PARIS — Catering to the client seemed to be the modus operandi of a trio of lesser-known designers vying for attention amid the couture hubbub here.
This story first appeared in the July 9, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Dominique Sirop, who showed at the Lido cabaret, zeroed in on ladies on the hunt for slinky, glamorous gowns. Cut in diaphanous chiffon with long trains, these numbers exuded the kind of come-hither sizzle that only a woman confident enough to show a little — and sometimes a lot — of skin can pull off. Bands of rough-cut georgette spiraled around some, while another was decorated with strips of python. A simpler version, slashed open in geometric patterns and paired with a jeweled bolero, was more approachable. And on a wearable note, Sirop’s leather coats, with a large fur-lined collar or tiered, draped sleeves, exuded chic without trying too hard.
For her part, Ritu Beri, formerly the ready-to-wear designer at Scherrer, crashed the couture calendar for the first time this season with fashions inspired by her native India. There were sexy saris, slinky embroidered gowns, midriff-baring shirts, flowing belly-dancer skirts and exotic fabrics with lots of energy and fun. Mixing this with a Western influence, she embroidered jeans, showed crushed velvet coats and went wild by decorating it all with sequins and tassels. Was it too much? Well, at times, yes. But going over the top seemed to be the idea. In any case, there’s much to be said for her detailed craftsmanship, which, if reined in by an astute style sense, could be appealing.
Finally, it wasn’t couture per se, but Anne-Valerie Hash’s intricate and conceptual reworked jackets and trousers were “haute” in their execution. By turning a jacket inside out and dissecting it, she transformed it into a wraparound top, or lopped off the sleeves to give it a rock ’n’ roll edge. Hash brought more refinement to this collection than she has in the past, adding pretty chiffon ballerina skirts and dresses in pink and blue and elongated asymmetrical jackets that were easy enough to wear.