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66 posts tagged "Fall 2013"

Dior Does China

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The party season started off with a bang last night in Beijing, when Dior Homme held its first-ever fashion show in China. A bevy of Chinese boldfaced names—like media mogul Hung Huang and “China’s number-one heartthrob,” Huang Xiaoming—headed to the Central Academy of Fine Arts’ Art Museum to view Kris Van Assche’s Fall 2013 presentation.

“I love the momentum of China, and Beijing seemed the right choice, since we had already staged some events in Shanghai,” Van Assche told Style.com. The show was a reprisal of the collection that debuted in Paris in January. Half of the models were cast locally, as was the show’s unexpected star—a black bat that swooped in and circled the runway.

Postshow, everyone migrated downstairs, where champagne and a performance by Hurts awaited. Naturally, the band was dressed in head-to-toe Dior Homme. “I think they are a great representation of contemporary dandyism,” Kris Van Assche said of the duo. Things got festive around 12:30 a.m., when some models challenged other merrymakers to a dance-off. Of course, no fashion fete is complete without an after-party. In this case, revelers were ferried off to Mesh, the hip bar inside The Opposite House hotel, where that oft-parodied phrase “models and bottles” actually rang true.

Photo: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

A Multi-Layered Approach to Fall Outerwear

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Not quite warm enough to break out that leather jacket yet? Pretend you’re one of the achingly cool girls on Altuzarra’s Fall runway and wear your biker over a trusty trench. Doubled-up outerwear—like shrunken bombers or blazers worn on top of more substantial toppers—was one of the season’s big messages. Just remember: It’s easy to get lost in all those layers, so keep volume in check. No one wants to walk down the street looking like she’s got a wide-screen TV stashed underneath her coat.

CLICK FOR A SLIDESHOW of Fall’s layered outerwear looks.

Alaïa Walks the Dotted Line

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Azzedine Alaïa recently showed his Fall ’13 collection his way: Quietly and off schedule, with a small presentation at his Paris studio and showroom, well after the end of Paris’ dedicated ready-to-wear-week. Below, Style.com correspondent Alex Veblen weighs in on the collection. Read on for more, and a slideshow of Alaïa’s Fall looks.


Minutes before the informal show (held, as usual, in Alaïa’s sun-drenched Marais showroom), we were advised that the Fall collection would be “reduced.” The designer has been busy working on the costumes for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro (Jean Nouvel is overseeing the staging). But no disclaimer was necessary. If Alaïa is feeling overworked, it certainly did not show. The Tunisian-born designer has been working with the same Italian knit mill for the last three decades. There is something acutely metaphoric in considering that you can find a continuous thread throughout a hypothetical Alaïa catalogue raisonné. And indeed, this season you will still find many familiar conceits: the bell-shaped skirts; the ribbed body-con dresses; the dense velour; the crisp, stylized white shirt.

But Alaïa also introduced a new motif, and it’s one that has staying power. The knits had sprouted orderly rows of dimensional dots—or “pois” (peas), if you prefer. In some cases, they ran longitudinal down the torso; other times, they served to demarcate the knit pleats or ran horizontally as a pseudo hemline. They also zigzagged in rows of two and danced down leggings. The effect was rhythmic and technical in equal measure. It was colorful, too, but on a much subtler level. The dots occasionally shifted to Lurex green or red, as if he flipped on the switch of dance-club light. The metallic yarn reappeared as a much larger solid statement; at this point, a retailer could be heard swooning. But the piano-key black-and-ivory looks were the sharpest. One fun standout: a double-faced dress with vertical bands of rose, mint, and sand popping out through the black openwork.

Along with a few ingenue flourishes (compact polo collars, black bow-tie belts, and baby-doll silhouettes over jumpsuits), he showed longer skirts and wide velour pants that on first impression might be interpreted as a mature counterpoint. But actually Alaïa wasn’t making a point about age; his point was freedom. At least, the accompanying song “Freedom” (sung by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton), from Django Unchained, suggested as much. And maybe this also explains why, for the first time, he showed an in-between 90-mm heel height. After all the luxe lacquered croc coats last Fall, the designer relegated the exotic skins to accessories and footwear. Perhaps this was what was meant by “reduced.” No matter. All that stiffness gave way to a flirtier collection. Certainly, it had kick.

A few blocks from Alaïa’s showroom, a new exhibition on the history of Haute Couture has been mounted at the Hôtel de Ville. An Alaïa bandage dress circa 1990 stands out like the ribbed rebel amid the finery and embellishment. Next fall, when the Musée Galliera reopens, an Alaïa retrospective will be the marquee show. It’s safe to assume there will be a lot of dames in dots on the opening night.

Click here for a slideshow of Alaïa’s new collection >

Photo: Courtesy of Azzedine Alaïa

Palmer//Harding: Beyond the Shirt

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Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding launched Palmer//Harding four seasons ago as a line that strictly offered shirts. Since, the London-based Central Saint Martins graduates have won NEWGEN sponsorship (they presented on schedule at London fashion week for the first time this season) and their constantly evolving range has been picked up by high-profile retailers like Dover Street Market, Fivestory, Louis Boston, and Moda Operandi. Looking at their Fall '13, it’s not hard to see why. The collection—their most comprehensive to date—features clean, voluminous blouses with long, sometimes floor-length trains, sculpted skirts, and shapely jackets in adventurous textiles (the most exciting of which was a “tarred” wool that Harding likened to antique leather or a “sticky cinema floor”), and sharp black trousers.

In case there was any doubt, the designers have made it clear that they can do more than just shirts. Heck, even the shirts are more than just shirts. One cotton poplin oxford looks simple from the front and then, surprise!, it’s backless. Some styles came with intricate embellishments on the sleeves, collar, or waist, and other silk/cotton voile versions incorporated gentle pleating to achieve a fluid femininity. “There are 15 different shirts in the collection. The shirt is still the star,” said Palmer. Harding added, “We just wanted to show people more of our mood, and our world, and we needed the separates to push that.”

Photo: Courtesy of Palmer//Harding; Set design by Thomas Bird

Old Bones, New Tricks

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The phrase “I’m really excited about this fossilized purple stegosaurus bone” is not something we typically hear when previewing an accessories line. But that’s exactly how sustainable fine-jewelry designer Monique Péan led into the discussion about her Fall 2013 wares. The starting point for her collection, which actually marks the second time she’s worked with 150 million-year-old dino bones, was a recent stint in Guatemala. Ancient pyramids in the jungle inspired the geometric shapes of her multilevel stones. (For instance, one necklace features a Herkimer diamond that was cut with a range of jagged planes and covered in pavéd white or black diamonds.) The trip also led Péan to her newest material—Guatemalan black jade that is literally spit to the surface because of volcanic activity. She fashioned her latest find into sharp diamond-embellished pendulum earrings and textural rings.

This season, Péan continued to work with her signature scrimshawed woolly-mammoth ivory (which, at 150 thousand years old, seems pretty new next to her Jurassic fossils). In fact, she embraced the spirit of the collection by painting her own nails to match the intricate etched patterns on her cream-and-black earrings and rings. However, it was those dinosaur bones (some of which were polished to reveal an intricate cellular structure) juxtaposed with diamonds on necklaces and rings that really stood out. “I want people to collect these pieces and pass them down,” Péan told Style.com. “And hopefully, they’ll be around for hundreds and millions of years, just like the dinosaur bones.”

Monique Péan jewelry is available at Barneys, Jeffrey, and other select retailers.

Photos: Courtesy of Monique Péan