The third day of Paris Haute couture Fashion Week concentrated on lavishness in design and ornamentation. From Stéphane Rolland’s surprising decision to illustrate his collection in a cinema, to Julien Fournié’s use of bright colours, this day sparked excitement in the innovation in haute couture. We also entered the worlds of Alexandre Vauthier, Yulia Yanina, and Tony Ward.
The French fashion designer Stéphane Rolland showcased his new collection in the form of an epic film of lost love, set against luxurious Parisian backdrops. Directed by Diane Sagnier, the fashion short L’Echapée depicts a man (Jalil Lespert) frantically running though the beautiful streets of Paris, remembering the presence, sensation, and odour of a woman (Nieves Alvarez) he once loved. Adorned in luscious gold gowns, the femme fatale rolls around bed, slinks down hallways in romantic dresses of mesh netting, and hovers through a Parisian apartment. It’s no wonder the man can’t get the Stéphane Rolland woman out of his head. Likewise, we can’t stop relishing the unique way Rolland created and presented his new collection.
Titled Première Pulsion, Julien Fournié’s Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection examined the drama and grace that comes with tragedy and surrealism in David Lynch’s films. The spectacle took place in Oratoire du Louvre, a majestic Protestant church of Baroque architecture. One by one, a variety of dark, form-fitted dresses with doses of electric pinks, blues, and yellows pulsated on the runway and down the church aisle. Patterns of tree branches and vapour were superimposed on ethereal organza, while hot coloured stripes added an overall surprisingly wicked vibe. Fournié’s woman was decorated in oversized, black jewels. We saw similar ruched breastplates on dresses in his Autumn/Winter 2013 Collection, demonstrating his coherence, yet the addition of colour illustrates Fournié’s will to explore uncharted territories.
Rich with luxurious furs and motifs, Yulia Yanina’s collection exuded a regal air. Flower motifs seemed to grow out of the clothing and onto the models’ skin as Yanina paired black on nude. The couturier exaggerated sleeves on dresses and contrasted full skirts with slim silhouettes for an overall royally divine show.
We took comfort in Alexandre Vauthier’s impenetrable fur coats, thick enough to stop any blizzards in its tracks. The designer matched winter wear with graphic black and white pieces, easily translatable to everyday settings. As always, Vauthier delivered sexy sophistication in barely-there transparent dresses, which highlighted skilled handcraftsmanship. The Vauthier woman is evidently confident as dresses exposed bare backs, full legs, and bold chests.
Drawing inspiration from William Turner’s oil painting Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps, Tony Ward presented a very feminine collection that illustrated nature’s powerful and contradictory forces. Full skirts and long gowns paraded down the runway in mint, nude, violet, and black as Ward depicted a dynamic composition of light and darkness. Crystal-encrusted bustiers played with the eye as we traced the shimmers that lined hand painted satin. Ward nailed the black and white painterly strokes on a cropped top and excelled in juxtaposition of fabrics, such as leather with mesh.