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Friday, March 6, 2009

Paris Fashion Week: Day 2

By Rebecca Voight...

Oh, the 80s ladies at Nina Ricci! In what just might be his farewell show for the house, Olivier Theyskens returned to his fetishistic roots—feet first. His bottines came in colors as bright as tinsel pink, and so high that the girls looked like they were perched on stilts. Faces were covered by half derbies pushed over the front and they were backless to show off gelled hair. But remove the shoes and the collection is full of 80s' standards: super-curvy skirt suits with peplum jackets, extra-wide skirtish trousers and skintight leggings and bustiers.


Nina Ricci

I wish Olivier Theyskens had a partner like Michele Lamy. Rick Owens' other half and the business brains behind his fashion house believes in talent first and foremost, which is why she also backs Gareth Pugh. Lamy’s calm strength is evident in the way Owens has been able to develop his style slowly but surely. For fall he continues layering earthy and cloudy tone tunics and leggings with blanket coats that look like wearable teepees in complex quilted and patchworked fabrics, plus a new silver foil that shines like a beacon.


Rick Owens

A.F. Vandevorst had a packed house—or rather, garage—for their collection of chestnut-brown wools, high-stepping shoes made to look like hooves and striped jockey blouses. Thick tights in flesh tones, huge feed bags and country-tailored pleated walking skirts had an earthy quality reminiscent of Prada's collection, with its backwoods women in thick, boiled wool suits and thigh-high rubber fishing boots.


A.F. Vandevorst

Lutz Huelle's leggy girls defy that dusty old dictum that lean times bring hemlines down. The collection he showed was an ode to the gam with plenty of fall's hooded blousons, wrap-around tailoring and flag dresses—a simple and graphic column of silk designed to wear loose and open to show off all a girl has.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Animal Attraction

It was only day two of the Paris collections and already fashion trends are trickling in. Come fall, we predict you'll be craving a pair of fur arm warmers, the kind designer Sharon Wauchob showed to a packed house that included ever-bobbed Linda Fargo of Bergdorf. Bruno Pieters liked the fur trend as well, throwing in the arm warmers among the rather serious and angsty lineup of space-age corporate workers.

Otherwise, leather is turning out to be the big winner across all the Fashion Weeks. Leather pants, deconstructured leather coats, and fabric texturized to resemble leather (like at Lutz) have been everywhere. Even romanticist Olivier Theyskens at Nina Ricci turned in a harder edge today, with little leather jackets featuring multiple silver snap closures, angular shoulders and skin-tight turtlenecks. He also showed he can cut a suit, like a particular brown silk double-breasted jacket with aggressively padded shoulders. With rumors swirling that he's already been ousted by Nina Ricci's parent company, Puig, but refuses to leave, Theyskens smartly opted to show his versatility beyond flowy on-the-bias goddess gowns. Hmmm, the Rod Blagojevich of fashion?

—Bee-Shyuan Chang

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