost seem otherworldly. Tilda in a nutshell. Wouldn’t it be fun to see Minaj in one of Ackermann’s cropped power suits? Now that would be a statement.
The Saint Laurent effect. While the peaked and pointed shoulders and cut-out stars on mini skirts and dresses were said to mimic the points on the bottle of the French house’s bread and butter—the star-shaped bottle of Angel by Mugler fragrance—the silhouettes at Mugler this season looked every bit derivative of Saint Laurent, from the classic Le Smoking suits to Hedi Slimane’s finale for Fall 2016 to Anthony Vaccarello’s winged looks for Fall 2017.
Elie Saab’s dark romance is made for sultry, rich evenings. From the beautiful eggplant and evening blue ombre dresses to the sunset pinks and the sheer beaded-lace gowns worn with thigh-black boots, there was something for all the the women with a slew of tony soirées on the horizon. That’s why Saab is able to dress everyone from Meryl Streep and Janelle Monae to jet-setting twentysomethings.
Comme des Garçons
The next time you need an excuse to not attend the dinner portion of a party and skip out just as the cocktail hour is ending, you should arrive in one of Rei Kawakubo’s sculptures! Surely, no one can ask you to have a seat when you arrive in a white knotted tube with no arms. That’s the art of being in between. Jokes aside, Kawakubo’s fashion creations are like works of art. It’s the reason why, other than Yves Saint Laurent in 1983, she’s one of only two living artists to receive an exhibition devoted entirely to her creations at the Met. Five of the costumes that will be at the exhibition “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” were shown in Paris at the Pavillon Vendôme today. There’s no need to explain why this will easily be the most exciting and most entertaining red carpet the Costume Institute has ever seen. Which begs the question: What will Anna wear?
Yee haw! Guillaume Henry was serving us rodeo chic à la Française. Saddle bags hung from oversized western belts, pink lamé and sequin dresses had a Dolly vibe, and western accents adorned trench coats in leather detailing. What’s not to love about the fluffy pastel fur bags? It was fun, but we have a feeling true French women will be leaning toward the check overcoats and chic corduroy suits.
Marianna Rosati is known for making ultra cool creations in leather, having grown up watching her father produce leather goods in Italy for houses like Prada and Gucci. This season the stunners were a broad shouldered shiny moss green overcoat and a plum skirt with bow ties down one arm and a a matching skirt. But a multi-colored patchwork fur proved she was skilled in spinning other difficult fabrics into beautiful head-turning creations.
Niki de Saint Phalle, the French sculptor, painter, and filmmaker was the inspiration for Julie de Libran’s collection for Sonia Rykiel this season. Les Nanas au Pouvoir (which roughly translates to “The Babes in Power”) was printed on scarves and referred to Saint Phalle’s plaster sculptures of women. The colors from Saint Phalle’s vibrantly hued sculptures were worked into knitwear, dangling unfinished threads on dresses or in feather accents, or more literally, in a shift dress. There was a lot to be said about dressing with ease, like a silk pair of pajamas worn with a fabulous leather shearling. Even the belted ruffle dress that opened the show felt like it could be worn with absolute ease. But for more buttoned-up days, the peplum pencil suit with the gray and navy Sonia Rykiel stripes will be a must.
If you are looking to find the essence of French chic, here it is. The beauty is in the pared down simplicity. A sleek suit oversized to just the right proportions without looking silly or an A-line trench coat with a simple black scarf are the kind of things chic women on the streets of Paris wear daily. It’s the length of the jacket, the points of collar, or the shape of a pant that make these pieces interesting. Looks like a patterned tunic top and matching pants or a silk black halter dress with fringe were timelessly chic. One of the stars was a tuxedo suit tied at the waist with a scarf, worn on Liya Kebede, who carried a big green blanket draped over her arms. The blankets appeared throughout the show. They may have been protective accessories linked to the feminist movement, but they were also chic alternatives to office space heaters.