Spring 2014 Ready-to-Wear
September 27, 2013 Paris
You probably wouldn't have guessed that designer Jonathan Riss based this season's flouncy webbed skirts and micro net gilets on the monolithic CCTV tower in Beijing and Oscar Niemeyer's mid-century futurism throughout Brazil. To each their own architectural interpretation. Anyway, what really matters is that the collection was cohesive—mostly—and cool (in effect and in terms of ventilation). Riss didn't stray too far from what has become the Jay Ahr comfort zone; he kept to a strict no-color scheme, establishing tonality by layering sheer sweatshirts over sharply cut opaque athletic bras. Previously, Riss achieved volume with plush plumage; for Spring, he shifted up a gear and developed sculpted ruffles from double-sided fused mesh. Bonus points for breathability. The technical, textural focus extended to the swirling pattern of matte studs; they were the work of a Beijing designer who ordinarily makes portable flexible keyboards. But Riss explained that the collection also required a "humanizing" element for counterbalance; presumably he was referring to the flashes of side rib. There was one incongruous element, too, in two of the evening skirts where Riss wrapped pleated fabric around the hips and let it swing softly between the legs. Perhaps they just weren't architectural enough.