There’s nothing like a brisk jog to start the day off at Paris Fashion Week. After Google misdirected me to a children’s playground, I made a run for the L’Observatoire de Paris for Balenciaga. Later on, I discovered that I had just missed MIA, who attended the smallish show (and later, its after party). Ugh, Alexander Wang has such cool friends…
But enough about regrets, let’s talk fashion. After a solid debut at the house for fall, it’s clear that Wang’s more confident at the job. There was a street-smart, sporty feel to the collection (the peplumed skirts, the mesh and leather crop tops and rounded-out bombers) that served to fuse his own aesthetic with the house’s archives. The details were just nuts, though: The first few looks were made entirely of single pieces of woven leather:
My favourite looks in the collection, a series of off-the-shoulder shorteralls, were adorned with razor-sharp sequins that look the shape of little black flowers from far away:
Visually, it was quite the jump from Balenciaga’s stoicism to Manish Arora’s over-the-top flash. The designer recast Josephine Baker as a modern-day club kid, riffing on art deco prints in vivid, searing neons. It made me think that he’d have been a better costumer for Baz Luhrmann’s Gatsby:
At Nina Ricci, Peter Copping turned the clock further back from Arora’s jazz age. Drawing loosely on 18th century men’s redingotes, he presented an artfully feminine collection despite the gender-bending inspiration.
Air-light glossy fabrics, much like Rochas’, appeared here as did lots of delicate, textured white.
Pleating, both actual and trompe l’oeil, were seen throughout this show, as with so many others throughout the spring 2014 season:
All these folds recall Issey Miyake, arguably the original master of crimps and creases. While he no longer at the label’s helm, his presence will be felt, like everywhere else.