Since more exotic fashion weeks started catching our eye and interest (Seoul, Islamabad, …) we’ve been more tempted to see Paris as a declining place of fashion. Add to that the numerous scandals involving star designers and the hovering crisis of french creative renewal and you start having doubts about whether the spot is hot anymore. The more we frenchies at The Boulevardiers are proud of our french fashion tradition, the more we tend to cast a severe watch at the ongoing Paris Fashion Week SS13.
To be specific, we’ve been wondering if the promising talents brought to light these past seasons would hold up to our hopes. Watching the first shows this week, we’ve given a sharper look at emerging talents… Rick Owens, Bouchra Jarrar, Carven, Dries Van Noten, and Anthony Vaccarello for instance. Let’s say it bluntly: a handful have surprised us with their developments, while others are quite disappointedly dull. Most of the scène parisienne seems to be searching for A Fantasy Woman, all the while overlooking the fact that women have become complex and multifacetted. As a matter of fact, we are now tired of seeing Womenswear being a sexually fantasized projection of a woman. We think Women deserve a fashion proposition with multiple layers of interpretation, dense creativity and consistent yet complex character, instead of a segmented offer of gimmicks showed in loops. Let us state it again, why not take a glimpse at other sectors of culture (cinema and tv for example) for new processes of creativity?
Cédric Charlier made it into our watchlist when he boosted Cacharel back into modernity. His honest and radical search for simplicity might have been his undoing at the legendary french label, but it is now his best asset. This SS13 collection goes off the road at every corner and that’s how we like it. The poetry is contemporary, the technicity is confident but not arrogant. To be continued!
With Anthony Vaccarello, winner of the ANDAM 2011 prize, ultra-sexy is still the catch. So we expected a redundant show, reshaping his iconic very little pieces of fabric. But the finale surprised us with this jungle texture and a very organic and reptile sensuality. Anthony Vaccarello keeps up with the promises he’s shown so far by inviting some vice into his definition of seduction. Isn’t that how we know parisian girls after all?
Dries Van Noten. Is a genius at patterns, right. Well he still is. Let’s say he’s shown a very sharp trendsbook, as usual… Actually, we’re wondering if anything else was ever expected from the belgian star?
When Carven hired Guillaume Henry, everything started ticking again in the old lady. With some mischievous talent, he keeps startling us. Going further over the perspective of the parisian cutie one can always notice around Saint Sulpice in Pairs, he lets a falsely vintage power-girl walk out, with a metropolitan modernity, and a knack for erasing borders. In this very parisian show, there were hints of London, Tokyo, Berlin, New-York City, also Bali and Cairo. Here’s our first big heartful. We love you Carven girl.
Bouchra Jarrar, is very quiet. She does not show on runway, thus not taking many risks. Her whole enterprise aims at safety. Not so much boring as one could say, we think her SS13 collection is precise, comforting, complete. Then we understand how influential she has grown to be. To measure it, let’s just see how many looks will be copied from her collection to Zara designs next summer… Keeping ready-to-wear sharp and simple must be some kind of challenge…
All the while, Rick Owens keeps making blazing statements. This collection looks inspired by cinema backgrounds of Tim Burton or Guillermo Del Toro. The idea is fair, the technique impeccable. Culturally, we think this is the most adequate tone used on the runways this season. Time is for eclipse. Structures are blurry, and amidst the summer, the silhouette is still protective, with a martial or more ceremonial twist. Colors are dull, on the contrary to the Hussein Chalayan show that took us to another trip on the Riviera, expecting the summer to remain chic and sporty. What an illusion of hope. Rick Owens has the right feel: the 2010s won’t just be another 1990s.