A review of Paris Fashion Week Spring 2014 Collections: Carven, Balmain, Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne, and Lanvin.
Of the now four years that creative director, Guillaume Henry, has been at Carven, he has rapidly turned this brand into one of the most recognizable labels in Europe and Asia. I believe this has to due to the fact he has a talent for turning something sweet, young, and delicate into a mien naughtiness. Most women want to have something lovely to play around with, be edgy, and feel seductive in what they wear for men; in reality, look effortlessly provocative. And Henry understands that very clearly. His collections are always a hit, just like his previous fall collection - which actually imbued a more mature level - has become a sensation among magazines and editors – especially his oversized pastel coats – that when paired well, will have that special effect a woman looks for. On the other hand, his new spring 2014 collection revealed the real Carven woman that had been hiding around in his past collections.
The collection nonetheless was more youthful and naughty with those high platform heels models wore on the runway. Provocative were his button-down skirts, short dresses, cross-over cropped tops and gingham button-down shirts with knitted swirls added at its hems, floral print rompers, a blue pleated gingham dress with a kinky sheer top, and relaxed bright floral print appliqué and camouflage coats. All still made again for that innocent girl that won’t be able to do any harm at all with her naughty clothes. This is why Carven is on the lead of fashion, and I wouldn’t doubt seeing younger girls becoming part of this collection next season.
Meanwhile, Olivier Rousteing has also shown to be a great influence to urbanwear. Balmain has become a demand where celebrities and the outspoken generation of young adults dream of. Olivier knows his niche, and that is creating the most expensive looking badass clothes. Only he can make a denim gold embellished hook-and-eye top with light pleated washed pants look so demanding. Houndstooth looks – jackets, gold-button down and spliced skirts, suit jackets – and checked patterned looks were noteworthy of a streetstyle moment. And of course his signature quilted numbers that can never be left out. Other things that were new or modernized here were his ruffled skirts, a baby blue feather skirt, and his lustrous innovative couture quality dresses. Everything screamed superb luxury a la urban streetstyle here. Prices may be ridiculously high, but we’ve gotten accustomed now to his $1,000 jeans and $50,000+ dresses in case you were wondering.
“Masculinity meets femininity at Nina Ricci,” was Peter Copping’s new theme for his spring collection. It kind of made sense in the first half of his show – delicate shirt dresses, asymmetrical coats, and pinstriped cropped pants. But it sort of lost me where he was trying to go. Maybe a sensual journey with a man? If so, a number of light lace, silk, chiffon, and delicate knitwear pieces made up for the story. Nina Ricci has a very sensitive feel to its clothes, and Copping always manages to achieve that moment of delicacy. You’d be afraid to harshly grab someone in his designs seeing it so light and subtle. I don’t think prints made a very great appeal to this romantic collection, but it’s always fond to see a designer experimenting with new designs, even though we’d happily see his woman covered in exquisite chiffon dresses.
Lately, there was the news that 30 years old French designer, Julien Dossena, would become the new womenswear head designer for Paco Rabbane. Dossena was once an assistance designer for the famously talented Nicholas Ghesquiere who left Balenciaga to later be replaced by Alexander Wang. I was curious to see if there were gone be any hints of Ghesquiere’s techniques when he debuted his collection. And today he finally presented his first collection for the brand, but there were still some references as to what previous designer, Lydia Maurer, was doing for the brand – reinventing shiny metallic pieces into a wearable manner. Paco Rabbane himself was best known for his take on provocative and futuristic metallic colored designs and chain dresses. It’s hard to keep those types of house codes modernized in today’s society, but Dossena was inspiring himself to take this collection to the streets.
He gave his metallic clothes a light touch with a hint of streetstyle: mesh athletic tank tops under unzipped dresses, short slip-dresses styled with coats or double-zipper A-line skirts, zipper detailed pants. And he imbued a more harsh futuristic approach in his laquer dresses in burgundy, black, and blue, while his shades of white designs added a soft balance in this collection. I personally found his final bomber jackets commercial, but his overalls and skirts potentials for next season. To be fair, this was a short but sharp collection that will catch the attention of a younger clientele, but there is still a lot of work to be done if this label wants to be back to the level it once was in. Dossena may be that guy.
Lanvin was also competing with a full collection of metallic shades of lamé – purple, pink, bronze, orange, green, and silver – except for a small amount of beautiful black dresses and a gray tweed look that will probably be the most inviting to the average woman next season. There were some pieces that actually did work like a purple chiffon embroidered dress or a green metallic floral printed dress with a bow-tie applied at the bottom left. It’ll maybe take time for some to swallow this collection, but Lanvin is not made for everyone, and depending on the correct woman who puts on one of these lustrous dresses like one Soo Joo Park wore (a bronze strapless dress), they’ll be the star of the night – urban or chic. Accessories- oversized stars, hearts, and chunky stoned necklaces; chunky leather belts; metallic printed scarves and shoes - will make up the sharing factor for every women.