The third day of Paris Fashion Week had us spinning around the world with various cultural influences, ranging from Mongolian spirits, to Poland’s postwar identity. Whether it was Manish Arora’s candy land or Rick Owens’ avant-garde universe, Day 3 was a whirlwind of creativity.
Mongolian designer Tsolo Munkh took us on a shamanic voyage across multiple lives as her textile techniques were transformed from look to look. Highly skilled in the manipulation of leather and wool, Munkh showcased detailed stitching and zipper work in a predominantly charcoal black and smoke white collection. One outstanding garment was crafted out of leather punctures made to resemble soft chainmail. Munkh told us that when making a wool coat, holes were accidentally made in the fabric that she then recycled to create the soft chainmail piece. Conceptually dark and powerful, Munkh’s collection touches our spirits.
Manish Arora unveiled a candy tribe of sweet-toothed nomads and gummy bear gypsies. Models were transformed into innovative galaxy girls, floral creatures, and candy-striped muses. We saw sugary prints of donuts and ice cream in delicious strawberry pinks and lime greens. Arora showcased an array of Peruvian circle skirts in alignment with athletic wear, which included puffy capes and sporty nylon backpacks.
Maison IRFÉ founders Prince Felix Yusupov and Princess Irina Romanov presented their first collection during Les Années folles at the Ritz Hotel for Paris’ elite. Ninety years later, former model and Creative Director, Olga Sorokina continues to design for jet-set society. The mythical fashion house’s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection replaced art-deco geometric frocks of the past with alluring garments that celebrate the future of modern femininity. Sorokina surpassed the roaring twenties with a seductive hybrid of dresses painted in stripes, marabou, leather and fur.
Sharon Wauchob’s woman appeared to have rolled out of bed in a slinky slip and right onto the runway. The Irish designer featured an array of delicate, transparent tops mixed with interwoven leather pieces and wool coats. The juxtaposition of peek-a-boo cutout sweaters, see-through chemises, and tailored outerwear made this collection dangerously provocative with a pinch of class.
Rick Owens’ visionary collection saw hats reminiscent of boiler room pipes, leather leggings sculpted with moulded circular impressions, and hyperbolic, constructed tunics finished with oversized angular bows. Owens showcased a conceptually compelling collection, paying an avant-garde homage to perception, mirroring the diversity of his models in the process. His seemingly asphyxiating, nevertheless irresistible necklines and unorthodox hoods redefined street wear. His masterful pieces flew down the runway, allowing us to catch a lightening glimpse of Owens’ genius, leaving us wanting more.
Injecting the runway with a bold dose of colour and retro pieces, Belgian designer Christian Wijnants invented a lucid, sumptuous collection for the femme du monde. Lionised for his knack for knitwear, the young designer experimented with polychromatic Aran jumpers and quilted fabrics, which he coupled with standout metallic trousers and skirts. Highlights included a streamlined mandarin coat and woolen thermal dresses bound to keep out the frosty bite of a polar vortex.
We took out our history books and flipped to the chapter on Poland’s World War II aftermath in Gosia Baczynska’s new collection. Rich with military inspiration including medals and stripes, Baczysnka’s selection of apparel alluded to both aristocracy, with brilliant gold dresses, and Polish nomadic traditions with cutout black capes. Models marched to the beat of a drum in sparkly cocktail dresses that included bits of lace applied in a broken patchwork fashion. Baczynska payed tribute to her country and its rich history.
Words / Sheri Chiu and Chloe Rash
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