Sep 26 2013
The nine-day Paris fashion week kicked off this week with a host of top designers showcasing their Spring/Summer 2014 collections
Fashion watchers who trekked up the eight flights to the top of Paris’s famed Galeries Lafayette department store were rewarded with clear views of the Eiffel Tower on a sunny September day. But the models at Phung’s catwalk debut were almost impossible to glimpse as they walked in a path hastily cleared among the milling crowd before being moved to an even less visible corner of the roof terrace.
“It was a lovely spot to hold a fashion show — and there was a great view of Paris — but unfortunately most people couldn’t see anything (of the collection),” lifestyle blogger Marino Vizza told AFP.
Brought up in France by a Cambodian father and French mother, Phung’s dual heritage is reflected in her use of printed silks. Her spring/summer 2014 “Liquid Dilusion” collection featured a delicate palette of metallic grey, silver, white and ecru as well as black and ultramarine. Of around 10 looks in the collection, one was worn by a black model and two by Asian models.
The number of black models on the Paris catwalks can be expected to come under scrutiny this week following a blistering attack on the fashion world by models Naomi Campbell and Iman and model-turned-activist Bethann Hardison. The trio earlier this month named a string of fashion houses who had used just “one or no models of colour” and called for urgent action.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, Belgium’s Anthony Vaccarello, known for his famously “slit-up-to-there” dresses looked to swim suits for inspiration. Skirts and dresses in mostly black, white and red were strictly for those with legs worth baring. Belgian Cedric Charlier, former creative director of Cacharel, went for minimalist designs with a heavy emphasis on geometric shapes.
But the highlight so far has got to be New York golden boy Alexander Wang who on Thursday stamped his own “footprint” on the fabled Balenciaga label in one of the most keenly anticipated shows of Paris fashion week. Among the hottest names in fashion, 29-year-old Wang's ready-to-wear spring/summer 2014 collection followed a well-received February debut for which he delved into the archives to pay tribute to founder Cristobal Balenciaga.
Speaking backstage after the show, he said that having started with “the homage” he had been keen to use his second show to express his own personality. “I wanted to take this season to really start putting some footprint into it, making it relatable to what I thought was important and bringing some of my vocabulary of sportswear into it,” he said,
The collection in a largely blue and white palette featured thigh-skimming hemlines along with tiny, high-waisted shorts teamed with midriff-baring cropped tops. Initial reaction on Twitter was positive. “Emphatically short, relentlessly young,” said fashion blog IndyFashion. “No pants? No problem!" added Wonderland Magazine. referring to jackets worn on their own.
Incidentally, the hugely talented Wang’s arrival at Balenciaga in 2012 followed the surprise departure of Nicolas Ghesquiere after 15 years at the fashion house.
—Agence France Presse