The Reporter (Vacaville)

Transforma­tion, East-meets-West cap Paris menswear week

- By Thomas Adamson

PARIS >> As Paris Fashion Week bids farewell to the menswear season, the final day of shows includes collection­s from Maison Margiela and Sacai.

But fashion insiders won't have time to rest. Haute couture collection­s, including from powerhouse Dior, are set to go on display starting Monday in the French capital.

Here are some highlights from Sunday:


It was East meets West for lauded Korean designer Woo Youngmi, whose show was more than meets the eye.

The current Western obsession with Korean pop culture inspired Madame Woo to take a look at the shifting relationsh­ip between Korea and the West over time.

Delving into the history books, she hit upon the image of the Korean Pavilion created for the 1900 Paris Exposition. The fashion house described it as “a magnificen­t building constructe­d in the style of the South Korean palaces but re-contextual­ized within the Haussmanni­an environmen­t of Paris.”

This was the starting point of the thoughtful collection, which featured romantic silhouette­s fusing the fin de siècle French and English Edwardian styles — through riding coats, sack suits and riding boots — with urban styles such as cargo elements and archival pieces from Woo's early 2000s collection­s.

She also reinterpre­ted jewelry worn by the rulers of Korea's ancient Silla kingdom in a contempora­ry, decorative sculptural form.

Sacai Unzips

Transforma­tion was at the heart of a disruptive, fashion-forward co-ed Sacai show.

The basic premise was that changing one detail, just a little, can transform an entire visual shape. The black sand that covered the entire venue floor at the Carreau du Temple — perhaps signifying the sands of time — made the point when the slightest movement from guests' feet changed its shape.

Japanese designer Chitose Abe used zippers to demonstrat­e shifting silhouette­s, taking the same garment with the zipper up or down, and draped around the body in abstract ways.

There was a sense of infinite chaos in the three-dimensiona­l shapes created by tying coats to the back of garments in the mainly black and beige display. The booming soundtrack, and the way models walked in interlocki­ng formations, sometime accidental­ly nearly bumping into each other, enhanced the mood.

A trench coat was deconstruc­ted into its constituen­t parts and fanned open dramatical­ly to form a sort of reptilian hood trailing at the back. Sleeves on coats hung limply, without functional­ity, or were tied up to create infinitely varied shapes that had fashion insiders reaching for their cameras.

The Art of the Invitation

The age of email and rising environmen­tal awareness doesn't seem to have left much of a mark on the fashion industry's antiquated system of invitation­s.

Season after season, gasoline-guzzling couriers crisscross Paris to personally deliver ever-elaborate, often handmade, show invites.

Top houses vie for the wackiest or most imaginativ­e idea that often bears a clue as to the theme of the runway collection.

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