Hash has also had a chance to grow up, honing her occasionally sophomoric experiments (upside-down trousers, anyone?) and adding a little lace and flounce to the mix (though without turning cutesy). Her first look, a shirt with a flannel stole wrapped around it, finished with a raw-edged rosette of menswear fabric, augured well for a cool balance of masculine and feminine. She followed through with narrowed-down coats, pinstripes in navy and brown, checked suiting fabrics, and wispy antique-lace blouses. She revisited some of her earlier dissections of traditional menswear, but with a lighter touch: inside-out bellhop jackets reveal the bindings of seams, and striped linings bunch out to create interesting volumes at the edge of jackets. In another transposition, she took the pleating from the front of a classic men’s dinner shirt and transferred it onto navy gabardine skirts and jackets, leaving the edges unfinished. It takes time to nurture talent, and some never make it; but this season Anne Valérie Hash is looking like a full-fledged contender.
Spring 2004 Couture
Anne Valérie Hash
January 18, 2004 Paris
Young French designers who manage to negotiate a path through the rigid Parisian fashion system are rare indeed, but Anne Valérie Hash is one whose perseverance is paying off beautifully. She called her Fall collection Recreation, meaning school playtime, to reflect an easing of her sometimes intense investigations into tailoring. Now that menswear for women has become a major design focus, the years that Hash spent displacing and taking apart men’s suits have left her in the right place at the right time.
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