Fash­ion tries to prove women can look good in bin bags

Muscat Daily - - FEATURES -

Top fash­ion de­sign­ers set out 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 elab­o­rate em­broi­dered ball gowns in their de­but Paris haute cou­ture show.

Haute cou­ture is the very 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 eu­ros.

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... trans- form­ing old stuff into new,” she added.

“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 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.

Amer­i­cans in Paris

In a blow to New York fash­ion week, two high-end US la­bels also made their bow on the cou- ture cat­walk along­side A F Van­de­vorst as guest mem­bers.

Ro­darte, a red-car­pet favourite for Hol­ly­wood roy­alty like Natalie Port­man and singer Katy Perry, said the la­bel now in­tends to hold all its shows in Paris. Set up by sis­ters Kate and Laura Mul­leavy at their mother’s kitchen ta­ble in Los An­ge­les, Ro­darte’s de­but Paris col­lec­tion mixed their take on biker gear with ethe­real silk or­ganza and pixie fla­menco frills.

Gold and sil­ver bows turned up on the waist of a string of pieces in the un­apolo­get­i­cally pretty spring sum­mer col­lec­tion which was dom­i­nated by flower mo­tifs. Feath­ered frond jack­ets and trouser suits that al­most seemed to be made of sta­mens were lit­tered through the lineup. New York-based Proenza Schouler also chose to show its spring/sum­mer ready to wear 2018 col­lec­tion rather than the au­tumn/win­ter range most other brands were pre­sent­ing.

Lazaro Her­nan­dez, one half of the de­sign duo, said they had been talk­ing about mak­ing the move to Paris for years.

While the Mul­leavys in­sisted it was the French cap­i­tal’s view of fash­ion as art that had at­tracted them, Her­nan­dez said Paris “has al­ways been the most in­spir­ing city for us.

“We came over and we searched all these in­de­pen­dent Parisian ateliers where they do feather work, hand weav­ing tex­tiles, rib­bons (and so on), and we em­ployed all these amaz­ing lit­tle stu­dios and worked back and forth from New York to Paris.”

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.

Bel­gian fash­ion de­sign­ers Filip Arickx (right) and An Van­de­vorst at the end of the 2017-2018 fall/win­ter Haute Cou­ture col­lec­tion in Paris

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