Paris Fall 2011: Dries Van Noten, Carven, Rochas
(PARIS) Dries Van Noten
“Prints Charming” is Dries Van Noten’s perennial moniker. Van Noten’s collection was a royal coming out, with a number of exceptional fur pieces, including fur accents on sleeves, collars and lapels. The master of patterned fabrics turned out his luxe and skillfully mismatched array of looks in the Hôtel de Ville’s gilded and decorous ballroom, dripping with dimly light chandeliers and frescoed across the ornamental ceilings. His prints this season started with a swirl of movement, including floral pieces in a multitude of golds, whites and blues, and on to retro green circles on evening dresses, mixed with a measure of metallic threaded jackets and skirts. Everything clashed brilliantly. And as per usual, the end result was so charming, one would want to take home the whole collection.
Set at the Palais de Tokyo, Carven’s first formal presentation was dubbed a “showtation” by the brand’s designer Guillaume Henry. “Carven is accessible fashion, but with a Parisian twist,” explained Henry after the house’s presentation Wednesday morning. Attendees were pleasantly surprised to find a twist beyond the ensembles: an intimate show setting with no seating arrangements, only a smattering of French café tables and chairs organized in front of a large staging area, with models weaving through a series of staircases and doors. It was a bit like taking part in a stylish school assembly, showcasing Henry’s preppiest finery – toggle coat jackets, collared shirts, tartan tops, and cable knit sweaters, sometimes paired with shorts or draped, knee-length knit skirts. After school was over Henry showed another side, sending out medieval-inspired looks, but always aligned with his Parisian sensibilities. Beyond ravissant!
After five seasons at Rochas, designer Marco Zanini showed a solid collection in his pursuit of chic via contrasts. Zanini mixed masculine and boyish looks with a feminine appeal by adding volume to blazers and carcoats paired with slightly oversized sweaters with elegantly pleated silk skirts. An array of astrakhan hats worn with aplomb seemed perfectly paired with the runway soundtrack, a medley of Deep South blues. Zanini chose a palette of muted aubergine, brown, beige and blue hues. A standout enlarged cheetah-esque print in a coat and skirt exemplified Zanini’s assertion that “at the heart of any great French brand are animal prints