PARIS — The fall season marked the return of understated, craft-focused fashion at the Paris trade shows, with an emphasis on masculine shapes, handmade prints and fur.
“Embellishment and bling are definitely out,” said Virginie Maunier, a consultant for Lambert + Associates, with clients that include Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Holt Renfrew and Fenwick. “We are currently witnessing a renewal of the classics. Most designers are now creating sober shapes and focusing on high-quality materials and texture.”
Exhibitors at Tranoï exemplified this trend.
London-based brand Orla Kiely presented a collection featuring pastel dresses and cashmere coats in camel tones. Taiwan-born Jamie Wei Huang — a recent graduate of Central Saint Martins — introduced her second collection, where asymmetric cuts, graphic shapes and deconstructed styles dominated in a palette of navy, black and white.
French blogger-turned-designer Margaux Lonnberg concentrated on cozy knitwear and masculine-inspired pieces in neutral tones.
“Our khaki army-inspired coats have garnered a lot of attention,” said Warren Guetta, sales director for the brand. “We are moving away from using black as a default color for winter, and witnessing the rise of ‘new neutrals’ such as navy, gray, beige and olive green. Personally, I am a fan of those colors. They convey a happier message than pitch black.”
“Androgynous and structured silhouettes are having a moment,” agreed Laura Saglio, fashion director of Paris’ recently opened Tom Greyhound, a Korean multibrand concept store. “Bombers and varsity jackets, oversized knitwear and straight-cut coats are all clients are asking for. By contrast, more girly styles and romantic, flowing fabrics and patterns are slowly fading away.”
Prints also made a strong showing at the trade show through brands like Los Angeles-based Clover Canyon, known for its sober silhouettes and multicolor digital patterns.
“Prints are no longer about pretty florals,” said Maunier. “The focus is now on arty patterns. In the last few years, designers have been pushing the boundaries of print to make them a true symbol of refinement and modernity.”
Israeli-born designer Daizy Shely and St. Petersburg-based Tatyana Parfionova have made handmade prints the foundation of their brands.
“Our patterns are working really well this season,” said Parfionova’s sales director Ekaterina Puchkova. “Buyers are really happy with our wildest prints in red, blue and purple tones, which makes sense. There are so many designers and brands out there that people are starting to look for the really unique pieces.”
At Capsule, prints were also the center of attention. British-born Kitty Joseph, a Royal College of Art graduate specializing in textile design, presented her fifth collection that features dresses, tops and skirts in acid colors decorated with prints resembling charcoal and crayon drawings. “I have done digital prints in the past, but I have been noticing a shift in buyers’ preferences lately,” she said. “Photographic-style digital print is losing momentum. Simultaneously, buyers have been very interested in prints that have a touch of the hand.”
Her best-selling pieces this season were sherbet-yellow mesh dresses and printed T-shirts, she said.
“Just like last season, shoppers are looking for brands with a strong identity, special, interesting pieces at a good price point, but without giving up on the quality,” said Song Pham, a consultant for Harvey Nichols Hong Kong. “They also want the hot stuff of the moment — what they have seen on social networks and blogs — and they want it fast.”
Maunier said, “For the first time in a long while, we are witnessing the rising of a group of designers who have a strong connection with the youngest generations. I find the phenomenon extremely interesting and I can’t wait to see how it will evolve in the next few years.”
Bas Kosters and Buddhist Punk are two of the brands whose clients are mainly teenagers. Their collections were loaded with color and strongly influenced by rave culture and street fashion.
“It’s Nineties hip-hop meets 21st-century girl,” said Rupert Meaker, cofounder of London-based Buddhist Punk. “We are inspired by today’s Internet culture — music, urban tribes, ghetto sportswear, third-world pop. The concept has been catching on with the most experimental shops and has been successful in Malaysia, Japan, China and even in Arab countries. Europe, however, remains our most conservative market.”
The influence of urban fashion could also be felt in Brussels-based brand Omsk, specializing in embellished sweaters inspired by traditional Russian culture.
“We only started focusing on sweatshirts three seasons ago when we started noticing that they were selling noticeably better than the rest of the collection,” said brand founder Valeria Siniouchkina. “However, we don’t want to go along with the current sweatshirt hype, so we decorate them with rather chic, classic embroideries.”
So far, Siniouchkina said, this has been the brand’s bestselling collection.
“Buyers are looking for these kinds of accessible yet versatile pieces to position next to high-contemporary brands like MM6, Acne or Isabel Marant,” she said.
At Paris sur Mode, the focus was on wearable fashion, according to Iñaki Muñoz, cofounder of Bilbao, Spain-based brand Ailanto.
“Buyers have been interested in our most pared-down pieces, especially our coats, which look rather simple but mix textures of Lurex, mohair and wool,” he explained.
However, he added that the real stars of this winter’s trade show were knitwear and fur.
Eddy Rizal, chief executive officer of Rizal Fur, noted the emergence of a new type of customer.
“Clients are now younger, and they are looking for fun and new ways to wear fur as an alternative to the traditional mink coat,” he said. “This season, we are mixing materials and styles. Our best-sellers have been our oversized biker jackets in leather and shearling, and our knitted mink jackets, which come in jewel shades like sapphire blue and emerald green.”
At Designers & Agents, the mood was relaxed. Rustic-looking knitwear and easy, functional shapes were present at most exhibitors’ stands. “Sweaters and chunky merino wool scarves have been the most successful items so far,” said Gail Travis, founder of New York-based brand New Form Perspective. “Petrol and cream tones have also been very popular, far more than black, for once.”
Sustainable fashion was also present at the show through brands such as New York-based Svilu.
“The interest in ethical clothing is growing slowly,” said Britt Cosgrove, cofounder of Svilu. “But primarily, people come to us because they like the clothes. The fact that we make them out of sustainable fabrics and recycled materials is certainly a plus for our clients, but the important thing nowadays for an ethical brand is to offer appealing clothes.”
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)