The cool and contemporary collections of Dawei, Shang Xia and Gauchere in Paris
On the fourth day of the women's ready-to-wear shows, a new generation of Parisian designers made their mark in the Parisian fashion scene, including Dawei, Shang Xia and Gauchere, whose designs for Spring/Summer 2023 were both creative and contemporary yet very well structured, as illustrated by their respective shows held on Thursday.
Dawei won its audience over with its clean and minimalist designs. Underneath their effortless appearance, the label's clothes are actually subtly thought out and all made with that little extra touch that makes them desirable. This season, designer Dawei Sun seemed like he had to make do with the linens at hand. In particular, large white cotton tablecloths and sheets, in which he cut dresses, shirts, skirts and loose pants.
The Chinese designer has the ability to create elegant outfits and unexpected proportions out of nothing. For example, he is able to transform a square tablecloth or a sheet, folded in half, into long shirt dresses with tapered sleeves. He also joined light nylon fabrics in bright shades together, front and back, to create large windbreakers that appear to be inflated under a gust of wind.
This same technique is used to make draped cocoon dresses, which gather in the collar, at chest or waist level, to become rounded at the bottom, as well as ballooned tops revealing the shoulders. This method makes it possible to play with volumes and lengths giving movement to the ensemble.
Having had a corner in Galeries Lafayette for a year, Dawei has increased its brand awareness and is continuing to expand internationally. The company has just signed an agreement with the Maison Dix-Sept agency for its distribution in Japan.
This same cool factor could be found at Shang Xia, where its young creative director, Yang Li, is firmly establishing it as a contemporary design brand. Acquired in 2020 by Exor, the Agnelli holding company, the brand is continuing to reposition itself to target China's fashion-savvy Gen Z.
The designer has designed a highly graphic and energetic collection for the upcoming summer featuring an ultra-cool palette of mauve, mint green, sky blue, and sugarplum pink, which seem to run down the bodies through jackets made of latex-effect waterproof material, shirts made of silk and impermeable nylon, as well as openwork coats made using the ancestral Chinese technique of paper cutting.
In a white clean and futuristic set, with a moving backdrop of mountainous landscapes and Chinese megacities, the models, meant to embody the "postmodern Chinese beauty", walked as if weightless. They stood tall in towering platform shoes rendered in the same pastel tones as their almost liquid-looking clothes, such as shiny leather outfits or green satin jackets.
The designs were kept ultra short, save for a few coats, dresses and long, tight jersey skirts. The mini-dresses, monochromatic like all the other pieces in the collection, were occasionally adorned with plush egg-shaped details.
Gauchere also presented a youthful, edgy way of dressing. In these uncertain times, designer Marie-Christine Statz sought to capture the present moment. Her models appeared in the heart of the French capital, on the Place du Marché-Saint-Honoré, under the glass roof of the glass building designed by Ricardo Bofill in 1996. A Nineties soundtrack accompanied the free-spirited and confident models walking down the catwalk.
The German designer has shed some of her signature stiffness to offer a more casual and playful wardrobe with an unusual incursion into color, as seen in a saturated turquoise knit dress or in a blurred sunset-colored jumpsuit and shirt. She also daringly used lace, which crept into dresses or shirts, resembling spider webs utilised to repair holes in the clothing. In addition, artist Camille Henrot took over the lineup, drawing on shirts as if on a canvas and customizing jeans with paint.
Alongside her emblematic minimalist suits, the designer worked even more this season on the construction of clothes with destructured cuts, pleats, crumpled fabrics, layerings and cutouts.
Particularly, in T-shirts, revealing the navel and opening surreptitiously in the back and sides, exposing flanks and shoulders in black sheaths, or creating gaps in the back and front of a shirt, of which only the structure remains. On the models' feet, chic leather shoe covers hid or substituted the footwear.
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