Paris: designer brands assert themselves more than ever
The second day of fashion shows in Paris once again demonstrated the effervescence of creativity in the capital. Walking in the shadow of Dior on Tuesday, a number of brands, including Victoria/Tomas, Dawei, Anrealage and Mame Kurogouchi, proved they have a place on the catwalk. Having established their reputation in recent years, they confirmed their talent by focusing on their own identity with beautiful collections.
For next winter, Victoria / Tomas returns to its fundamentals by pushing the masculine/feminine theme even further. The woman takes on a more masculine attitude, while the man softens. Trench coats, sweaters, cool trousers and shirt dresses are back, but with new proportions and an essential style. "These are the pieces we like to wear. We've gone back to what we like to do with the two men/women visions," said Victoria Feldman backstage, who has been a partner in this venture with Tomas Berzin for ten years.
"At the same time, it's much sexier, shorter, transparent. We went for something we didn't dare to do before. It's a new step for us," she continued. The collection alternates lengths. On the one hand, the maxi pieces, which include black and camel trench coats that go straight down to the floor, belted at the waist, decorated with metallic rings, or comfortable fleece sweatshirts that also extend to the floor as a dress.
On the other hand, the mini pieces. Not forgetting the black leather micro-shorts fringed with chains, the buttock-length skirts that disappear under oversized jackets and down jackets. Most tops (down jackets, hoodies, military jackets) are also shortened under the chest, like crop tops. The looks were defined with bad boy caps and biker boots, alternating with gold sandals and wool socks.
Men wear sheer voile ensembles and satin pyjama suits, sometimes with tulle trousers. The models carry some of Caron's emblematic perfumes, with which the brand has collaborated, where Tabac blond (1919), Pour un homme (1934) and the latest Musc Oli are worn as accessories.
Dawei also focuses on what it does best. Essential pieces with carefully crafted cuts and details that are easy to wear every day. His urban chic with a romantic touch is accentuated this season by a 19th century Victorian influence, with bustiers worn as simple tops or quilted corsets wrapped around a jacket, flared slip dresses and gathered bodices with puffed sleeves.
Everything is played on the silhouette and volumes with inflated skirts that come down to the ankle. Mid-length garments in tweed are constructed from a layering of square fabrics that finish in points. Elsewhere, the square fabric is superimposed on trousers or plastered on the front of shirts in the form of ruffles, or on coats that looks like basques on the sides.
Dawei Sun also had fun with pleats, which he multiplied, from the thinnest to the thickest, arranged in opposite directions. They border tops and skirts in shifting undulations, they open up in a fan shape widening a herringbone coat. The lining can be slipped over a pleated skirt with a "basket dress" effect. A featherweight microfleece fabric was used to create sheer ensembles in dazzling colours as if caught in the breeze. Further on, cape coats, tops and skirts seemed ready to unfold like parachutes. The Chinese designer also showed several male models dressed in elegant suits or wearing skirts.
Anrealage is also reviving the technological prowess for which it was once famous. The Japanese designer Kunihiko Moriniga invited his guests to the Madeleine theatre for a magical and breathtaking demonstration. Like a magician, he began by parading a series of immaculate white outfits. Coats worn right side up or upside down, tied with a big bow, suits with an extra-large man's jacket over a shirt and tie, a stuffed overcoat, as well as a whole series of slightly retro dresses, in lace, with ruffled sleeves, or flared and cinched at the waist.
The models with their hair hidden under a furry cap appeared on stage a second time, in pairs they stood still in the centre and closed their eyes. A sort of neon light projecting ultraviolet beams descended from the ceiling, sweeping their photosensitive clothes up and down, and the miracle happened before the astonished eyes of the audience, who applaud wildly, as colour gradually covered the clothes.
The effect was all the more amazing, as the many details of the garments suddenly appeared in a wide range of green, pink, yellow, blue, mauve, etc. through plaid, geometric patterns, stripes, check patterns, and even furs, which were dyed turquoise or mauve. The creations suddenly took on another dimension.
This photochromic dyeing process was only temporary and the garments returned to their original colour within a few minutes. At what point the show could resume for the grand finale, creating the same sense of wonder.
Mame Kurogouchi's delicate and tactile fashion collection strikes the right balance between sober design and craftsmanship. She structured her collection in two parts. The first part features minimal silhouettes with softly rounded sleeves, just like the backs of some boleros.
Large asymmetrical jackets without visible buttons, designed like tunics, were combined with high-waisted, straight trousers or long, slit skirts or models with wide pleats. Soft cashmere coats were matched with sheer, fine knit dresses. Tonal felt bags, attached diagonally to the torso or at the waist, seemed to be integrated into the garment like pockets.
The second part of the show featured traditional weaving and printing techniques. Designer Maiko Kurogouchi has continued her exploration of ancient bamboo baskets, reproducing their weaving in elaborate knitwear, with raised stitches that create textured effects, or through abstract prints on fur coats or mohair pieces, which imitate their light and shade effects.
This season, she was also interested in the netting used to wrap ham. She asked specialised craftsmen to make her braided ribbons using the same technique, which she used to border tops and skirts in clever rosettes and colourful volutes.
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