Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier set the stage of his spring 2014 runway show with a reality competition inspired setting were models were judged on their dancing with critical judges. Leather played a major component in the new season with designs evoking the musical “Grease”.
Gaultier’s Dancing Spring – Never one to take runway shows too seriously, Jean Paul Gaultier brought some fun to Paris Fashion Week with a spring 2014 presentation inspired by dance competition shows. Adding a touch of cheek, judges held up signs for models’ dancing skills which criticized with phrases like “No”, “Boring” or “So So”. The collection evoked the classical music “Grease” with leather biker jackets and form-fitting pants as well as hip-hop inspired ensembles with baggy trousers and hooded sweatshirts. Elsewhere in the presentation, Gaultier referenced tango outfits with fringed dresses and skirts while seventies punk was emulated in combat boots and hardware decorated leather.
Haider Ackermann’s Androgynous Spring – Haider Ackermann paid tribute to the female form with a collection stepped in androgyny for his namesake label’s spring 2014 collection. A story of contradictions, the silhouettes are at once sleek with their modern cuts and relaxed shapes yet dreamy in airy chiffons and silks worn as veils, skirts or tops. Long jackets and baggy trousers speak to mannish style while the low-cut tops and slinky metallic dresses embrace a more feminine form. The play on hard and soft style make the Ackermann woman’s upcoming spring a beautiful contradiction.
Viktor & Rolf’s School Days – Viktor & Rolf go back to school with the Dutch design duo’s spring 2014 collection shown during the fifth day of Paris Fashion Week. The pair deconstructed schoolgirl uniform staples such as the blazer, pleated plaid skirt and button-up shirt. The result was a play on proportions and shape which was far from girly and more grownup. Tops or jackets were decorated with insignias, sometimes quite literal and other times more abstract with geometric shapes. Skirts also riffed off the classic uniform, but were transformed with multiple layers or voluminous pleats. Long waistcoats and high necklines also gave the spring outing an almost boyish undertone.
Dior’s Raf Simons injected some color and decorative details into the label’s spring collection. Floral motifs were a major theme of the new season as well as iconic Dior pieces like the “Bar” jacket which were reinvented with colorful panels.
Marant’s Spring Essentials – Isabel Marant delivered her signature rocker cool, bohemian aesthetic for her namesake label’s spring 2014 collection shown during the fourth day of Paris Fashion Week. Fresh off the heels of her recent H&M collaboration, the French designer revisits some of her greatest staples such as boxy jackets, skin-baring hemlines, distressed denim and clinging dresses. With the easiness and cool vibe which almost envelopes the Marant woman, you can see why the Swedish retailer would tap the designer for a collaboration; her aesthetic is contemporary and speaks to the young woman of today whether in Paris or Los Angeles.
Dior’s Spring Garden – Amidst a runway show featuring a setting of hanging flora, the spring 2014 collection from Dior similarly embraced the floral theme whether it was quite literal with prints or more abstract with shape. Raf Simons has reinterpreted the house’s DNA for the past several seasons, and now it looks like he is bringing his own unique stamp to the brand. The spring preview implemented emblem decorations which adorned the iconic Dior “Bar” jacket. In fact, decoration was a main theme of the show, whether with bold prints or dresses embellished with colorful sayings like, “Primrose Path” or “Ultra Violet Mouth”. It was a change from the minimal restraint Simons has shown in the past. For the finale, models walked in black suiting decorated with kaleidoscopic patterns or silver jacquard dresses.
Rykiel’s Woman at Dusk – Sonia Rykiel designer Geraldo da Conceição noted in his show notes that the Rykiel woman for spring is “a creature of the dusk, a sunset heroine”. Spring 2014 definitely speaks to nighttime attire with its slinky silhouettes that have an almost sensual ease. The French label’s signature knitwear pieces were out in full effect with twenties inspired cuts decorated with blown-up argyle patterns, stripes and sparkling prints. The color palette of spring is varied; ranging from soft creams to fruity tangerines and plums. There is also a lingerie-inspired aspect to the clinging dresses and separates made of raw silk and lamés.
After a successful debut collection for fall, Balenciaga creative director Alexander Wang ushered in a new ease for the label’s spring collection with sporty touches, pretty pastels and sheer fabrics.
Balenciaga’s New Ease – Marking his second runway show for Balenciaga womenswear, designer Alexander Wang aimed to bring some ease to the brand’s spring 2014 collection. Indeed, the new lineup offered a more relaxed silhouette and more varied color palette than that of fall, but it still retained the structure of the fashion house’s DNA. Wang incorporated some of his own street wear aesthetic with the introduction of cropped tops paired with peplum skirts and shorts that had a sporty undertone. The Balenciaga woman embraced her girlish side in dainty dresses in pink and blue worn underneath sheer capes and veils.