Paris Fashion Week: variety is the spice
It was a busy day for fashion in the French capital. Starting at 9.30am with a show by Japanese designer Junya Watanabe and ending with Spanish luxury label Loewe's show at the Universite Paris Decartes almost 12 hours later, the runways stretched the full scale of high fashion. It felt like an exciting day to be part of the industry. All of the 6 shows I attended expressed something totally different and extreme about how they developed as brands.
You had Vivienne Westwood Gold, whose show at the opulent grounds of the British Embassy on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, again showed off her love of rebellious costumery and tailoring in some gorgeous materials. Then there was the austerity and conceptual genius of Rei Kawakubo at Commes des Garcons with a stunning standout collection dominated by pure whites and then black. Watanabe was all about sports futurism and techno fabrics. Models donned helmets with silver studs and mirrors encrusted all over them; and many wore running trainers and strange bicycle shorts. Red carpet this was not, but you can't help but be charmed by Watanabe's fresh deconstructed approach to things, much of it fine tuned from his time at Comme Des Garcons.
We also traversed the sensual world of Haider Ackermann - whose show was the first this year to give me goose bumps. This absolute masterpiece collection more than cemented his status as one of my favourite designers anywhere. More on him later in the main fashion week report for the Post, but for those of you not too familiar with Ackermann, I suggest you look him up.
Jean Paul Gaultier sealed the deal with the most fun show of the week so far. Taking on musical pop icons, many of whom he has dressed, Gaultier had the guests eating from his hands with his interpretations on the iconic styles of the likes of Madonna and Boy George. Music was played to match each pop icon inspiration and people were whooping, laughing, raucously clapping and audiences left with big smiles. Meanwhile, Loewe's show was also an absolute stunner, with an evident progression in Stuart Vevers' evolving signatures for the brand. Only this time, it was super sexy, sophisticated, exciting and cohesive. No small feat for one collection.
Comme des Garçon and Loewe SS13. Photos: Jing Zhang