PARIS — Next summer's ingenue is smartening up with more sophisticated looks, including slimmer fits, longer hemlines and more elegant tailoring.
At least that was the main fashion message at the Prêt à Porter and Who's Next apparel trade shows, which ended their four-day runs at the Porte de Versailles here on Sept. 9.
"Styles are not as naïve, which is a welcome change as customers were getting tired of it," said Yaël Kouprianoff, owner and buyer of Biba, a contemporary fashion boutique in the heart of Paris' Saint Germain.
"There is much less of the baby-doll look, which is a good thing," agreed Ludivine Grégoire, whose store in New York's West Village specializes in the latest Parisian styles. Grégoire, who placed orders with Les Prairies de Paris, Noro, Forte_Forte and Paspourtous, among others, said she expects subdued color palettes with occasional punctuations of bright yellow and dusty orange to be musts next summer.
While Grégoire flew to Paris for the shows specifically, she noted a general lack of retailers from North America.
"Manufacturers are doing more with Russian clients than retailers from North America," agreed Darren Mason, president of Andrew's, a 12,000-square-foot high-end women's fashion and accessories store in Toronto. Mason noted a "complete absence of color" with beige, white and gray dominating color palettes here. "Sizes are very small for the North American market; it is a challenge for us to find the right fit," Mason added.
Despite the lack of North American retailers, order writing was strong, with buyers searching for feminine — albeit increasingly seasonless — styles. Increasing spending for next season by as much as 20 percent, retailers said they were saving portions of their budget for immediate orders.
"Due to the weather, I hoped to see late-winter delivery in order to begin the season with fresh but appropriate merchandise. It was all very summer-oriented," said Cedric Charbit, general merchandise manager of women's fashion at Printemps.
Charbit said he placed orders at American Vintage for T-shirts, knitwear at BA&SH, dresses at April, May, as well as Diabless, Iro and Paul & Joe Sister.Retailers applauded efforts by contemporary brands to fight off fierce competition from fast-fashion chains by increasing their use of fabrics such as cottons and linens.
"Today brands are focusing on an easy-to-wear style that is approximately 40 percent more expensive than Zara, adding more quality, personality and cachet in an attempt to build brand awareness," Charbit added. He noted that loose T-shirts, some very short, worn over wide-leg, Jane Birkin-like jeans; lengthy bohemian dresses; blazers, and T-shirt dresses would be next summer's look du jour.
While not as voluminous as previous seasons, loose-fitting dresses as well as lightweight pants and jodhpurs were also surfacing as an alternative to denim for the summer, according to retailers.
Meanwhile, exhibitors reported good business overall, despite a low turnout of Americans.
"There are hardly any Americans," said Laetitia Ivanez, who designs the French contemporary Les Prairies de Paris line, which she presented at Who's Next. Ivanez disclosed she would make her Paris runway debut in October 2008 and noted an online shopping site was also in the works.
Also at Who's Next, Paris-based American Retro continued to expand its reach, adding more fashion categories to its offering such as "Cocktail Hour" for dresses and "Garden Party" for sporty-chic styles. "We increased our sales over last year," said David Pariente, president of American Retro and Zoë Tee's, its budding T-shirt and dress label made from ultrafine jerseys for around 35 euros, or $48.60, at wholesale. Pariente said he would add organic cotton T-shirts to the Zoë Tee's line.
Pariente also unveiled a denim label, dubbed My Lovely Jean. The denim line, which retails for 150 euros, or $208, boasts a selection of high-waist, wide-leg denim with a Woodstock feel. "We believe timely fashion denim, such as wide-leg jeans, is crucial to a collection, but women are replacing the basic denim styles with dresses and pants," he said.
At Copenhagen-based Munthe Plus Simonsen, summer dresses in soft tones for 96 euros, or $133.25, at wholesale dominated the collection with punctuations of vivid greens and feminine prints. "The dress, especially white, with a slightly elongated silhouette is becoming a standard and proving to be a good alternative to classic denim styles," said Anoushka Gresvig Mac-Crohon, co-owner of Paris-based D Collection Showroom, an agent for the brand in France."Feminine Liberty print dresses have been a great success," said budding designer Diane Hanouna, whose swimwear-inspired ready-to-wear brand, Naelie, was a hit among Japanese clients at the show.
At the Prêt à Porter, French actress Lou Doillon presented her fashion and denim collection for Lee Cooper, while for its 60th anniversary, Repetto unveiled its exhibition of tutus designed by Doillon's sister, Charlotte Gainsbourg, as well as Comme des Garçons, Audrey Marnay and Jean Paul Gaultier, to name a few. The exhibit will travel to other international venues.
While contemporary brands continue to flood trade shows, organizers maintain efforts to boost fledging designers.
At the Prêt, Turkish designer Deniz Yegin presented her Yegi Nim collection of youthful white dresses, with intricate folds and portraits of close family and friends embroidered into dress linings. "The collection is about letters," said Yegin, whose styles wholesale for around 150 to 250 euros, or $208.20 to $347.
The Prêt's So Ethic section continues to expand and in March will stage a separate luxury ethical show for higher-end brands, said the section's sales director, Matthew Allen. Eco-friendly stalwarts with higher price points including Stewart+Brown, Katharine Hamnett and Del Forte will be presented there during March rtw shows. Buyers lauded the increased fashion focus of the salon's So Ethic section.
"There's more style than before, the cuts are more stylish and materials more refined," said Peggy Silberling, a buyer at Galeries Lafayette. She cited Bluebretzel, Sobiotiful and Katharine Hamnett as standout collections. "The eco-fashion movement is moving away from the organic, yoga look."
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)