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  1. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: Gaultier's finale line-up

    Jean Paul Gaultier, it seems, is in the mood for dancing - as if the dance-hall venue, ballet school decor and modern dance troupe limbering-up and then performing an interpretive dance to open his show wasn't enough of a clue, Gaultier also had his favourite all-rounder Coco Rocha perform a improvised bullerias as the first exit (remember he's made her dance a highland-fling before, this season she got off lightly). It was what she performed it in, though, that was most interesting: a draped , taped and wrapped raspberry chiffon dress that uncoiled at the waist to become a maillot swimsuit. The following exits also double-tasked, unfurling into flowing fabric and tight integrated bodies as Gaultier gave his cutting skills a work-out to equal that of his dancers. There were airs of the twenties and thirties in the relaxed tailoring, wide palazzo pants and later flapper dresses rendered in fruit sorbet shades of strawberry, lime and tangerine and dangling furs to match. Lest you fear that this dancehall extravaganza would only surrender sportif activewear and showgirl drama, with nothing of Gaultier's formidable tailoring, fret ye not. His suits had a run-through too, although again they were pulled and pushed, twisted by and around the body in motion. Nevertheless, shrewd as his is, Gaultier ensured they still came with the signature strongly tailored shoulderline and cinched waist that makes sense for his core clientele.

  2. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: The Walk Through at Jean Paul Gaultier

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    ...well half of it at least! The perils of juggling two camera phones (and trying not to drop either off a balcony). Please note the dance troup in dashing Gaultier jerseys noirs emoting for all they're worth.

  3. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: Morgane apres Gaultier

    On the streets of the Marais, the lovely Morgane Dubled kindly let me snap her picture (despite the barrage of several thousand a few moments earlier on the catwalk), showing the rather chic chiffon-bound heads Gaultier gave to all his models.

  4. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK; It's got to be Jer'my Scott!

    An essential component of Paris Fashion Week is strong, strong coffee - especially when, like tonight, a show is running way, way late. Jeremy Scott has dragged us out to the Elysee Montmartre near Pigalle for the final show of the night - and that take-out check is the invite. But quite what 'LET THEM EAT GAS' implies is anyone's guess with Mr Scott. I only wonder how long we'll have to wait...

  5. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: Jeremy Scott

    Opening to a cranked-up and cracked-out chamber orchestra's musak rendition of 'Material Girl' straight from a hotel elevator, Jeremy Scott's show proved he is no master of understatement. And that's exactly why we love him. For S/S 2009 Jeremy has evidently been inspired by the credit crunch and the safe conclusion that, when it comes to conspicuous consumption, we are all nothing more than nouvelle Marie Antoinettes - the original Material Girl. Accordingly, Jeremy's first outfit set the tone: a toile de juoy print mini-mantua that barely grazed the thigh, topped off with Eugene Souleiman's extravagant, excessive and towering 18th century wig - amazingly, our second of the day - trailing powder in its wake. Yes, Scott decided to stamp around in the flounces, furbellows and socio-economic upheaval of the French Revolution this season: however, Scott's is a decidedly clubkid Versailles. The high-piled poufs were for the boys too, and while engageantes and eschelle bows were all present and kind of correct, they were used to decorate swimsuits as opposed to court dress, while Marie's ferme ornee was represented by a series of chintzy dungarees and billowing shirtdresses. Later sections toyed with references closer to the 1980s than the 1780s, with kitschy Desperately Seeking Susan print dresses and lashings of thick lace in pink and black. It was a simple, vulgar, historically-inaccurate blast from start to finish, and that's what Scott does best - postmodern subtext of pastiche, parody and Scott's vision of our fossil fuel consumption aside. And as Margiela proved yesterday, nothing beats a great cake finale - Jeremy's was a rehash of Madonna's blasphemous 'Comme un Vierge' MTV performance, replete with a glaring white oversized acetate wedding cake that Jeremy took his bows from. Mr Scott, we're crazy for you.

    Recent comments

    1. la
      18:48 25 Oct 2008
      and why don't Style .com cover him?
    2. alex.fury
      16:15 28 Oct 2008
      Speaking without knowledge of the machinations of style.com, I suspect there are a number of reasons. Primarily, Jeremy Scott is a relatively small show in Paris, which of all the fashion weeks is undoubtedly the most crowded. I am a fan of Scott, but his shows over the past few years in New York have been focussed at building a strong business (understandably!) rather than really pushing fashion forward. Of equal, if not greater, importance is the fact that Scott doesn't advertise. So while his clothes are consistently championed by smaller magazines such as i-D, the bigger advertising-orientated magazines and websites don't really afford him coverage.
      I really liked this show - it was playful, it was fun, and it was interesting. It's not going to change the world, but it makes it a happier place. And sometimes, that's exactly what we want fashion to do.
    Comment
  6. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: Day V

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  7. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: Karl Lagerfeld

    Kaiser Karl is known as a veritable pundit of fashion's zeitgeist - whatever the flavour of the moment is, he's guaranteed to catch it, give it a Lagerfeld spin, and make it his own. The sci-fi femininity gripping much of the collections for spring is what Lagerfeld latched onto this season, which is of course territory his own sartorial stalwarts of stark monochrome suiting, bejewelled semi-armourial rings and android-like sunglasses seague into perfectly. This season, however, Lagerfeld did not offer clones of himself - not even a single Kaiserin Karl populated his catwalk. Instead, we had ruffles, flounces and patent-cinched waists reminiscent of Lagerfeld's dearly departed eighties counterparts Thierry Mugler and Claude Montana (yes, again). Gathered peplums at the hip were matched with stiff protective cuffs over the ankles and slightly aggressive lace aplique like filigree armour snaking its way around arms and necks. It was impressively hard and rigorous, but it felt like Karl was on autopilot: these eighties references have been rehashed on so many other runways, it was a little disheartening to see them echoed by a designer who had helped to create them. The softening of the warrior woman silhouettes with draped tulle seemed interesting, but was a brief interlude in an otherwise repetetive showing. When the show ended with cartridge-pleat gowns highly reminiscent of Karl's last Chanel couture, we were left in the dark wondering if this was really all a master like Lagerfeld had to say under his own name.

  8. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: The Walk Through at Karl Lagerfeld

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    The Kaiser himself in the flesh

  9. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: The Walk Through at Emanuel Ungaro

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    Esteban Cortezar is one of those young designers referencing Lagerfeld's eighties - in his mid-twenties, it is a decade he can only remember through the rose-tinted glasses of childhood nostalgia. Although perhaps that is appropriate, given that the house of Emanuel Ungaro has always been about rose-tinted hues, particularly the trademark startling fuschia that graced every seat. A powerhouse in said decade, Ungaro has recently struggled to find a contemporary identity, not to mention relevance to a modern woman's wardrobe outside of the ironic eighties rehash that even in itself is beginning to look old hat (and often, old tat). Ungaro's S/S 2009 collection, Cortezar's second outing under the label, had plenty of retro moments, swathing models tightly in taut, short taffeta cocktail dresses with fins of pleats and ruffles of the sort last seen gracing Tom Wolfe's 'social x-rays' in The Bonfire of the Vanities. I must confess to a guilty love of these somewhat questionable frocks, and surely there will be stylists who will want to shoot them, although whether any woman who can afford to would want to buy one is another story. Short and bright were definitely Cortezar's most confident statements - one model marched out with her ruffled jabot and primary cobalt taffeta jacket over nothing more than a matching pair of knickers. For the most part colour was brash and emphatic, with eye-popping turquoise, orange, magenta and tomato - sometimes all the above and more mixed together in a single print. Ungaro was always an accquired taste, even in his heyday: some saw irridscent multi-coloured contrast print overlayed with organza, others saw bodices like a cellophane-wrapped basket of fruit. The trouble with this collection was that although it referenced and revived much of Ungaro old, it didn't really provide anything for Ungaro new. That's the really interesting challenge Cortezar will have to face sooner rather than later.

  10. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: At Dries Van Noten

    This season Dries Van Noten handily pitches his tent - quite literally - bang in the middle of the Jardins du Palais Royal, fountains and all. Both scenic and terribly convenient, although the best bit is undoubtedly the Laduree macaroons.

  11. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: Dries Van Noten

    Dries Van Noten's show opened with his models walking through two narrow walkways denoted by shafts of light, to nothing more than the delicate sound of birdsong. What they wore was equally understated and delicate. Moving away from his recent riots of colour and print - indeed, the colour was muted and the only prints to be seen were basic geometric checks and maletot stripes in black and beige - the collection had an oddly French feel. This was the France of Boulevard Saint Germain or perhaps more of the chic French Riviera, as each model's head came swathed with chiffon scarves (apparently very much the dernier cri come Spring) and more than a few sporting sunglasses. Saint Germain was shown with a surfeit of black - another odd but decided spring trend - both by itself and in those geometrics, but this black was anything but basic,highlighted with burnished metallics in sequins and brocades that somehow made it work for summertime. The later introduction of ombred shades of ochre, purple and green was masterly, while the covetable jewellery - oversized spheres, clustered like bubbles of gold and silver adorning clavicles, wrists and fingers - managed to be simultaneously chunky and delicate. In referencing the Riviera, seemingly of the thirties, there was an inevitable touch of Chanel (Coco, not Karl) in the subtle colours, louche, loose styles and even the tarnished sequins similar to those offered by Chanel as chic, relaxed evening attired between the wars. And those were two perfect words to decribe the collection: chic and relaxed. A third is beautiful.

  12. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: The Walk Through at Dries Van Noten

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    Comments

    1. dromedary
      15:36 2 Oct 2008
      cool catwalk
    Comment
  13. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: The Walk Through at Christian Lacroix

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    I will admit outright to a frank, severe and unashamed bias when it comes to all matters of Lacroix. Short of going minimal (which luckily doesn't appear to be on the cards anytime soon) I find it difficult to criticise the outright optimism and exuberance with which this man meets the challenge of each new collection. This was, of course, a ready to wear show, but so often it felt like couture - Lacroix's self-declared 'Laboratory of Ideas' and his true love. Indeed, when his own programme notes describe an outfit as 'a nattier blue taffeta corset painted with gouache-style bouquets embroidered with bronze guipure over drawstring ruffled khaki doupion skirt with grey knit jacket and carnation', you know you're not in for a workaday simplicity. Indeed, it was a veritable dressmaking deluge. Lacroix packed the fabrics, layers and embellishments one on top of the other in a glorious mismatch of texture, textile and technique. It was dazzling - and I only wish the SHOWstudio cameraphone and my own lacklustre cinematography could amply reflect that. There were the vaguest hints of Lacroix's favourite 19th century references: short dresses, poufed at the hem with ruffles, were christened 'Degas', and flounces, gathers and bows created weightless bustle effects at the back of strict little skirts and jackets boned like corsets. There were also references to Spain - witness the Velasquez black bows in the hair, traje de luce 'paseo' Matador embroidery, or the short black bullfighters cape and and head-sized scarlet carnation gracing the second model. For all this, it didn't feel like a history lesson: Lacroix focussed around a tight, short silhouette, providing direction and boundaries for his flights of fancy. Complex as much of it was, it still looked light, carefree and coquettishly feminine - the very being and essence of Lacroix.

  14. by Alex Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: The Walk Through at Stella McCartney

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    A Fuzzy Felt packet on every seat (and a huge backdrop of said stuff courtesy of Jake and Dinos Chapman) got us all thinking about childhood before Stella McCartney's latest show, and indeed Papa Paul slipped seruptitiously into his daughter's decidedly grown-up front row just before the lights went down. If we're harking back to our childhood memories of playground games, it seems Stella sells sea shells by the seashore - an ample tongue-twister to sum up Ms McCartney's latest collection, which with its fragile fabrics, pastel shades and short-short hemlines, was most definitely for spring-summer in a way some other designers seemed to have forgotton. The collection opened with saltwater-bleached shades of palest putty, ice blue and apricot in softly structured tailoring reminiscent of eighties Armani: perhaps the seashore Stella was thinking of was Miami, judging by the rolled-up sleeves and slouchy wide-shoulders. More eighties ideas came with the oversized seashell earrings, bold black palm-leaf prints on white silk and short black banded Alaia-alike dresses. The wide-shouldered, slouchy tailoring was interesting, particularly as a way of softening the continuing emphatic shoulder for a summer season an (hopefully) hotter climes. Fairly straightforward at first, it also looked new when Stella began to toy with tailoring tricks, dropping the notch in the lapels to the lower torso, for example, and thus distorting and slightly elongating the proportions and a trench cropped into a bathing suit, while perhaps not the most practical of retail proposals, looked dynamite. The jumpsuits too looked good, although again it was hard to imagine them off the runway. The problem was that many of the ideas have been seen before - and not just back in the eighties. The tight body-con dresses and swimsuits are not only now common fashion currency, they have even begun to drop of the radar of the hipper fashion crowd. Elsewhere, although the flounced, short evening dress and macrame knits with oversized sequins looked fun for a jokey fancy dress moment, they do not a collection make.

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