Elsewhere in Paris: Yohji Yamamoto and Alexandre Vauthier
Disparity and how it generates great fashion was the thread of the latest collection by Yohji Yamamoto, a blend of denim and 18th-century style. While Alexandre Vauthier served up a lesson in how to 'decline' fashion.
Yohji Yamamoto: Denim in 18th-century proportions
Disparity and how it can generate great fashion was the thread that ran through the latest collection of Yohji Yamamoto, which managed to blend today’s youthful street with the grandiose and historical.
A collection of humor and poise presented inside the City Hall of Paris on a chilly Friday night. Layers of black chiffon and fine wool cut into shards that managed to look lived in yet opulent. Then stitched into jackets, redingotes and above mid-calf dresses. Which, were in turn jumbled up with anthracite Eisenhowers; prim jean jackets; oversized outer-shirts and small waistcoats – all made in denim.
“I wanted to mix denim with 18th-century couture shapes,” Yamamoto explained in the backstage.
Presented on a slanted elevated catwalk made pale gray felt, and illuminated by the enormous chandeliers of the Salon des Arts.
One of those shows were the models radiated pride given the artistic skill of the clothes. All the way to long coats; cut with shoulder and collar extensions, like a medieval tower. Finished with waxed bedraggled hair and all manner of metal hangers that floated like small clouds above most models heads.
The designer taking his bow with two shaman-like ladies with coolie hats and rotund roll-up accoutrements about their waist.
Enormous applause, and a huge laugh when Yohji – who always fetes each show with champagne and skinny cigarettes - turned around to reveal a jacket on which read: 'Smoking, No?'
Alexandre Vauthier: Techno strass on the bias
Déclinaison, a keyword in Paris fashion, meaning the ability of designers to interpret their own ideas in more affordable and democratic styles, was the key to the latest ideas from Alexandre Vauthier.
That and some masterly bias cutting, from one of the most technically gifted designers working today.
A fall/winter collection that reinterpreted his own haute couture collection into a more affordable, sexier and approachable clothes.
There were myriad examples, like white layered couture cocktails finished with delicate Lesage embroidery, which in ready-to-wear had necklines made instead with techno strass.
Alexandre is also a distinctive tailor. Cutting tuxedo jackets pinched at the back in matte gray wool, risqué crimson leather and peak lapel white. The latter seen in a clever lookbook art directed by Franck Durand, starring Karen Elson and shot by Senta Simond.
Vauthier also showed bias-cut screen goddess gowns, except they came in pearl gray metallic sequins adding punch and power. All paired with great crystal sequined, rock-goddess spiky boots in a linkup with Giuseppe Zanotti.
Plus, when Vauthier likes a clever idea – like his emerald green dusted sequined trick - he will work into multiple garments. Coat-dress; bias-cut gowns; slinky cocktails; lean pants or sexy trenches.
“I think you have to be very conscious of body shapes. That way, if a woman loves a look she can find the form that most flatter her,” concluded the French couturier, master of how to decline fashion.
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