Paris Fashion Week loudly knocked on people’s doors ready to present a number of designers’ ready-to-wear autumn–winter 2012–13 collections on February 28. As the temperature finally increased and as the sun timidly peeked from behind the grey clouds in the beautiful Parisian atmosphere, people were prepared for a wonderful nine-day event that would take them on a literal fashionable journey.
It was an exquisite way to begin with designer Fátima Lopes on February 28, in an early sunny, breezy afternoon. The designer majestically commenced Paris Fashion Week with her A Fleur de Peau Collection.
Lopes’s brand was born in Lisbon in 1992. In 1996, her first international store opened its doors on the rue de Grenelle in one of Paris’s chicest districts. The designer’s international voyage was not going to stop there: by 2003 she opened a store in the famous Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.
A stylish fashion-oriented crowd made its way amongst a number of curious tourists through the Cour d’honneur into the fabulous Salle Turenne in the historic Hôtel National des Invalides in Paris’s seventh arrondissement. The recently renovated room located within the grand and historic site is a beautiful venue with high ceilings, traditional walls with fantastic murals, and a shiny, red background, an extra special element added for the show.
The young Portuguese fashion designer certainly proved how chic and elegant provocative and sensual fashion can look on a woman’s body. Julie Sevilla Fraysse opened the show as she beautifully played various tunes from classical to rock on her cello. The harmonious sound of her instrument chimed within the venue’s walls.
Five models stepped out on the catwalk and were ready to walk down the runway together in unison. Lopes’s theme revolved around ‘morphology’, using colour and form of each outfit in an almost scientific way. The designer plunged into a new realm and decided to study a woman’s body by adding and taking away certain proportions. The materials and stunning elegant colours she used from head-to-toe were chosen to create a strikingly self-assured woman with composure, from the way she walks to the way she carries herself.
The artistic show conveyed a fiercely stunning femme fatale in each look that emerged on the runway. Long cat-like red nails, and fiery and luscious flaming red lips roused precisely perfect elements to each ensemble. Streaks of black under the bottom eyelids gave the impression of long lower eyelashes, adding a strikingly eerie effect. The hair was tightly pulled back into a chignon accompanied by a hat pinned down to barely cover the eyes; such a factor portrayed a sophisticatedly flamboyant show. There were painted silks, tooled leather and beautiful chiffon that embraced the woman’s body revealing long, lean legs.
The designer’s intention was to present not only the clothes but metaphorically to show off a woman’s nude physique. As the first show of the week that proved to be quite a success in and of itself, we were more than excited to see other designers take over the fashion scene.
As crowds of people fiercely fluttered from one fashion show to the next there was a sense of excitement that flickered in the air; after months of waiting the time has come to finally see what designers had in store for them for the new season.
Corrado de Biase
Corrado de Biase had a different approach to a feminine fashion appeal, with the constant mix and match of black and -white along with shades of grey.
The designer derives from a long list of past work experiences and has taken his talent and skills to a higher level in creating his own fashion line. His haute couture collection was presented in 2010 in the city where his journey in fashion once began, Roma.
Sitting in the smaller and more discreet venue at le Loft Sévigné in Paris, we were ready to set off into Corrado’s artistic realm.
The Italian native presented spectators with an inevitable wonder of surprise. The ensembles played with cuts and lengths of certain materials to add a unique touch to each look. The almost three-dimensional floral patterns were beautifully projected, adding a deep sense of femininity to the designs; the metallic silver was a highly inventive and almost futuristic touch to the collection. Hair was loosely pulled away from the eyes to reveal simple burgundy lips with natural touched eyes.
The small venue brought the clothes, the spectators and the designer together creating an intimate approach in the world of fashion. It allowed us to experience Corrado’s world from his eyes and amongst his own universe.
Steffie Christiaens was the last designer to introduce her collection on the first day of Paris Fashion Week. We have already experienced an impeccably flawless woman with Fátima Lopes, we saw Corrado de Biase’s rendition of a simple and casual “tomboy” woman, and now we see a complicated and whole new appeal to each of the previous looks with Christiaens’s delicately refined ensembles on the runway.
The designer took over the Éspace Commines in Paris and transformed it into a fabulous fashion scene as the catwalk wrapped around the audience’s perimeter. The designer revealed the idea of how even a funky look can still be stylish and graceful. The young Dutch fashion designer studied fashion design at Artez Academy of Visual Arts in Arhem, Netherlands in 2004–8. In 2007, she was at the Maison Martin Margiela in Paris. It wasn’t until 2010 that she founded her own fashion label where naturally original and tentative elements are transformed into sophisticated allure.
Her new collection was inspirational, deriving from ‘ice’. The first few looks were mainly black but represented the designer’s take on various shapes and designs that a woman can wear and still look feminine and chic. Soon, cooling colours from red, grey, beige and white emerged. The stylishly creative pieces flowed on the wide catwalk. Soft silk material draped casually on the woman’s body, creating a structural shape, and form as fur attachments added more of an extra aspect and dimension.
Wildly large transparent accessories portrayed immense creativity from the designer’s perspective. Soon new features continued to flare as each ensemble was accompanied by huge platform heels, giving off a monumental effect.
The show was a perfect way to end the day with Christiaens’s approach to certain techniques bringing flirtatious and charming elements.
Fashion weeks in general provide an array of possible pieces and looks for people to choose from, no matter what their tastes in fashion might be. So far we have seen looks ranging from incredibly elegant, comfortably chic and artistically divine, but there is always room for a little fun in fashion.
Dévastée put a special twist to many of the glamorous elements presented during fashion week. The fashion show’s venue was a little secret, located literally under the famous Pont d’Alexandre, guiding spectators through a fabulous small entrance leading into the spacious room itself where all the action is set to take place.
Dévastée’s two young designers, Ophelie Klere and François Alary, began their endeavour into the world of fashion back in 2003, and they have succeeded in putting an edge to la mode in a marvellously humorous way. The smeared dark black lips stretching all the way to the eyes presented a shocking yet slightly melancholic effect. The tightly pulled high-buns clearly revealed sudden sad expressions. The considerably dark ensembles included patterns of various designs from half-cut lemons, scissors, hands, spoons, crosses, ghosts and a number of other features that unexpectedly made us smile.
The looks might be described as an acquired taste but the designers effectively put a creative touch on the catwalk. From pants to dresses a little above the knee, each piece was a comfortable loose fit for the models. •