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Paris Fashion Week: Day 5

By FashionUnited

Mar 8, 2015

Junya Watanabe's autumn/winter 15 collection will be challenging to those who cannot see beyond wearability. Watanabe said he was “exploring dimensionality through clothing,” executed in cut, fold and construction. Circular Chinese paper lanterns or 3D incarnations of Victor Vasarely paintings started to blossom over the body accompanied by bulbous-headed wigs by Tomihiro Kono. One model even had her head completely obscured by a spherical helmet of pleat and fold. This was technical artistry at its best.

Haider Ackerman presented a lean multi-layered graphic lineup of streetwise pieces. There were leather pleated skirts, pieced, wrapped and cut asymmetrically teamed with cropped blouson jackets, skinny leather leggings and loosely tied blouses. An interesting juxtaposition of prints saw checkerboards patterns, animal prints, zigzagging tweeds and small masculine checks melded together in coats and trousers. Ackermann said he thought about “the failures of life” when he began designing this collection “When you have to repair, stitch, you take old tweeds and do a patchwork.”

Veronique Leroy was inspired by a 1986 documentary about hierarchy by Belgian director Chantal Ackerman. The first look was an azure leather coat worn over a flared pleated trouser and jacket in a shade of sand. Azure was the colour that kept popping up, as did a California red, black, sand and mustard, as seen on a textured coat piped in black.

Vivienne Westwood is the queen of historical referencing, draping and tiresome campaigner of environmental issues. Mix them all together and for most designers it would be a hotchpotch of clothes to which most editors would be indifferent, but for Westwood there is always a soft spot, lending one's eye and ear. This collection was called 'Unisex,' and saw women in mannish coats and tailoring and boys in knitted dresses. Was it odd, yes. Was it wearable, likely not. Was it typical Dame Westwood, a resounding yes.

It was Guillaume Henry's first outing as creative director of Nina Ricci. Previously at Carven, Henry took over the reigns of the house known for its feminine and romantic aesthetic. But there was little romance on the catwalk, which saw a collection of soft restraint in mostly neutral colours, bar the shimmering of sequins. There was a sense of masculinity, as seen in the generously cut outerwear, or the loose fits of a shift dress. This wasn't quite the debut as Gucci or Maison Margiela this season, but Henry made it his own, with models sporting undone hair, low heels and general less-is-more in his styling.