PARIS — With a schedule so jam-packed that it left many panting for air, it was difficult for smaller houses and young designers to get attention this season. But nevertheless, a handful managed to stick out from the crowd. And those who did refined their looks, adding more polish and sophistication, fashion’s strongest direction for spring.
Of course, they did it on their own terms, blending the experimental with the commercial. Consider AF Vandevorst, the Belgian husband-wife team of Filip Arickx and An Vandevorst, who presented paper cutout dresses alongside fetching trench coats with slouchy sleeves and oversized shirt dresses. The latter, of course, were highly wearable, as was a green dress with a built-in cape. It all proves that the designers are maturing in the right direction.
Haider Ackerman, another Belgian, purveyed romanticism with a dash of street style. That meant a plunging black chiffon dress that riffed on the smoking theme, while a hooded sweatshirt dress was ruched at the shoulder. The tuxedo idea also translated into trousers with pleated chiffon on the front, and a short gray jersey dress and jersey trousers with straps. It was a confident show that illustrated that Ackerman deserves a place on the list of emerging talents.
Gaspard Yurkievich, who was inspired by the world of cabaret, also hit a high note with an offering of cute dresses fringed with feathers and decorated with silver sequins. A diaphanous white blouse also captured the showgirl spirit with its yellow fringes, while his white gauze dresses, in their angelic beauty, demonstrated that the designer is evolving in a promising direction.
Alexandre Morgando and Matthieu Bureau, who together do the Alexandre Matthieu brand, mixed street chic, such as easy blousons, with glamorous chiffon dresses intricately embroidered with graphic patterns. The latter were appealing in their couture-like detail.
German Lutz Huelle — known simply as Lutz — also worked athletic references in a collection of jackets suspended from the shoulder by swathes of chiffon, big trousers that spilled around the ankles and drawstring skirts. It had a youthful spirit.
Two designers, Adam Jones and Lucien Pellat-Finet, further developed their knitwear-based collections. Pellat-Finet decorated his casual cashmeres with sequins or wove them into poncho with butterfly embroidery. Jones, who has a strong voice, was feeling exotic this season, and he took his cue from the Fiji Islands. Sexy dresses came in jacquards inspired by primitive art, while tight cotton macramé tops were adorned with carved coconut buttons.Meanwhile, the house of Paco Rabanne moved forward while staying grounded in the past. Artistic director Rosemary Rodriguez brought Rabanne’s trademark geometric and metallic chain-link dresses to life, while adding a new element with slouchy hip-hop trousers and athletic-inspired tops in graphic red, black and white.
Two older houses fell short in their attempts at rejuvenation. Balmain, which has lost its direction since Oscar de la Renta left, put its eggs in designer Christophe Lebourg’s basket. He didn’t break them, but he didn’t whip up a tasty meal, either. Concentrating on minimalist sportswear, such as slim pantsuits, and silk dresses slashed open or with asymmetric flourishes, Lebourg left one wondering whom exactly the Balmain customer is.
At the house of Gres, Koji Tatsuno offered a vision of futuristic gold lamé and jersey dresses with oversized buttons and slouchy sleeves. Much of it was reminiscent of Balenciaga, especially the pieces detailed with cutout patterns. Granted, Tatsuno, who has been on the circuit for years, has done that before, and his Grecian draped dresses were pretty and mined the house’s heritage. Yet the collection didn’t carve out a strong enough image to give Gres new legs.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty