Paris takes it turn on the catwalk for spring-summer 2014
The schedule for the spring-summer 2014 shows in Paris couldn’t be more intense. With over 100 runway shows and presentations spread across nine days, the official program isn’t for the faint of heart.
What’s more important to a designer than the first collection at a luxury label? No doubt about it: the second collection. Better be up and ready – nine a.m. sharp – to catch the second wave of Alexander Wang’s designs for Balenciaga or the second Paris show of Yang Li, the new darling of “cool” luxury. There’s also plenty of pressure on Fausto Puglisi, whose first collection for Emanuel Ungaro last season was viewed as a strong effort. The same applies to Geraldo da Conceicao, equally well received for his work at Sonia Rykiel, which is looking to reposition itself.
The expanded official schedule coincides with a hectic week of unofficial runway shows, featuring a number of foreign labels that previously showed on the formal program: Talbot Runhof, Wunderkind, Allude, Atsuro Tayama and Luis Buchino. On the other hand, ethically conscious New York luxury brand Maiyet is taking the opposite approach and is scheduled on the official program for the evening of September 28.
Absent from the official schedule is Mugler, keeping a low profile this season. It cited major internal changes, including a new CEO and no final decision on an artistic director, which prevents it from showing a collection to buyers and the press. The appointment of a new artistic director is expected soon. As for Paco Rabanne, it isn’t on the official schedule because of internal reorganization, but has nonetheless arranged an independent show for Thursday, September 26. That will give guests the opportunity to see the work of Frenchman Julien Dossena, its new designer in charge of style, who was introduced to the press this summer. And Costume National is skipping Paris altogether this season as it undergoes production changes.
A big question in the industry is whether Marco Zanini’s collection for Rochas could be his last, given the rumor circulating the past few months that the Italian is heading for Schiaparelli (Tod’s Group). The rumor picked up steam at the beginning of Fashion Week when the New York Times speculated that Alessandro Dell’Acqua (formerly of Les Copains) might be moving to Rochas. The announcement could come during the runway show Wednesday, September 25.
The first day, Tuesday, is a welcome ceremony for young designers. And this season will mark the debut of Christine Phung, winner of the ANDAM First Collections prize. Her first runway show will be presented at the annual award's long-time sponsor, Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann. Italian brand Ter et Bantine will also appear on the Paris schedule, in an unofficial show at Beaux-Arts on Wednesday the 25th.
Important changes to the schedule include Hermès' new time slot (the last Wednesday at 16:30); Zadig & Voltaire now on the official schedule on the same Wednesday, October 2, at the Palais de Tokyo; and the fact that the MADE Fashion Week is not on the agenda this time. The New York initiative will nonetheless continue its support for young designers in the background, such as Tuesday evening’s show for French brand Jacquemus.
Aside from major players such as Vuitton, Chanel, Hermès and Dior, talent scouts and the curious will find most of the excitement in the showrooms, where several promising brands are being launched. An example: Corbier Agostini, a Paris duo that will present its first cocktail collection, made in France but Japanese-influenced (photo), in a gallery in the 1st arrondissement on September 29. Another Paris-based brand, Pallas Paris, is also being launched this season, backed by former luxury house pattern-makers — on view in the Agence M&K showroom.
A whole generation of young designers from the International Fashion Festival at Hyères will also be in Paris this season with their new collections: from Steven Tai (at Florence Deschamps) to Léa Peckre (Sept. 25), Satu Maaranen (the 2013 award winner) and Victoria/Tomas, the brilliant duo also seen on the runways at Hyères this year.
A highlight is the Designers Apartment, which will showcase a new group of emerging talents September 27. In keeping with the founding principles of the fashion industry federation’s showroom and DEFI, new designers are rotated in once a year. FashionMag will have more on this event shortly.
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