Latest from Fashion Week: Victoria/Tomas, Lutz Huelle, Leonard Paris and August Getty
Rarely has the fashion season seemed so heterogeneous, even if designers are united by one goal. Especially this season in the almost entirely online Paris Fashion Week.
Their goal - creating novel formats to present their ideas, as this series of young designers were determined to show over the past 24 hours.
Victoria/Tomas: conservation with credibility
One brand taking a stand against over-consumption is Victoria/Tomas, the indie north Paris house founded by two talents from eastern Europe – Victoria Feldman and Tomas Berzins.
The concept – completely reversible fashion, where every look can be worn in multiple settings. For Fall/Winter 2021, they shot their lookbook video in Studio Zero just by Paris' Canal Saint-Martin, and captured the modern practicality of their style.
All told, 36 looks, each with double roles: mannish classical blue shirts on one side, herringbone knit on the other; great waxy white leather parkas with logo texts on one side, crisp black wool on the other. For evening, cool downtown blazers in white wool covered with a chiffon gauze, on the reverse an uptown gal’s crepe dinner jacket.
On all occasions, the buttons differ on each side. In every case, the careful finish and neat design makes the clothes clever and plausible; and not just a gimmick.
Backed up by a bump-and-grind soundtrack featuring Mythologia, the show ends with the couple taking a joint bow in the super trenches. In a word, conservation with credibility.
Lutz Huelle takes it down a notch
One of the great leaders of assemblage fashion in the past decade has been Lutz Huelle, even if this season he took things down a notch.
“When I started on this collection six months ago, I had no idea how we would still be in the middle of the pandemic. One thing I have really missed is people making an effort to get dressed; thinking about what you want to wear, rather than throwing on jogging pants!” Huelle explained in a pre-show Zoom from his studio on the Rue du Temple in the Marais.
The result was a series of super easy pieces that managed to be both dressy, or as Lutz put it, “precious.”
Sportswear ideas made in cocktail-hour couture fabrics. From an opening with a pyjama jacket, like one worn by his grandfather, this season revamped in super light taffeta, so a woman could wear it watching TV or outside for an evening terrace drink.
Or a baseball jacket, cut in a slim cocoon silhouette and made in an abstract-print silk jacquard – perfect for evening over black pants. Assemblage still but reined in, like Nordic sweaters cut open at the side to become a knitted piumino. Or jackets composed of two different hand-picked vintage denims, worn with beautiful silk faille dresses. The simplest chic of all, striking Imperial Roman taffeta shirt jackets that can be thrown into a washing machine, dried quickly and seen over vintage jeans.
“Not sloppy or too streety, but rarer with a ladylike twist,” smiled Lutz, his bearded face illuminated by a vintage Jielde lamp.
Born in Cologne; a bachelor graduate of Central Saint Martins in London; an alumnus of Martin Margiela, Huelle’s enterprising and truly original fashion is always surprising and never follows obvious trends. To his credit, never more than this season.
Leonard Paris: Dance-rock debutants
A dance-rock-meets-art-deco moment from Leonard Paris in a collection entitled Beyond Midnight, ideal clothes if Joan Crawford had ever taken a date to Studio 54.
A new more dashing direction at this house by designer Georg Lux, in a disco video collection inspired by Folies Bourgeoises. The dark 1976 comedy by Claude Chabrol, starring Paris fashion’s favorite icy beauty Stéphane Audra, living crazed with jealousy inside an art deco apartment.
“What I liked about mixing the codes of Art Deco with the '70s is that they were two periods that were really festive and I think right now we are all longing to go out again and enjoy life,” explained Lux.
This being Leonard, the key elements were bold versions of archive prints; '70s ideas with the colors changed from fuchsias to powdery boudoir hues, and trimmed with sharp black lines. Seen in cute pyjamas, palazzo pants, shorts and light blouses.
Along with a newer more seductive Leonard, from peak-shouldered blouses with silver metallic leather applications to clever wrap miniskirts and deep gorge cocktails in silk satin done in prints of brown and pale pink orchids; the colors inspired by a rare printer by the great American illustrator J. C. Leyendecker from the 1930s.
August Getty: AI couture in LA
We know this is Paris Fashion Week, but the most original show concept so far this month has come from Los Angeles.
California couturier August Getty took fashionable virtual reality to a new level with his online display, which opens with the computer-generated ruins of a temple from Antiquity. Next, your computer cursor guides you through an all-seeing eye to reveal a dazzling rose and gold couture gown, captured in the middle of a virtual volcano.
Next idea - a crystal encrusted, body-con goddess gown, which the camera pans over longingly. Guaranteeing close up shots of the impressive craftsmanship, worthy of a respectable Paris atelier.
The third of just four looks is a warrior-woman prize-giving gold string creation, before a final marbleized silk gown. All shown revolving in space, with not a model in sight.
A collection entitled 'Tinitus,' the images of which are available on Getty’s Instagram account, where he recounts his own aesthetic of escapism, the designer attired in multiple grand gowns and a pink braided wig.
For youthful debutant grande dames with gutsy taste, Getty is ideal accompaniment.
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