September 30, 2006
After two years in New York, Wolfgang Joop has brought his Wunderkind collection to Paris. "In America, they were always telling me you have to be a little businesslike, a little sporty, a little realistic. Here, you have to follow your heart," he said. Well, it seems that Joop's heart is of two minds. The first look outa two-piece, gray checked suit with slouchy pantssuggested he'd go the menswear route. From there, though, he layered on the flourishes, so that by the end it wasn't a surprise to see a long-coat-bikini top-and-cuffed-bloomers combination come in gold-leafed tablecloth lace. Most of the clothes were faded at the shoulders, an ombré patina effect Joop said he achieved by bleaching them in the sun in Italy. Many others were studded with brass grommets. When he put the two effects together, it was an embellishment overload. Better were the show's less tricky pieces: a belted black dress with broderie anglaise at the neckline and a navy silk suit with zips at the ankle that jibed with the sporty vibe starting to materialize on the runways; or washed-leather jackets with a snug, sexy fit. Beforehand, Joop hinted that his Paris debut had given him a case of the nerves. Nothing suggested that more than the show's misguided statement accessories: bonnets with peripheral-vision-obliterating brims. So much for New York's lesson in realism, indeed.