A stunning incarnation of power-woman drama and masses of giant men's wear looks were present and accounted for as the Paris collections got under way.
Viktor & Rolf: Is the lady passé, fashionably speaking? Not if she speaks the language of Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, who on Monday showed a magnificent fall collection that riffed on the haute propriety of the Fifties.
The designers dressed their runway in shirred fabric at the sides, setting the stage for their girls to model in that old-fashioned, polished posey way, each a vision of perfection — perfect coiffeur, perfect fishnet hose, perfect shoes, the heels carved like precision-cut crystal into a grid of tiny pyramids.
A bold, snooty runway flourish punctuated this grandly formal attitude: Various parts of the clothes — cuffs, a hem, an entire party frock — were dipped into liquid silver and hardened for preservation's sake, as one might do with baby's first shoe. "Fashion is the biggest thing in our lives," Horsting said. "We wanted to heirloom it, make it timeless." Yet rather than descend into silvery shtick, the collection dripped with high chic and a bit of subversion in its icy, power-woman undercurrent. To that end, the models wore stiff grid masks with an armor vibe — part fencer, part Hannibal Lector — while voguing to a soundtrack that repeated over and over, "You can't reach me; you can't hurt me; I can suck you dry." And in line with the season's austerity, Snoeren and Horsting delivered the very dressed-up attitude with near-Calvinist restraint — and a whole lot of prim white cuffs.
The pair divided the show into sections of good old classics — little black dresses, trenchcoats, suits, white shirts (worn with big black party skirts), transforming each into an up-close wonder of cut and detail. One trench flaunted a spill of ruffled edging down the front; another had sleeves pouffed into bubbles cinched with tiny belts. Suits went both voluminous and lean, with dark sequined blouses. The dresses ranged from near-New Look construction to an off-the-shoulder sack dress.
The designers bothered little with evening, showing only a few ultradramatic, full-skirted bustier dresses, the final one in rock-solid silver worn by their bride — a shining finale to a sterling collection.Yohji Yamamoto: Near the end of Yohji Yamamoto's show on Sunday night, the song "Blue Moon" came on the soundtrack. You know, "You saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own." Interesting choice of ditties, because these were hardly get-a-guy clothes — unless the guy's a razor-blade supplier.
In a season in which Yohji influences have surfaced at no-less-exalted places than Prada, Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld, this could have been Yamamoto's season. But rather than take the dark aesthetic he helped to invent to a new place — one with currency — he again insisted on a dour redux of ponderous men's wear concepts that he has long perfected and everyone else long ago relegated to a brilliant part of fashion history. Huge foppish pantsuits with three sleeves and 50-inch waists came out in relentless repetition, would-be skirts somehow connected into pants, multiple layers multiplied the enormous volumes and everything was dark, dark, dark — save for the momentary spark (relatively) of distressed teal denim and some Edie Beale silliness with layered floppy hats — worn one over the other.
That Yamamoto is a genius at seemingly impossible construction is a given. But what once inspired awe now plays as masterfully crafted trickery not mitigated by the fact that, come fall, there will be some desirable tailored pieces on the racks. If it's true that the runway is about concept and vision at least as much as it is about store-destined merch, then it's essential for fashion's greatest talents, among whom Yamamoto is high on the list, to use it to expand their vision — and ours.
Rick Owens: The futuristic, industrial world of Rick Owens is an intriguing place to visit. (How long one wishes to stay depends on one's proclivities.) In recent seasons, he has incrementally cleaned up his rough-edged look, giving it more polish and poise, while still staying true to his mantra of freaky chic by adding more couture-like flourishes to his silhouettes. He took another welcome step in that direction for fall. Jackets topped the Los Angeles expat's effort — and there was some interesting stuff on parade, including a glittering gold number with dangling flaps that opened the varying array of gathered, layered, and spliced together confections in fur, leather or knit. Owens paired these with high-waisted, cropped black pants and aggressive platform stilettos. He then turned softer with worn-in black wool dresses cut on the bias. Metallic fabrics in silver and gold added a cool Space-Age vibe. The apocalyptic look reached a crescendo when out stormed fluffy black parka jackets that looked like blown-up inflatable safety rafts. Weird? Sure, but certainly original — just the fare Owens' Gothed-out fans have come to expect and love.
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.