And the award for Best Spring 2014 Ready-to-Wear Presentation goes to: Rick Owens. If you had absolutely no idea what ‘stepping’ was until you attended this particular show at Paris Fashion Week, Owens did the art justice and the favor was returned to portray his collection as it was meant to be seen: elegant and rough.
The nostalgia may have kicked into high gear for anyone who’s been exposed to step teams, fraternities, and/or sororities in their college life; but before that feeling completely took over, Owens successfully pulled you back into his world where American grit hit the Parisian catwalk.
Owens, an American designer living in Paris, opted against the typical size-nothing models and selected a diverse group of women of different ethnic backgrounds and sizes. Statements were made, subliminally and obviously, and the non-models who were definitely not trying to model the clothes succeeded in doing just that while making a connection between each look and Owens’ vision.
The forty dancers, all holding a “grit face” throughout the show, included steppers from four sororities: Washington Divas, Soul Steppers, The Momentums, and The Zetas.
For the fashion fiends, the unspoken thought going around is that for some unknown reason, this round of fashion weeks seemed to drag…and drag. Today, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu and Elie Saab are among the shows that mark the final day of Spring RTW 2013 Paris Fashion Week.
As part of the final few, Chanel and Alexander McQueen helped bring fashion week to a much-needed climax. The two very different houses can’t be compared to each other; however, in their own signature styles, they stood out and brought back all the warm, fuzzy fashion week feelings.
Karl Lagerfeld, the man of many talents, does it yet again. For Chanel RTW Spring 2013, Lagerfeld continues to raise the bar for himself and his fellow fashion designers who play in the same field, but may or may not have figured out the formula for greatness as he has. To reinvent Chanel would be disastrous, there’s no need to do so because Chanel is timeless. The challenge – that Lagerfeld accepts so well – is to continuously refresh the brand with each collection that speaks to the generations of women who adore Chanel for its past, present and future.
The Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées served as the venue of choice with a surreal blue and white runway complete with 13 giant white wind turbines to set the mood. The collection included over 80 looks, most of which were perfectly streamlined, complete with wide midriff jackets, corseted underpinnings, jumbo clustered pearl necklaces, and plenty of florals, prints and colors to choose from come spring and summer.
Sarah Burton continues to do right by Alexander McQueen with one captivating collection after the other. This time around, her inspiration was the bee, the flying insect that is quick to sting if it feels threatened. But to be stung by the Queen Bee is delightful in this scenario where Burton holds the keys to the honeycomb she describes as “a matriarchal society where the females rule.”
The honeycomb provided the shape for the form-fitting silhouettes that were anchored at the high waist. The bee made an appearance every now and then in embroideries. Colors were honey-toned yellow, gold, and copper with black and red to add the deep, dark depth that makes for the total Alexander McQueen experience. Underpinnings, cage- and corset-like, went in or went out, no restrictions in this regard.
It seems like Fashion Week in Paris is never-ending; but that’s fine, we could do this everyday. However, things would get pretty boring if one or two talented designers didn’t mix it up every now and then to keep us interested. Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood did just that, and we appreciated every moment.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s Homage to Eighties Pop Culture
Spotted: Grace Jones, Annie Lennox, Madonna, Boy George, Michael Jackson and a few others. This is a fun game, can you point out which eighties icons influenced these throwback looks?
Vivienne Westwood’s “Climate Revolution”
Ms. Westwood is pretty vocal on her political views, but there was no intentional message in her collection, “Climate Revolution,” for RTW Spring 2013 Collection. Or was there? Regardless, she got our attention.
To view the Spring 2013 Collections in their entirety, visit WWD.com.
For Fall 2012, Sarah Burton chose to look to the future with a collection meant to exude positivity and optimism.
An illuminating contrast from past collections designed by Alexander McQueen himself, the assortment managed to provoke similar reactions as viewers entered the eternally breath-taking world of the house of McQueen.
Take a journey with Burton and follow the models as they cascade down the runway, eyes shielded by futuristic wrap-around visors, waists cinched elaborately by sculptural metal belts and wrists and ankles cuffed in fluff, be it feathers or fur.
Every dress moved outwardly and swayed with each step. From luminous whites, to pale shades of pink, bright reds, soft lavenders and finally jet black, each piece seemed to be extensions of the bodies they adorned.
The outward extension could be symbolic of Burton’s sights on the future of the brand which will go on with the goal of preserving the emotional connection between garment and consumer forged by McQueen.
Wearable? No, but the runway looks serve as inspiration for a commercial collection that is available and is sure to aid in the aspirations to move forward.
Appointed as creative director of the house of Lanvin in 2001, Alber Elbaz has remained a constant at his designated “house” as we’ve seen other designer labels play the game of musical chairs with their creative directors. As a steady figure, he positioned Lanvin to become one of the most coveted labels in the industry.
Tonight, Elbaz will celebrate ten years with a party that will take place after the Lanvin show at Halle Freyssinet. To say “Elbaz will celebrate” may be a misstatement as the man himself, true to his personality, is not one for tooting his own horn. He is constantly looking for ways to become better in his role and isn’t the type to become too comfortable. Sounds like the ideal candidate for any role.
One of the reasons he is so adored by dedicated fans worldwide may be his “it’s never enough” demeanor and endearing tendency to reveal his self-doubt.
Ten years is truly a feat worth celebrating; but can we talk about the Lanvin business in numbers? Business is good. Two major successes last year include a 24 percent increase in sales and a collaboration with H&M that caused madness at the storefronts of participating stores hours before opening time.
An additional celebration is scheduled for April 26 in Beijing where Lanvin will showcase recent women’s and men’s collections in one huge, all-encompassing fashion show.
The Morocco-born, Israeli-bred designer moved to New York at the age of 26 and soon began working for Geoffrey Beene. In 1996 he was hired as the creative director of Guy Laroche and two years later he left for Yves Saint Laurent to design women’s ready-to-wear. After being fired from YSL three seasons later, he spent a season at Krizia in Italy and then took a one year leave from the fashion industry before he found his home at Lanvin in 2001.
A well-respected journey of a man who sets the standard for tenure in the fashion industry. His connection with women is evident in words and seen in his designs:
“I think that I was very alert to women, and I am seeing more and more that women are changing. Their lifestyle is becoming more and more difficult on a daily basis. So I was trying always to simplify their life…Women need something a little bit more easy in their wardrobe, instead of thinking every morning what goes with what, they just zip it in and at night zip it out. This is how I kind of evolve. I am thinking of something and, boom, I start to work around it.”
In a conversation with WWD‘s European editor, Miles Socha, “Elbaz Reflects On a Decade at Lanvin.” Read the full interview here.
In 1945 Peter Balmain founded the Parisian label on the principles of haute-rocker style and a fine attention to detail. As of 2011, with Olivier Rousteing as creative director, the House of Balmain thrives through his efforts to connect the label’s heritage with its ongoing affair with rock and roll glamour.
Adding a second notch to his runway belt for Balmain, Rousteing sent a collection down the runway for Fall 2012 RTW that proved his efforts worthwhile. A unique blend of embellishments and embroidery were used in simultaneous fashion on jackets, tops, pants and dresses.
Every piece was touched by various methods of details formed into geometric shapes and extravagant patterns. Ornamentation of the silhouette was key and never did we see the notion of “more is more” make as much sense as it did at Balmain. Rousteing found a happy place this season where he managed to mesh every jewel of inspiration into a successfully executed assortment.
A few more of our favorite looks included ultra-slim embellished pants, velvet in it’s sexiest form and finally, the dark vibe of fashion week wouldn’t be complete without at least one shapely, all-black ensemble.
The House of Dior adds a new member under it’s well-designed French roof with the launch of DiorMag, a digital magazine set to be the online voice of the brand and its products.
The first headline event to be highlighted this Friday is the company’s fashion show which will be live-streamed for the first time with Twitter coverage provided by blogger Susie Bubble.
According to WWD, DiorMag will kick off with eight articles and aspires to update online content almost daily. The name of whom the company has enlisted as editor in chief is yet to be revealed.
Editorial content is intended to entertain, inform and enlighten readers with news regarding everything Dior. Current events and happenings from 30 Avenue Montaigne as well as history of the brand, the man behind the brand and the company’s heritage will be shared via the new online platform.
An excerpt from today’s article: “Avenue Montaigne, 29th February, 2012″
This magazine is yours. Christian Dior called his autobiography Christian Dior and I. Here, it’s Christian Dior and You. Dior is yours.
We’ve noticed and appreciated an increase in the the fashion industry’s ongoing love affair with social media and live-streaming. As more designers embrace the digital world, new readers, viewers and fans are being engaged and loving everything the industry has to offer.