Paris Fash­ion Week from nu­dity to origami

The China Post - - ARTS - BY THOMAS ADAM­SON

From ex­posed breasts to Ja­panese origami to the ra­tion-era For­ties, Sun­day’s in­stall­ment of VIP-filled Paris Fash­ion Week had it all. Here are the spring-sum­mer 2016 col­lec­tion high­lights.

Kenzo’s Del­i­cate Pre­ci­sion

Clean white geo­met­ric arches that looked al­most cut from pa­per greeted rather fa­tigued guests in the large au­di­to­rium at Kenzo’s Sun­day morn­ing show in North­ern Paris.

The idea of pa­per was per­haps closely melded to the cre­ative process for Carol Lim and Hum­berto Leon, who pro­duced a highly cre­ative show with plays on origami cutouts. It was cer­tainly worth the early morn­ing trek.

As ever, for the house founded by Ja­panese de­signer Kenzo Takada, styles were Asia-in­fused.

Seg­ments in con­trast­ing pat­terns pro­duced the first looks which in­cluded one Burme­selook­ing tight knee-length dress.

The cre­ative juices got flow­ing with the in­tro­duc­tion of a white lat­tice top with tiny, del­i­cate cut outs, which looked like it had been made ac­cord­ing to the Ja­panese pa­per fold­ing tra­di­tions. It was beau­ti­fully set off with a funky stud­ded mini in ochre with match­ing pock­ets — a neat tem­plate for the col­lec­tion’s gen­eral sil­hou­ette: tight, mini and gen­tly A-line.

This origami ef­fect re­curred on space-age white and ochre strip­per boots that were de­sex­u­al­ized with san­dal heels and a crisscross pat­tern.

Pat­terns were also stand­out — like in a se­ries of looks that chan­neled a sort of elec­tri­fied hound­stooth with bright blue and black pix­i­la­tion.

The de­sign­ers let their hair down to­ward the end in a deft se­ries of floppy, amor­phous gowns with flut­tery in­ter­lock­ing strips of fab­ric — which show why Kenzo is still one of the funki­est tick­ets in town.

Ce­line’s In­ge­nious Fourties

Dior’s 1949 New Look — when post-war ra­tioning ended and full length dresses came back — is nor­mally the ear­lier chrono­log­i­cal start­ing point for the day’s di­verse cat­walk styles.

Ce­line’s de­signer, the ev­er­cre­ative Pheobe Philo, bucked this trend.

Philo on Sun­day wowed guests by putting sur­real, con­tem­po­rary twists on de­signs from the ra­tionera For­ties.

Puffy gath­ered sleeves, shorter hems to mid-calf, and tight shirts with loose, full- waisted pants were fash­ioned in pre-World War II hues of dark gray, navy, black and camel.

Pro­por­tions were ex­ag­ger­ated and elon­gated like sub­jects from the pain­ter Modigliani — ex­tra­nar­row waists with chis­eled ver­ti­cal pan­els, wide scooped neck­lines that pointed at the side, or gath­ered sleeves that spilled over the up­per arm.

Stand-out looks in­cluded a gray “siren suit” jump­suit that Bri­tish sub­jects would put on hur­riedly to seek shel­ter dur­ing WWII air raids, mod­ern­ized with funky zip­pers, and a trench coat that might have been worn by Mar­lene Di­et­rich, were it not for its fash­ion­for­ward large vol­ume.

Em­pire- l i ne blouses were thrown into the mix to make this one of the most thought­ful col­lec­tions this sea­son.

De­signer’s Apart­ment

Paris is the city of Louis Vuit­ton, Dior and Chanel — but it’s also a cham­pion of young de­sign­ers.

France’s pow­er­ful French Cou­ture Fed­er­a­tion is co-spon­sor­ing an event called “De­sign­ers Apart­ment” that lasts for the du­ra­tion of Paris Fash­ion Week.

It pro­motes up and com­ing tal­ents that would oth­er­wise be swal­lowed up in the mael­strom of multi- mil­lion dol­lar la­bels and groups such as Ker­ing and LMVH.

For the spring-sum­mer 2016 sea­son, a build­ing in Paris’ 2nd dis­trict has been set aside to show­case walk- in ate­liers and ex­hibits by a whole swathe of tal­ented de­sign­ers such as A.Guery, Koche, Mono­gra­phie, Vic­to­ria/To­mas and Y/Pro­ject.

Koche, for ex­am­ple, has used this plat­form to gain recog­ni­tion in par­al­lel to their first on-cal­en­dar cat­walk show last Mon­day. “De­sign­ers Apart­ment” is in its sev­enth edi­tion.

Nina Ricci’s Sheer Sen­su­al­ity

A foxy belted, shiny coat show­ing decol­lete and worn with noth­ing else un­der­neath was the open­ing state­ment at Nina Ricci — a sign that in only his sec­ond show for the his­toric brand, tal­ented de­signer Guil­laume Henry is steer­ing the boat away from gamine nos­tal­gia.

Ex­posed nip­ples and shoul­ders, glim­mer­ing waxed leather and yards of sheer or­ganza spelt full-throt­tle sen­su­al­ity in the Satur­day night show that was well­re­ceived by the au­di­ence, which in­cluded model and ac­tress Laeti­tia Casta.

Black aprons and rhine­stoneen­crusted straps filed by along­side flut­ter­ing em­broi­dered feath­ers, evok­ing a con­tra­dic­tion of the ag­gres­sive ver­sus the soft and fem­i­nine.


1. A model wears a cre­ation for Ce­line’s spring-sum­mer 2016 ready-to-wear fash­ion col­lec­tion, pre­sented dur­ing Paris Fash­ion Week, Sun­day, Oct. 4. 2. A model wears a cre­ation for Nina Ricci’s spring-sum­mer 2016 ready-to-wear fash­ion col­lec­tion, pre­sented dur­ing Paris Fash­ion Week, Satur­day, Oct. 3. 3. A model wears a cre­ation for Kenzo’s spring-sum­mer 2016 ready-to-wear fash­ion col­lec­tion pre­sented dur­ing the Paris Fash­ion Week, Sun­day.

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