Apologies for not posting sooner – I landed in Paris last week and its been a jammed pack schedule of shows and appointments. Without further adieu here is the first round of reviews and some insight to what well be wearing next autumn/winter 2013.
So full disclosure – I missed the Balenciaga show so decided to view the collection in the showroom. I should also admit that I wasn’t entirely convinced that Alexander Wang was the right person for the role, but his first outing proved otherwise. Gone was his usual sporty, downtown vibe and in its place a polished Cristobal inspired collection that showed promise. It was all about the silhouette which featured cocoon coats, rounded shoulders and hems, and flounced skirts with voluminous backs (the only embellishment was a long, thin silver buckle on the front of jackets and dresses). Wang also continued to innovate with fabrics including an embroidered marble print and another that looked like cracked paint. It may have been safer than I would have liked, but it was a solid foundation for the next one.
There were a lot of big balls at Dior (I’m talking the silver sculpture kind) as well as floor that depicted a bright blue sky. As such there was a feeling of calm that pervaded the collection, which featured surrealist drawings by Andy Warhol on simple shift dresses, often in sparkling embroideries. Simons also continued to play with more Dior codes – houndstooth became feminine and sexy when it was transformed into a strapless knit dress with ruffles; a 1950s style strapless cocktail dress came in leather; while the bar jacket was paired with slouchy, wide legged trousers. I liked it but it left me wanting more.
I’ve been a Hussein fan for many years, only because he is one of the few designers that think outside of the fashion box in an innovative and creative way. And while past creations like the mechanical lampshade dress won’t appear on the streets near you, his autumn collection probably will. Classics included denim and leather masculine coats and tailored trousers (with thick turnups) that any woman would look cool in. The piece de la resistance came when models tugged away at necklines to transform styles such as a short dress in a flowing printed maxi. Bravo.
I’m still gunning for Loewe to become the next Hermes just because I personally think their craftsmanship is incredible. But I digress. As usual the ready-to-wear collection showcased what the house does best – its leather. This time Stuart Vevers created a mosaic of patterns on sporty leather jumpers while adding volumes to coat dresses and tops for a sharper look. Equally covetable were the slouchy knits (one came with a waffle printed leather front) and shaggy fur coats – the red version was a show-stopper. Even the bags seemed sexier and sleeker.
Maison Martin Margiela
Even though the man himself is no longer at the helm of the house, there were some really strong Margiela codes in the autumn collection that made me smile. The show opened with the usual masculine tailoring updated with details like XL cuffs or strips of yellow or pink paint which had been sprayed on. The models hair was tucked into thick bands on the back of jackets.
Roland Mouret’s woman this season was fierce and powerful (apparently inspired by the infamous Catherine Deneuve Vampire film, The Hunger, which is the antithesis of Twilight, by the way). So rather than show off a woman’s curves in a soft way, his angular dresses came with colourful patchworks or precise folds. There were definitely some 1980s references which we have been seeing all week (cue the oversized big shoulder and biker jackets), but what I really loved were the multi-coloured leopard print collage dresses. They will fly off the shelves.