IT WAS A SEASON THAT HAD JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING. AND THERE WAS TRASH WITH CLASS, HANDSOME SPORTSWEAR AND A GROUP OF CLEAN, SPARE LOOKS AS THE PARIS COLLECTIONS DREW TO A CLOSE.
KENZO: Hologram images of the models fluttered on the sand dune backdrop of the Kenzo show as if they were mirages. But Kenzo Takada’s collection, inspired by the crosswinds of the Orient, was anything but blurry. There were feminine suits with Nehru jackets and wide pants perfect for those working girls, while his long slip dresses in Japanese peony-printed mousseline should appeal to the hopelessly romantic.
AGNES B.: This designer has carved out a nice little niche for herself with a French version of sportswear — and the company has grown to $200 million in sales, excluding royalties from licenses. Her spring collection runs the gamut from faded cotton print slip dresses to a fringed leather miniskirt and jacket — the latter inspired by Sixties rock ‘n’ roll, says Agnes B., not the Wild West.
JEAN COLONNA: Trashy has never looked so chic. For spring, Jean Colonna put an elegant spin on his rough-around-the-edges style. The designer, known for his nightcrawling inspiration, said this season he was focusing on the light of day. That meant multicolored zebra print bustiers and dresses, finely cut leather blousons, patchwork print shells and jersey dresses dripping with jet that had a new refinement. This is the second season Colonna’s collection will be manufactured by Florence-based Gibo, which has made that refinement possible.
SLOWIK: With big-name designers and high-riding, edgy powerhouses dominating fashion these days, trying to nudge one’s way into the Paris scene is no easy feat for a young designer. But Steven Slowik is sure giving it a go. He found himself a show slot Sunday morning sandwiched between Ungaro and Valentino, decorated the room with flats of irises and sent out a collection of the clean, spare looks he has always championed. This season, he’s tuned into slouchy pantsuits worn with ribbed T-shirts, body-hugging micro dresses in stretch chintz, drawstring pants in leather-look jersey, plus a handful of those lingerie looks that never seem to go away. And while there are references to Helmut Lang here, Slowik manages to give the looks a more commercial slant.