Paris Fashion Week’s fall/winter season has drawn to a close in the French fashion capital. Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane wraps up the big shows of the final days.
Giving her stamp of approval to a collection designed by her creative partner — and husband — Andreas Kronthaler, Dame Vivienne Westwood walked the runway in her brand’s show in Paris.
The 75-year-old strode out firstly in an oversized purple pinstripe suit followed by a gold on black silk draped number. Other standout pieces from the fall ensemble included zipped kaftans, paint-splattered tartan smocks, graffiti T-shirts and voluminous suits.
The collection featured Alpine touches from thick walking socks and yellow hiking boot laces to quilted jackets embroidered with mountain blooms. The accents made reference to Austria’s arts movement Wiener Werkstätten, which was established in 1903.
“There are three circumstances which pointed me to make this collection,” says Kronthaler. “First, the Vienna Tourist Board is celebrating the centenary of the birth of Vienna Modernism. Second, I had to clear my family home and its possessions and my childhood bedroom was postered with reproductions of Klimt paintings. Third, were two children’s outfits from the Wiener Werkstätten. One is a felt two-piece costume raw-cut, decorated with alpine flowers and the second, a glorious little dirndl. We changed the cut but kept the childish proportions.”
Last year Westwood renamed her main-line collection, Gold Label, after her chief collaborator of 25-years, calling it simply ‘Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’. While Kronthaler’s passion for punk and draping are indivisible from Westwood’s, his own history and heritage is becoming more pronounced in the line’s ready-to-wear collections.
“I had the realisation at the end was that I see myself as an Austrian designer.” he says “It was about acknowledging my nationality and giving shape to my identity; the landscapes, the people, their costumes, they are my roots.”
Lebanese designer Elie Saab sent a striking plum and jet collection before press and VIPs at the Grand Palais during Paris Fashion Week. Dubbed ‘Poetry in Motion’, the collection also played with what Saab called “light hues of blossom coloured in shades of dawn”.
Inspired by the ballet Giselle, the silhouettes were darkly romantic and achingly feminine with tutu-like tulle organza, silk chiffon and velvet gowns accented with intricate beading, crystal polka dot sheer panels and velvet bow belts.
The lily flower was a recurrent motif, appearing on guipre, quilted leather and as hand-painted designs on biker jackets.
Pearls trimmed bags and ear cuffs in Saab’s interpretation of morning dew drops and toeless, velvet ankle boots were luxuriously trimmed in fur.
Pierpaolo Piccioli grabbed headlines in the French capital with a perfectly put together collection of 61 pret-a-porter looks for fall/winter.
The creative director’s inspiration was the 1980s movement of artists, designers and architects, the Memphis Group.
Lines were soft and silhouettes curve-obscuring, in fruity shades ranging from lychee and peach to deep raspberry and mulberry. There were also contrasting acid colours, modernist symbols and geometric graphics inspired by artist, and founding member of the Memphis Group, Nathalie du Pasquier.
“Colours, numbers, free shapes and vibrations,” read Valentino’s Twitter feed. “Nothing is how and where it should be, but yet it is. Gently.”
For the most part Piccioli’s collection was comfortable, classic and conservative with high necklines and low hems of a Victorian aesthetic. The walking works of art marked the latest chapter in a quiet evolution taking place within the iconic maison with master Piccioli at the helm.