A series of debuts took Paris fashion week by storm, bringing a new energy to brands-in-waiting.
Harris Reed at Nina Ricci
At Nina Ricci, the French fashion house notorious for its L’Air du Temps fragrance, British designer Harris Reed brought bold glamour and high octane femininity. Mr Reed, who at 26 years old has quickly ascended to the peak of fashion’s echelons, is on a mission to deliver magnified femininity to the runway. While his energy is thoroughly infectious, some consider his pouffe sleeves creations, bon bon wraps and dazzling gowns erring on camp. Others have gone as far to label it as ‘corny drag’.
In Paris where sophistication is revered over styling, Mr Reed is yet to blossom into the role of a craftsman and not just a showman or stylist, however inclusive his show casting.
Nina Ricci is notably a house with a high turnover of creative directors, with an average tenure lasting just over three years since 2002. It will take a few seasons for the designer and maison to fall in sync. Or out.
Schiaparelli RTW debut
Daniel Roseberry debuted his first ready-to-wear collection for Schiaparelli, which played with the brand’s surrealist heritage with the same imaginative spirit that he so boldly set for its haute couture. This translated into brilliant usage of bijoux, hardware and accessories - and cone bras. Even without the unquantifiable je ne sais quoi of couture, there was plenty of innovation and elan to give the ready-to-wear its own signatures.
These came in a jersey dress with a keyhole cut-out, the turbans reminiscent of Ms Elsa Schiaparelli’s own wardrobe, and the mismatched gold buttons that adorned jackets, coats and daywear pieces, like denim and velvet separates. The house codes were all there, with the exception of the giant animal heads that caused a furore during the haute couture collections in January.
While Mr Roseberry’s couture pieces may be less likely to be seen on the streets, the duvet parkas, denim jackets and little black dresses are clothes that can be worn with ease, and they still have the Schiap treatment.
Ludovic de Saint Sernin at Ann Demeulemeester
The lean, androgynous silhouette that became a mainstay of the Ann Demeulemeester brand was a continued lexicon in the debut collection by French designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin.
A black tailored suit with elongated white cuffs peeking out from its sleeves summarised the iconic styling Ms Demeulemeester cemented and made famous.
Fitted ankle length woollen dresses, with buttons open to the navel, and sleek floor length skirts, some teamed with a simple feather bustier, exemplified the long and lean lines of a Demeulemeester cut.
Mr de Saint Sernin’s own vernacular, of the chain mail vests and hot pants, made way for the sinuous and transparent, like a twisted halter neck gown in see-through silk or knitted wool mesh.
Accessories came in plush shearling bags and chunky riding boots with belts, making a clear statement the house intends to sell a full range of ready-to-wear and accessories.
This first collection was a respectful and beautiful celebration of the legacy of Ann Demeulemeeser. De Saint Sernin’s own codes are yet to trickle through, but this was a promising debut.