The Architects of Paris

PARIS…Rick Owens’ new collection was a testament to his adept couture workmanship. The architectural shapes came about because Owens “lifted so directly from Le Bontecou (the 1960s American sculptor). Items of special note were shearling leg-warmers that laced at the back of the knee and belled out unzipped above lofty wedge boots as well as the gorgeous grey minks that tied at the neck to drape in soft folds down the torso. One of the more inventive designers to show so far at Paris fashion week, Rick Owens proved he can keep the public on their toes, while still giving his staunch supporters a solid collection that is quintessentially Owens.


Martin Margiela’s status as an industry insider is somewhat reminiscent of the 1980s. Back then, before the Style channel, before the internet, hey, before Target! ready-to-wear was an exclusive affair, Comme des Garcon, Yamamoto, Gaultier and Alaia were purchased directly from the boutiques of Paris, London and Tokyo by fashion editors and store buying directors and usually worn head-to-toe. Whatever the new season brought, be it four arms instead of two or bondage straps between the legs, it was accepted as part of the new fashion landscape and worn with pride. And so was born the Fashion Victim. A Martin Margiela show renders the same sort of excitement and a carte blanch acceptance by the faithful of this season’s silhouette. First out were a series of bodysuits over-laid with fishnet or printed silk often worn with knee-high snakeskin boots. Then the follow-up to last year’s strong shoulder, this season evolved fully into extreme collars and funnel necks. So the question is, will the front row faithfully take up this latest frisson of fashion from the mysterious Margiela (never photographed, never appearing at the end of the show) or will they say, “non”, preferring to see this as a theoretical exercise in pushing the silhouette in a vertical direction after the last few seasons of horizontal volume? Time will tell…


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