Paris Day 1: Young Designers, Whispers of Kanye
The Paris collections kicked off Tuesday evening with a slew of Spring shows from up and coming designers and a screening of Snowballs, a film by Harmony Korine featuring pieces from Proenza Schouler’s Fall collection at Silencio, the new club on rue Montmartre, designed by David Lynch.
The embroidered tears, flexed arms and shields covering the curvy jackets, boxy boy shorts and little silk T-shirts by Julien David said it all. The young French designer produces his collections in Japan, where he lives. “I wanted to express sadness, strength, and protection, ” says David. “The earth shook for a month and half. The way the Japanese people have dealt with this has been a real lesson for me.” David develops his graphic prints with artisans specializing in silk scarves, and this collection was full of pattern and the round, tomboyishly girlie shapes he likes. The natural-disaster feeling showed up in the way David shoved volumes chaotically to the side, with pleats pushed over one shoulder, and pockets spliced to look as though they’d been split in two. Backstage was buzzing over the baby-doll wide-skirt dress, a replica of the wedding dress David designed for Colette’s Sarah Lerfel’s marriage to video director Philip Andelman in Woodstock this summer.
Earlier on the banks of the Seine, underneath Paris’s new Cité de la Mode et du Design school complex, Anthony Vaccarello, who won this year’s ANDAM fashion award, was in leggy cocktail mode with his muse Lou Doillon. Vaccarello is a wizard with straps, zips, twists and asymmetrical slink. This season, he did all that in a sportswear way with lots of utility pockets and swimsuit constructions mixed in with the transparent lace and techno silk in navy blue. The overall effect looks like Tarzan’s Jane has put the jungle behind her and is out for a night on the town.
Italian designer Corrado Di Biase was designing shoes before he launched his eponymous label last season, and that shows in the way he zigzags around the body for satin negligée dresses that look as though they’ve been reshaped with an X-Acto knife. Corrado, who held his show near Paris’s Beaux Arts, in a gallery designed by Jean Nouvel, also had fun with the bedspread, the quilted satin kind, which he covered with fantasy trapunto stitching for standaway tunics and skirts.
I began the day with a visit to rue Madame, where Jean Touitou held an open house to present A.P.C.’s spring collection. A.P.C. doesn’t hold shows. And why should they, since on any given day, Paris’s Saint Germain on the Left Bank is a virtual runway for the brand. A.P.C. is set to open its next New York shop on West 4th later this fall. For spring, the collection is to the point, with wide-wale beige cord shorts, a men’s royal blue cotton blazer, bow blouses, soft, wide-legged faded blue jeans, and a great pair of platform tassel loafers. Touitou, wearing two thick strings of pearls tucked under his cashmere sweater (a look he says he’s adopted specifically to “destabilize at banker’s meetings”) was in fine form and looking forward to attending the highly anticipated Kanye West show this Saturday. The buzz is that West dumped his Paris design team and formed a new team in London because he found it economical and much more creative. Kanye visited Touitou for a little pre-show advice session, from one music man to another, and Touitou, who favors a moderate heel, said he tried to encourage him to “keep it low. ” West, however, is a big-time leg man, and for him, the ladies will be walking tall, very tall!