Paris Fashion Week: Louis Vuitton, Beautiful People, Anton Belinskiy, Anaïs Jourden and Ximon Lee close the spring/summer 2019 with wit and flair
TWO MOST SURPRISING MOMENTS
- Last season, Louis Vuitton unveiled its Star-Trek-meets-Elvis-Presley collection at the Louvre's Lefuel Court. The season before that, Nicolas Ghesquière transformed the moat of a castle from 1190 AD below the museum for his futuristic Renaissance jackets. For spring/summer 2019, he took us outside to the courtyard by Colonnade de Perrault, his runway housed in a snaking glass tube façade lined with industrial lights. Unfortunately due to the rain, parts of the runway were so wet, many a model slipped and fell mid-walk. Poor thing!
- It's 2018 and the French are still rude to those who do not look like them. We were confused about the entrance to Anton Belinsky at Palais de Tokyo — there are three and they're usually labeled but this time, nothing. After walking up and down several flights of stairs, we approached the guards manning what we thought might be the entrance, and asked, panting, "Is this the entrance to Anton Belinsky?" After he nodded and before I could thank him, he prevented me from entering and said loudly, "Hi, hello, how are you? Is this the entrance?" before putting his hand away from the door. Gross.
FOUR TRENDIEST ACCESSORIES
- Louis Vuitton womenswear creative director Nicolas Ghesquière takes the maison's penchant for travel (Monsieur Vuitton's trunks put his name on the map) to the extreme by imagining intergalactic excursions for spring/summer 2018. The Oeuf - aka the egg bag - resembles the hatch of an extraterrestrial being; the Trapeze's graphic nature suggests Hollywood science fiction blockbuster origins; and the Toupie minaudière well, it's in the shape of a spaceship. Bon voyage!
- Hard to believe, but those Louis Vuitton's stiletto booties are the first by the label. Never before have they procured this footwear shape, ever, and we can't help but wonder why. Mean time, get them in exotic skin, preferably in green. Afraid of heights? The acrophobic can anticipate the Archlight sneakers in new colourways — we were told a pink one is on the way.
- Marni did it, Versace did it, and Louis Vuitton is joining the Italians — at least in the procurement of skinny gold belts for spring/summer 2019. We'll deck out with our loud chunky ones for the next couple of months, then we'll stow them for a metallic upgrade. Tres chic, no?
- The low pony is so last season, it's practically 3 years ago. Just kidding. While a nape-side bind will never be out of style, we're inclined (pun intended) to pull our hair up — all the way up — for a dramatic yet kinda cazh updo.
SEVEN FAVOURITE LOOKS
- Louis Vuitton look #34: Are we on planet earth or are we on Krypton? The answer is neither. We are in the land of Vuitton, lightyears ahead. Don't believe us? Draw your eyes to the crystallised straps, neckline and hems of look 34's dress, metallic belt orbiting around the knit. The T-shirt styled to layer too bears odyssey overtones, from the mirage-sque horizon to the alien gem-like Star Trek motifs expanded from fall/winter 2018. S'cute.
- Louis Vuitton look #45: Our jaws all but dropped when the silver "net" top came down the runway, and it dropped again when we touched it for the first time during the collection resee. Testament to the savoir-faire is its construction — each line is embroidered (by hand of course) with silver sequins and there was not a seam in sight. Its pairing with the brocade jumpsuit adds to the brilliance in every sense of the word.
- Beautiful People look #9: Pity we haven't seen a whole lot of neon for spring/summer in Paris (they were more popular in Milan, seen at Max Mara, Versace and Prada) so Beautiful People's T-shirt-parka-plissé-skirt situation was a sight for sore eyes. This is as close to athleisure as we'd accept for the upcoming fashion season.
- Beautiful People look #14: You know you've got a winner in your hands when your audience can't tell where one piece of garment ends and the other one begins, or if it's just one garment altogether, especially since the fabric is constant but the treatment for each section — we see stripes of various widths, check, and crinkle — differs. For this deconstructed modern corsetry, we can deal with the mystery. Oh hey, that rhymes!
- Anaïs Jourden look #13: The seductive saxophone solo of 'Careless Whisper' by George Michael made for a curious soundtrack...then the patent leather feather pumps showed up with a bare jacket shiny green jacket (we doubt the model was wearing any proper garment besides lingerie under it) and all made sense again in the world. It's going to be that kind of a night at the Jourden den.
- Anton Belinskiy look #2: Named one of the designers to watch in Paris by WWD ahead of its show, the Ukrainian designer had a lot to live up to considering (a) this was to be his debut presentation on the official fashion week schedule and (b) he was a finalist of the coveted LVMH Prize three years ago (Marques'Almeida came out on top). Based on our first impression of his 27 looks which went from strength to strength in succession, and especially this crisp denim ensemble complete with vintage silk chiffon, we'd say he was worth the hype.
- Ximon Lee looks #3, #20, #15 and #12: Here's our gripe with androgynous clothing: it's usually one-sided. Women are expected to adapt to the male wardrobe (it's a man's world bla bla bla), but many designers insist the men sit squarely in their comfort zone. To hell with the comfort zone, we imagine Chinese designer Ximon Lee thought when he birthed similar looks for both the men and women he sent down his runway. And yes, they're all dresses, answering our question "Should men wear women's clothing?" with a resounding yes.
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