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Energized Fashion in Paris

20151005

Hundreds of new looks, shows and presentations were photographed in recent weeks in New York, London and Milan. Now, with the energy levels of the top models, shoppers and journalists running low, everyone rallied their strengths one last time for the summer 2016 collections in Paris. Welcome to the climax of this year’s fashion weeks!
Alexander McQueen Sarah Burton peers into Victorian flower gardens inspired by the silk weavers of 17th-century Spitalfields. As Protestant Huguenots, the weavers had fled to London’s East End from France. Even McQueen’s own family was partly descended from them. Burton’s small memorials to admired former patrons have remained and are closely intertwined in the romantic floral patterns with the history of London. They bear her unique style more than ever this spring. Maison Margiela John Galliano transgressed in 2011. His anti-Semitic tirade ended with him being sacked from Dior and even at his own label, John Galliano S.A., his co-workers would have preferred to carry on without their head designer. Now he appears to have got back on his feet again. Since October 2014, he has been Creative Director at Maison Margiela and his spring 2016 collection is a return to himself and his creative madness: Geisha-look meets science fiction. Following Martin Margiela’s style seems to be of little interest to him. Balenciaga Alexander Wang presented his designs for Balenciaga in 50 shades of ivory: they might well enter the label’s annals as a lingerie collection. Silk, lace, transparent fabrics, bows, ribbons and basques, combined with slippers with transparent lace toes and floral appliqué. Shades of ivory, all harmonious. Elfin, with his hair flowing free, Wang ran down the catwalk after the show, waved, blew kisses and took selfies. It was the last collection of his three-year contract, which has now come to an end. It will take Balenciaga a while to find someone who can fill his shoes. Comme des Garcons Rei Kawakubo is once again the one to define the boundaries of fashion. Yikes! Is that really a piece of clothing? Or are these “blue witches” with fiery red hair actually transforming sculptures? The designer herself sees them as strong women who often do good without being noticed. Dior People have lots of questions at the moment. As does Dior designer Raf Simons. In an age when so much happens so quickly, he lights a beacon of calm. In the middle of the Louvre’s Cour Carrée with a mound of opaque, blue delphiniums, he invited guests into a white room of the future with four blue cranes bearing floodlights. The accompanying fashion played out very much in the here and now: in a nutshell, it embodied romance, purity and consideration of what is most important.

Fashion Marathon in Paris

For Akris Albert Kriemler was again influenced by architecture, which revealed itself in a play-off between asymmetry and straightforwardness. Haider Ackermann sought for surprise this year with the colours he chose. Hair looked jarringly ’80s and was combined with garish trousers and shimmering satin dresses. Celine’s Creative Director Phoebe Philo was contemplative: which clothes do we really need? How do we feel in them? She followed her instinct and that’s precisely the direction in which she is developing the label. Very feminine. Very appealing. Very long-lasting. The bread and butter of fashion is how Alber Elbaz described his collection for Lanvin. Precise cuts and his typical black-and-white shades dominate. The “jam” of the collection comes in the form of huge bows and frills that decorate the occasional piece. Flamboyance was the starting point for the creations of Dries van Noten. Colour and pattern are part of the fashion designer’s DNA, after all. This year he deploys them very energetically.  
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