Sunday, 4 October 2009


Well, actually, this is not much of a weekend. Fashion Week is work work and work (not even parties: after having ran all day long in heels a party is just an extension of daytime's work).
So yesterday was another day filled with shows. I would also say it was the most "intellectual" day of the week, with most designers reflecting upon the human condition in various ways. Viktor & Rolf followed their trademark style but were nevertheless surprising and very much in the "air du temps" with their collection inspired by...the credit crunch. There were endless tulle millefeuilles arranged in all senses and defying gravity, and ball gowns dissected in every possible way. The colour palette was gorgeous. It was a beautiful allegory of the abrupt end of a red-carpet event. The collection will be the star of every glossy magazine. Apart from that, the more discreet and less spectacular numbers (that appeared on the catwalk before the ball gowns) were lovely and well-executed, a reminder of Viktor & Rolf's hidden talent when it comes to designing wearable pieces.

I have been a fan of Sophia Kokosalaki since her very first collections. This wonderful Greek designer has explored many different territories lately, but yesterday's show saw her going back to her best feature: the calm, well-proportioned beauty inspired by ancient Greece. There were several tones of white, an interesting work in fabric (although that's no news: her work on draping has always been quite unique). It was well into the delicate, feminine-but-not-girly mood that dominates this summer's collections. Covetable.

Ann Demeulemeester has had a cult following for quite some time; but I had never seen her fans as excited as yesterday. It was a beautiful show, whith beautiful music and a beautiful mood. Demeulemeester says she always starts shaping her collections through emotions. The central theme to this one was "caged birds", and it captured perfectly the paradox of restrained freedom. Chains, wing prints and black leather were the central elements to a show in which there was much uncovered flesh, but that was never overly sexy.

Comme des Garçons was not only dark and different as it always is, but Rei Kawakubo amazed everyone by criticizing the consummerism fever that reigns in the fashion system... Through sense of humour. Beautiful patchwork was present in almost every look and shoulder pad shapes appeared in the weirdest places. Appearently it was an irony about the current shoulder pad fever. Knowing Kawakubo's relevance and influence in the industry, I can predict the end of this 80's-inspired shoulder-pad obsession very, very soon (luckily!)

I find Jean-Paul Gaultier an unsettling designer. At times he has had absolute genious moments and presented some of the most memorable collections of fashion history, to which he has contributed in many ways. He is still as great as ever, no doubt, but yesterday's show didn't do him justice. In a sort of urban style inspired by the bling bling of big American cities, at times Gaultier toyed a bit too much with the concept of bad taste, and the rest of the time he went back to some of his most iconic creations (corsets of exaggerated shapes and "marinière" t-shirts), but stayed at all times far from the subtlety and deep research that he usually shows. Coming from such a great designer, it was bleak.

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