Agnès b. fêtes Parisian chic, Beautiful People stuns with chameleonic clothes
Two very different visions of fashion graced the runways on the eighth day of the Paris Fashion Week. Agnès b.’s was practical and open to everyone, with its light-hearted Parisian touch. Beautiful People instead showcased a more experimental, sophisticated collection, featuring poetic, multi-purpose clothes.
On Monday, Japanese designer Hidenori Kumakiri, who has been showing in Paris with his Beautiful People label since last year, didn’t hesitate to come out on the runway in person to convey his vision, clad in a grey smock, at the start of the show hosted by the School of Fine Arts. In complete darkness, the silence broken only by the beat of a metronome, Kumakiri undressed a model and then dressed her up again with the same clothes, but in a totally different look.
For the last three seasons, Kumakiri has been experimenting with a new technique which he calls ‘Side C’, which enables him to use the inside, the outside and even the lining of clothes, smartly assembling and disassembling them and endlessly multiplying the ways in which they can be utilised. He works extensively with knitwear, layering it in transparent, colourful swathes of ultra-thin fabric, which create an array of new hues and multiple ways of wearing the same clothes.
Kumakiri’s chameleonic, multi-layered clothes slip on from the front, the back or from underneath, creating all sorts of different looks, in colours ranging from black to the hues of the sky at dawn and dusk. “I wanted to present a dress in 24 colour shades, resulting in a different look for each hour of the day,” said Kumakiri to FashionNetwork.com. Last March, he launched his first menswear collection in Japan. His multi-purpose models allow for ten or so different ways of wearing the same garment. The stand-out look this season is a printed dress which melts into the lining of a white cardigan.
No multi-purpose fashion from Agnès b., but instead an extensive collection combining informal, easy-to-wear items with more elaborate ones, each infused with the label’s signature Parisian chic. Next summer’s wardrobe by Agnès b., real name Agnès Troublé, is designed to cater to every occasion, from morning to evening.
Her fashion is for everyone, men and women of all ages, from youngsters sporting bandannas, graffiti-tagged jackets and tracksuits with fluorescent side-piping and accessories, to parents cradling their babies wearing an anorak and sweatshirt, from office types in navy suits to beach girls in a swimsuit and zipped dress open on the front. Not to mention brides and grooms, the latter wearing navy jacket and white trousers, the former in a white printed dress with a tulle veil.
The bottom half of a slate-grey sleeveless dress patterned with a leaf motif makes way to silhouettes of white garden chairs, as though printed in negative. Old maps of the Paris city centre printed on silk squares feature on dresses and shirts, while elegant linen suits alternate with khaki cotton dungarees.
Guys on a night out are wearing vividly coloured suits and short ties, while the warm voice of French-Malian rapper and poet Oxmo Puccino provides the live soundtrack to accompany Agnès b.’s jolly gang.
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