Young design ignites the Paris catwalks
An unspooling of emerging talent and promising young labels injected new energy into the City of Light, two days into the fashion week. No less than eight young designers made their voices clearly heard on Tuesday, each with their own style and vision, bringing a true breath of fresh air to Paris -- from Marine Serre, who kicked off the day's song and dance with a morning show, through to Koché, who closed the 'débutant' ball in the evening, just before Saint Laurent.
The art of construction, through destructured and completely reworked cuts that made for new volumes and perspectives, characterised this innovative new vintage for the Spring/ Summer 2019 season. Strings, cords and other lace-up effects were of particular inspiration for the young couturiers, such as at Ottolinger, whose entire collection featured a multitude of laces, enfolding the body to imprison it, or embrace it.
Seized with emotion, the two young Swiss designers behind the label founded in 2015, Christa Bösch, 31, and Cosima Gradient, 30, who were showing for the very first time, unveiled their abrupt and almost tribal style, where fabrics seemed to have been skilfully eaten away: shoulders fell away from the sweater; the jean jacket, blackened by dust, was only suspended by two straps; the trousers and Bermudas were torn and singed; a shredded top was reconstituted with the help of a cursory lacing.
A silk dress is lashed with slender cords. The loops twirl around the body, around the back, over a shoulder. It's not grungy, however. On the contrary, all is meticulously constructed. The label has some 20 retailers, of which many are in Asia. In Paris, it can be found at Lafayette Anticipation, where it staged its show.
It was the same string game at Paris' Afterhomework, but in a more sport-streetwear register, with nylon as the key material, parachute-fabric style. The first show on the Parisian calendar burst out to the staccato flow of the rapper Sankha, putting the spotlight on garments in movement that accentuated the white straps swaying around waists, necks, shoulders or wrists.
Trousers were cinched at the waist or puckered all the way down the leg by drawstrings; a top tied onto a T-shirt with a climbing rope; a parachute canvas draped upon the body as a dress. Detachable sleeves billowed around the arms, and trousers scrunched at the ends.
Since its debut at the Designers Apartment showroom in March 2017, the label by the duo formed by Pierre Kaczmarek and Elena Mottola has since clarified its offering with more sophisticated cuts.
"We're looking to polish the silhouette, working more on the aesthetic. This collection is both very 'sport' and very 'Paris, the night, the summer'. What we like to do," concludes the former high school student. The label, which retails at 17 multibrand points of sale, will now be distributed by Tomorrow.
The atmosphere was summery and tropical, somewhere between Paris and vacation-dreaming at Victoria/Tomas, who in turn played with lacing. It's one of the signatures of the couple, made up of Victoria Feldman and Tomas Berzins, and appeared crisscrossed on sandals, across the back or down the sleeves of a striped blouse. Everything in the collection exuded lightness and joie de vivre, with a great attention to the quality of cuts and to details, making for all kinds of covetable pieces. A denim pair of Bermudas featured a border of coloured stones suspended from rings, a fringed black shawl was transformed into sleeves on a jacket, or undulated as a dress suspended from the shoulders by two white cords. A wraparound miniskirt is worn over an oversize blouse. Hems on trenchcoats and some of the skirts split into multiple bias-cut panels, giving the impression that the fabric is running down the legs.
Then, on another level entirely, was Japanese label Anrealage, with a breathtaking collection. Kunihiko Morinaga combined technical innovation and poetry. This season he did not content himself with his usual technique of photosensitive clothing, but added to that a series of bewitching outfits.
The dresses were covered with translucent buttons, crystals and other stones in luminescent transparent plastic that changed colours. And under the designer's magic wand, a classic beige trench turned suddenly into nebulous voile, as though the bottom of the garment was dissolving before one's eyes. And it was the same treatment for denim and military jackets.
Also of note amongst the new names who made their debuts on the second day was A.W.A.K.E., the acronym of 'All Wonderful Adventures Kindle Enthusiasm'. The labl, founded in 2012 by Natalia Alaverdian, the former fashion director of Harper's Bazaar Russia, offered an elegant wardrobe revisiting feminine classics by way of contemporary cuts with a surrealist touch, like a gigantic eye on the back of a jacket or over the chest, or her Magritte-style landscape photos on skirts and blouses.
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