Paris celebrates eclectic, international fashion
The City of Light opened its doors to the world at the weekend, showcasing the best of what international fashion has to offer. Between Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto and Colombian-born Frenchman Haider Ackermann, Franco-American Joseph Altuzarra and Indian designer Rahul Mishra, the Spring/Summer 2019 season promises to be an interesting one.
Deconstruction at Yohji Yamamoto
As usual, Yohji Yamamoto explored the art of deconstructing and reconstructing clothes, taking it to new heights with a vision that was simultaneously more abrupt, brighter and more colourful. The whole first part of the collection focused on slender black silhouettes constructed from unhemmed patches of fabric, which looked like they had been assembled and sculpted around the models' bodies.
Then the collection moved into sleeker finishes, as the designer concentrated more on removal than addition, creating rounded openings in unexpected places – at the side, the leg, the knees, the thigh. The art of deconstruction was demonstrated through puzzle-outfits zipped together from squares of fabric. A series of poppy-red dresses, for example, could be completely disassembled by removing each of the different zip-bordered patches that make up the garment.
The show concluded with an explosion of colour, as the designer sent out voluminous dresses constructed from a single swathe of khaki or waterproof material, daubed with wide streaks of paint and draped around models' bodies like a swollen cocoon.
Androgyny at Haider Ackermann
For the first time, Haider Ackermann presented his men's and womenswear in the same show, putting together an interchangeable collection for his imaginary couple, with houndstooth and golden yellow colour-block suits being worn by both genders. Jackets were oversized for the girls and tight for the boys, while the same combo of mallard-green trousers and black shirt was worn by both him and her.
As a running theme, the designer picked a recurring cut-out lace motif which appeared over and over again – on the sleeves of a black cotton women's blouse which was reworked in white for the men, on the bottom of a men's leather jacket, running down leather trousers and on the shoulders of shirts, as well as on the bottom of a dress, among other places.
The flowing garments draped around the models' bodies, with silk pyjama shirts being buttoned closed, while floating bathrobe-like satin coats were worn under jackets. For the evening, a men's tuxedo was paired with a long organza tunic decorated with silver embroidery which opened to reveal the model's bare chest.
Light airiness at Altuzurra
Joseph Altuzarra's collection for this season is shot through with sun and influenced by romantic coastlines. Shells hung from models' sandal strings and jangled around their ankles, or dangled from rope belts or necklaces. Everything on the catwalk exuded the lightness of summer, with chequered or floral outfits built tone on tone from pencil skirts, bikini tops and laced micro-jackets or minuscule cardigans.
Ruched blouses were paired with tailored trousers in the same fabric, while macramé dresses, which put one in mind of fishing nets, completed the beachy summer wardrobe with garlands of shells serving as belts.
Delicacy at Rahul Mishra
Following Yohji Yamamoto's full-black looks, this trip around the world ends with Rahul Mishra's luminous white silhouettes, which hit the runway in the form of a series of long dresses, tunics and other strikingly innocent ensembles in embroidered cotton, lace and transparent organza. Other dresses were made from madras in different shades of blue.
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