elegant eccentricity at paris fashion week

Tony Ward

Tony Ward

The sixth day of Paris Fashion Week proved to be a blend of elegance and eccentricity. Schön! visited the refined, graceful worlds of Tony Ward and Martin Grant. Futuristic ingenuity was added to the day with Tex Saverio’s glacial designs and in Maison Rabih Kayrouz’s urban warrior. Jean Paul Lespagnard turned blue collar into blouse collar in his wildly entertaining fashion presentation inspired by a butcher shop.

Inspired by the New York City skyline, Tony Ward has fashioned a new collection of baby doll dresses and gorgeous gowns, fit for the most elegant of city walkers. The Lebanese designer placed lace over graphic strips, adding softness to geometric structures hinting at skyscrapers or the metropolis’s interweaving crossroads. In shades of lavender, deep reds, and nude pinks, the collection boasted dazzling embellishments. Intricate beadwork was reminiscent of city lights. Ward brought his couture know-how to his ready-to-wear with the same vigorous handcraftsmanship in floral appliqué dresses with keyhole backs. V-shaped parallels correlate to the peak of buildings such as the Chrysler or Empire State. Ward married lace with architecture, paying tribute to the romantically resilient concrete jungle.  

Martin Grant

Martin Grant

Representing the Australians, adopted Parisien Martin Grant recruited the golden opulence of the Shangri-La Hotel to show-off his SS15 creations. Opening with a plastic trench in wet-black, the collection continued in crude seventies taste with Charlie’s Angels-inspired playsuits in lightweight silk; heightened by plunging necklines in razored V-shapes, symbolising strength and seduction. Reverting to French chic, white polka dots dispersed over black satin blouses that puffed at the shoulders – the spots spilling over into pencil skirt silhouettes. The ode to femininity garnered support with belted waists in black, accentuating the hips. Severe pleating created voluminous skirts that billowed out in wired petticoat forms reminiscent of Marie Antoinette, before falling to the floor like oil curtains. Tomboy looks also appeared including a collarless suit in neoprene and Grant’s statement navy and white spotted jumpsuit in silk; adorned with a mod-gangsta hat. The occasional disco gold shimmered its way down the runway before returning to aristocratic elegance with gowns and tops bowing down to royal paisley prints in blue marine.  

Tex Saveiro - Totem

Tex Saveiro – Totem

The hallway of Yoyo in Palais de Tokyo twisted and turned; the booming bass of the electronic music became increasingly louder. The stairs descended, and at the end of the hall, lights flicked and geometric projections flashed onto the screen. Models adorned in shimmering dresses appeared to have stepped out of the future. These women wore triangular cut pencil skirts, cropped tops, and impressive gowns of icy ash. A grill mask covered their faces. “A lot of expressions can come from the mouth, so I wanted to show just the eyes so you feel a strong presence of the woman. Her presence tells you that she knows what she wants,” Tex Saverio said to Schön. Models’ hair were slicked back into a high ponytail with a graphic silver band on the side. “It was a dream come true working with hair artist Charlie Le Mindu,” Saverio smiled. The Indonesian designer seemed to have chiselled these beauties out of ice blocks. PU hologram printed on duchesse satin accentuated an ultramodern mood. “We managed to put laser cut in certain areas that really moulds to the body of the model. We also played with 3D embroidery techniques. Most of the patterns are made from lines. Lines are very static, and we wanted to make it into something dynamic,” Saverio further explained. Produced in Jakarta, the silver cloud collection touched at the heart of innovation and creativity.

Maison Rabih Kayrouz

Maison Rabih Kayrouz

Since Rabih Kayrouz’s return to Paris in 2009, the Lebanon-born designer has garnered a reputation for exuding refined and pure lines, formerly exclusive to the French and not so much to those from the East. However, Sunday saw Maison Rabih Kayrouz “street”en-up his refinery with a Harlem-meets-Espagnole inspired offering that was all about that bass, no treble. Models decked in flowers and polka dots bounced to the beat of ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ by Coolio; Spanish roses in hot reds and delicate pastel spots were splashed consistently across shirting, blouses, and asymmetric gowns. Oil blacks sat below bold floral in silk as billowed samurai pants walked with sleeveless crop-tops; extra tailored details arrived in simple collar features to frame the look. Moving on down, one-sided leg lengths masculinised traditional dresses cut at the knees; the asexual aesthetic embodying fine and wide pinstriped suiting with deep V-necked lines eventually feminising Rayzou’s asymmetrical work wear.

This season, Jean Paul Lespagnard turned blue collar into blouse collar. Winner of the 2008 Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography, Lespagnard truly succeeded in once again creating an overall experience that combined fashion and art various mediums. Lespagnard’s fascination for functionality, cosiness, and freedom of movement inspired him to devote this season to work clothes in the food sector. Sweaters were designed with graphic diamond prints and skirts with little beaded food products. Titled “Le Savoir-Faire,” this collection not only honoured the engineering skills in the artisanal and industrial forces, but also ironically questioned food production. There was also artwork such as paintings, a sausage turban, and the unveiling of Lespagnard’s brand new fashion video of a model in a slaughterhouse. The Belgian designer proved that with imagination, talent, and savoir-faire, even wieners could be chic. 

Words / Sheri Chiu and Benjamin Fitzgerald
Photography / Ger Ger

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