The Cold to Come

Fashion Faux Paris

Questionable collections came from some of the most respected labels, and whilst this does not tarnish the entire label, it will definitely deter some from expecting the best from the designers in the future. Even the fashion capital of Paris produces some faux pas...

Oh how terrible it is to follow a wonderful Haute Couture collection with a outstandingly bleak and somewhat useless collection. Fashion legends Viktor & Rolf offered a disappointing colour palette, which was accompanied by the unnecessary attention to sheer fabrics, which is completely impractical in near freezing temperatures. Deconstructed cable knit details and printed bras, waistcoats and sleeve details were seen throughout, but was unable to cover the boringness of it all.

Obvious imitation seemed like the "in" thing to do, with Dries Van Noten's latest collection being too similar to Prada's Fall/Winter 2013 menswear collection, Nicolas Ghesquiré for Louis Vuitton's denim a mirror image of Olivier Rousteing's denim creations for Balmain, and Akris using oddly familiar photographic prints which stray too close to Dries Van Noten's Autumn/Winter 2011 collection. It's an awful cyclical process. I guess this fashion expert must be either uninspired or burnt out, which is not a good sign.

Nicolas Ghesquiré's collections for Balenciaga were undoubtedly glorious, but his debut for Louis Vuitton was inexplicable, in a bad way. Extremely muted colours, dismal styling, and generic designs seemed to have been indicative of withheld extravagance. The possible reason for this is the pressure to fill the shoes of Marc Jacobs, and favouring to take a safer direction and not toy with the reputation of Louis Vuitton. Who can blame Nicolas for taking that sort of move? I just hope his next collection does not push the label into dire straits.

I've adored every collection by Raf Simons for Dior since his debut, but his Fall/Winter 2014 collection has made me less than cheery. To boil it down, Raf's minimalist style is too apparent, and he must remember that he is designing for another brand, not his own, and injecting it with a sneaker-shoe hybrid that would usually be in his namesake label is just plain insulting to the history and integrity of Christian Dior. Although a more reserved collection, statement pieces such as the distorted layered dresses and those ghastly shoes just did not elevate the mundaneness of the basics within the collection.

Despite the outweighing negatives of the week, trends always shine through, and will never cease to be worn by fashion followers worldwide. An emphasis on shoes seemed obvious throughout the week, with the return of knee-high boots, ankle boots and the distasteful flatform shoe. The gladiatorial pleat has made a comeback, along with the '60s and '70s inspired geometric prints. 

Images courtesy of Jacques Habbah and Dazed Digital


The Positives of Paris

Human installations at the Iris Van Herpen show

Fashion month for the Autumn/Winter 2014 has come to an end, and the tedious work between now and when the collections will hit stores and boutiques worldwide begins. As Paris is the fashion capital, the trends that spurt out of the designer's collections are the most influential, but God only knows how or if designers from other streams of fashion will distort or glorify the trends. In every fashion week, there are the beautiful collections and there are the downright questionable ones, so let's save you the eye sore for the moment and explore the most pleasing.

The second collection from the resurrected Vionnet label was indicative of the naturalist fad that has come about in recent years. Goga Ashkenazi emphasizes the trend of the organic into this collection with the minimal floral motifs and brightly greens, and coupled with the structural form of the garments, makes the proposal of bringing pinstripe into some of the pieces welcome. The straightness of the collection, with singular block lines and blocky silhouettes, is somewhat a perfect contrast to the more organic elements. There seemed to be a balance of the positive and the negative looking back at the collections presented, so I took to analysing what made my favourite collections either of the two.

The pleats trend for the upcoming Autumn/Winter season is no doubt mastered by Yoshiyuki Maeme for Issey Miyake. The pleats in the collection are not produced in the usual up-and-down model, but flowed with the fluid forms of the garments. The juxtaposition of the curvaceous and the quadratic is apparent, with the squarish bags and prints diversifying this modernly beautiful collection. The cross-cultural and minimalist aesthetic of Issey Miyake has been preserved perfectly once again. 

Of course, one of the most anticipated shows of the season, Karl Lagerfeld unveiled the Chanel Shopping Centre - a pseudo-supermarket right in the Grand Palais and the sight of the Autumn/Winter 2014 show for the parisian pride label, Chanel. Amongst the shelves and piles of faux Chanel groceries, the models walked out revealing a continuation of the urban x high fashion look shown in the Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Pairing iridescent metallic sneakers with classic Chanel tweed is a a reflection of women today and of the past - chic yet fashionable, wherever they are and whatever they're doing. The glory of women has been personified in one collection - oversized coats reminiscent of the power dressing era of the 80s and an ode to the sudden rise of feminism amongst the youth recently. But, even though this symbolic collection emerged as the best of the week, the trend of mixing high fashion and urban trends is not new.

Now, don't be fooled, the beauty of these collections were much overshadowed by the preposterous collections by other respectable designers. As most of us know, fashion isn't always beautiful, and sometimes even the best of the best make mistakes, and I will explore these in my next post....