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Chanel heads up imaginative, spirited day of shows

By Thomas Adamson

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3 2012 8:35 a.m. MDT

A cinched metal or tortoiseshell waist band — a recurrent Burton feature — which fanned out into a peplum in some of the looks resembled an abdomen of a wasp or queen bee.

The fascinating collection of 31 looks — which had fashion insiders amazed — was as thought-out as it was perfectly executed with metal mesh materials that sparkled mechanically.

The 1950s were visited in full skirts which mixed with structuralist fashion: Hard bodice cages, which showed the inner working of corsetry of the crinoline age, on the outside.

The last collections revisited the queen theme: Billowing structured skirts in beige, soft yellow and vermilion looked like a surrealist take on Marie Antoinette.

VALENTINO

"Suggestion is seduction," was the theme of Valentino's accomplished spring-summer 2013 show in Paris, which saw the storied Italian fashion house move subtly more sensual.

Italian design duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli kept their strict, high collars and didn't bare too much flesh but eased their conservative designs, in razor-thin slits and tiny transparent cutouts.

Elsewhere, diaphanous see-through outer garments in black tulle really worked well in bringing home the collection's message of provocative shyness.

Some of the outfits sported front bibs — wavy silk U-shaped bands — Valentino's more conservative version of the on-trend ruffle shown by Riccardo Tisci's show for Givenchy.

Two gorgeous red silk dresses appeared at the end, evoking the spirit of the house DNA.

Founder Valentino Garavani, 80, was seated in the front row and applauded thunderously when the show ended.

PACO RABANNE

Lydia Maurer put a spin on the house archives in her debut collection for Paco Rabanne that included myriad variations on the '60s Do-It-Yourself discs of the Rhodoid dress.

The starting point of the show was Jean Clemmer and Paco Rabanne's controversial 1960s photo collaboration called "Canned Candies," which resurfaced two years ago: Images of naked women in bold armorlike jewelry.

Maurer's show thus had a vibe of the sexual revolution with provocative dresses that bared much flesh — all held together with Rabanne's signature "69" disc.

It evoked the essence of the founder, who first cut his teeth in jewelry design.

One gold fringed number made a bold gladiator-like statement, marching past to the sound of rustling metal.

But some of the tailored ensembles let the collection down.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at http:/ /Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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