In Paris, the spotlight is on young designers with Victoria/Tomas, Botter and Mame Kurogouchi
A breath of fresh air invaded the catwalks of Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday, with rich and inventive collections designed by young brands that have gained in visibility in recent years. Victoria/Tomas, Botter and Mame Kurogouchi are still going strong, despite two difficult years marked by the pandemic, consolidating their place in an increasingly crowded fashion market.
A symbolic step was taken by Victoria Feldman and Tomas Berzins, who celebrated the tenth anniversary of their house Victoria/Tomas on Tuesday. The two designers, she from Russia and he from Latvia, met on the benches of the Esmod school in Paris, and since then have never left each other, launching their brand in September 2012. It is this love story that they wanted to tell, on Tuesday, through an energetic and very sexy spring-summer 2023 collection.
The show opened with Victoria in a virginal white crinkled nylon minidress, perched on the brand's iconic lace-up boots, with her six-month-old baby in her arms. "This opening with me in all white and our son seemed like a beautiful symbol to show the beginning of something new. We wanted to share a real, sincere and authentic story with the public," the designer confided to FashionNetwork.com backstage, recalling that the brand is distributed in more than 50 multi-brand boutiques and for the past two seasons via a showroom in China.
This "decade of love", as the collection is called, is symbolized by the heart, which can be found everywhere, in patterns, logos, badges and embroidery. Fabric hearts are applied in concentric layers to the pockets of Saharan shirts and jackets. They are outlined by means of metallic rings applied to T-shirts and sweaters, but also on knee-length trousers or inlaid on the breasts of minidresses and strapless tops.
Most pieces are reversible. This anniversary collection hardly lacks fringed skirts and striped cotton shirts, which this season are shortened in the front and left long and loose in the back. The belly is easily exposed with sweatshirts and cropped shirts. The wardrobe is particularly sensual with transparent black fishnet, lace bodysuits and lingerie that can be worn under a jacket, the result of a collaboration with the new high-end corsetry line Chantelle X.
Another love story was being told on the Parisian catwalks the very same day. That of Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter. Freshly awarded the Andam prize, the two designers, who left the creative direction of Nina Ricci at the beginning of the year, refocused on their Botter brand and menswear, showing more than ever their commitment to save the oceans and preserve the coral reef. Models dipped their hands into amazing water-filled latex aquarium mittens, wore sneakers with large coloured rubber soles, while bags were shaped like ice cubes or diving buoys.
With this spring-summer 2023 collection, the Dutch duo, whose origins are divided between Curaçao island and Santo Domingo island, took the suit, a strong piece of their wardrobe, and reworked it in depth to modernize it with a twist, making it cool and desirable. The cuts are clean, while keeping the volumes comfortable and fluid. The suits are available in classic gray shades or micro-check patterns and even Caribbean turquoise, the brand's signature color. Everything is about detail and construction. The jackets, in particular, are subtly revisited, without sleeves, or shortened and flared, or enhanced in the back.
The front is split, with one flap sometimes coming off to fall over the chest like a petal. Slits on the shoulders allow the sleeves of the jacket to be removed by throwing them back, a bit like how some surfers wear their wetsuits when getting out of the water. To accentuate the diver's look, the jacket can be tucked into the trousers, worn with its double - a second tone-on-tone jacket - in a twin-set fashion. It can also be unbuttoned in the middle and opened in the shape of a heart. In the same spirit, the cardigan and the knitted dress are worn as a tight bustier, with the sleeves folded back and tied around the neck as a scarf.
In a delicate collection in mint and chocolate colors, Mame Kurogouchi highlighted Japanese know-how, as always. This season, designer Maiko Kurogouchi was inspired by an ancestral technique of weaving bamboo baskets. She uses the clever rosettes and scrolls in tops and dresses woven from shoe laces or in macramé tunics decorated with bamboo beads to slip over a knitted leotard. But also in tops woven with ribbons.
The play of braiding is repeated in elaborate knitwear, with raised stitches that create textured effects. The wardrobe also offers impalpable silk dresses, finely pleated like origami. Others, with deep necklines, are layered with a skin-tight knit in the same tone or show a chic bra. Wearing Zori, the traditional Japanese sandals, the models moved gracefully with mint green lips, matching some of their minimalist suits, such as graphic trousers, dress, jacket and coat in the same fresh shade.
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