PARIS – Paris Fashion Week roared into its second full day Wednesday — in shows that spanned grassy fields, gilded salons and Napoleon’s final resting place. But all eyes are on the evening’s show by Balmain.
Here are some highlights of spring 2022 collections in the City of Light:
ROCHAS IS ECLECTIC
The golden columns of the gilded Mona Bismarck Hotel set the mood for the oft-resplendent Rochas display to a reduced crowd of fashion insiders.
It began with a shimmering ruched gold dress and statement giant gold pirate boots. It was the piece de resistance. This was designer Charles de Vilmorin in bold, eclectic form.
The show’s notes spoke of a “strange beauty” and “cinematic vignettes” that this collection would try to evoke. It was successful in that. Rochas’ floating forms, including tumbling parachute skirts, captured an ethereal, otherworldly vibe.
Loose, oversized proportions in skirts and pants, and ubiquitous ruching and ruffles endowed this show with a light, floaty feel. On more than one occasion, spiny detailing gave de Vilmorin’s designs a feel for Dutch couture designer Iris Van Herpen.
However, there were perhaps too many creative ideas here and the collection suffered for it, including a Balkan-style leather tunic dress followed by Glam Rock boots.
THE ART OF THE INVITATION
Paris Fashion Week is back — after a year of going mainly digital. And with it are the gasoline-guzzling couriers who crisscross Paris to personally deliver ever-elaborate, often handmade, show invitations.
The age of email and rising environmental awareness doesn’t seem to have left much of a mark on the fashion industry’s antiquated system of invitations. Top houses vie for the wackiest or most imaginative idea, which often bears a clue as to the theme of its runway collection.
Valentino’s invite featured artistic slides of images of Parisian cafes, models and excerpts of French poetry.
Yves Saint Laurent’s was a black snake leather holster with a huge “YSL” logo weighing it down in gold metal. Embossed inside were the initials of the invited guest, also in gold.
COURREGES IS SPORTY AT 60
On its 60th anniversary year, the Space Age house of Courreges was in fine form, touting the sophomore collection of its latest designer Nicolas Di Felice.
In a season where the 1960s seem to be in, the generation-defining brand founded in 1961 by André Courrèges and his wife Coqueline may well be having its moment.
Flashes of that era’s slim silhouette, and its retro mini dress, were in abundant supply on Wednesday. Those mixed with the signature Space Age sheen — seen in wading boots that made for a very sexy statement indeed.
But the show’s setting of a grassy field was the main clue to its direction this season: The sporty equestrian. A baseball cap was a take on a horse-riding helmet alongside a flared pant with a fringed hem cleverly resembling a shire horse’s leg. Oversize earrings resembled a quick release knot from a stable.
The pared down palette contrasted nicely with the odd flash of bright cadmium yellow or azure to give this slick collection a youthful feel.
FASHION FOR ALL BODIES
Raising money and awareness for the victims of war, French first lady Brigitte Macron will join Defense Minister Florence Parly and other top officials at the Hotel des Invalides on Wednesday evening for an unusual Paris Fashion Week show.
A new collection by Italian designer Fabio Porlod will feature female amputees and women who have been injured. They will walk at the monument, which is the final resting place of Napoleon.
France’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday that “the initiative is part of a charity evening whose funds raised will improve the living environment of seriously wounded war victims, victims of attacks and people hospitalized at the National Institution of Invalides.”
Thomas Adamson can be Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K
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