Conventional wisdom says certain fabrics belong in certain seasons. And while some designers stuck to the program, several threw out the rule book and made unexpected choices for spring.
This story first appeared in the November 9, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“People react well to crossover seasonal ideas,” says Carolina Herrera. “We answer their need for all seasons.” Herrera’s cotton basket-weave jacquard was a pointed example of this season-bending approach. Decorated with smooth metal studs, the fabric had a weight and texture that would fit seamlessly into most fall lines.
At Alexander Wang, puffy-sleeve wool tops with leather patches pulled certain looks toward cold weather. “A material like wool can be seasonless,” says Wang. He used a lightweight, lined merino jersey this spring for its soft structure. “The idea that it’s an itchy, hot textile is old-fashioned.”
In Paris, Hannah MacGibbon revisited Chloé’s iconic capes in wool and cashmere blends and quilted cotton twill with leather trim. Nicolas Ghesquière showed stretch canvas dresses with leather inserts at Balenciaga. And London designers Marios Schwab and Kinder Aggugini played guess-the-season with layers: Aggugini stacked mismatched bouclés and tweeds in his eclectic outing, while Schwab topped his long satin and chiffon dresses with chain mail.
Still, some designers followed the mercury. Raf Simons used a barely-there knit in drafty dresses and sweaters at Jil Sander. Prada printed minishorts and easy blouses with silvery beach postcard prints.
Linen and lace, both spring favorites, made a huge splash in Paris. Stella McCartney dyed and finished the guipure lace in her slinky halter blouses to give it a softer hand than usual. At Christian Dior, John Galliano commissioned delicate Chantilly lace from sixth-generation family-run mill Dentelles André Laude, with the water lily as the main motif. Chanel sported a lot of linen, cotton and even some breezy organic fabrics. “My fabrics were all used differently,” Karl Lagerfeld says of his “Coco écolo” collection. Indeed, his washed linen and lace jacket was certainly meant for city life despite the barnyard-chic presentation. “The materials aren’t hippie or country at all.”