Apart from elaborate presentations from some of fashion’s grandest houses, the most gratifying part of Paris Fashion Week is discovering new talents. Calla Haynes was one such designer, exhibiting the kind of promise and innovation that will make her succeed in the competitive fashion industry.
Showing at a small gallery in the Marais District, the Paris-based Toronto native put her enviable fashion background to good use. Haynes is a former model and she spent her formative fashion years studying at Parsons The New School for Design in both New York and Paris. While in France, the 29-year-old got a coveted internship at Rochas, during the house’s creative heydays under the helm of Olivier Theyskens. She then went on to work closely with the Belgian designer for five years at both Rochas and later at Nina Ricci. Haynes then embarked on a print and textile design spree, collaborating with the likes of Erin Fetherston, Alexander Wang, Thomas Engel Hart and Jeremy Laing.
Clearly produced by an experienced hand, Haynes debut label, Calla, has a balance of sellable femininity and palatable edginess that doesn’t come around often. The collection featured body-con corsets in dresses and tops, slim high-waisted pants, puffball skirts and beautifully cut feminine blazers in sweet hues of apricot, cream and light gray. Aside from the sharply cut pieces and pretty silhouettes, Calla sets itself apart with beautiful, painterly digital prints used throughout the collection. Adding an almost futuristic feel to some of the classic pieces, it’s easy to see why Haynes’ textile designs have been sought after by other young designers. Fashion forward women looking for a cool wardrobe lift, meanwhile, will find a new niche in Calla’s contrasting aesthetic.