Final shows in Paris couture week: Fendi, Vetements, Yuima Nakazato and Franck Sorbier
Fendi brought down the curtain on major shows in the fall winter haute couture season on Thursday, after five days of shows that even included a proud and punchy ready-to-wear collection by Vetements on the final day.
Fendi: East meets West
Fendi’s couturier Kim Jones looked east this season, far away from Rome, past the boundaries of the Roman Empire, and even to the ancient city of Kyoto for inspiration.
A show staged inside the former stock market of Paris, marked by the some brilliant new jewelry by Delfina Delettrez Fendi, of the founding family, which instead referenced Ancient Rome.
The show certainly began elegantly, with a flawlessly cut caramel-hued quartet, that included a marvelous pantsuit in the creamiest vicuna topped by a dazzling necklace and a very fine gown matched with some stalactite sized earrings. Knuckle-duster diamond rings on hands clutched caramel mink clutches. Fendi’s owner, LVMH's mask-wearing CEO Bernard Arnault, liked the debut so much he filmed it on his iPhone.
Almost all of the rest of the collection was devoted to evening. Jones’ big idea was marrying elements of kimono fabrics, Kata Yuzen hand printing, traditional silk panels and multiple images of leaves.
In his program notes, Kim said he wanted to draw parallels “between East and West, masculine and feminine, the natural and the man-made, tradition and the modern, right through Autumn-Winter.”
The results were erratic, albeit occasionally very refined. like the brilliantly made luminous cocktails with crystal flowers and matching clutches and heels. However, a monochromatic series of columns in canary yellow or peppermint left a lot to be desired. In a season that keeps referencing the 1930s, these clothes harked back to 30 years ago. And while the multi-crystal mesh finale will photograph well, the sheerness of the looks made them tricky to wear for most women.
At times, it felt like the real star of the show was Delettrez Fendi’s shimmering shower of pavé and baguette white and yellow diamonds. While the scion of the founding family also flashed the inverted 'F' logo invented by Karl Lagerfeld back in 1965.
All told a luxurious collection, but not quite an important fashion statement. No matter if five LVMH executives spent the show nodding with melodramatic enthusiasm.
Vetements: From Barbie to Barbès
For a gentleman who was once characterized as a business manager this was a darned good collection by Guram Gvasalia for Vetements.
Replete with all the oversized Gothic glamour with which his brother Demna made the marque famous. But cut with less exaggeration and hence more groovy than grotesque.
His cabin of models helped – what the French call “un casting sauvage” – with lots of spiky-haired theatrical punks and one hipster Lothario whose hair jelled up into a two-foot-high rod. And, to some acclaim, Ireland Baldwin. Guram revealed in his program notes that at the age of five, to the dismay of that era’s parents, he spent all his savings buying his girl cousins Malibu Babie, driven by his obsession with Kim Basinger, Ireland’s mum.
Presented at high speed inside the rubble-strewn remains of the much lamented cut-price Tati store of low-rent district Barbès. Followers of economic philosopher Joseph Schumpeter would have loved this gale of “creative destruction.” The eviction of a temple of the establishment, replaced by a Young Turk of fashion.
For next spring, expect Vetements followers to don power-shoulder surgeon’s smocks over mega-wide denim jeans; grand-guignol zebra suits with enormous skirts and giant super-heroine construction boots.
For guys, banker chalk-stripe blazers with eight-inch-wide lapels worn over elephantine worn jeans in Ossi blue or inky black; and stupendous micro-sequin dusters.
Lots of sweatshirts, with expressions reading: "I’m not doing shit today." And plenty of Soviet-era color co-ordination – a lemon three-piece suit and great coat worn by a lemon-haired model.
Franck Sorbier: Saltimbanque style
There are few more indie, indie couturiers than Franck Sorbier, whose three decades in the métiers have been marked by some wonderful moments, as was the case this season with his acrobatic-inspired chic.
His location – the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers - said it all about Sorbier, who still personally sews important pieces in his couture collections.
With a plaintiff jazz saxophonist playing, a black stallion sauntered over to the steps as the first model appeared. Franck’s love of the saltimbanque, or street acrobat, apparent in a series of great cocktail, whose curves and ruffles mimicked the shapes thrown by French funambulists.
Composed of densely stitched guipure, and completed with shards of lace, ribbons, velvet and brocade, they all looked great. Albeit better suited to a cocktail party than a dinner, but still admirable fashion statements by an eternally young couturier.
Yuima Nakazato: The earth and sea moved
A simple shape allied to a rich imagination led to an impressive collection from Yuima Nakazato, a young Japanese creator creating waves in couture.
Inspired by our contemporary concerns about the health of the planet, the set was series of giant paper waves and the key color was ocean blue.
A collection based on the rectangle, the classic simple form of a kimono. Which Yuima used as a platform for some highly experimental creations.
Using dead stock and industrial waste and techy materials that are in fact artificial. And Japanese smocking to make clothes gather.
“I’m worried about the state of our world. So by using a kimono, there is no waste of fabric. It looks complicated but it is not,” explained Tokyo-born Nakazato, who now lives in the countryside.
Not a bad place to ignite the imagination, judging from this collection.
France again luring great fashion imagination to show in the ultimate test in fashion – showing in Paris couture.
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