Week-end Review

The latest from Dior, Isabel Marant, Maison Martin Margiela and Acne – (Proactiv need not apply).


Maybe in week four it’s starting to sound redundant but when considering the spirit of fashion week, it’s really all about the performance, right?

Raf Simons led his guests through a makeshift Garden of Eden, set up at The Museum of Rodin near Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris on Friday afternoon. I could have sworn the venue looked like a very regal and decadent reconciliation sukkah though I would have bet the decor had nothing to do with the collection. Was I right? Of course not.

We were supposed to feel like subjects in a forest, watching sweet ingenuity turn evil and in a way we did. A series of girls dressed in shirt dresses, who came right after a marginal stampede of unique chiffon-colored pleat-infused suits, alluded toward the innocence. What followed – a modern and decidedly contemporary letter adorned jacket and some corresponding knee length dresses — riffed better on the latter. And in the end, when the finale walk was ready for its moment of capture, a group of models came out in entirely different brocade full skirts and pseudo gowns and suits from the rest of the collection.

So, what you see isn’t always what you get? With Simons behind it, that’s fine.

And in Saint-Germain-des-Prés proper, where the clothes cool girls will always want to wear showed for the spring/summer season, Isabel Marant played with the notion of displacement. How many of us are functioning daily in the throes of a desert proper?

It doesn’t really matter because with the linen and lace work, peasant-style cropped tent blouses, skirts and mini dresses and a new hybrid shoe (I’d like to call it the Mocca-what!) likely to become next season’s Carol, the girls of metropolitan regions who have taken to her minimalist, effortless and sometimes confounding how-does-she-make-it-seem-so-cool style will look ready to wander — dehydrated, but certainly well heeled.

Maison Martin Margiela may have drawn some lines obstructing the point of demarcation when considering couture and ready-to-wear. With the designer’s stint using denim last July at couture and the exciting dashes of sequins on a waistline and embellishments across a chest in the current, rather moderate (but incredibly consumable and therefore successful) collection, is it just the hand-made sense of artistry discerning the separate collections?

Finally, at Acne — where for the fifth instance since Paris Fashion Week has started, a shirt dress has walked the runway (yes, literally, on its own two feet) — the label, which has taken a turn for the ready-to-wear wheel, quietly but not offensively abandoning its stake as a contemporary label proved its ability to evolve. With a selection of blue, yellow and red long-armed knits (hands need not apply, who uses them anyway?), sprinkled over a series of suits, the stream-lined refinery that male fans love about the brand got a chance to flirt with the ladies.

Just don’t worry about breaking our hearts — when it comes to menswear, we’re not virgins.

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