The question on everyone's mind before the Anthony Vaccarello show on the first day of Paris Fashion Week was would the talented young designer have enough creative juices left after slaving away on the Versace Versus collection which he presented just a little over two weeks ago in New York.
The answer -- absolutely.
In fact, the time the designer has spent working alongside Donatella Versace has given his signature collection an added sense of purpose. A drive most evidently seen in Vaccarello's choice to bring graphic lettering into his lineup. Branding the collection, if you will, with the letters of his name and the season.
"Initially, it wasn't so much about branding as it was the idea of the graphics of the posters that we see plastered on the streets," explained the designer after his show. "And through that idea the lettering just sort of followed naturally."
Starting with an almost generic block letter printing of his name and the season on a sweatshirt worn with one of his now iconic super short asymmetrical skirts, Vaccarello began to stretch and pull different letters out almost to abstraction. Sometimes the tops and bottoms of words would be blackened out like a fashionable take on redaction. Other times a letter A would cut across a glossy top or the word SPRING would line the length of a skirt. Or it just became graphic bands of black, red or white on garments, giving just a hint of their true character.
The other strong theme running throughout the show was nautical in nature. Sexy slip dresses would have an anchor holding the halter strap to the chest. Grommet "port hole" details would appear on a collar or skirt edge and of course the classic Breton striped sailor's sweater showed up in a sheer incarnation on the catwalk.
As clear as all the concepts for this show were, what really made this collection work were the new more user friendly pieces in the lineup. Scoop cowl neck tops that somehow still left room for modesty should be a sexy new staple for the designer. His well-tailored hardwear embellished blazers were great options for women who can't carry off Vaccarello's more daring designs. And replacing second skin pants for slightly slouchy trousers felt timely.
This was a good solid show from Vaccarello whose sartorial sails have caught the current winds of fashion.