After working so hard at her Prada collection, the designer Miucca Prada wanted something visual and sporty for her Miu Miu-collection. But also something that was a bit frivolous and romantic at the end. But why she did what she did the designer could not explain. It was just instinct she told the press.
The silhouette she presented was new for-Miu Miu with the long coats and sweaters worn over longer skirts that revealed the ankle. The look seemed rooted in conservative, early 1900s nostalgia. One ensemble — a fitted black jacket with big round buttons and orange astrakhan collar, worn over a polka-dot skirt with an orange ostrich carpet bag and silver Mary Janes — brought to mind Mary Poppins.
There were sporty jackets and belted bodices cut out of quilted navy-blue nylon with pronounced zippers, big pockets and ribbed knit cuffs and hems. The clownish motifs that were used sparingly as styling effects at first, escalated to full looks by the finale of chic cut coats in pink, yellow and baby blue.
That was grunge-de-luxe what Marc Jacobs designed for Louis Vuitton. A bit ironic and provocative, but in a beautiful and sensual way. And melancholic. The set was a circular “hotel” constructed within the vast tent pitched in a Louvre courtyard. The wallpapered corridor housed 50 closed doors which the models opened and exited. The audience became voyeurs, as each “room” featured projections of hotel guests lounging and getting dressed, unaware of the scores of peering eyes.
Jacobs focused on the intimate sartorial gesture: slips, pajamas, robes de chambre. These were paired with some of the season’s best coats and jackets, worn in odd combinations — proportions deliberately awkward, colors sometimes off.
The pieces were gorgeous: a herringbone pattern made entirely of embroidered sequins; voluptuous robes lined in marabou. Some coats came in cashmere with deep borders of dégradé sequins; others, in thick silk printed to resemble English tweeds.
Of course, there were Vuitton bags – but without a logo in sight. Jacobs interpreted the house’s classic shapes in tony materials — croc, python, mink and hand-curled goose feathers — often finished with carved ebony or wooden handles.
Arriving under the glass dome of the Grand Palais, Chanel-guests found a huge globe of the world, illuminated with countless points of light, 300 of which bore CC markers indicating the brand’s points of fashion distribution around the world.
Lagerfeld’s fashion message was a statement of sartorial strength based on bold, graphic silhouettes in different fabrics, most with major surface interest. A few concepts repeated throughout: “the one-piece suit” — actually a coat with a flange at the hips, which, when closed, gave the appearance of a jacket and skirt, and “the double skirt,” which unzipped from the bottom up revealing a second layer beneath.
Coats and jackets were mostly loose and at times bulky, particularly A-shapes that had both structure and swing over skirts that followed a similar line. Dropped-torso dresses combined fabrics in horizontal blocks of three; long coats were cut away in front. As for those textures, Lagerfeld favored winter-weight fabrics.
In the collection she showed today Stella McCartney manipulated pinstripes into something new and engaging, without getting too androgyn.
McCartney opened with tailoring manipulated via creative draping. She twisted and cut an ultrachic jacket, which resulted in an uneven hem. This went over a long, front-draped skirt in a narrower pinstripe. She then ran with the pattern in various widths, going softer in dresses and dressed down in a big parka and loose sweaters.
The comfort factor continued in big coats and a luxe jogging suit and boxy tartans-meets-denim jacket over a skirt that had a school-girl appeal. And she turned the always-inviting sweater dress sexy by splicing it with lace.
Evening offered nods to the smoking as well as wonderfully languid options.
In the Celine collection she showed on Sunday, Phoebe Philo took a feminine turn without leaving the no-nonsense chic behind. It was a chic minimalism with elements from the Nineties and Forties. The powerdressing was in the loose, geometric shapes for anything that fell from the shoulders (coats, tops, dresses) and winter-weight woolens that were elegantly. Chic were the girly conservative flirt skirts that flared out over the knees. Wide, cocoonlike stoles were the finishing touch and the palette of gray and black was softened by peach, pink and ivory. Philo got daring with the tablecloth plaids — bright blue over red — for a top and skirt.
As for the bags: soft rectangles in both leather and the same woolen fabrics as the clothes, which the models held tight to their torsos.
Humberto Leon and Carol Lim took inspiration from Asian temples — Indian, Nepalese and Chinese — for their fall collection for Kenzo. The theme included opulent fabrics flush with metallic, such as gold jacquard and flocked lamé that looked like crocodile. They decorated outfits with a cool but cheesy eye motif, shown head-to-toe on a tailored jacket, skinny pants and open-toe booties.
Tjhere was a lot of decoration, but the clothes were kept quiet. They were cut with vaguely Asian references — robe coats; short, precision-wrap skirts, and shirts with crisp, wide short sleeves — worked in understandable silhouettes that are very contemporary.
No firework at Viktor & Rolf, but a strong collection full with clothes that were accessible for a lot of women. With beautiful legs, that is. Since the biggest part of the fall collection was leaning on short skirts and dresses. It looked young and fresh, almost as if a young girl tried to modify her clothes herself by cutting and ripping it and putting it together again with lace inserts and embroideries. It was a mix of bouncy sportswear, serious power-dressing and modern sculptured silhouettes. The designers sticked to a black-and-white palette and occasionally injected a subtle Sixties London vibe. Fanciful touches came via overstated bows, from a giant one on the neckline of a white shirt to another on the shoulder of a gown.
It’s always such a pleasure to see a show of Haider Ackermann. It’s almost like meditation: the slow pace of the models, the sensibility of the clothes, the pureness. Again, Ackermanns guide to his fall-collection was the thin line between strength and fragility. Tailoring played a major role as did quiet tones of gray, black and white, green. Some of the tailoring was oversized, with full-legged pants and droopy sleeves almost to the knees. The model looked as if they were dressed in their lovers’ clothes. There we also sharper pieces with strong shoulders and defined waists, like the houndstooth military jacket with the collar torn off and the seams left raw, or another jacket in brown with purple velvet lining its ruffled peplum.
Fur was new at Ackermann, but he used it well. His shearling flight jackets and his collarless beaver-fur coats looked beautifiul.
In his second ready to wear-collection for the house of Christian Dior Raf Simons brought art and Dior closer together. You could see it on the clothes with Andy Warhol’s early, sensitive drawings as a recurring graphic. Warhol also echoed in the silvered spheres suspended in the room and the Laurie Anderson soundtrack reflected the right mood. But also Dior and Simons got closer: the Bar jacket was paired with baggy pants in a navy or black denim wool.
The message seemed to be about control. Just look at the way the classic “lady” silhouettes—bustier, full-skirted—were translated into black leather, or the Dior houndstooth was transmogrified into a sexy little bustier with a wrapped silk dress. They’ll likely be the ambassadors for the new Dior.
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were the style-icons Dries van Noten referred to while explaining his collection. For fall 2013 he plays with masculinity and femininity, something he enjoyed in former collections too. That play is a subtle thread through the whole season, Instead of fur Van Noten pleayed with feathers. He mixed mannish white shirts with a navy skirt over gray flannel pants, That sounds rayther boring, but the effect was in the details: a necklet of paste diamonds, a skirt with a trail of ostrich-plumes anchored by crystal. There wwere also chunky knits, cable sweaters, varsity-stripe skirts, brocade skirts and plus-zize overcoats – all looking glamorous. There was also a sexy vibe, not in your face-sexy but subtle.