Ahhh bonjour ma petite tasse! Regardez-vous ma blog post de Paris Fashion Week! As you can tell, I’m basically fluent in French, it’s one of my many talents. For those not as clever as me at French, here’s a round-up of the sartorial offerings from Paris Fashion Week.
STOP. BALMAIN TIME! An 80s wipe-clean wonderland, Balmain was every theatrical tin-foil fashion hope and more, we have Balmain in at my work all the time, can’t wait to try and shoe-horn myself into the amazing waistcoat outfit on the right, rip it, and be evicted because I can’t pay for it. ASPIRATIONAL!
Alexander Wang’s much anticipated first collection since his controversial appointment at Balenciaga. And it wasn’t horrible. It’s still very much Wang-esque (not a word I’ll use again, promise) but with undeniable Christobal influence. I liked it, it’s a nice return to the classic, clean Balenciaga, rather than the ultra modernism Ghesquiere brought with his metal leggings/Egyptofunk/riding hats etc, which I loved, but I don’t think Wang could have followed on from or replicated in the same vein without it looking like some kind of shit Project Runway ~modernism~ challenge.
I know leather panelling has been done over and over and over, but I want this, all of this, and variations of this, forever.
Really enjoying the Brave New World/Handmaid’s Tale minimal ~dystopian sexuality~ here, and how could I not love the wimple. I’m all about a wimple. I’m not ususally a huge fan of Mugler, but the simplicity, and the murky blue with crisp white, speaks to my inner future gimp.
Each season Givenchy is usually my go-to, but the disparity between the menswear (99% of the time, amazing) and the womenswear (67% of the time, amazing) starts to show more and more. I love the floral leather biker and the quilted bomber, super, but the random sequinned arm? The cheap ill-fitting mesh? The shiny polka-dots? This both confuses and upsets me.
These are my dream outfits until I’m thin enough to slip under my office door, rather than walking through it. Probably not very practical day to day (getting closed in bus doors, dropping Tesco Value lasagne down yourself, cycling – all trials I face daily) but commanding and beautiful all the same. I do miss the structured, body-con Pugh of olde, but a shift in silhouette hasn’t lost the dark drama he’s built his brand on.
I’m not ususally a fan of Valentino, not nearly enough black, leather or androgyny for me, but this china plate-esque collection has reminded me that I AM A GIRL, HERE ME SQUEAL!
Do you feel dizzy? Disorientated? It might be to do with Yves Saint Laurent spinning so hard in his grave that the Earth is turning faster than usual. #SOFTGRUNGELAURENT HAS STRUCK AGAIN. Hedi’s latest collection (and we know how much I enjoyed his last menswear offering) has been met with a resounding NON from critics, and rightly so. His access to the Topshop throw-out must be STOPPED.
This season marks Claire Wright Keller’s fourth at the helm of Chloe, and it’s definitely her best yet. Probably my favourite collection from Paris, simple and minimal with great tailoring and a perfect colour palette.
Who invented the tartan laundry bag? Has anyone got his email? He’s definitely been ripped off at Celine. Blatant plagiarism aside, Celine was it’s usual super self, a really nice palette and pleasing oversized yet tailored shapes (so excited to put on 15 stone before winter and be able to shop at Celine rather than Millets!).
Last week, Hedi Slimane showed his first menswear collection as creative director of
YSL Saint Laurent Paris.
During his time as creative director of Dior Homme (2000-2007), Slimane quickly carved out his aesthetic as the antithesis of Dolce and Gabbana, Versace, JPG et al’s chiseled male models, instead showing his collection on thin, pale and boyish models, often street casted by Slimane himself. Hedi popularised skinny jeans and consequently, even skinnier bodies. Feting London’s indie rock scene, Hedi faced criticism for his obsession with eternal fuck-up Pete Doherty (obviously this was before Pete started cutting his coke with pork pies) featuring him in many a moody black and white photo for his Rock Diary and kitting him out in skinny tailoring for years. This new aesthetic was quickly picked up throughout the fashion industry, with Karl Lagerfeld even famously declaring Slimane’s skinny tailoring as the motivation behind his massive weight loss in 2001.
As a 11-16 year old, the Hedi Dior Homme collections really struck a chord with me, and were definitely the start of my obsession with fashion and particularly menswear. I was skinny, with a chest as flat as Hedi’s models and a penchant for Topman. I loved the androgyny, the easy London cool mapped out in never-ending black and white, all set to catwalk soundtracks by my favourite bands of the time. The same boys at school who would shout ‘GAY!’ at any boy wearing pink were now spending their mother’s money on jeans that could have been their sisters’.Fast forward to 2012, five years on from the fashion forward, critically lauded collections showed under Dior Homme, to the first men’s collection as Saint Laurent Paris. And it was awful.
Whereas his collections at Dior Homme captured the spirit of a moment, what we are offered for AW13 is an irrelevant rehash of grunge-by-numbers, with Julia Nobis (a model whose weight, or lack thereof, is dribbled over by pro-ana fan girls across the world) in a predictable Kurt Cobain inspired outfit that wouldn’t look out of place on a Topman sale rail. Gutted.
She was followed by other mini Kurts, in leopard print cardigans and plaid shirts, amongst ripped jeans and duffle coats.
The only memorable thing about the collection, sadly, was the use of a model who, even if his thinness is natural, has absolutely no place in a fashion show.
This bizarre, disappointing and wildly irresponsible casting (I’ve yet to find a name and agency for him, but I’m sure his comp card is a total lie already) is all the more confusing given Slimane’s strained relationship with the press surrounding his re-branding of Saint Laurent Paris. This model’s inclusion sparked immediate disgust on Twitter, with fashion industry insiders and fans in general left baffled at Slimane’s obvious face-palm.
Models being too thin is a subject that has been talked about over and over again and will continue to be talked about over and over again, but what had previously only been a major concern in womenswear, With Andrej Pejic talking about his struggle to keep his weight low enough to model womenswear, the implications of using a model whose body shape, being so extreme, totally eclipses the outfit he is wearing. With the cross-over between womens and menswear and the use of women in menswear shows and vice versa more popular than ever, are boys falling prey to the same body fascism that has been part and parcel of being a female model for decades?
Casting agents obviously work with this preference for androgyny, rather than masculinity, in mind, James Scully, a seasoned casting agent with a solid rep built at Tom Ford era Gucci said of casting, “Everyone looks to Miuccia Prada for the standard the way they used to look at Hedi Slimane. Once the Hedi Slimanization got started, all anyone wanted to cast was the scrawny kid who looked like he got sand kicked in his face. The big, great looking models just stopped going to Europe. They knew they’d never get cast.”
With constant efforts to regulate how thin is too thin with regards to female models, perhaps more attention needs to be paid to their male counterparts, particularly if designers like Slimane are going to cast such shockingly thin models. 25% of reported eating disorder sufferers, something which increases year upon year, and although I’m not suggesting that eating disorders are ~caused~ by fashion models, it would definitely be a good idea for people to know that YOU MAY BE THIN ENOUGH TO BE A MODEL, BUT YOU’RE ALSO THIN ENOUGH TO BE DEAD.
It’s disappointing really, particularly when you think that Slimane is showing such a irrelevant, dull collection with a spattering of mental health related controversy under the name of Yves Saint Laurent, a man who not only struggled himself with drug addiction and mental health problems but also as a man regarded as one of the finest designers in history. Hopefully Hedi’s gotten his ‘Thin Boy in a High Street Shop’ out of his system and SS14 will be something worth paying attention to outside of pro-ana Livejournals and ~soft grunge~ tumblrs.