Fash­ion tries to prove women can look good in trash bags

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

PARIS — Top fash­ion de­sign­ers set out on Sun­day to prove the say­ing that a stylish woman can even look good in a bin bag.

Bel­gian hus­band and wife team Filip Arickx and An Van­de­vorst turned black plas­tic bin lin­ers and dry clean­ing sheaths into skirts and elabo- rate em­broi­dered ball­gown in their de­but Paris haute cou­ture show.

Haute cou­ture is the pin­na­cle of the fash­ion world, with only an elite band of de­sign­ers al­lowed to show their lux­u­ri­ous hand­made creations in the French cap­i­tal, some of which cost tens of thou­sands of dol­lars.

The pair — col­lec­tively called A.F. Van­de­vorst — set out to chal­lenge that aes­thetic with a punk­ish cav­a­lier show which also fea­tured rub­bish bag veils.

Rather than de­mure debu­tantes in puff balls of taffeta and silk, some of their mod­els had the air of run­away night­club­bing nuns.

Oth­ers wore dash­ing hus­sar jack­ets and trousers matched with thigh-high boots and skintight PVC trousers.

An Van­de­vorst said the show was an ode to the joy of dress­ing up with any­thing you can find to hand.

“It’s about to­tal free­dom and cre­ativ­ity, and a woman who lives out of her suit­case ... trans­form­ing old stuff into new,” she said.

“She takes things that she finds like a bin bag and em­broi­ders it. She is so cre­ative that the ma­te­rial doesn’t mat­ter.

“She is so chic and so so­phis­ti­cated she can turn any­thing with her nat­u­ral flair — poof ! -- into some­thing great.”

A hand­bag is thus trans­formed into a hat, and whole line of wardrobe sta­ples — leggings, jack­ets and tops — into head dresses and wim­ples.

Dutch-Viet­namese de­signer Xuan-Thu Nguyen showed how ex­quis­ite that work­man­ship can be, with two fake fox stoles, one made with em­broi­dered cot­ton flow­ers and the other from sim­i­larly ren­dered leather catch­ing the eye.

She also had more of the wide-brimmed “tomb­stone hats” that are fast be­com­ing a mo­tif of her Xuan la­bel.

It’s about to­tal free­dom and cre­ativ­ity, and a woman who lives out of her suit­case ... trans­form­ing old stuff into new ... She is so cre­ative that the ma­te­rial doesn’t mat­ter.” An Van­de­vorst, fash­ion de­signer and co-founder of the A.F. Van­de­vorst la­bel

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