Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012-Winter 2013 Highlights | Day 4 (Part 1)

It seems the early 1970’s are making the rounds as a key inspiration for the fall 2012 fashion season. More than a few designers have embraced this period (think stiff skirt suits, slightly A-line shapes, oversized fur collars). Roland Mouret obviously fell under its spell and delivered an elegant sportswear line-up, one, with enough couture touches to elevate the mood. Feeling rich is clearly on his menu. What truly fascinated us with his fur pieces was how he duplicated traditional trimmed tweed jacket treatments with various fur types, playing equally with each fur’s texture and color.

Christian Dior’s ghost designer, Bill Gaytten, deserves some praise and respect for his stoicism. We loved John Galliano, it goes without saying, but we must announce our respect for what Mr. Gaytten is doing at Christian Dior. He is keeping the ship afloat and helping the label regain some of its politeness. The clothes might be “boring” to some, but to us the collection was was  pretty and gentle, and there is certainly a market for this look. Christian Dior was once famed for its furs and it seems the house is ready to reassert its position in the market with a collection that is both elegant and modern.   The application of fur to accessories and shoes was an unepxected but welcome twist.

Isabel Marant loves her Americana influences and this collection is no exception to her tried and true formula. She’s  “so L.A.”, perhaps a bit unusual for a French designer, always looking at the Southern California vernacular to boost her creativity. This collection’s mood was young, sporty and easy-going – Young in the cuts, Sporty in the proportion, Easy-Going in the styling. On the fur front, she introduced a stenciled leopard print cropped sleeve jacket that read a little more Melrose cool than Paris chic.

PS: We just realized that we completely forgot to mention the Vionnet collection shown a few days ago. Oops! So, here it is:

If you were to choose 5 designers to herald their impact on 20th century fashion, Madeleine Vionnet would likely take the top spot. She, singlehandedly, developed and perfected the bias cut for all other designers to aspire to duplicate. Today, the name is being re-launched and the transition has been difficult. Should the Heritage dictate the collections, or, should it be newly redefined? That is the predicament for this collection.  The line-up is rather tame, simple in silhouette and cut. The use of fur is where the design savvy (or experimentation) happens. Placing a full fox pelt onto a sheared fur background is funky… and kind of cool! Vionnet was one of the first designers to treat furs like a textile, draping it and cutting it on the bias as well. They have a touch legacy to live up to, but we are excited to have them back in the picture!

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