First View Paris ss2012: Slits & Slices

A powerful design-feature this Paris season is the slit. Nothing makes a look that obviously 80’s inspired. Immediately it’s taken out of the reigning 50’s couture prettiness to create a more daring and slick appeal.

Cutout, slashed and sliced and sometimes pinned, wrapped and knotted back together again. Cut-outs unveil long lean legs as well as deep décolleté and hints of midriff. Jean Paul Gaultier plays with wide gathered volumes and wraps, folds, turns and twists these. Where Lanvin unveils in a more cool and understated manner, carefully exposing hints of skin in a subtle and sophisticated manner, Maison Martin Margiela shows more brutal constructions and deconstructions where Mugler goes futuristic and uses cuts and slashes for streamlined, organic and a more architectonic shaping and sculpting.

Sure that it adds movement and flare to silhouettes.

Stylespot is a collaborations with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View Paris ss2012: Couture Spirit

The clear read line through Paris catwalk shows is a couture spirit reminiscent of the fifties and sixties. One designer more then the other found ways to translate this precious era in a contemporary and new look. Finding a shared challenge in the search for new proportions yet clearly inspired by the rounded full shaping of that era. Materials where traditional and precious, yet some realised that typical sculptural aspect in novel manmade yet ever so luxurious fabrics. A, I and egg shaped, reduced and iconic, minimal use of details and executed in mostly black and white.

Going back to the archives was what most designers did. Céline created a masterful understated and reduced version and managed to shape couture within a desirable ‘Philo’ mould. Dries van Noten offered grand couture looks in pouf dresses and skirts, finding a way to update by combining these with print and sturdy biker jackets. Rick Owens shifts in all its striking understatement between pillar and egg. Where Balenciaga made the most modern translation by truly redefining couture’s contours. He turned urban wear into couture, so took another road to come to richness by giving city wear the haute treatment. Rochas, how else could it be, took it factual and dived fully into archives using silk duchesse and organza to show the full flavour and grandeur of the couture legacy.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam


First View Paris ss2012: a dress is a dress is a dress

So the dressed-up mood seems there to stay. From careful sculpted and tailored precious gowns with Hollywood appeal, to immaculate sweet nothings in fluttery organza.

Sure is that a couture mood runs through prêt-à-porter collections worldwide. A dressed-up dress-parade shows a rich variety of smart classy daywear as well as more dramatic evening wear. Next to couture spirit an obvious 80’s flavour is intertwined that loosens up hard edge couture looks and adds flair by means of long slits and slices in shifts, tunics and robe manteaux.

Lanvin adds strong character to luxurious understated and monumental shapes in interesting fabrics where texture and drape determine the look in total absence of unnecessary details. Nina Ricci adds urban twists to a heavenly and lingerie inspired collection, where Rick Owens turns tailoring into religion, showing monolithic gowns. Dior opens the box of its rich legacy; showing reworked and modernized dresses reminiscent of the golden age of haute couture.

So to be fair, a dress is more then just a dress.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam

First View Paris ss2012: Poetic Vision

Viewing the first Paris collections immediately made clear that 50’s Retro, Tropicana and Crafts are definitely on trend, worldwide.

But here we want to highlight a different mood. A lovely tale of heroines travelling the world, picking up inspirations, connecting and merging the east and the west and marrying these influences in lovely, narrative and poetic stories.

The spirit is romantic, exquisitely elegant and fuelled with craftsmanship in tailoring, embellishment, pattern as well as cut. Some glowful decadence in androgynous looks with a daring sensual twist. Shades of China show in dangling tassels, kimono-like wraps, north-African caftans and western suiting. Manipulated city- and landscapes in photo print as well as historical engravings of gardens of Eden.

Ann Demeulemeester goes sensual and combines fluid flared skirts and dresses with elongated suit coats. Severe black suiting with barely-there veils and free flowing fringes. Dries van Noten adds ruffles and ruches to pure, stern silhouettes and narrative prints to bold black and white. Rick Owens adds roundness and softness to column-like contours. Each of them envisioning a positive future. To speak with Owens: a gateway to heaven.

Stylespot is a collaboration with Stijlinstituut Amsterdam