While Nicolas Ghesquiere of Balenciaga has returned to his roots, some avant-garde designers are cutting back amid their financial challenges. They want to SURVIVE.
Yohji Yamamoto is perhaps the best example. While the clothes are poetic as usual, the pieces are extremely commercial. It’s beautiful, but definitely uninspired. I later heard that Yohji has incurred some financial challenges, which explained the collection very well.
Junya Watanabe, whose collections usually raise eyebrows, is also playing it safe. Junya showed his (commercially) greatest hits: form fitting jackets and biased cut trousers. It’s another collection many retailers will be very happy with, but the hard core fans are hardly satisfied.
Comme des Garcons, Ann Demeulemeester and Hussein Chalayan also followed. There is nothing wrong with being commercial, but when the Belgians and the Japanese are playing it safe, Paris has lost half of its luster.
And here comes the other half: pure luxury.
Dries Van Noten showed his masterful skills mixing beautiful Southeast Asian prints and Ikat. All looks appeared to be styled perfectly with a unique Dries touch. His shoes have improved immensely in the past seasons and clearly that has brought more financial freedom.
Alber Elbaz wrapped all his girls with silk and leather, showing another ultra luxurious collection. It’s undeniable that Alber Elbaz spoils his clients to the max, yet the collection looks repetitive and I’m hungry for something new.
What blew me away is Haider Ackermann’s latest presentation. Haider has gained tremendous publicity after Tilda Swinton wore his clothes to award shows. Haider’s clothing is full of beautiful draping skills, yet it always comes with a bit of a dark mood. The only downside to me is that most of the outfits need a tall lady like Tilda to pull off, the clothes are emotional nonetheless.
The collection that moves me the most is actually Sophia Kokosalaki. She understands what a woman wants. A dress would beautifully drape around a model’s body, feminine, but not too soft. After wearing my Kokosalaki dress to a few special occasions, I’m ready to splurge on a cream color summer dress.