Different sides of style

di Diane Pernet, foto di Sonny Vandevelde

It was a season of contrasts, with tears and cheers, purity and extravagance, not to mention a fresh 2D approach from Comme des Garçons.

Different sides of style
Look Lanvin

Tears and cheers marked the 2012/13 winter season both in Paris and Milan. Alber Elbaz celebrated his 10th year anniversary at Lanvin shifting from hourglass dresses in bright slashes of color to tough black pieces with great accessories to dark dresses with wide ruffles and he ended it all taking to the glittery red stage and singing “Que Sera Sera What Ever Will Be, Will Be” afterwards he invited the capacity audience to his festive anniversary party. In Milan when Jil Sander announced that Raf Simons was leaving Jil Sander, the industry was stunned, shocked and saddened by the news. Raf Simons showed a seamless parade of beautiful dresses and coats in a palette of blush pink, coffee and pale gray.  When Raf Simons took his bow at the end of one of the season’s strongest shows, tears were streaming down his face as the audience demonstrated their strong support with a rapturous and thundering applause. The dismissal of Stefano Pilati from YSL came as less of a surprise mainly because exit rumors have been circulating ever since the film September Issue. The announcement of his replacement created a level of hysteria not seen since the return of Phoebe Philo to the fashion fold in 2008. More than a year has passed and still the industry awaits news of a successor at Christian Dior. More rumors circulate that John Galliano will rise from the ashes and take over as creative director at Elsa Schiaparelli. Rick Owens is a genuine force for melding an emphatically dark sensibility with a penchant for glamour with an unexpected lightness of touch. His quintessential style is based on weathered fabrics, bias cuts and asymmetric shapes that mold and drape to flatter a variety of different body types. This season he related his new collection to brutalism, the models wore ski masks that looked more like his interpretation of a brutalist veil. A dramatic set had a blazing bar like a sacrificial pyre, which contrasted with the sensually draped collection that was suggestive of Marlene Dietrich’s serenely elegant gowns but partnered with cropped lantern-sleeve leather jackets.  All of this sensual elegance was enhanced by the provocative soundtrack with the savagely minimal Zebra Katz’s  “Ima Read”. Sacai, Alexander McQueen, Aganovich, Gareth Pugh and Boudicca all showed strong collections. It was a season of leather, furs, purity and extravagance. There were glittering jewels at Lanvin and appliqued mirrors at MiuMiu.  Sacai designer Chitose Abe merged tailoring with girly ripples and ruffles. Sarah Burton at McQueen played with futuristic blond wigs and visors while the clothes suggested plants or flowers using frothy Mongolian lamb and colors red-orange, lilac and silver-gray. While the rest of the fashion planet seemed to be obsessed with 3-D, Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garcons ‘s 2-D collection opened up the fashion consciousness. Her coats and nipped-waist jackets and dresses were rendered as flat two-dimensional shapes in polyester felt. They were oversized, flat and in cheerful pinks, bright blues, orange, yellow and violet with floral prints. The empress of fashion gave a few words for the season: “the future in two dimensions.”