Designer Guillaume Henry is one of the fashion world’s rising stars. His sartorial effect on the industry can already be seen in the proliferation of crop tops spotted all over the catwalks this month- it’s a style he had adopted seasons ago. And a more underground trend of high necked crisscross tops that leave geometric cutouts at the side or the back.
But with his spring/summer 2014 collection Henry looked more like a fashion follower then a leader. His neon bright cloud like camouflage and wallpaper floral print fabrics both felt dated (circa 1990). Things seen before and done better elsewhere. Ditto the rather banal button front skirts and plain short jackets.
Now for the cute little quirks he incorporates into his designs - those aforementioned cutout silhouettes, out of the ordinary embellishments and clever accessories- this time Henry seemed to be struggling to create a united identity. Boxy jackets with some of those wallpaper flowers appliqué on the shoulders would be replaced by simple slim dresses. Shorts worn under unbuttoned A-line skirts and inserts of white and beige Vichy fabric at the waist of a button front dress looked gimmicky. And the idea to add armband cuff sleeves that attached the model’s arms to her summer dress was just plan odd.
It all came down to this collection feeling like it had been designed to be photographed for the pages of glossy magazines rather than reside in the real world. Here’s hoping that next season Henry will put aside a bit of the “fashion”aspect of his designs and focus on something more authentic.
Daria Shapovalova at Paris Fashion Week S/S 2014: Carven