Paris' Answer To London

The first night of Paris Fashion Week: barely-there little beach numbers with string-tie backs; sarong skirts and serious brims to grapple with; "La Bomba" was the Spring/Summer 2018 collection from Paris favourite Simon Porte Jacquemus. In a note of tribute to his mother, he explained it was an ode to her beauty, and the looks recalled wandering for souvenirs upon an evening with her along the beach.

 


Photo by Elizabeth Pantaleo for NOWFASHION

For all the flesh on show, this was a collection certain of summer – they get it in the South! – and was far more keen to be sexy, overtly so, than previous outings from the designer who began in a bracket with Vetements. Since then, he's wandered into hybrid territory, androgynous territory, silhouette-laden – last season a va-va-voom into shape and celebration of Lacroix trains of thought. Jacquemus has that signatureless signature thing about him that we find of Christopher Kane in London. It keeps us on our toes and we never really know what we're going to get, but it's that that keeps us coming back for more – and therein lies the signature.

 


Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION

Meanwhile, look to Victoria / Tomas, the husband and wife duo of the 2012-launched label, and there are echoes of a Marques ' Almeida, but more refined. Which is not to be derogatory. Tomas Berzins spent some time in New York at Alexander Wang and the brand is apparently doing well there – the Spring/Summer 2018 collection a polished and glossy version of the streetwear-grunge that's doing the rounds right now. So a check shirt tied around the waist was neither just that or a random hybrid affixation, but in fact a skirt – ballooning out into shape and with a thick rippling hem. Stripe knit dresses that hugged the body boasted little scarves that trailed at the back and there were some sportswear-slick dresses and jackets. Ultimately, if you went in a store and saw this hanging up, you wouldn't be afraid, which is so often the way when a reference is overdone. This was a pleasant surprise of a collection with London vibes but Paris finesse suited for New York.

 


Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION

And so to Anrealage. One would sit this within the parameters of a Gareth Pugh in London. Bound and in giant shapes – which were oddly quite wearable – the pieces took the idea of tension, and how that impacts the clothes we wear. Mechanochromic technology was put into action here which, translated into real words, meant that when the lights went down at various times throughout the show the models stopped and did a stretch, squat, pose and their kinetic energy became light. It was a sensory experience and quite clever with it. Often, this sort of thing ends up gimmick over gumption – but the saving grace for designer Kunihiko Morinaga was that the clothes themselves weren't as abstract a concept as they have been in the past.

And so there's an orientation into Paris via London.