This season marked Leonard Paris’s first collection by new Creative Director Yiqing Yin. After years of searching for a way to revitalise the brand, Leonard made a smart decision in collaborating with the young visionary that is Yin. She took traditional Leonard prints of flowers, Buddhas, and snow panthers in Asia and applied her signature knowhow in sophisticated pleating and draping. There were impressions of tattoos in the imprimés and electric red-veined patterns. Pieces that really stood out were full skirts, which were fashioned in such a way to resemble blooming flower blossoms.
Australian designer Kym Ellery was inspired by the ancient religion of Zoroastrian. Under the Latin phrase, “patient vineet tandems” that translates as, “He who endures overcomes,” Ellery took an architectural approach to full organza skirts and tops with flared sleeves. We saw the whisper of paisley and a casual drop of forest green and electric blue on artful boyfriend jackets. Ellery told us, “For this collection, I really thought of garments I would normally wear. My brand is growing up with me.”
Basil Soda brought eclectic touches to feminine silhouettes. On one side, there was the sweetest of princesses in pink baby doll dresses with meticulous embroidery, and on the other side, there were smoky flower prints in emerald and violet. The Lebanese designer added mesh on dresses for depth and created a 3D effect with his pleating techniques.
All that glitters is Saab! Dark opulence was the prevailing theme of Elie Saab’s Autumn-Winter 2014 collection. Dazzling velvet gowns and cocktail dresses evocative of mid-century fashion discharged a feeling of dark romanticism, a feeling which was heightened by a lavish palette of crimson and emerald. Jewel tones were intricately blended with exquisite floral patterns, loosely mirroring the work of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. An utterly classic collection, which was marked with quadratic shapes and enriched with precious skins and luminous sparkle, the couture house honoured sacred, shining femininity.
Wunderkind’s Wolfgang Joop went against the grain and dared to mix and match different textiles in an exciting way. Inspired by the artists and intellectuals in the Dada movement who challenged normativity, Joop impressed us by the various functional ways to wear a garment. This imaginative chaos juxtaposed luxury with athletic looks, and folklore with army-like looks. This astonishing collection was reminiscent of Dada collages and defied the rules of fashion.
What do we find at the centre of the earth: Spanish designer Amaya Arzuaga‘s geologic, pleated fall collection where rugged ruffles and stony symmetrical pleats blended fragility with fortitude. The azoic undercurrent of the show was personified with rounded shoulders and strata panels, with crystallized solar gold evening dresses and ombré iridescent outerwear. Bold, earthly creations solidified Arzuaga’s tectonic design career – as her experiment with varying materials: lurex yarn, coated leather, wool, and pony hair was a daring, groundbreaking feat.
Léa Peckre, winner of the Hyères Festival in 2011, joined forces with Maison Lejaby to create a fashion baby that teetered between sophistication and sex. There were series of flesh-coloured dresses which toyed with the notion of skin that is covered and that which is revealed.
Portuguese designer Luis Buchinho based his collection on the Grace Jones album cover photographed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino. Buchinho skillfully worked faded pink, iris blue, white and black wool in graphic ways that made our eyes wander. It was never a dull moment on the défilé that seemed to chant “now you see it, now you don’t.”
Words / Sheri Chiu and Chloe Rash
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