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!

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