Last Looks: Alexander McQueen, Kenzo, Akris and Céline
Paris played with varied dreamscapes this past weekend. Sarah Burton brought to life a fantastical, decaying fairytale, decked in shredded silk and lace with disheveled flowers and ruffles for Alexander McQueen. On the other end of the spectrum, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon envisioned the modern jet-setter’s real life aspirations of looking fresh on the fly for KENZO’s color-filled collection. Akris collaborated with Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. Céline made fresh tracks Sunday with a collection that went from lingerie slips to English fox hunt—all in a structurally experimental way, of course.
The flushed goddesses of Burton’s runway, while delicately beautiful, were grounded in personal history. Alexander McQueen traced his heritage back to Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecution in the 18th century, bringing their covetable silk-weaving craft with them. Exquisite floral jacquards, French lace flowers and figure-tracing ruffles appeared again and again. An embroidered leather jacket in blush with a ruffled neckline was especially striking atop a lace column Victorianesque gown. Occasional modern, tailored pieces kept the collection anchored. But thanks to Burton’s softer approach this season, even the more extravagant gowns— with feathery mermaid skirts or spiraling tiers of lace—leaned toward measured romance.
Shop: current season Alexander McQueen
Bright color combinations and sporty shapes with subtle movement captured the getaway spirit of KENZO‘s global DNA. The modern, well-traveled woman plotting her next round of summer destinations will appreciate Lim and Leon’s upbeat additions to her packing list. Graphic prints energized short frocks, boxy jackets and sweaters. Inspired cutaway bodysuits beneath coordinating tank-and-skirt sets might attract fashion risk-takers with festivals on their 2016 agenda. On the accessories note, Lim and Leon struck gold with patent, over-the-knee gladiator sandals and fanny packs; get ready to spot these on fashionable Instagram accounts from New York to Hong Kong.
Shop: current season KENZO
Familiarize yourself with Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto’s work and Albert Kriemler’s spring collection for Akris takes on a whole new look. Collaborating with the architect resulted not in stiffly cut, linear pieces, but instead a futuristic, geometric femininity. Looks were grouped together based on Fujimoto’s influencing architectural design, with oblong laser cutouts scattered across skirts, vests, sleeves and shirtfronts starting the show. Lightly layered shift dresses and grid-patterned mesh that played on each other’s opposing structures was more or less the sartorial version of Fujimoto’s serpentine pavilion. Deep V dresses with wavy hemlines and metallic, structured coats will be the spring’s building pieces for many wardrobes.
Shop: current season Akris
With a reputation for giving fashion-forward women what they didn’t know they needed, Céline‘s show started with lace-trimmed silk slips. Phoebe Philo quickly moved on to introduce new-wave silhouettes. Noticeable, but not overdone, mutton sleeves curved over coat and shirt shoulders, only to be nipped in at the waist for an innovative take on broad shoulders. The collection moved on to cover pleated prairie dresses and oval-skirted dresses with the same puffed and rounded upper arms. A classic trench slit up the sides revealing the fluidity of wide-cut silk trousers introduced finale pieces. More masculine ensembles—some in sporty English plaids—commenced and offered a counterpoint to the shows earlier sheerly seductive sets.
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—Katie Joy Blanksma