PARIS -- It was a tale of simple elegance or brassy tongue-in-cheek glamour at the Pret-a-Porter Paris show that ended here Sept. 5.
Streetwear -- especially club-born ideas -- hit en masse. Designers turned out a bubbly brand of young fashion that included quirky pieces in glittery silvers, cotton-candy pinks and baby blues.
The new mood seemed to catch the interest of buyers targeting the youth market, especially now that Europe is finally edging out of its long recession.
Pret organizers predicted attendance would be up almost 5 percent over last September's show, which drew 51,213 buyers, but could not provide final figures. Usually about half the buyers are French, and Italy, Spain and Japan send strong contingents.
Leading the flashy young pack this season was Pucci, a new line by Emilio Pucci's daughter Laudomia that is produced by Altana in Italy. It's a young-spirited collection of pink and orange A-line dresses and tons of metallic synthetic blend fabrics.
"The goal is to revisit the style of Pucci, but interpret it for a much younger client," said an Altana spokeswoman.
Tim Bargeot, a young French designer who has been on the scene for five years, showed a disco-glam collection: little hot pink and green stretch terry cloth skirts, extra-small logo T-shirts and baby-doll dresses.
And London's Red or Dead was on a psychedelic trip with butterfly-print satin or sparkling silver pantsuits and saucy preppy wear.
"It's really cheeky and fun, with little girly dresses and pants worn with high heels," said Red or Dead sales and marketing director Katarina Hudson. Other bopping booths included Christophe Lemaire, with flapper fringed minis and neon parkas; Isabelle Marant, with satin blouses and batik-printed baby-doll dresses; Claudie Pierlot, with schoolgirl gingham knickers and jackets, and Corinne Cobson, with sassy knit skirt-and-top outfits, leopard-print slipdresses and glittery silk short A-line dresses with this season's favorite: matching jackets. Funky flea-market forager Xuly Bet showed up this season with a brand new collection produced by Puma. Xuly Bet Funkin' Club's dresses and tops -- a take on Puma's sports gear -- are made from the authentic material Puma uses. The line wholesales from $52 (280 francs at current exchange rates) for a T-shirt to $75 (400 francs) for the bright-colored sneakers with cork platforms. Assan Faye, Xuly Bet's commercial director, said a striped stretch rugby top and a long patched-together dress were bestsellers. Although the Altana spokeswoman claimed that "some buyers have been a bit scared of the strong colors," most seemed to welcome the return of bright hues. The naturals -- except pure white, another big trend this season -- were virtually nonexistent.At Michel Klein and Klein d'Oeil, where minimalist black and navy usually dominate, Provencal-patterned brights stepped in. Sophie Sitbon showed a palette of funky pastels in lavender or pink sequin dresses or satin jackets and jeans. And Drogo, the hip Spanish/Italian knitwear designer formerly with Drogo and Horvath, turned her normally somber palette into soft celery greens and light browns. Pure linen merged with other natural fibers for spring, and jersey or synthetic stretch fabrics were on the rise.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast