So the street fashion and people watching was great at Issey Miyake, but Viktor & Rolf was fabulous!
Again on a lunch break I trotted over there, camera in hand and ready to shoot. I arrived at the edge of the Tuileries garden at the same time as Anna Del Russo. The slew of photographers all move around in a clump-like choreography just in front of their lenses’ subject. And the subject stops, smiles, poses and preens. Read more →
So the prêt-à-porter fashion week is looming up over us at this very moment… but before I launch into it, I absolutely must show you the Oscar Carvallo A/W 2013 couture collection that happened in July. It’s magical!
Article by Frank Cierpial
This Fashion Week has been an unforgettable experience. For the last five years, Frank in Paris and Frank in New York have been two different Franks. Let’s call them Frank and Franck. This Fashion Week was one of those rare moments where I was both of them as if I were flying between two different dimensions. I would go to school at Montclair State and study French and be Frank and then I would head to Manhattan to cover New York Fashion Week for Prete-Moi Paris and I would become Franck. The Franck that is in New York on business so to say; Erin Barr brings out the Franck in me. She brought it out last Fashion week when I went to her presentation and was riveted by what I saw. Read more →
The Thimister fashion show for the Spring and Summer 2012 collection was held in the 3rd arrondissement in Paris in the garage on rue de Turenne, where I saw Manish Arora last season (but still have not posted that article… le sigh…)
The invite for this show was intriguing to say the least, instructing us to all attend the défilé with clean hair and the picture of an elderly man with an 18th century wig on. Okaaaay…. It made me wonder what on EARTH they were going to do with our heads?!? Fortunately we were spared inspection and only the models had nylon covered heads, as if they walked the catwalk minus a wig. I am still slightly confused.
But I did enjoy the collection and the music, the atmosphere. A little bit of theatrics is always welcome!
…. Natural fibers, colors and raw styled garments ruled the Thimister Spring-Summer 2012 collection. Some of the models looked like they walked right out of a Japanese inspired story from several centuries ago. I especially like the wide cinched belts with straps and buckles (Please let the ciched waist stay in style, please!) as well as the simple lines and materials that seem to catch the movement of the walking models, and float upon it like feathers in the wind.
Set in a swanky hôtel particulier in the très chic 8th arrondissement, the Zuhair Murad presentation felt more like an opulent cocktail party than a fashion presentation. Ladies in fur coats sipping champagne rubbing elbow with the photographers and the designer himself, while about 15 models models worked a lighted circuit around the room. White-gloved service floated around offering bubbly and petit fours, in a room with lounge chairs for guests overlooking a luscious garden (in the middle of Paris, yes) and a second salon for viewing…
A white screen at one end and various chairs and seating arrangements were set up on the circumference of the room, where the models would sit for about one minute and then move over to the next chair, and would one by one pass in front of the white screen so that the photographers could get some great studio shot pictures of the clothing. As far as presentations go, this is the best idea I have seen yet.
As for the designer, زهير مراد , a Lebanese based artist (the Lebanese designers seem to be flocking to Paris fashion weeks these days), he certainly knows how to turn a woman into a goddess. He focuses on glamorous designs, haute couture, lavish creations and his work is pure luxury. With a boutique in Beirut, one in Paris and a showroom in Milan, and a list of Hollywood socialites and stars who wear his creations he’s fast become a red-carpet household name. It’s hard not to notice such extraordinary dresses that are fit for princesses.
The collection : ballet pinks and blacks with lace and chiffon and light airy creations, glamorous and stunning, with attention to the textures of fabrics, how the light plays on them, as well as deep plunging neck-lines and back-lines, long gowns and mini dresses that reveal almost the entire leg, lace that suggests not-so-discreetly the skin beneath… all with a silhouette that brings us back to what real stars used to look like, the Marylins, the Elizabeths, the Grace Kellys who had bodies worth dressing up. Enough with the waify baggy look, and more of this real lady look!
Mal-Aimée is actually a fashion brand, and there’s plenty to love… clothing made in France, attention to detail, young designers, interesting cuts, and a style identity that expresses itself from one season to the next.
This is not your mass-market brand, and thank goodness for that. It’s a youthful brand, and could use a little boosting from the fashion community in Paris for the designers are dedicated to a true search for quality, inspiration and style.
I was glad to see Jean Paul Cauvin at the presentation on March 8th 2011 at the palace hotel Le Crillon, as e was last season. I got up the nerve to approach him and ask him a few questions, and found and affirmation of my assumptions that he is a journalist who prefers to preoccupy himself with fashion designers who are more in the search of quality of design and product than with designers who are out to make a sensation for a few years for profit. He’s my kinda fashion journalist!!!
Concerning the collection, there’s similar cits from last season, but with a lot more « daring », and a more seasonal approach to material. Although I do find though that the articles tend to be out-of-season (shorts); but this is not the first brand I have seen do this for Fall and Winter collections this year.
French-Lebanese designer Dany Atrache’s couture line was « born » in 2000…
He says that his inspiration comes from his Arab heritage with it’s rich tapestry culture, and his style was perfected in prestigious Paris fashion houses by that French savoir-faire.
The Spring-Summer couture collection, shown at Le Meurice luxury hotel on January 26th 2011, has a Seventies theme running through it, seen in his use of flower power, mixed with a little bling for the disco nostalgics and a few pant ensembles to give a nod to womens’ liberation. But mostly this collection speaks of romance and feminine beauty.
….. For more (en français) : Check out Luxsure magazines article : Luxsure magazine
Fashion week descended upon Paris twice in the past two weeks…huh? Yep! Mens’ fashion, and then couture… the ladies are swooning by sheer overload of lovely things to oggle…
I got to attend the Songzio mens show, on January 23rd at the Bataclan, where I saw Tim Van Steenbergen last October, and where I was able to discover this time a Korean designer who incorporates a traditional « warrior » dress style into his line while making it fit into today’s fashion, and it works surprisingly enough. His palette is rather dark in this collection (for Autumn and Winter 2011-2012) with just a few (very few) flashes of red…(a splash of blood…?). His models were quite hooded by hats or hooded sweaters and coats, keeping that martial arts fighter stealth alive. I don’t know how popular on the street those shorts that always pop up in his collections will be…perhaps they were more shorts in Korea? But his coats are gorgeous on those boys… They flow around the knees just slightly as the men strode down the catwalk, and held a moody-broody stillness around the collar.
After a little research, I noticed that his collections don’t change too drastically from one season to the next, and I actually like this kind of designer, that has a particular style and sticks to it, to develop and perfect over time. Fads, are fads… it’s better to stay true to your own vision than try to follow the vision of the mass markets…. we all know how volatile those are!
The Galaries Lafeyette holds Friday fashion shows on their top floor for the visiting fashionistas and shoppers of the world.
It’s a great way to get ideas before you head out shopping (they are hoping you’ll do so in their department store) for what is hot in the current season. You’ll see picks and selections of what was shown on the runways put together with shoes and labeled for you in a program flyer with the specific floor indicated where you will find the items in the store. Set to music with lighting, beautiful models and a catwalk that curls around the entire room so that everyone can get a glance at the frocks, this is a fun activity to do amongst girlfriends or to bring your out-of-town visitors to for a taste of the Paris fashion culture.
(I posted the link below to find out how to attend)
Here’s a few of my picks from this seasons panorama :
This season focuses as you can see on the contrast of warm darks and bright colors, soaft blacks, reds, vibrant pinks etc…
Here you will find the instructions in English with an email and phone number to reserve (reservations a must). This collection will be shown until about February 2011 I believe.
(Also I didn’t watch the names fro each designer as I was juggling a camera…if you have any notion of some of the designers for the pics without a caption, leave it as a comment. Thanks!)
At the recent Prête-à-Porter fashion week in Paris at the beginning of October, I discovered a shoe designer who isn’t necessarily new to the fashion scene, but whom I had never known of before. Vicente Rey. Born in Galicia, Spain he studied fashion in Barcel ona and was an apprentice under ARIS, master shoe-maker, with whom he learned the traditional fabrication of shoes. Many refer to his creation as works of art, and they certainly would look pretty in a domed glass case in a museum, but I think they’d look even better on my feet!
Récemment à la Semaine de la Mode Prête-à-Porter à Paris au début d’octobre, j’ai découvert un créateur de chaussures qui, s’il n’est pas nécessairement nouveau sur la scène de la mode, moi je ne l’ai jamais connu auparavant. Vicente Rey. Né à Galicia en Espagne, il a étudié à Barcelone et a été jeune apprenti sous ARIS, maître bottier, avec qui il a appris la fabrication traditionnelle des chaussures. Son travail est considéré par beaucoup comme de l’art, et certes ses créations seront bien jolies sous verre dans un musée, mais je pense qu’elle seraient d’autant plus belles sur mes pieds!
Vicente Rey spent several years in Paris in his atelier-boutique at number 20 rue des Tournelles in the Marais, but left about a year ago to resource himself, find some down-time with family and to set up camp in Barcelona where his work originally began. He felt the need to get away from the stress of Paris and of the atelier-boutique where he had found himself spending all his time, working constantly.
Vicente Rey a passé quelques années à Paris dans son atelier-boutique au 20 rue des Tournelles dans le Marais, mais a quitté Paris il a un peu plus d’un an pour se ressourcer, trouver du temps de repos en famille et pour s’installer à Barcelone où se trouvent les origines de travail du créateur.
I contacted the award winning designer to ask for an interview and he graciously agreed. I began by referencing the design seen at the Estrella Archs fashion show for which she used a design made by Rey ‘s own hands. Lucky! Estrella Archs who knew Vicente’s work, came to him originally looking for a toe-shoe design but this proved to be too difficult for a fashion show; Vicente’s resulting design is even more original and delicate. It is a high heel without a heel (the support is wedged into the arch of the foot) that gives the illusion that one is walking on tip-toe like a ballerina, and the entire thing covered with pink tights so the line of the leg from the thigh to the ankle to the toe is completely unbroken. It is one long, smooth and graceful outline of the feminine leg which gives subtle yet incredible seductive powers! This stunning shoe was conceptualized and created in less than a month before the show in Paris. Impressive.
J’ai contacté le créateur primé lui demander un entretien et il a gracieusement accepté. J’ai commencé sur le sujet de son modèle que j’avais vu récemment au défilé d’Estrella Archs dans lequel elle chaussait ses mannequins/danseuses et qui a été créée à la main par Rey lui-même. Quelle chance! Estrella Archs qui connaissait le travail de Vicente l’avait contacté au début pour des chaussures en pointes de ballerine, mais cette forme aurait été trop difficile pour un défilé. Le design qui en résultait des mains de Vicente et encore plus délicat et original. C’est un talon sans talon (le support du pied est un cale sous la voûte plantaire) qui donne l’illusion que l’on marche sur la pointe des pieds comme une ballerine, et le tout couvert d’un collant rose pour donner une ligne ininterrompu de la cuisse au doigt de pied. Cela donne une jambe longe, lisse et gracieuse qui dispose de pouvoirs de séduction incroyables! Cette étonnante chaussure a été conçue et créée en moins d’un moins avant le défilé. Impressionnant.
The strong feminine aspect of this footwear differs greatly from what fans are used to seeing from the designer, meaning : one often sees articles that have a more sharper edge or angle to them along with his signature « nail » style heels that have an almost dangerous feel to them. The recent design that we saw at the Paris SS2011 fahsion week is not necessarily his very first of this type, he made one model last winter but with a lizard leather; and he said that he would like to work more with this specific heel design. Thank heaven!
L’aspect très féminine de ce modèle est bien différent à ce dont on a l’habitude de voir de ce créateur, c’est-à-dire, ses articles ont souvent un coté plus dangereux avec des contours plus dures et des pointes très accentuées avec son talon « clou ». Ce nouveau modèle vu récemment à la semaine de la mode Printemps-été 2011 à Paris n’est pas en réalité sa première chaussure de ce type, il en a fait l’hiver dernier mais avec un cuir lézard, et il a dit qu’il aimerait bien travailler encore plus avec cette forme de talon. Dieu merci!
I asked Vicente if this softer look was something that he felt he was moving into, for future collections. He replied that femininity was something that always spoke to him in his work. This new model that Estrella Archs used for her fashion show in Paris was inspired directly by ballerinas and the desire to be lifted up on the ball of the foot, to give a sens of lightness and weightlessness. « I love to play with balance » he said. Unfortunately this design may not ever see a production line nor a boutique shelf because it is a very delicate model to produce and wear because of the fragility of the tights that go with the design. Lucky for us shoe crazies, most of Vicente’s work is custom, so you could request this design if you fall in love with it!
J’ai demandé à Vicente si ce look plus doux allait devenir une mode chez lui, pour des collections futures. Il a répondu que la féminité est quelque chose qui lui parle toujours dans son travail. Ce modèle qu’Estrella Archs a pris pour son défilé à Paris a été inspiré directement par des ballerines (qui on défilé en dansant) et par le désire d’être soulevé sur le point du pied, pour donné une sensation de légèreté et d’apesanteur. « J’aime jouer avec l’équilibre » il a dit. Malheureusement il est bien possible que ce design en particulier ne verrait jamais de ligne de production ni d’étagère en boutique car il est très délicat à produire et porter à cause de la fragilité des collants qui vont avec. Heureusement pour nous les folles des chaussures, la plupart du travail de Vicente est sur-mesure, alors vous pourriez commandé ce modèle si vous en tombez amoureuse!
When asked if he considers himself an artist… he replied that he thinks of himself more as an « artisan ». But he is an artisan that designs and creates which is much less common. Most designers do not make more than a prototype, and most artisans don’t design. Vicente said that he likes to focus not only on the visual beauty of his pieces but also the comfort for the foot which he does a lot of in his custom-made work. « Working and creating with my hands is indispensable to me » he insisted. « And although I can’t do everything or make everything, I at least make my own models and prototypes ».
Quand il est interrogé sur si il se voit comme un artiste… il répondait qu’il se voit plus comme « artisan ». Mais c’est un artisan qui fait le design et la création de ses chaussures, ce qui est moins courant. La plupart des designers ne font pas plus qu’un prototype, et la plupart des artisans ne font pas le design de leur travail. Vicente a dit qu’il aime se focaliser non seulement sur la beauté visuelle des ses pièces mais aussi sur le confort du pied, qui est un grand partie de son travail sur-mesure. « Travailler et créer avec mes mains m’est indispensable » il a insisté. « Et même si je ne sais pas tout faire, je fais au moins les prototypes ».
So what inspires him in general? « It all depends » he said. « I start by working with volumes and then the materials and I see what the material does what shapes it can take. »
Alors qu’est-ce qui l’inspire en général? « Tout dépend » il a dit. « Je commence en travaillant les volumes et puis les matériaux et je vois quelle forme il prend ».
And what about the strong permeation of theater and dance into his work? He explained that his very first shoe design (made without knowing anything about shoe design) was his final project for the end of his studies, and it was a shoes with forged metal which he said was « impossible to walk in! ». BUT the shoes were worn by dancers who had a choreographed sequence on the catwalk, and much to his surprise they were able to move quite well (with practice) in them! As for theatrics, in order to pay for his education he made costumes for theater and tango dance productions that sought him out. Or maybe « It’s my culture that gives this theatrical aspect » but his work is not inspired directly from theater and dance, it just seems to ooze out from his creations all by itself!
Et pourquoi une si forte influence de théâtre et de danse dans son travail? Il a expliqué que son premier design de chaussure (créé sans avoir jamais fait de chaussure avant) était le projet final de ses études, et c’était des chaussures avec un talon au métal forgé qu’il disait » impossible à marcher avec! » MAIS les chaussures ont été portées par des danseuses qui défilaient à une chorégraphie, et à son grand étonnement elles ont trouvé le moyen de danser gracieusement (après répétition bien sûr) avec! Et pour le coté théâtral, pour payer ses études il créé des costumes pour le théâtre et des spectacles de danse de tango qui lui ont recherché. Ou peut-être « c’est mon culture qui me donne cet aspect théâtral » mais son travail n’est pas inspiré directement par la danse et le théâtre, il semble que son travail le suinte tout seul!
Although Vicente loves Paris, he doesn’t foresee a move back here soon, nor for an indefinite period. Ideally he love to be able to come for a few months at a time, and then spend a few months in Barcelona, and then a few months somewhere else. Sounds somewhat nomadic to me…it’s no wonder he creates shoes!
Bien que Vicente aime Paris, il ne se voit pas y retourner bientôt, ni d’une manière permanente. Idéalement il aimerait pouvoir venir pour quelques mois à la fois, et puis passer quelques mois à Barcelone, et puis aller quelque part d’autre. Cela me semble un peu nomade, non?… ce n’est pas étonnant alors qu’il crée des chaussures!