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While white _ the shade of choice across Paris’ catwalks _ and other neutrals dominated Philo’s palette, there were also touches of bold color, like a sapphire blouse paired with a leather wrap skirt in rich Bordeaux or shirts in fluttering silk that Philo said drew its inspiration from scarves.

It was another strong collection from a designer who has established herself as a fashion force to be reckoned with. No doubt we’ll be seeing more variations on the theme on other catwalks and on the high street.

GIVENCHY

Riccardo Tisci is back in touch with his Id.

After taking a foray into exoticism _ with collections influenced by the traditional garb of the Arab world _ the king of S&M has reconnected with his darker side, sending out a leather-strap-bound collection for next summer.

Backless vests in leopard-embossed jacquard fastened around the neck and across the back with stud-encrusted straps in black leather. The vests, and boxy shaped sleeveless jackets with tails, were paired with abbreviated skirts layered under long, featherlight skirts in translucent silk. Zippers with sharp metal teeth often replaced seems, adorning the hem and sleeve-lines or forming shiny crosses across the backs of the jackets.

“It was like spiritual desolation with a chance of redemption,” said David Mignon, a Paris-based photographer and painter. “Just a sliver of a chance of redemption.”

That seemed an accurate assessment: Tisci, an Italian whose Catholic roots run deep, has often acknowledged the role religion plays in his work, and there was something about the contrast between the looks’ hardcore leather and the gauzy cocoon of silk that suggested a soul in spiritual torment.

Tisci’s dark but beautiful aesthetic has won him a cult following not only among the legions of hip young women who covet his collections, but also among his peers. Designers Alexander Wang and Pucci’s Peter Dundas were on hand for Sunday’s show _ as was rocker Courtney Love.

Asked whether the collection’s S&M vibe appealed to her, Love said “I didn’t see it like that at all. To me it was just really beautiful. Maybe I’ve been in rock ‘n’ roll too long.”

JOHN GALLIANO

The inspiration behind the collection might have been a complicated one _ according to the notes, it was something about a real-life con artist from the 1920s who scammed scores of legendary painters _ but the clothes looked more or less the same as usual. Which, when your name is John Galliano, is not a bad thing.

The British designer sent out fetching variations on his hallmark baroque, layered silhouette: Cropped trench coats cinched tight at the waist were worn over billowy harem pants in Japanese prints or multitiered chiffon skirts.

The models were all styled differently _ in an apparent nod to the chameleonic appearance of the show’s inspiration, con artist Maria Lani, who, again according to the collection notes, “convinced over 50 leading artists of the day (including Matisse, Chagall and de Chirico) to paint her portrait” before fleeing Europe with the paintings. Some wore bird’s nest wigs in what looked like cotton candy, while others had tight pigtails or slick gold-glitter dusted up ‘dos.

Held in Paris’ gilded Opera Comique, the show had even more theatrical flair than usual, with models striking exaggerated poses as they slowly meandered the mirrored catwalk.

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