PARIS — Fendi’s ultra-white and sanitized parade for once put couture, not decoration, in the spotlight to crown Paris fashion week on Thursday.
This allowed guests, including Bond star Lashana Lynch and Korean actress Song Hye-kyo, to admire every bead, sequin and spliced panel that lay behind this impressive fall display.
The creator of the Italian house, Kim Jones, wanted to “get away from Rome” with creations navigating between different eras, cities, memories and cultures, starting with Japan.
Haute couture is the centuries-old Parisian tradition of producing bespoke clothing at exorbitant prices for the wealthiest people in the world.
Here are some highlights from Thursday’s Fall/Winter 2022 collections, which featured several up-and-coming brands:
Kyoto by Fendi“We are looking at fragments from different cities, namely Kyoto, Paris and Rome,” Jones said. “The fragmentary nature of things reverberates everywhere…like snippets of memory.”
Jones stepped back in time and returned to the workshop, in a show that revamped old school craft techniques – with aplomb.
18th century Kyoto kimono fabric – with beautiful patterns – has been cut into strips and shards to construct an abstract robe in gray and beige with a clean white sporty collar. Like many of the looks in this collection, it also had a futuristic twist.
A sprinkling of sheer tulle dresses with Japanese maple leaves was the exception that proved the rule in this tasteful overall collection, which used humor and design quirks to keep energy levels up.
Sparkly midi dresses were the pinnacle of creativity, aesthetics, and fun. A dazzling dress with silver tectonic panels sweeping the floor sported another dress hanging from her back, incredibly, sweeping the floor a second time.
The art of invitingThe e-mail era and growing environmental awareness have not marked the fashion industry’s invitation code much.
Season after season, gas-guzzling couriers criss-cross Paris to personally deliver elaborate, often handmade invitations, as the big houses compete for the wackiest or most imaginative idea.
Olivier Rousteing’s invitation for his one-of-a-kind Jean Paul Gaultier couture featured a one-meter (yard) diagonal black ribbon wrapping around a card. It was held in place by a white sewing pin. Sure enough, in Wednesday’s energetic display – the wrapped diagonal ribbons featured on a full-size runway look.
For Fendi, a hollow white architectural arch revealed the house’s logo through its window. While Schiaparelli presented a studio sketch of a flower-adorned woman with a wide-brimmed hat and a gold bracelet – styles that defined the aesthetic of Daniel Roseberry’s fall collection.
Yuima Nakazato goes blueA contemplative decor – worthy of a play – awaited guests at the fall exhibition of Japanese couture star Yuima Nakazato.
It was called “BLUE”. It was the color of the gargantuan boulders of fabric in the backdrop, strewn across the stage and runway that set the tone of contemplation, peace and harmony – seeping into the couture.
There was also more than a whiff of a distant Star Trek planet in the abstract blue flecks the models passed. Indeed, Nakazato’s work revolves around technology, and the house says he uses gender-neutral designs to “explore the future of clothing.”
Long flowing forms in silk, tied at the waist or crossed, are gently inspired by Asian clothing styles. But there was another world in their pure whiteness and softness of silhouette. The silk was so sheer on a pair of puffy white sleeves that the model’s mere footsteps caused it to float weightlessly through the air.
Colorful abstract shapes – like giant sparkling brooches – were placed around the waist or neck of several looks, in blue, purple and gold like a sea creature or a beautiful alien life form that had come along for the ride.
Julie de Libran drop by drop in sewingA few months after opening her first Paris boutique, another rising star, Julie de Libran, was in an eclectic mood. Fall was a chic display with lots of sparkle and a bit of everything.
Set in a leafy patio with fragrant jasmine flowers to one side, the collection exuded an intimate atmosphere.
Indeed, intimacy and the personal touch are the watchwords of the designer who, since the launch of her house in 2019, has welcomed clients and journalists to her house on the left bank for fashion shows and fittings.
This hands-on approach is increasingly rare but encapsulates the beating heart of couture, the luxurious art of bespoke dresses.
On Thursday, the show provided plenty of sweet contradictions.
A square-shaped gold-embroidered jacket had a feel of 1930s Hollywood glamour, worn over a silver mesh ribbon collar style that might have been worn by New Romantics of the 1980s.
A cap sleeve column dress was sublimely simple with multicolored textured sequins and embroidery. Another vintage look – with a chainmail clasp – dripped fabulously under the weight of its pearls cascading into feathered locks.