|Paris Fashion Shows Do Performance Art, Exotic Locales |
Dutch fashion designers Viktor Horstin, left, and Rolf Snoeren, right, give the final touch to one of their creations worn by a model as part of his Fall-Winter 2010-2011 Ready to Wear fashion collection, presented in Paris, Saturday, March. 6, 2010. AP Photo/Jacques Brinon.
By: Jenny Barchfield, Associated Press Writer
PARIS (AP).- Performance art which saw Dutch design duo Viktor & Rolf strip a pup tent-shaped former supermodel down to the size of a Playboy bunny in front of an audience of thousands rang in Saturday day four of the City of Light's eight-daylong ready-to-wear week.
Besides the odd-but-comeplling display, other highlights of the day included the world-beat vibe at Jean Paul Gaultier, where a band made up of such disparate elements as a Russian balalaika and an accordion provided the sound track for a globe-trotting show, that drew on patterns, designs and aesthetics from as far afield as Mongolia, Finnish Lapland and Mexico.
Azzaro delivered a sober and appealing collection of black, white and rhinestone Parisienne chic, with looks that seemed to be channeling the timeless appeal of Mademoiselle Coco Chanel. Cacharel, on the other hand, disappointed with a collection of middle-market looks that showed about as much flair for design as The Gap.
Spanish leather maestros Loewe delivered a lovely-but-unadvernturesome collection of Forties-inspired skirt suits paired with veiled toques and bizarre fur-adorned stilettos.
Dozens of vocal anti-fur activists amassed outside of Gaultier's central Paris headquarters, where the one-time enfant terrible of French fashion holds his runway shows, although the fur on his runway was kept to a minimum. Fur took center stage at Viktor & Rolf, where the designers undressed and then dressed supermodel Kristen McNameny like a Russian stacking doll, zipping the garments piled onto her down to size zero with a complex system of zippers and drawstrings as they dressed a rotating cast of other models. On stage. In front of an audience of thousands.
In the end, the bespeckled pair's experiment with performance art was worth it. Their 15 minutes onstage won them among the day's heartiest applause.
The French capital's ready-to-wear displays move into day five on Sunday with shows by storied-and-hot French houses Givenchy and Celine, the queen of knits, Sonia Rykiel, Dior designer John Galliano's signature line, and Chanel and Fendi uber-designer Karl Lagerfeld's eponymous line.
Jean Paul Gaultier
It was a whirlwind world tour, with stops in such far-flung locales as Mongolia, Myanmar, Mexico, Ukraine and China.
Each of the looks, which worked ethnic touches and motifs onto streetwear, was a journey unto its own: A slim Chinese dress was paired with an oversized hoodie sweatshirt, curly toed Turkish slippers, stacking neckrings from the Kayan people of Myanmar and an oversized turban in African wax print cotton.
The final look paired a long-sleeved leotard knit with Tibetan motifs or were they Sami patterns from Lapland? with masses of chunky silver jewelry from the Persian Gulf, a gold lame turban and an oversized backpack in fur.
A live band with components as diverse as the outfits and included both an accordionist, an Afro-Caribbean drummer and a balalaika, accompanied the show which opened to strains of France's national anthem, "La Marseillaise."
"I am influenced by life, by travels, by people's roots, whether they happen to be my roots or not," Gaultier, France's one-time enfant terrible, told journalists after the show. "Everything is about mixture."
The strongest pieces in the collection were the ones that pushed that mixture to the maximum, mashing all the diverse influences into a sort of puree in which none was distinguishable: Hybrid hats that started with a Tibetan base and were crowned with something like a Tunisian chechia or a Turkish fez; a red knit vest in Mongolian fur with in a pattern that was either from Eastern Europe or East Asia.
The collection drew heavily on the mind-blowing Mexican-themed haute couture show Gaultier fielded last January, but sadly fell slightly short of that level of brilliance.
Still, it was a great trip.
Viktor & Rolf
As the soundtrack of industrial racket clanked overhead, the model, Kristen McNameny, appeared in her tent-like incarnation at the top of the runway. She waddled over to a rotating platform, set into the middle of the catwalk, and Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren started stripping off layer after layer, like the skin of an onion or Russian stacking dolls.
Wearing their trademark plastic-framed nerd eyeglasses, the designers transferred each removed layer first maxi-greatcoats and oversized fox fur coats; then lighter parkas hung with swinging drawstrings onto another model, who then walked the catwalk.
After McNameny was pared down to a strapless bustier, the pair repeated the process in reverse: stripping the other models and piling the layers back on to the formerly eyebrow-less top model. The crowning look was an oversized bustle in stiff tulle that was stripped off an evening look and hung round McNameny's neck, like an oversized collar on her industrial refrigerator-sized greatcoat.
It was a novel exercise, and the crowd of fashion insiders many of whom had sat through more than 100 conventional shows in New York, London and Milan over the past month hooted enthusiastically.
But the spectacle itself distracted attention away from the clothes, which were basically big, bulky and black. (Though it must be said, they were remarkably engineered: Enormous when they were peeled off McNameny, Snoeren and Horsting transformed them into a model-tiny size through a system of zippers and drawstrings.)
Still, perhaps keeping the clothing in the background was exactly the point of the exercise.
After an inventive offer of suede-heavy garments for last season, the Spanish label's new designer Stuart Vevers went the safe and easy route with a collection of 1940s-inspired skirt suits with veiled toques that were so glamorous, their only place was on a catwalk.
The seating little Parisian cafe tables around which the audience was seated, over tapas and the soundtrack Frank Sinatra's greatest hits set the stage for a show that was pretty but utterly uninspired. The suits, in leather, ostrich or with mink panels, were sublime, and the shoes, many of which were adorned with a tuft of fur at the ankle or sprouting from the vertiginous heel, were ridiculous.
But the main question remains: Who, exactly, wants to shell out for a suit whose expiration date already passed something like 60 years ago?
The house's designer, Vanessa Seward, looked to the quintessentially classy piece the tuxedo serving up sensual, ladylike variations on it that included a silk bustier jumpsuit and a short cocktail dress with a plunging V-neckline.
The dresses, in smart and sober cuts, were spruced up with just the right dose of rhinestone accents and oversized satin bows.
A long-sleeved black silk dress with white cuffs and a neat white collar seemed to be channeling Coco Chanel, while a series of abbreviated cocktail numbers with pleated skirts and rhinestone buttons down the back looked like it was plucked off a bourgeois housewife from the tony Paris neighborhood of Saint Germain-de-Pres, circa 1975.
It was a most convincing effort from Seward.
Following a series of revolving appointments at the French heritage label, the fashion world had high hopes for Cedric Charlier, the designer who showed his first collection for the house last season. That show garnered positive reviews, but Saturday's display a hodgepodge of Mod-influenced looks and trompe l'oeil prints left many in the audience disappointed.
Besides a few unique dresses, including a cocktail number with covered in a layer of black fabric with cutouts like a paper snowflake or a long black dress that got progressively more transparent, the closer the hemline it was unclear why much of it was on the catwalk in the first place.
How the black A-line skirt paired with the ribbed long-sleeve crewneck sweater, for example, got there was perfectly confounding.
One of the highlights of the display, which was held in a cavernous former bank on Paris' tony Place Vendome, actually happened before the start of the show, when an audience member dressed in head-to-toe leopard print lay down catwalk, confounding the security guards who tried unsuccessfully to get him to choose a more conventional spot. Another unforgettable moment was at the end, when the glass-covered catwalk filled with dry ice and overflowed in a cloud of thick white mist onto the pit of photographers.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
March 8, 2010
Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts Presents Painting by German Artist Max Klinger
Leo Villareal Public Art Installation Illuminates Downtown with Sky
Albert Einstein's Relativity Manuscript Goes on Display
State of Michigan to Save Minoru Yamasaki's Architectural Records
Dutch Designer Joris Laarman Unveils New Work at Friedman Benda
Walk-Into Sculptures by Collective Atelier Van Lieshout at MUMOK
Rare Toys Debut in Bertoia's Auction of Donald Kaufman Collection, Part III
Much-Anticipated Reopening of the Morris Museum of Art
Paris Fashion Shows Do Performance Art, Exotic Locales
New Exhibition Shows how British Public Adapted to a World of Food Shortages
Rijksmuseum Shows Some of Its Best Tulip Prints and Drawings
Kopeikin Gallery to Open Exhibition of Drawings by William Steiger
The Field Museum Presents Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age
More than 100 Works from the Thaw Collection Showcase Artistry of Cultures Across Millennia
Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill Opens at the Victoria & Albert Museum
Juilliard Music Technology Center Presents Festival of Electro-Acoustic and Multimedia Art
Photographs by Michael Corridore at Aperture Foundation
Air Sculptures, the Grid, Space, and Beyond-New Los Angeles Gallery Presents Daring New Work
Singapore Art Museum Opens First of Four Solo Exhibitions for 2010
Worcester Art Museum Rock & Rolls All Night Long
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- 'Feeling Van Gogh' makes art accessible for visually impaired visitors
2.- Art lovers get naked for new exhibition tours at the National Gallery of Australia
3.- Broken in life, Billie Holiday enjoys revival on the 100th anniversary of her birth
4.- Research reveals significantly different composition in Jean-Honoré Fragonard's Young Girl Reading
5.- Retrospective exhibition of photographs by Luke Smalley opens at ClampArt
6.- Jewish teenager Anne Frank died at least a month earlier than thought, new study says
7.- Archaeologists find items that attest to the existence of an Egyptian administrative centre
8.- 'All the Rage in Paris: Diaghilev's Ballets Russes' on view at the McNay Art Museum
9.- Exhibition illustrates the fascinating creativity of Gustave Doré in an era of great changes
10.- Cynthia Lennon, British first wife of John Lennon, dies aged 75: Julian Lennon
Contested Chinese seal auctioned in Paris for 1.1 mln euros
Air de Paris exhibits works by Adriana Lara, Guy de Cointet, Trisha Donnelly and Allen Ruppersberg
Discovered: French and Italian archaeologists find the lost port of ancient Rome
Exhibition of Georg Baselitz as sculptor opens at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Three men investigated over $130 million art heist from Paris' Museum of Modern Art
Chiara Parisi appointed new Director of the cultural programs at the Monnaie de Paris
ArtParis at the Grand Palais: A Project-Based Fair in Paris to Be Held at the End of March
ArtParis: the Event for the Modern and Contemporary Art Market Returns to the Grand Palais
"An Excellent Year": 14th Edition of Paris Photo Turned the Spotlight on Central Europe
Artist Didier Marcel Exhibits at the Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|