Up-and-coming Paris designers make their mark
PARIS (AP) - The first day of Paris ready-to-wear collections, which showcases the design world's up-and-coming talents, is a day largely ignored by the top magazine editors.
After attending the catwalks in New York, London and Milan many exhausted fashion insiders use it as a welcome chance to get back into shape and buck the sleep deprivation after hundreds of seemingly endless back-to-back shows.
But Tuesday demonstrated that while these fledgling day-one designers may be new, they still have something important to say, with the big trends in the season's fashion conversation so far, littering the catwalk on all sides of Paris.
The spring-summer 2014 collections saw Devastee hit the trend spot with its black and white designs seen from the likes of Jil Sander and Missoni in Milan, as too did Belgian designer Anthony Vaccarello with a provocative spin worthy of Donatella Versace.
Cedric Charlier dabbled in the 90s-era high-shine metallic look that's been seen in high rotation.
Aganovich, meanwhile, rounded the day with an alternative and inventive take on historical vestments.
Day one is becoming something that's harder to ignore.
Paris' fashion onslaught of 97 official shows and countless other off-calendar show continues Wednesday with Dries Van Noten, Guy Laroche, Gareth Pugh and Rochas.
Serbian designer Nana Aganovich was inspired by grand portraits of Elizabeth I and her layered fabrics and high collars.
If so, the queenly reference was hard to spot in the collection's billowing linens, tight angular hoods and soft harem pants.
Still, Aganovich put on a thoughtful and inventive show, with strong plays on shape.
In one all-black look, a square hood matched square shoulders with a high collar only to blow out into the Eastern-style curviness of harem pants.
Elsewhere, fabric that swept down diagonally in large rectangular earthy pink pleats from the midriff continued the exploration of shapes, at times giving silhouettes a certain ecclesiastical air.
A rich and playful jacquard motif also cropped up, sometimes accompanying a model with clown make up.
Swimwear and naval themes inspired Anthony Vaccarello this season.
But if only it could be this simple.
For spring-summer the young Belgian designer infused these references with his signature no-holds-barred raunchiness.
Most of the looks dripped with sex appeal in their melange of plunging necklines and breast-exposing mesh tops. That's not to mention myriad revealing straps that held together cave-woman style loin cloths.
But it was pure overkill with one splash-dye, cropped, white demin jacket which jarred against a split microskirt with red and black leather straps.
The best designs were, predictably, those that kept it simple.
One all-black look nicely twinned a thick, textured cropped T-shirt with oversize gems and a cotton vest that -- only slightly -- exposed the midriff. It was twinned with sober and classical black pants.
Next season Vaccarello might do well to tone it down a notch or three.
Kimono styles opened the show for Cedric Charlier in his Paris ready-to-wear outing.
The Belgian designer is noted for his varied styles- and this was seen in abundance on Tuesday's show as the fold over oriental jackets evolved into hippy-style, brightly striped vests and skirts in bright red, blue, white and black.
The finale- also one of the collection's most striking looks- was another style evolution completely: a space-age metallic ensemble in a beautiful red and green.
Despite the diverse musings, the collection held together thanks to Charlier's cleanly-cut, hard edged silhouettes and the leitmotif of geometric lines, on bands around the body or on lapels.
Thomas Adamson can be reached at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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