Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Paris Fashion Week: Day 2

Dries Van Noten Fall/Winter 2012 RTW

Good news: I can now say I've seen a fashion show. Bad news: I cannot say I've actually attended one. live streamed the Mugler show today, so I was able to watch the entire thing from the comfort of my university campus center (sure, it's no swanky Parisian hotel, but hey—you do what you can). I must say, it was actually a bit of a disconcerting experience.

The live stream began at 3 PM, with scenes of models being prepped backstage and fashion insiders weighing in on their thoughts (Anna Dello Russo was interviewed while I watched in real-time!!! I feel like this weirdly bonds us somehow.) This lasted for about half an hour, then the view shifted to the show. People settled, the house lights came on and off a few times. The first models began walking at approximately 3:39 PM. Their clothes were—surprise!—gorgeous. The entire collection was shown. And the show was finished by...3:45 PM.

I'm not quite sure what I expected, but I certainly didn't expect to be able to watch dozens of women walk a runway in clothes that have a net worth greater than the price of my parent's house in less time than it takes me to walk to class each morning. There's such an astounding amount of pomp and circumstance surrounding a fashion show—not to mention a tremendous amount of money—that it amazes me there's not something, I don't know, more to them.

Don't get me wrong: I love fashion and I think it's an art form in its own right. I truly, truly do. But, at the same time, it seems a little inane to me to put such huge stock in debuting collections in this way. Of course, it's important to celebrate designers' creations and to make them public, but might a simple viewing not be enough? I realize that shows play seminal roles in the ways in which collections are first seen—the lighting, the venue, the scenery, the music, etc. etc.—but is 6 minutes really worth it? I'm starting to feel like this point is strange and tangential and that the fashion gods may come strike me at any moment, so I'll move on.

Rochas Creative Director, Marco Zinani, stunned many with beautiful geometrically patterned designs based off of the work of Swedish ceramic artist Wilhelm Kage. Having studied abroad in Stockholm last year, I definitely appreciate the inspiration and loved the collection overall. However, it was a little heavy on purple, which—like black/navy—I feel has been an overused color on F/W runways.

The Dries Van Noten collection featured stunning Asian silk prints in various shades of orange, yellow, and blue and was by far my favorite of the day. The make-up in this show was also spectacular—each of the models wore bright orange eye shadow up to their eyelids, which I admit is, in theory, terrifying. However, in practice? Fabulous beyond belief.

Two of my favorite designers—Balenciaga and Balmain—are showing tomorrow. Can't wait to see what's in store. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Paris Fashion Week: Day 1

First and foremost, I would like to begin—as I do all too often—with an apology: I'm sorry. I knew my resolve to return to blogging would last about a New York minute. What can I say? I'm a college senior. It's spring. I'm busy. Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer.

Luckily, I've been forced to get back on the blogosphere by the professor of my Advanced Journalism course, Pulitzer-prize winner and all-around awesome human being David Rohde, for an assignment. Thus, here I am again! I know— you finally feel that all is right with the world. I missed you guys, too.

Here's the deal: I have to blog from today until Friday about an ongoing news story or event. And, oh-so-serendipitously for me, Paris Fashion Week happened to start today as well— and in a surprisingly eventful way.

The first day of a Fashion Week is usually rather sleepy, with fewer and less prestigious shows scheduled than for the later days of the week. Today's should have been no exception. Only three designers showed their Fall/Winter 2012 collections—Cedric Charlier, Anthony Vaccarello, and Julien David—none of whom are particularly recognizable outside of those very much in-the-know about fashion (full disclosure: I had never heard of any of them). However, PFW 2012 has still managed to have quite a kick off.

First, came the news that 19-year-old supermodel sensation Karlie Kloss—who had been mysteriously absent from the New York, London, and Milan runways this season—walked in the Anthony Vaccarello show and is rumored to grace the runway again in the upcoming week.

Then, a [twitt]eruption of messages from fashion insiders and media outlets finally confirmed the whispers that Yves Saint Laurent Creative Director, Stefano Pilati, will be leaving the French fashion house this year, as well as revealed that Jil Sander will be returning to run her eponymous fashion label after the leave of creative director Raf Simons.

Finally, the Anthony Vaccarello (seriously—who is this man?!) show stepped back into the limelight, after the Huffington Post reported that one of the models fell on the runway and had to be helped off.

Considering the footwear at the AV show, however, it's no wonder. I'm sorry, but when will we learn—pointy-toed heels just don't work. For anyone. A) They make your feet look bigger, since you have unnecessary space in the pointy part. B) They are usually uncomfortable/difficult to walk in because their heels are pencil thin. C) Any attempts to fix said issues of discomfort/difficulty seem fairly implausible...Can you imagine a thin, pointy toe with a thick, wedge heel? Didn't think so. The few glimpses the HuffPo photos show of the clothing at the AV show, however, seem promising—especially the many asymmetrical necklines.

The Cedric Charlier show seems to be the only one that's gotten full-blown coverage in terms of having individual shots of each of the looks (see: NY Times Fashion&Style). While the construction and tailoring look immaculate, I'm fairly unimpressed. Considering how huge of a trend the military look has been in recent seasons, I'm not sure who at CC was thinking, "Oh, you know what would be REALLY creative for F/W? If we started off the show with a military jacket." Yawn. Also, nearly the entire collection is black or navy, which I know is common for the F/W runways, but is still something I have a hard time understanding. Who said color can't be your friend year round?