Elsewhere in Paris: Patou, Prune Goldschmidt, Attire The Studio; Clara Daguin, Octavio Pizarro
It was a season of socially distanced presentations in Paris. With scores of events on an appointments basis. Where designers personally presented their ideas to individual editors and buyers, a marked contrast with the usual, hurly burly of hustling into a dozen shows and launches every 24 hours.
The effect was curiously old-fashioned but also liberating. A season almost purely for professionals and for once thankfully free of hoards of wannabe influencers. Where the very solitude of the pandemic made many designers hark back to their youth, and ideas that initially inspired them to go into fashion in the first place.
FashionNetwork.com caught up with a slew of presentations to test the fashion pulse this season.
Few harked back more than Guillaume Henry at the house of Patou, who showed plenty of playful volume and easy sophistication in a novel collection for the storied maison.
Presented inside Patou’s small headquarters on the Ile de la Cité, next door to where Commissaire Jules Maigret solved his toughest mysteries, Henry even created a private “screening room,” to decipher a quirky look book video of his spring-summer 2021 looks.
“I first dreamed of fashion as a young kid growing up in the countryside. And, during the lockdown, I recalled the kid I was then, and my love of volume, fantasy and the sense of couture. I am not a conceptual designer, I went back to my youth,” explained Henri, as he showed off his three-minute video.
Inspired by French TV reportages from the 90s shown late at night, which his parents recorded for him. Hence the video looked faintly scratchy like an old VHS recording. The result was a modular collection of considerable volume; puckered, ruched and ruffled bouffant skirts, dresses and blouses, with large Jacobean detachable collars. All anchored by his cool uber square mules and toped by Mary Janes, trèsfun, as the French like to say. No fusing, no thermo bonding, but a playful take on French femininity for today.
Prune Goldschmidt has a dream, to recreate the magic of her youth: of a young child dressing with her grandmother, before finding love and passion in her maturity.
Her clothes reflect that mix of innocence and naughtiness. From a Kamasutra print seen in flowing smock dresses to the naughty yet posh mini cocktails made of striped mannish shirt cottons.
“Yes, it’s a little twisted,” smiles Goldschmidt, who worked for Sonia and Nathalie Rykiel in her youth, before pausing to raise a family – she now has five children – and return with her own label in this debut collection. A cool video of the collection shot in a family chateau is called: Les Caprices.
Prune loves a statement collar, seen in some very natty seersucker trench coats and shirt dresses, or a charming denim combo of double breasted hacking jacket and bloomers. Everything finished with French skill, from the fabric buttons to the high quality fabrics; understandably as Goldschmidt’s grew up in the textile heart of northern France.
Prune Goldschmidt is presenting her debut collection and a series of statement piece costume jewelry until Oct. 5 at at 5 rue du Chevalier de Saint-George, Paris 8th.
Attire The Studio
Plenty of influencers have developed their own collections – from mini capsules to deals with H&M – but few will have put as much heart and soul into it as German social media hit Xenia Adonts.
Named Attire The Studio it’s a fully fledged attempt to create a truly sustainable fashion label, with the emphasis on transparency. When one scans its barcodes, Attire The Studio not only tells you the cost of the fabric, but also that of hardware, labor and transport. Allowing clients to directly compare Attire’s price compared to traditional retailing. Hard to get much more Direct to Consumer than that. They will even tell you the fabric mill, fiber origin and manufacturing location.
Moreover, Attire uses two key fabric sources – organic cottons that are spun, woven and dyed in Italy, respecting the Global Organic Textile Standard, which limits toxic bleaches and chemical use.
“We wanted to make a collection that was truly sustainable, but affordable too,” said Xenia, who shows in her own apartment, in the new digital hipster domain of Paris located around the Bourse.
The clothes are very much classic with a twist, from mannish shirts with extended sleeves, cool cuffed pants suits; or lamb of mutton sleeved cable knits - dreamed up by executive designer Carmela Osorio Lugo.
Certain fashion editors still tend to look down their noses at influencers, allegedly for their lack of real fashion knowledge, but more often out of jealousy for their number of fans. Xenia, who has 1.5 million followers on Instagram, has had the guts to try something genuinely new in fashion. Let’s respect her for that.
The latest smart French designer to appear from California is Clara Daguin, who is staging a cerebral presentation within Joyce Gallery inside the Palais Royal.
Daguin is showing just one style of jacket, albeit in a multiplicity of materials. Her curvilinear bomber jacket manages to be futurist yet contemporary. And comes in soft velour or brushed cotton, with interlocking illuminated LED trim.
Though the star of the event is her Mad Scientist see-through Intergalactic Poet version, finished with built in golden chains and twinkling LEDs. Located somewhere between her base in northern California in Cupertino and divinely demented couture, this mini show marks Daguin out as very much a name to follow.
One could not fault the Chilean-born but Paris based designer Octavio Pizarro for the location of his presentation. Inside the splendid 7th arrondissement mansion that is the Chilean Embassy, once the home of Latin America’s greatest poet, Pablo Neruda. And there was something poetic about Pizarro’s collection, inspired from observing how his mother twisted shirts and jerseys into new shapes daily during the lockdown in Santiago.
Sleeves shaped as bells, raglans, bishops, leg o mutton and puff in some great shirts and paired with cable knits and biker jackets.
One suspects that Signora Pizarro will love these ideas. Hard to be more about returning to one’s origins than that.
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