One of the subcurrents of the Spring season that is slowly rolling to a close here in Paris is nature. Our manipulation of it (mostly to our detriment) on the one hand, and its awesome power on the other. Akris
' Albert Kriemler focused on the latter. His press kit featured photos of sandstone lines, algae, honeycombs in the sand, and granite curves. "It's a dream of fabrics and nature—moved forward through technology," he wrote. That sounds like fertile ground for Kriemler, who treasures fabrics and has Akris' fabulous St. Gallen mill at his disposal. In a number of cases it was.
To begin with, Kriemler reproduced those nature images in large scale on cotton voile, plissé chiffon, and even leather. The designer has become known for his photoprints, but these signaled a new direction; they were more abstracted and more exuberant than the street scenes and aerial landscapes he's used for the last couple of seasons. That's why they worked best on a shirtdress, or a breezy skirt worn with a thin-gauge sweater. Paired up in a suit, the patterns tended to be overwhelming. As the collection progressed, Kriemler laid the textures on thick: St. Gallen embroideries in honeycombs of lace, fagoting designed to look like horizontal strands of algae, and, most vividly of all, tiny holographic foil appliqués. The tricky, midriff-revealing cuts on a few dresses did not simplify things. Nature is a dangerous beast, but in the end Kriemler finished strong, confidently in control of a trio of pieces in black and gold wave-pattern chenille.