Following in the footsteps of the NY, London and Milan shows, Paris seduced me with beautiful coats, leather, fur, detailed layered embroidery, embellishments galore, florals and every silhouette imaginable to the fall 2014 collections.
Paris Week came at a perfect time to lift me from my Northeast winter malaise and distract me from headline news of oligarch Vladimir Putin’s military posturing in the Ukraine. I am one quarter Russian and keep my eye on what is going on in a land mass with 9 different time zones. Forget Sochi and the Ukraine for a moment, people! Paris Fashion Week for Fall 2014 is here.
As Paris ceremoniously throws symbolism, parody and irony into its fall fashion shows, the Ukraine is struggling to maintain its independence amidst the bullying of pestering Putin and the Russian guard.
Somehow, I doubt that Ukrainians are watching runway fashion on their computer screen at this time of upheaval. As for me, I would like to pretend the world is rosy and that the floral designs in the Dries Van Noten, Valentino, Ungaro fall collections will bring me joy for more than one season.
There are also many worthy collections of note.
Gareth Pugh, Chalayan and Comme des Garçons keep me entertained with their conceptual, daring designs. Gareth breathed life into a snow woman who strutted off a Sochi mountain top onto a fashion runway, wearing the best hat of all the collections, Chalayan strategically aligned rows of fake manicured nails to create a pattern, and Comme des Garçons updated the burqa by displacing an opening that normally is set over the eyes, onto a more intriguing part of the female body. Can she see through that cloth?
In recent years fashion designers have created comfortable shoes for women who need to kick off their stilettos. I love comfort, but these three shoe designs remind me of something my high school guidance counselor wore. She spiked my arm hair like Jean Paul Gaultier’s unwavering penchant for the punk rock movement, with her yellow stained matte-teeth, sour milk breath, tightly permed hair, polyester outfits from a 70s musty closet and shoes which not only enraged me, but derailed me from taking her advice seriously.
What stood out most from the New York, London, Milan and Paris shows is the exquisite fabrics and technology that allow designers to create wearable technology. The minutiae that adorned the gangly gals in Balenciaga, Balmain, Rochas and Alexis Mabile shows – to name a few – deepened my crow’s feet and brow lines. I had to reach for my trusty tube of Patricia Wexler ‘No-injection instant line filler’, to soften my fashion-furrowed-enraptured visage.
Come this fall I am certain technological advances will continue to keep my facial expressions softened, designers will discover new ways to awe, but will the Ukraine find peace? If not, please designers keep floral prints in your repertoire. The world is always brighter with flowers…and brighter someday without Putin at the helm.