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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Paris Fashion Week: Day 5

By Rebecca Voight...

Sunday began in the Jardin des Tuileries, waiting outside in a light rain while the 10 am Karl Lagerfeld show was still rehearsing inside the “Ephemere” tent at 10:15. Overheard, a conversation between two American department store execs: “Do you know how much they're charging for umbrellas at the Ritz now? Thirty euros—they used to be free!” "Well, do you get the money back when you return them?” “No.”

At least seeing fashion shows is still free. Lagerfeld’s show began with electro trio Metronomy strolling down the runway with the lead singing a snappy dirge into a vocoder. What followed were beautiful motorcycle helmet by Ruby, France's most stylish two-wheel gear purveyor. Only, in Lagerfeld’s hands, they were in fur to match square-shouldered vests and coats, some with fur sleeves. And he dipped into the Christmas tinsel to cover a jersey column dress like a band leader’s jacket, shown over Lagerfeld's familiar ankle-slit satin pants in dark gray or chocolate-brown. All this building up of luxurious materials and sport staples made for a rich warrior woman look.


Karl Lagerfeld

Dries Van Noten showed in the huge courtyard of the Lycée Carnot high school. And it's clear now he's moved on from ethnic embroideries and soft draping. His new structure is centered on a boxy, rectangular jacket which he takes through textured fabrics, snake-print and crocodile skin. He did a perfect camel trench and bathrobe coats, as well as a blouson turned into a dress. His large trousers are some of the most well-tailored in Paris and every girl sported a pair of thick-framed 50s-style sunglasses. While almost everybody in the audience was wearing black, Van Noten showed hot Moroccan colors for fall: persimmon, saffron, dusty pink and lime green.


Dries Van Noten

So, this has been a tricky, recession-deflated season, with brands scrambling to allot limited seating. The idea seems to be that since there are fewer journalists and buyers, it's best to show in a smaller venue to maintain a full house. Sonia Rykiel did the smartest thing and showed right in her Blvd Saint Germain flagship. I hung out with stylist Patti Wilson, who downed a striped bottle of Coke Light designed by Rykiel's daughter Nathalie, and we watched as models skipped around the store repeating phrases like “Under my sweater I'm nude” in English and French—with a mostly Eastern European accent. Patchwork, color-blocked ponchos, big Lurex-knitted sweaters and multicolored ruffles on hourglass black dresses were vintage 70's Sonia.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

New York Fashion Week: Rad Hourani

Minimalist designer Rad Hourani, whose color palette for spring is all black, tells us he'll incorporate more color in his fall show on February 20. That must be the influence of his style consultant this season, Patti Wilson. Here's a taste, in-black and-white of course...



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