PFW Dispatch 4: Playing New, Forgetting Old
Sunday in Paris was the setting for a whole lot of change in a little bit of space.
For the love of eyebrows, I feel like I’m watching a game of musical chairs. Chiefly because Phoebe Philo seems to have set a standard in fashion about the importance of minimalism and how inimitably chic, dare I even say French, the notion that less is more can be.
Other designers have followed suit and they’ve done really well. But just when they’re getting the hang of it–surprise!–Philo takes a page from the book of maximalism. When you think primary colors and prints and fringe and mesh do you necessarily think Phoebe Philo? Probably not–but why? If it’s true what they say, and you can tell a lot about a person from her preferred choice of footwear, shouldn’t we have expected something a bit more zany in the imminent pipeline?
You don’t just put furkenstocks on Daria Werbowy and call it a day.
As far as I’m concerned, the collection stands as one of the most interesting shows of the Paris season, perhaps only because it seemed so unexpected. Don’t get me wrong though, with a selection of black dresses and sleek blazers of the same color cloaking white sheaths, the Céline we’ve acclimated ourselves toward still underscores The New Message.
And where another fairly novel message is being written, Clare Waight Keller produced a safari of wearable looks for Chloé. Maybe my uneducated eye has become used to seeing fairly feminine silhouettes and fabrics used to represent the brand under the most recent proprietor’s reign, but Resort should have been an indication that slight changes were ahead, no? You remember the pin-striped suits and baggy, Carhartt-style pants. Should we have expected anything less than a ring around an androgynous safari that lands right back at an intimate tea party?
Eye of the tiger is no more at the helm of Kenzo but the flop of a fish may be The Next Big Thing. This show included a performance care of several installed ponds of water–yes, water. As Eva Chen put it, “where else can you see water dance?” It’s a good question and maybe the answer is only in the sea of scale-ing back.
Throw a tomato at me, just do it.
This collection was put through a unique ringer. The opening outfits, all cut in black and white, provided a nod toward minimalism into what really did look like a sea of royal blue, and a graphic print meant to appear as a slightly aquatic interpretation of fashion. Then there were the fish and a big chunk of silicone-looking overlays which ultimately ended in…a blood bath? Is that what the closing red printed looks are meant to emblematize?
Speaking of overlays, Maiyet as championed by Kristy Caylor provided the new-new for the season in ready-to-wear, hungry-to-buy formation. The show opened with a set of shirt dresses, finalizing the idea that without a large-sized men’s shirt for next spring, you’ve got nearly nothing to wear, and metamorphosed into a garden of hyper-sheer organza details, futilely but beautifully cloaking bras, slip dresses and little skirts. There were some great pieces of outerwear too–like a thigh-length vest adding a necessary bout of masculinity to a decidedly feminine, ethereal collection. It’s where the crystal embroidery closed the show that Caylor’s forte–a female’s hunger to change who she is using clothes–identified itself.
Who ever said you only have to be one person, anyway?