À la Française

A renewed sense of modesty is happening in fashion. Enter it into your vocabulary, as it will be required knowledge in the upcoming season.
As I mentioned in a previous post, this new chapter is here to stay. Taking steps toward “glamorous gloom”, with an absence of bright colors, highlighted in last week’s NY Times article, over in the city of lights, there are plenty of players taking the reigns. I like to call it Neo-Grunge, equipped with baggy layers, loose-fitting, and covered-up silhouettes resembling blankets. Here’s a baby look.

The Show: Dries Van Noten

The takeaway: Van Noten successfully fused masculinity and femininity by pairing skirts and ostrich feathers with flannel trousers. A modern and grown-up take on last season’s flirtation with grunge. The use of ostrich was a perversely glamorous counterpoint to the flat-shoed, gray-flanneled sobriety of the outfits they anchored. And how about them high heels with ankle socks? It ups the comfort factor, for sure.



The Show: Rick Owens

The takeaway: Primal and electrifying. All white, black and ivory all-the-time, from Owens @Owens, he is all about “the big coat, the big boots, and the big T-shirt,” and he masters that so effectively. The coats had the big-sleeved volume of kimonos, the boots had needle heels instead of a Frankenstein-soled chunk, and the T-shirts were sportily layered in mid-thigh tunics, some with asymmetric tails. Apparently along with the coat, tee, and boot, bleached faces and frizzy hair made a big debut, giving it an air of gothic mysticism.



The Show: Lanvin

The takeaway: A teenage/schoolgirl atmosphere seemed to permeate the collection with offerings like ruffled dresses and in the shoe department – a scaled-down version of a man’s Oxford. Gone were the ballet flats of yore, this season, the tough-girl is emerging. A constant motif in the collection that struck me right away, as I quite eloquently verbalized on Twitter (Oh my, those necklaces at Lanvin)!, they are happening. Words like “help”, “happy”, and “love” were emblazoned on the model’s necks. Elbaz wants us to think about the ever-changing world, women changing, and what is on our minds. And in case we forget about “love” we can always read it on a necklace.



The Show: Balenciaga

The takeaway:  The highly anticipated Alexander Wang’s first show for the house of Balenciaga, fulfilled his modest plan of going back to the roots and “translating them into a functioning, full wardrobe.” Sticking to a palette of basic black and white, Wang alluded to 1950’s modernity in the opening cocoon coats with a bit of fur, cap sleeves and loose tops, true to Wang’s downtown edgy style. There were some 1960’s styles making a quick appearance in the petal skirts and peplums. I especially liked the faux marble sweaters, and the crackled leather-looking pieces which were actually painted knits. Very clever, Mr. Wang. Smart graceful and modern, Wang took baby steps into fulfilling his challenging duties as head designer for the house. Read Cathy Horyn’s NYT’s review here. Her review is spot on, and a must-read to really get a sense of the fabrics and details of the collection. A viewpoint one cannot get solely from pictures online.


What do you think about his collection? Is Wang better off sticking to his awesome T-shirts or do you think he will master his creative potential over at Balenciaga?

Share your thoughts!

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