FALL COLLECTIONS • TOP FIVE PARIS
by Jeremy Danté
many consider paris the fashion capital of the world. and while that may be true in some senses, can that still be the case in today’s age? with the globalization of fashion, style influence drips from many corners of the globe, spanning far beyond the city of paris, france. considering it’s enriched history of fashion, and national accreditation of age old techniques, this season; i took a different look at paris. in understanding cultural nuances from city to city. there’s an air of effortlessness that i look for with style. there is a presence of things falling together in all the right ways that i love so much. during show season, i look for the same ease, but also look for intention. i think concept during show season is what really drives my selection process. the ways that design is being reinterpreted- it’s important to follow these changes. such change represents the evolution of our thinking in how we view ourselves as people. with ease and great intention, here is paris.
BALENCIAGA the house of balenciaga feels new again. with the installment of alexander wang as creative director, the label is slowly becoming an evolution of modernized womenswear. not that the label lacked such innovation prior; but there is a gritty, darker edge to the clothes which i love. leave it to an american in paris to deliver such an aesthetic. delivering the best diversity that paris had to offer this season, the range of ethnicities that was involved for runway casting was another aspect that i couldn’t help but feel the american influence. the collection had piercing inspiration, as a modern take on old age style was seen. it’s always interesting, the approach with age in high fashion. there is a clientele that is of greater age range, but then there is this need to appeal to the younger demographic. the challenge is to appeal to both audiences without isolating the one or the other. a true challenge of design and beauty, this collection and wang as an artist really understands how to weld the two worlds together. for one woman, the designs appear regal and to the young girl, the designs seem cool. with balenciaga, this season, age defiance is seen in the styling. the seriousness of the collection clothing became accented with youth by accessories. the boots and gloves mixed with the voluminous outerwear of the collection. a rooted inspiration of the houses code, reminiscent of the cocoon coat from 1957. beautiful broaches and pins literally pierced through the collection pieces, almost allowing a leak of new to seep from each look. beautiful attention to texture in the collection, with strict use of color palette. my favorite collection this season, of all the fashion capitals.
BALMAIN the balmain army was in full force this show season. boldly taking on the fall show season with enriched colors that rival spring; the collection presented another notch of feminine glamour from the vision of olivier rousting. another collective of diversified ethnicity representing style in a real way. the house of balmain under rousting has reach a new plateau of relevance. with the youth of their creative director at the root of their strength, a new concentration of publicity has swirled around the house. from musical artists in the front row, to casting them for the house campaigns from season to season, there is a true visibility for the house. while other labels can seem forced, balmain remains powerfully intentional. in fashion the idea of creating a woman that represents the spirit of the clothes, and the history of the house is not uncommon. the balmain woman is self assured, powerful and a go-getter. you feel that energy in the casting, you feel it in the shows, and even beyond the models- the clothes take on stand alone form with their use of color, cut and extravagance. with a bit of new wave feel, there is an elegance in the concepts introduced; it feels almost 80’s but in this way that is digestable of today’s style scene. silhouette was kept sensual for the season, and all around- this shit was just pretty. fashion can be psychological, and reach beneath the surface; but it’s always dope to see something undeniably pretty. and that this was.
HAIDER ACKERMANN in speaking to the effortlessness of style, comes haider ackermann. representing cohesion from season to season; there is a menswear/womenswear hybrid aesthetic about his collections. what i will say of ackermann is that his castings usually lack diversity, but this season there was a slight change. as one of those houses that is so luxurious they don’t even shoot campaigns, there is an almost high fashion underground feel of the ackermann label. there is a vivid, defined woman at ackermann, and the gloves, the blazers and the plunging neckline are all in her repertoire. there is a commonality in the collections i choose from paris, and all really encapsulate a certain darkness. ackermann delivers that sense of dark seduction each season. there is a refined quality that speaks to the upper echelon of high society, reflected in his price points at retail; but there is a true presence. i think it’s such an art form to combine concepts with cast, while also understanding that both have their own singular power. fashion and design is really about etching an identity, it’s about creating a lifestyle with elements that create a bigger picture. they create comfort, and they speak to the unspoken truths of what appeals to not only the mind, but the eye. this season’s collection had a much more hard egdged feel to it. another unique identifier of ackermann, are his silhouettes. it’s almost like a coloring book, you can use whatever colors you want- so long as you stay within the lines. this approach creates a design identity. the structure of such form is visible in ackermann’s work.
STELLA MCCARTNEY the talk of ease in style which i mention was seen in the stella mccartney collection this season. while i’ve long loved the things mccartney does with print; this season, i was particularly interested in what she did with grey, and also with faux fur. a master of concept and execution- the designs are often flawless. a little slinky sweater, a slouchy silhouette to something more closely held to the body, stella knows what she’s doing. the palette for this season was, for the most part, controlled. lines in the collection shed drama in extension, which i really loved i think womenswear has done really dope shit with shapes and lengthening the female form is a goal for most women. that lengthening says power, it expresses strength. there is a fluidity to the lines seen in a stella mccartney collection and here, this season, those lines were as beautiful as ever. diversity was well represented in model casting, and i loved the ways that skin was shown in a sophisticated but still sexy way. a really strong collection for women, by a woman and one who knows what works both in the market place, and privately in every day use of function for the modern day, style conscious woman. excited to see how these pieces will be used for editorial, as well as how they will be depicted in the seasons campaign. much of this seasons collections seem to rely on bold color stories, and i enjoyed the fact that stella really allowed for a story to be told in a different way this fall.
VALENTINO a fashion house free of gimmicks, and always serving the ultra luxe forms of sophsitcation- the house of valentino another beautiful collection for the fall/winter 2015 show season in paris. spurring into a set of black and white collections pieces, the color story of the collection lightened up with a earth tones. in speaking to the silhouettes of collections existing as the lines and the detailing of textiles acting as colors; valentino is another label that has expertise in creating a feel in this way. since valentino garavani’s retirement, maria grazia chiuri and pier paolo piccioli have sourced their choice silhouettes from the house archives. the 60’s brought the debut of the house of valentino, and some of his most iconic designs were created during this era. the vintage component of influence and modernization in detailing is what propels the house of valentine forward today. excellently managed on the digital front, the house regularly debuts collections via live stream, and there is a consistent feel from womenswear to menswear. both collections share a likeness of style, while each is individualized in a really beautiful way. an array of print and details were seen- everything from dragons to florals. while i love the collection, and admire consistency at this high a level from a fashion house; i would love to see greater forms of modernization plugged in. there is an air of the demure in the clothes. it’s all very innocent, and while we’re talking about image and modernization, i think it would be interesting to see a bit more sex appeal. nothing vulgar; something more suggestive. but maybe that’s me speaking to my youth, and as someone cultured by a modern day approach. a strong collection and beautiful addition to the archives of valentino; i am expecting a romantic, soft and feminine campaign to follow. would love to see some of the romantic design details plugged into something more sleek and innovative. that zoolander ending was unnecessary. take the fashion comedy to moschino.
visit style.com for full collection coverage of the FW15 season
click image to view collection gallery