Paris Fashion Week: Courrèges, 3.Paradis, Koché and Undercover
Paris Fashion Week is all about checking on the status of independent designers, like Christelle Kocher at Koché, Emeric Tchatchoua at 3.Paradis and Jun Takahashi at Undercover. Even if the one great show of the past 24 hours was by Nicolas Di Felice for Courrèges, owned by a wing of the Pinault family luxury empire.
Courrèges: Forward to the future
Rain, then sand, fell in abundance at Courrèges on Wednesday in a subtle change of gears and a subtle show by Nicolas Di Felice for the house.
Moving away from the house’s familiar codes of AC logo, synthetic fake leather, vinyl and retro futurism, Di Felice debuted his show in all-white oversized men’s shirts cut into dresses, barely there cocktails and spiky gilets over flared jeans.
Held inside an all-white north Paris sound stage, the entire cast walking around a 10-meter diameter centre circle of sand. Many of them bare foot, or even carrying their sling backs or sculpted booties in their hands.
A good third of the cast wore jackets slung over the shoulders, held on by interior straps. Bella Hadid even wore her speckled denim jacket tied around her hips.
Above all the detailing was excellent: silver metallic mittens, skirts finished with dangling fabric clasps, a great series of flared trousers completed with inside leg studs or multiple grommets. And voluminous jackets with the oversized pockets favoured by founder André Courrèges, who founded his house back in 1961.
What made this collection so great was that it managed to look hyper modern and very Courrèges without falling back into a clichéd use of the brand’s DNA. Plus, much of the clothing is now made in far more eco-friendly vinyl of recycled bio-based polyurethane.
No wonder the popular Di Felice won himself a huge minute of applause, as scores of editors headed backstage to congratulate him. Led by a beaming Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of luxury giant Kering. His family’s investment vehicle Artemis acquired 100% of Courrèges in 2018.
After today’s highly impressive display by Nicholas Di Felice, that looks to be a very good deal.
3.Paradis: Poetry and pastry
One brand that is very much an expression of cool insider is 3.Paradis, a Quebec-born label founded by Emeric Tchatchoua that makes street wear of almost couture elegance. Launched in 2013 as a menswear label, this season marked its first women’s collection.
A blend of Japanese streetwear, Parisian chic and African iconography, 3.Paradis found a suitably eclectic location for its show. Inside the Avenue de l’Opera flagship café of Cedric Grommet, the superstar French pastry maker, known for airbrushing chocolate to replicate the textures of fruits and vegetables.
Staged en petit comité, as the French like to say, before a select audience of barely 40, each served small plates, including what looked like a carrot and spinach pie that was actually delicious pastry.
Underling Tchatchoua’s poetic approach, practically every look featured a dove. Either as lace trim of layered flamenco skirts or printed flying over cutaway skirts, or soaring over black or beige mannish black trench-coats and even as macramé in skimpy summer frocks.
One real living dove even fluttered on the hand of a model, in turn dressed in a dove pattern lace gown.
In a co-ed show, Emeric dressed his guys in similar lace jeans and jean jackets and also with red carpet winner egg shell blue dove print tuxedos.
“Harmonious unity and collective hope, a paradis was born representative of a safe haven to discuss all of these notions,” recalled the designer in his program.
“Our intention has always been to design from an explorative place, using the world around us as inspiration. When I look outwardly, women are a reflection of life, women deserve paradis,” added Tchatchoua.
Koché: Hoodies dreaming of beautiful sunsets
A meeting of technology and fashion at Koché this season, as designer Christelle Kocher collaborated with Google in her latest collection.
A meeting of garments too, as looks interacted with each other, switching on LEDs woven into the garment, as boy and girl met each other. One in sweatshirt the other in feathered mini.
Staged inside the former stock market of Paris, which was dissected by a huge screen, which in turn dialogued with looks in this show. On the screen, an invisible hand which wrote: “Do hoodies dream of beautiful sunsets?” A thought that then appeared on a horizontal screen perched on top of a white sweatshirt with the dual logo, Koché Google.
“A dialogue with science, and how technology can connect us. Not an obvious vision with futuristic clothes. I did not want to connect in the virtual world, but to connect in reality. Using Google technology that we wove into the garments and then radar that made the clothes react with the passage of the models,” explained Kocher post show.
In her evening job at Chanel, she helps handle three departments - feathers, embroidered flowers and plissé fabrics. And in an ultimate compliment, Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard came to admire this collection.
Blending street style with an urban feel to couture, using mixes of vegan leather and denim. All the while playing with draping to make a silhouette that was quite soft.
Undercover: Down Abbey in Uptown Paris
Hints of country houses and gentle 1920s balls whispered through the latest collection from Undercover, designer Jun Takahashi's most ladylike to date.
Staged inside the American Cathedral on posh Avenue George V, this was a gentile display from a revolutionary designer, and a surprising change of pace from Takahashi.
Prim tuxedo shirts with pearl studs worn over mannish multi-pleat safari pants, or a gents’ waistcoat was finished with just one shoulder.
Thought it being Undercover, the essential image was the defiantly deconstructed tailoring. Hence, beautifully cut sherbet lemon or pale gray pant suits were slashed half a dozen times, and the holes trimmed in gauze.
His cast made up with chignon that mysteriously were fronted by two small horns of stiff hair. While many models were made up with fake tears, as if a suitor had thrown them over for a wealthier bride at a hunt ball. Melodrama in the nave.
Before the whole shebang went into overdrive with four bouffant emu-shaped ball gowns in dense red chiffon; lime or power blue metallic silk; or, for the final look, tattered beige with fabric daffodils attached.
Perhaps not the greatest ever collection by Takahashi, but an elegant expression nonetheless.
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