Paris Fashion Week

09/mar/2017 05:15:27 davisyellow Contatta l'autore

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The avant-garde ideas you'll actually want to wear from Paris Fashion Week

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After four weeks of being inundated with endless new fashion collections, even the most ardent style watcher might start to wonder what the point of all these shows is. Political posturing has dominated this fashion show season, but in Paris the industry chatter turned in on itself – why are are we all here? To be inspired, challenged, provoked – or to simply work out which clothes women are going to want to actually wear next winter?

The wares on the autumn/winter catwalks are the frisson for most houses – the majority will not be put into production; the ones that will are produced in small quantities. The real money comes from what are known as “pre” collections – which arrive in store in December and June and are on sale for the longest period, therefore bringing in bigger quantities. These pieces are firmly practical and are things women will wear. But the show clothes – there to entice, inspire and in some cases jolt – are used as seductive fantasy marketing as well as an industry barometer of where designers think our clothes are going next.

In Paris, concepts and ideas are crucial – without the off-kilter there is nothing new, nothing different to think about or provoke discussion. But the key to success here is to combine the conceptual and the commercial: something that makes you pause, but also makes you mentally write off salary portions for the next six months.

Rei Kawakubo, the doyenne behind Comme des Garçons, puts on shows that delight and baffle in equal quantities. Her work from the past 35 years is to be the subject of this year’s exhibition at the Met in New York (opening May 4).

At the press launch on Monday, curator Andrew Bolton explained that the exhibition will highlight Kawakubo’s consistent challenging of aesthetic boundaries in an unceasing search for originality. Yet, for all the befuddlement, there is a commerciality to CDG. Kawakubo’s latest show might have featured models encased in bulbous, unforgiving structures but each wore a pair of Nike trainers from a collaboration with the house – a cult item in the making.

Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga is another arch example of when the conceptual brilliantly reconciles with the commercial: his extreme tailoring (giant, sloping shoulders, and then some) has resulted in an unequivocal re-evaluation of silhouette across the industry. His outsize cuts might be tricky, but he is the reason you will find a shoulder pad in your new jacket. His show addressed the awkward – coats hitched up and fastened on the shoulder – with easy wins: cocooning knitwear, plum-coloured sportif slacks and handbag handles encased in printed scarves.

At Céline, Phoebe Philo paired flowing trench coats with an arch look at suiting – sharp, prominent lapels countered with a slimmer cut trouser and wit. Giant black and emerald blankets were given the cosiest of slogans – “bangers and mash” and “beef stew”.

Meanwhile Sacai’s Chitose Abe is a go-to for clothes which have enough avant garde to delight, but equally the wearability to force that credit card from your wallet. Her tweed-jacket-meets-Millets-hiking-essential had a cool charm which will stand out but not confuse.

Equally, Jonathan Anderson’s Loewe continues to twist the creative knife. The bags are exceptional – a new version of the hit Puzzle comes in chic suede check and black, while polka dots were given a new light in lattice puckered dresses.

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