October 3, 2013

Paris
fashion feast

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Paris Fashion Week wrapped up the month-long suite of Spring/Summer 2014 shows with inimitable style. Christian Dior, Kenzo, Céline, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton all dazzled with boundless creativity.

Christian Dior kicked things off on Friday with an event that both surprised and reprised the codes of the House. Against a magical backdrop of lush tropical flowers, Raf Simons’ creations alternated between blossoming balloon dresses and asymmetric pieces, splashed with labels and bold messages. The show masterfully delved into the DNA of the mythic House to find a brilliantly modern voice.

There was a definite taste of California at Kenzo, where marine prints were set off by a stunning waterfall. The forty silhouettes emerged to the beat of a soundtrack by The Aikiu in a bubbly, wet ambiance. The show’s inspiration was the ocean, including support for marine conservation, encapsulated in a sweatshirt—an instant “it” piece from the season—emblazoned with the slogan “No Fish No Nothing”. 

Less aquatic but equally curvy, the Céline show sparked unanimous enthusiasm, featuring delectable long tops with Japan-inspired prints, interspersed with high-contrast silhouettes. There were bags with fringe trim carried in the crux of the elbow, as well as buckled boots with amazing stack heels. Phoebe Philo  left a powerful mark, combining her signature minimalism with forward-facing graphics.

Multiculturalism was the watchword at Givenchy, expressed in myriad influences. An imposing pile of cars sat in the middle of the set, a striking metaphor for cultural shock. Fluid Asian pleating was joined by delicate African draping. The allure imagined by Riccardo Tisci for next summer is ethereal and sophisticated, a juxtaposition of minute ethnic details. All this plus sequined masks that fuse tribal craftwork with European luxury.

Last but hardly least, Louis Vuitton brought the week of Paris shows to a memorable close. With all-black summer silhouettes, Marc Jacobs made a bold statement, referencing his previous shows—including elevators and escalators—to create a melancholic universe where models glided between a carrousel and a nocturnal fountain. Coiffed with long black peacock feathers, these lunar figures were dressed in velvet and precious embroidery. A fitting dreamscape of a finale for a dizzying week.

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