|Umit Benan, designer for his namesake label, protesting against racism|
The deeper meanings behind what is presented by most fashion designers the world over are sometimes, or even most of the time, overshadowed by people's preference to disseminating what they'd like to wear and what seems weird and unattractive from that collection based on superficial reasons. Fads come and go within trends of fashion, but clothing is also a self-expression of yourself and what you believe no matter what is seen as vogue, and quite a few designers in the Parisian scene have done so throughout their Autumn/Winter 2014 collections. Besides this, designers have decided to tweak their aesthetic in interest of diversifying - an interesting accompaniment to the messages conveyed.
|The Raf Simons "Fathers" jumper, aimed at America's powerful influence today|
Raf Simons was the first designer to present a protesting collection, blatantly obvious that what was in question was America's reign of supremacy. In collaboration with artist Sterling Ruby, the pair presented a runway decorated with stars and stripes banners tied clumsily, and clothing baring pop culture symbols, surface images of the Moon defaced with fabric swatches and the word "Fathers" slapped mockingly throughout. It seems as though Raf is making clear how ridiculous it is that most people praise what America offers and not what their own culture does, and in essence, this collection is also mocking those who leave their homeland to pursue "The American Dream", whatever that is to that person. The combination of his expertly tailored garments with derisive symbols and words are true Raf Simons, but this time a more political stance has been taken.
|Rick Owens' signature leather shoes|
Rick Owens decided to show an appreciation towards traditional Middle-Eastern culture and acceleration of the unisex fashion movement that he propelled forward at the beginning of the 21st Century. Models wore headdresses reflective of the Hijab (or even Hindi or Christian religious headwear), a gender-bending element that is contrary to the fact that these are men, and possibly a stab at beautifying this cultural headwear that has stupidly offended narrow-minded people who believe that this is a sign of a terrorist. To finish off the looks, the men wore high knee leather shoes that are masculine, despite the common association of this style to women's fashion. Cutting gender stereotypes in fashion is tough, and sometimes is an acquired taste, I mean, look at J.W. Anderson's menswear collections. But, Rick has pulled this off with consideration of the fact that masculinity overshadowing femininity is more appealing to the mass. With an already complex vision that Mr. Owens holds, a collection that manages to reflect what men's fashion is nowadays - against the norm - is just what many fashion enthusiasts would've expected from this designer.
|Paul Smith used Middle Eastern patterns throughout his collection|
Another designer that expressed their fascination with Middle Eastern culture is the kooky Paul Smith. Popular amongst young fashion conscious men who don a highly tailored but want comical elements throughout, the British designer has merged this identifiable design ethos with patterns derived from Kilim and Turkish rugs. Paul's signature eccentricities are also apparent, with a pieces of footwear and panelled garments featuring iridescent sequins. This collection is a incredibly reminiscent of Kenzo Takada's work - a mixture of iconic cultural pieces to celebrate multiculturalism and racial acceptance.
|Thom Browne makeup|
|Issey Miyake's psychedelic patterns|
Two designers that always stand out amongst the Paris scene are Thom Browne and Issey Miyake - the first consistently showing artwear collections that prove avant-garde is not limited to Haute Couture and womenswear, and the latter effortlessly executing minimalism with stylishly outrageous detailing. For Fall/Winter 2014, the two have somehow bounced off each other unknowingly, with pieces within their collections representing the modern hippy. The regained fascination with nature and its wonders in health, which has sparked the movement of veganism, is shown through Thom's ethereal florals and makeup. The visual culture that is associated with vegan, hippy and new age beliefs is seen in Issey Miyake - with a surprisingly more psychedelic collection than previous ones.
|Givenchy fashion show finale|
Images courtesy of Fashionising and Style.com