Saturday, September 27, 2014

PFW: The two sides of the spectrum

Loewe S/S '15; image source:
Jonathan Anderson's debut at Loewe opened Paris Fashion Week's fourth day with a bang. Staged at the infamous Japanese Garden created by sculptor Isamu Noguchi, the show's easy-breezy mood lit up every attendee's face and brought a new strong contender to the luxury market, mind that the Spanish brand is actually owned by LVMH and there is no other way of unfolding the events.

So far the house has been focused on rather heavy leather pieces which were still present, but in a much lighter sense. A shapeless suede dress in ivory with attached panels looked one third of its weight; diagonally-slashed pants and upside bateu neck shirts made of cotton appeared as second skin; gathered harem pants could almost be mistaken as sweatpants, and immaculately finished knit tops gave out an even greater sense of comfort.

Not everything was as successful though. Case in point - the black cotton dress with colorful shreds shown on the left which I believe is the silliest piece of clothing I have seen in years. The list is completed with the addition of those flesh-colored latex T-shirts printed with iconic Loewe landscapes and the not-so-flattering mid-waist leather pants that were probably shown in every color imaginable. But then again, Mr. Anderson is a young designer with a lot more to learn and judging by the positive moments of the show, he is off to a great start.

On the other side of the spectrum was Christian Dior, a mega brand reinvented more than two years ago by Belgian designer Raf Simons which seems to be standing in one place. So much, that Mr. Si-mons decided to adapt his last couture show for the brand into a ready-to-wear collection. Excuse my repulsion but I am a firm believer in moving forward and no matter how beautiful the clothes, a col-lection should never be repeated. Especially not when it's a watered down version of its predecessor.
Christian Dior S/S '15; image source:
Also, the clothes weren't that beautiful. There were some perfectly crafted basic pieces like the crisp white shirts and pants which opened the show and several leather trenches in gray and chocolate hues, but as soon as those balloon shaped flower skirts paired with jersey tanks hit the runway you knew there was a problem. As an experienced designer, Mr. Simons should know better than to showcase a failed experiment whose construction needs do not allow it to be part of a mass-produced collection. His bravery is to be admired, but some things need to stay right where they belong.

I remember back in 2012 when the designer got the gig at Dior he made a statement about wanting to put the French house on the same level with Chanel in terms of recognition. Well, congratulations to him, I guess, because he just staged the ultimate highly-produced, long and pointless show like his competitor that was short on intimacy on account of profitability. A real case of couture for the less rich.

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