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Paris Fashion Week SS14 - Highlights Part 2

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Isabel Marant


Images courtesy of Vogue

Isabel Marant does a great line in mainline rock chic pretty and with her H&M Collection about to hit the shops her SS14 show was even more hyped than usual. Broderie anglaise style tops with featherlike layers contrasted against leather sweatpants with sizeable visible stitches and eyelet details. Mannish tailoring upped the tomboy factor but always with a great big scoop of darkly pretty too. It was the small things that attracted us the most to this collection - the devil really was in the detail – in the bows and eyelets on the shoes, the hip-side corset stitching on the leather Capri pants, the ruffled shoulder builders, frayed detail and the raw edges. Marant excels at ‘short’ – short shorts, mini skirts, dresses – and this season they were uber feminine with stacked up ruffles, layers and fins in ice cream sweet pastel shades against rocky black.

Yohji Yamamoto

Images courtesy of Vogue 

Yohji Yamamoto took the traditional constraints of tailoring and turned it on its head for SS14. From the unconventional pocket positioning to asymmetric shoulder heights and the stripped out layers that were pulled back and tied in bows to reveal the flesh beneath, there was nothing conventional about this suiting. It was a look that might be achieved by shoving a room full of city workers in a sweaty rave and watching them release themselves from their corporate stultification strip by strip. The rave vibe won out in the end with a rainbow of neon multi layered looks that incorporated numerous textures, from chiffons and jersey to knit. We especially loved the slatted dresses, particularly the maxi sunrise orange version, as well as the louche shirtdresses. There was a mixed message conveyed through the models’ hair, which seemed to combine a dusty judge’s wig with bold tribal style accessories – maybe signifying the dual nature that exists in us all.

Comme des Garcons

Images courtesy of Vogue 

There is never a dull show on a Comme des Garcons catwalk and Rei Kawakubo’s SS14 collection seemed to be a celebration of every gasp-inducing moment CDG has achieved over the years - such as the mind bending 3D AW12 collection and crinolines that harked back to SS12. Other than bursts of saccharine pink, plum and bright splashes on shoes, the colour palette was strictly monochrome, giving the sculptural creations centre stage. Repeating crinolines and hooped skirts appeared after satin ruffled creations and tabards that appeared to have been crafted in felt. Proportion was off right through the show, asymmetric was encouraged and perhaps all but a few of the looks had even an ounce of practicality. But it wasn’t necessary, because these looks are not made for the street - it’s the sense behind them that is important: fashion needs the Comme des Garcons lack of respect for boundaries, form and image, and so do you.

Celine


Images courtesy of Vogue

At the tennis club on Avenue Georges Lafont Phoebe Philo gave us a bold, young collection that was as punchy and loud as the unapologetic dark black brows sported by the slick haired models. Graffiti inspired swoosh prints (which actually turned out to be not a print but a jacquard woven into the fabric) appeared in colourful variations on tunics, oversize T-shirts and a trench. Hemlines were loose, asymmetric and predominantly below the knee, with plenty of signature fraying, and there was delicious variation in textures and techniques, from netting to ribbed, to technical knits, to ultra lightweight chiffon, to leather and plaid. We especially loved the accessories – chunky, industrial bracelets, crystal ball heels and geometric detail bags.

Saint Laurent

Images courtesy of Vogue 

Clearly recent criticisms shot from the hip of Kanye West during a BBC interview with Zane Lowe had no effect whatsoever on Hedi Slimane’s show stopping spirit as the SS14 collection was – we thought – the best yet. It was relentlessly rock edged, continuing that theme from AW13, and from the pointy toes to the smokey eyes there was true dedication to the spirit of rock n roll. It’s hard to sum up a collection that had so many variables on the theme but the textured leather mini was definitely a constant, as was the statement 1980s dress – gold foiled, structured bandeau, flick hemmed, or statement asymmetric shouldered to name a few variations. There was a whisper of signature tailoring reminding us that a suit can be achingly cool too, and animal print in numerous forms made a welcome return. It was without a doubt the wardrobe of that rare beast ‘the cool girl’ and frankly it left us drooling.

Alexander McQueen

Images courtesy of Vogue

Before the McQueen show on fashion week’s final Tuesday we were harking back to the AW13 ready to wear runway collection by the end of which we had become convinced that a bejeweled crinoline face cage was the way to go. Could Sarah Burton possibly top that wonderfully lavish series of embellished frocks with that disheveled royal vein? Of course she didn’t even try to – in a typical unapologetic change of direction we were swept from Elizabethan England to 107B.C. the time of the Roman centurion with buckled harness tops and laser cut leather skirts more than reminiscent of the gladiator ring. The warrior theme continuity was preserved throughout thanks to the small metal helmets each model wore, as well as the fiercely buckled heels. Tight bodices, harnesses and leather arm strapping gave way to intricate beading and then attention grabbing ostrich feathers and horse hair creations, before column shapes and high necks indicated a switch of continent to the warrior women of Africa. The odd thing about the collection was that, despite being relentlessly larger than life, it appeared to us to be fantastically wearable. Either this is just the way McQueen translates, or we have once again been overcome by the crinoline face cage effect.

Show reports by Alexandra Pett

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