Paris Preview: Ones To Watch

A few fresh designers to check out while in town.

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GABRIELLE GREISS: For the launch of her namesake label, Gabrielle Greiss set out to create 20 artfully constructed dresses that feel as easy as a T-shirt but are still pretty special.

This story first appeared in the September 21, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Her aim was to evoke a destroyed couture vibe à la Corinne Day, with Cecil Beaton’s photos of paperlike creations by legendary American couturier Charles James and the idea of Pina Bausch’s dance costumes in movement also flavoring the collection.

“I like the idea of finding this coolness in an evening dress,” said the designer. One style is a papery pigment-coated tan cotton skirt that hangs at the waist of a delicate silk organza slip, attached with a series of grosgrain ribbon ties. Another is a sweatshirtlike white cotton bouclé cape lending a sporty feel to an open-back gown.

Flitting between white and soft nudes, pinks and smoky blues, Greiss experiments with draping or superposes layers of colored organza, with beading adorning certain pieces.

Having worked for other designers for years (including an 18-month stint as creative director at Sonia Rykiel, as well as at Lanvin, Martine Sitbon and Anna Molinari), the designer sees the collection, which is produced in France, as the expression of her personal dreams stored up over the years. The line is co-designed with Greiss’ longtime friend Annette Hultzsch, who worked beside her at Rykiel.

Retail prices start at 1,000 euros or $1,325 at current exchange. Gabrielle Greiss will present on Oct. 1 by appointment. Contact: Lucien Pagès, +33-1-42-77-33-05.

— Katya Foreman

YANG LI: Paris’ lineup of new faces includes Yang Li, a London-based designer who, after two years studying men’s wear design at Central Saint Martins, was selected by Raf Simons for an internship at his namesake brand and to design accessories for Jil Sander.

Li was born in China and raised in Australia. His debut men’s and women’s collection centers on designs using stretch double-faced fabric in contrast colors, finished by hand using a technique only a handful of Italian factories can manufacture.

Infused with a military and sporty graphic rigor, the clothes, all well-finished, are stripped down to plain and minimal uniforms in simple generic shapes such as T-shirts, shirts, hooded zipped jackets, pants and shift dresses. Li describes himself as punk hearted, but this is more about a quiet-but-intense intellectual rebellion than in-your-face aggression.

Yang Li will present from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7 at 26 Rue de Saintonge, 75003.

— Laurent Folcher

PIECE D’ANARCHIVE: Founded by sisters Priscilla and Deborah Royer and their friend Virginie Muys, Piece D’anarchive specializes in knitwear made in one of the best factories in France, with all finishing done by hand. The trio’s first collection comprises 18 women’s styles and two looks for men.

Tribal cultures inspired the line, lifting, say, the idea of using flowers or animal trophies, such as teeth, as decoration for a passementerie trim edging jackets and dresses.

A neutral palette of navy, black, flesh and cream carries shots of bronze Lurex metallic. The partners’ obsession with intricate knitting techniques surfaces in richly textured designs, from the bubbling surface of a sweater and shorts to a Persian-inspired crinkled brocade cardigan. Shapes mimic tailored staples, such as jackets.

The collection will be available to view by appointment from Sept. 28 to Oct. 8. Contact: Favori: +33-1-42-71-20-46.

— L.F.

UNIQUENESS: Among the week’s hot launches, Valentino’s former creative director, Alessandra Facchinetti, will present her new fashion label, Uniqueness, developed in collaboration with Pietro Nigra, co-founder and chairman of Italian fashion label Pinko.

The lineup of 24 lightly tailored contemporary outfits, to be shown Sept. 29 at the Jeu de Paume, strikes a balance between functionality and elegance, going from classic white shirts, cigarette pants, preppy kilts and military-inspired outerwear to cool men’s wear-inspired evening elements, like a crepe tuxedo with contrasting white lapels. Using a fresh cross-seasonal color palette, ranging from deep black and military green to skin tones and pinks with flashes of lime and yellow, rich prints also come into play. For instance, a total-look shirt, pants and gloves ensemble are done in floral crepe de chine.

“I alternated timeless pieces with more eccentric styles, mixing practical, sophisticated and childlike accents,” said Facchinetti, who exited Valentino in October 2008. Before that, she was design director at Gucci and Moncler Gamme Rouge.

Retail prices range from 90 euros, or $125, for cotton T-shirts, to 1,200 euros ($1,660) for a printed chiffon maxidress.

The collection will go on sale on the brand’s Web site, uniqueness.com, immediately after the presentation.

Said Facchinetti: “Now we can satisfy our customers’ desire to immediately [have access to] what they see and like.”

— Alessandra Turra

TRIAS: Intricately constructed day suits, androgynous jackets in buttery black leather and graphic sheer black organza gowns and blouses fronted with hand-crafted latticeworks of black bands figure among the highlights of Joaquin Trias’ spring collection.

Showing in Paris for the first time following four seasons in New York, the Spanish designer has collaborated on an installation with photographer Isabel Muñoz on the presentation, which will feature shots of his pieces modeled by dancers.

Produced in Madrid, with certain pieces requiring up to 60 hours of hand work, the lineup includes striking jewelry by Loto.

Retail prices for the collection go from 300 euros ($400) for knits, to 1,400 euros ($1,855) for a gown.

Trias will present from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5 at Cent8, 108 Rue Vielle du Temple, 75003. A cocktail party will take place Oct. 1.

— K.F.

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