Paris is the stage for fashion’s showmen to put on grand productions that toe the line between theatre and high fashion. Viktor & Rolf, Alexander McQueen, and John Galliano duked it out for the theatricality awards all delivering noteworthy performances. V&R worked gender-bending inspiration into new silhouettes with gowns mutating into men’s suit; McQueen, in one of his strongest collections showed beyond beautiful flitty and flowing dresses that unfolded in a Sydney Pollack They Shoot Horses Don’t They inspired danceaton. And Galliano, up to his usual runway antics, darkened the mood this season on his customary global confetti at Dior with Marlene Dietrich-inspired metallic colored satin dresses and beret wearing forties era models, only to reprise his costuming in his own John Galliano collection showing baby dolls in mega poofing and frilling. Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche battled rumors of his defection to Versace from the Gucci Group over contract disputes and defended a ’20s, satin-heavy showing and a new skinny at the ankle full at the thigh silhouette. Marc Jacobs was praised for getting it right with those important bags again (canvas edged in gold this season); he also showed clothes that may rival the following of his Marc Jacobs label. Here at JC report however we also like to track the lesser players. Auguste (see JC Report Issue 15), showed a solidly impressive collection depicting looks that shift the placement of seaming to reflect moving time; tackled shadows through the use of trompe l’oeil detailing; and raised the subject of the sanctity of our icons by shrouding the head and raising collars. At Tsumori Chisato, numerous beautiful ideas were bled in an unyielding procession of richly printed and decorated silk and jersey dresses. The label has many stores in Japan but limited distribution elsewhere, marking this as one for retailers to check out. And Martin Grant (see JC Report Issue 7) put a firmer stamp on his designer-for-the-lunching-set with a smooth collection composed of cosmopolitan chic above the knee and shirt dresses in cool metallic and black. Look for more fashion week coverage in upcoming reports.
- Jason Campbell
Photo: Auguste spring 2004