First View Paris Womenswear FW2012: Pastel Beauty

As Suzy Menkes questions in the NY Times: ‘Is it inevitable in a time of economic depression that fashion takes a backward look at similar moments in past? So much has changed that it is a designer’s tough task to make references relevant.’

Historic Dior, the New Look, hit the runway. Faultless collections, as icons of couture craftsmanship in impeccable tailoring, express lightness in a tender palette of soft powder-pinks. The focus is on the waist and skirts are full or flared and over-the-knee, in chiffons, silks and layers of tulle. Less exquisite and full-blown as in the 40s, making place for a contemporary, stripped-down urban sense of luxury and soft modernity, yet still ultimately recognizable.

Roland Mouret shows smart sculpted peplum silhouettes with a lady like elegance, Nina Ricci’s designer Peter Copping did find the right twist to turn the historic into the contemporary. Barbara Bui entered a more free-flowing craft aspect in a skin shaded sensual silhouette, where Bill Gaytten stays closest to the Dior heritage without obviously taking a 21st century turn.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam