By THOMAS ADAMSON – AP Fashion Writer
PARIS (AP) — Fendi’s ultra-white, sanitized catwalk for once put couture, not decor, 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 see every bead, sequin and spliced disguise behind this stunning fall exhibition.
The Italian house’s designer, Kim Jones, wanted to “step away from Rome” with creations that shuttled from Japan between different eras, cities, memories and cultures.
Haute couture is the centuries-old Parisian tradition of creating bespoke garments at exorbitant prices for the world’s richest people.
Here are some highlights from Thursday’s Fall Winter 2022 collections, which featured several emerging brands:
“We’re looking at fragments of different cities, namely Kyoto, Paris and Rome,” Jones said. “The fragmentary nature of things echoes everywhere… like scraps of memory.”
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Jones went back in time and back to the studio, in a show that revisited old-school crafting techniques — with aplomb.
18th century Kyoto kimono fabric – beautifully patterned – has been striped and sharded to construct an abstract gray and beige dress with a clean white sporty collar. Like many looks in this collection, it also had a futuristic feel.
A touch of sheer tulle dresses with Japanese maple leaves was the exception that proved the rule in this tasteful overall collection that used humor and design quirks to keep up the energy levels.
The shimmering floor-length dresses were the pinnacle of creativity, aesthetics and fun. A dazzling floor-length silver tectonic panel dress wore another dress that incredibly hung from his back and swept the floor a second time.
THE ART OF THE INVITATION
The email age and increasing environmental awareness have had little impact on the fashion industry’s invite code.
Season after season, gas-guzzling couriers criss-cross Paris to personally deliver lavish, often hand-crafted, show invitations while top houses vie for the craziest or most imaginative idea.
Olivier Rousteing’s invitation to his one-of-a-kind Jean Paul Gaultier couture featured a one-metre black diagonal branded ribbon encasing a card. It was held in place by a white couture pin. Sure enough, in Wednesday’s high-energy presentation – the wrapped diagonal ribbons, seen on a catwalk, look life-size.
For Fendi, a hollow white architectural arch revealed the house logo through its window. While Schiaparellis featured a studio sketch of a floral adorned woman with a wide-brimmed hat and gold bracelet—styles that defined the aesthetic of Daniel Roseberry’s fall collection.
JULIE DE LIBRAN DRIPPING IN COUTURE
Months after opening her first Parisian boutique, another up-and-coming woman, Julie de Libran, was in an eclectic mood. Fall was a chic display with lots of sparkle and a little bit of everything.
Set in a leafy courtyard garden with sweet-scented jasmine blooming to one side, the collection conveyed an intimate feel.
In fact, intimacy and the personal touch are the hallmarks of the designer, who has hosted clients and reporters at her Left Bank home for shows and fittings since opening her home in 2019. This practical approach is becoming increasingly rare but embodies the beating heart of couture, the luxurious art of made-to-measure dresses.
On Thursday, the show made for many gentle contradictions.
A square gold embroidered jacket had a sense of 1930s Hollywood glam worn over a silver mesh band collar that might have been worn by the New Romantics of the 1980s.
A cap sleeve column dress was sublimely sheer with multicolored textured sequins and embroidery. Another vintage look – with a chain neck clasp – dripped fabulously under the weight of its pearls cascading in feathery strands.
A contemplative stage design – worthy of a play – awaited the guests at the autumn exhibition of Japanese couture upstart Yuima Nakazato.
It was entitled “BLUE”. That was the color of the gigantic chunks of fabric in the set, strewn across the stage and catwalk, setting the tone of contemplation, peace and harmony – which seeped into couture.
There was also more than a hint of a distant Star Trek planet in the abstract blobs of blue that models walked by. Indeed, Nakazato’s work revolves around technology, and the house says he uses non-gendered creations to “explore the future of clothing.”
Long, flowing silk forms, tied or crossed at the waist, gently inspired by Asian clothing styles. But there was something otherworldly about its sheer whiteness and the softness of its silhouette. So sheer was the silk on a pair of puffy white sleeves that the model’s mere steps made it float weightlessly in the air.
Colorful abstract shapes – like giant shiny brooches – were placed at the waist or neck of several looks, in blues, purples and golds like a sea creature or a beautiful extraterrestrial life-form that had been carried along.
GEORGE’S CHAKRA GETS SOME SUN
Veteran Lebanese couturier Georges Chakra treated guests to a glittering open-air rooftop exhibition to cap off autumn – overlooking the iconic Arc de Triomphe – in dresses that followed the hues of the rainbow.
The sun was shining, the satin was glistening and the light tulle skirts were fluttering by.
Translucent black feathers floated above a soft black “cage” ball top that cut a thoughtful silhouette. Other looks were purely fitted va-va-vum, including a billowing red satin floor-length gown with a slit skirt with straps and voluminous layers that was classic in its beauty.
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Fendi wraps up fashion week and heads East in a culture-hopping show | lifestyles
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