These three designers will launch collections — two on their own and one for a venerable French house — during Paris Fashion Week. Here’s a preview.Patrick Robinson for Paco RabannePatrick Robinson is no metal worker. He’s a man of the cloth, so to speak. So don’t expect any clothes that could stick to a magnet when he shows his first collection for Paco Rabanne on March 5.Not that there’s anything wrong with them.“The brand has had a strong message with metal dresses. Those dresses [Rabanne] did in the Sixties are incredibly sexy and provocative. The customer has seen it and has taken it as a given, but it hasn’t stayed relevant,” the 38-year-old designer said. “The real soul of the brand is bigger than one dress. Why [Rabanne] showed that is more important. The question is, ‘How does that woman dress today?’ ”Robinson’s answer? “Seductive, glamorous, sleek clothing, no matter what time of the day.”Most recently the designer at Perry Ellis, where his Pretty Baby designs earned raves, Robinson nevertheless had a falling out with management and left after three seasons. That was the latest bump in a topsy-turvy fashion career. After training under Giorgio Armani in Milan, Robinson was thrust into the spotlight when he was plucked to head Anne Klein in 1995. Three seasons later, he was unceremoniously fired, which inspired him to launch a signature collection.When Mario Grauso, head of Puig Group’s fashion division, invited Robinson to dinner and suggested the Rabanne slot, Robinson didn’t hesitate.“There’s something more personal about this collection than anything I’ve ever done,” he said. “It’s closest to my heart.”Robinson succeeds Rosemary Rodriguez, who had quietly built a wholesale following. But she worked in the shadow of Rabanne himself, who only relinquished his consulting role at the house last October.In Robinson’s view, the brand harbors major potential, and he plans to use its heritage as a “cocktail, evening brand” to great advantage and expand that essence to all occasions. Ultimately, he also hopes to put his hands on Rabanne’s successful array of fragrances, noting that women’s scents are not as well developed as those for men.“The clothes will set the tone for everything,” he said, noting that an advertising campaign won’t be done until “the following season.”The Memphis-born designer must be one of Paris’ most enthusiastic new expats. Despite separation anxiety — from his wife, Virginia Smith, Vogue’s market director, and their 17-month-old son, Wyeth — Robinson has been soaking up the French capital’s stunning architecture and stylish people with gusto.“Just look at that,” he said, gesturing at a stunning view of the Louvre courtyard through a window at Café Marly.But he’ll be tearing himself away from the inspiring capital shortly after the show. “I’ll be traveling around the world to our top retailers to introduce the collection,” he said. “If you don’t sell clothes, you’re not in business.” — Miles SochaGiambattista ValliIn his years at Emanuel Ungaro, designer Giambattista Valli cultivated a style synonymous with prints, colors and revealing, floaty chiffon dresses.But now that he’s flying on his own, with a debut signature collection in a runway show here March 4, he’s honing a style closer to his heart. “Ungaro was about decoration,” explained the designer in his studio in the Marais. “My line is purer. I wanted to create a clearly recognizable line. I want a woman to feel the cut of the scissors in the clothes.”But that doesn’t mean Valli will forsake the celebrity and social set, which he appealed to at Ungaro with his cool, sexed-up styles. “My clothes are for the international jet set,” he said. “They are very much for the red carpet.”To wit: Much of the collection revolves around dramatic evening gowns, largely in black, some with lace and others decorated with ribbons and bows. They are highly detailed, with cuts that speak to a couture sensibility.“The couture influence is my French side,” said the Italian-born Valli, who started at Ungaro in 1997 and was elevated to creative director a year later. “My aesthetic is part French, part Italian. There’s an austerity in my Italian side. The French don’t have that. They have the cocotte. I identify with both.”Valli is not only concentrating on gowns. He said there would be plenty of tailoring, mostly in black. A crisp “Proustian” redingote with a high fur collar and military details is an example. Black is his color of choice, but there are vibrant shades as well as a couple of girly prints.Cashmere T-shirts and jeans are also part of his arsenal. “But not just any jeans — jeans that have been treated in a very different way. I don’t want to do something that can be found [cheaper] elsewhere.” Valli’s line will be produced and distributed by Gilmar, the Italian clothing manufacturer that makes Iceberg. (Last fall, Valli also took on a role as co-creative director of the Italian label.) “This is a collection of items,” he said “It’s a very important part of the philosophy behind the line. They are pieces that a woman can make her own, pieces that can enhance her personality, that she can integrate into her wardrobe, and that she can interpret in her own way.” — Robert Murphy Cate of the HillAfter designing Montana and working at Plein Sud, Catherine Brickhill, who was also Alexander McQueen’s assistant for five years, is throwing caution to the wind and launching her first signature collection. The striking 33-year-old blonde will present to press and buyers in the MC2 showroom in the Marais. Eskimos were her primary inspiration. “That means winter whites and layering, fur and patchwork jackets,” said Brickhill, who also whipped up several denim looks among her dramatic evening skirts and fur-trimmed vests. “I like couture details,” she added. “I think of my style as sophisticated and feminine.” — R.M.
“I design by visualization. I see things, and most of the time they’re not practical to actually make, and what I’ve found here, it’s like anything’s possible. This is the first time that I’ve made a sole unit in two months. That process usually would take six, so here’s a difference,” said @virgilabloh of the first sneaker sample he created for @louisvuitton, pictured here. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim
“I genuinely fell in love with water, I fell in love with Fiji, I fell in love with the whole life that we lived for those few months,” says @mrsamclaflin of filming for his new movie “Adrift” with @shailenewoodley. The 31-year-old actor spoke with WWD about his upcoming projects, meeting Jamie Dornan and working with co-star Woodley. #wwdeye (📷: @jamstoker)
3 years ago, fans of the late singer Aaliyah started calling for a collaboration with @maccosmetics. With the strength of social media — including mock ups of products — 25,000 people signed a Change.org petition for a limited-edition collection, and MAC couldn’t ignore the buzz. Tomorrow, MAC will unveil MAC x Aaliyah, a tribute to the singer who passed away nearly 17 years ago. Head to our stories to preview the new collection, which was worked on by Aaliyah’s family and inspired directly by her makeup bag. #wwdbeauty
Artistic director @clarewaightkeller will be dedicating @givenchyofficial’s fall 2018 couture show in Paris on July 1 to house founder Hubert de Givenchy, who passed away in March at age 91. Givenchy said the collection would be “an homage to his iconic creations, technique, and personal lexicon” and a “celebration of his timeless elegance and grace.” Head to WWD.com to read more. #wwdfashion (📷: Delphine Achard)
La Double J made a name for itself with its vintage-inspired prints, but for resort, designer JJ Martin has ventured into new territory: enter rich jewel toned solids and decadent embellishment, in the form of appliqués, crystals and sequins. #wwdfashion #resort19 #ladoublej
This Just In: J. Crew Group has named Johanna Uurasjarvi as its chief design officer.
Uurasjarvi succeeds Somsack Sikhounmuong, who left the company last September. Tap the link in bio for the full report. #wwdnews
“She came into my hotel room and she was like, ‘I have Chanel and Christian Dior.’ She was like, ‘Chanel likes you.’ And I was like, ‘I’m going to start crying,’” breakout star Maddie Hasson tells WWD of her styling sessions Molly Dickson. “I really like classic, elegant things. I love the way Anna Wintour dresses.” Read more about Hasson’s role in @impulseseries on wwd.com. (📸: @jgreenery ) #wwdeye
@virgilabloh revealed he's working with Australian stylist and
Vogue Australia fashion director @christinecentenera for his debut @louisvuitton men's collection, which will be presented in Paris on June 21. Centenera met Abloh while both working with Kanye West, where she consulted on his all his runway collections since his debut spring 2012 women's wear show. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews (📷: @asussmanphoto)