Emerging talents in the spotlight during hybrid Paris Fashion Week

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PARIS (AP) — A spate of Paris Fashion Week menswear shows got underway in earnest this week for the fall-winter season, with French virus restrictions forcing many to an online-only presence.

Still, brands that have opted to maintain physical shows — like AMI Wednesday — could benefit from a relative boost in brand awareness. As always, the start of Paris Fashion Week is a time to showcase emerging talent before later appearances by industry heavyweights like Dior, Louis Vuitton and Hermès.

Here are some highlights from Wednesday’s Fall/Winter 2022 shows:


FRIEND HAS A 90S HIT

If the must-see billboards across Paris advertising his show are anything to behold, AMI designer Alexandre Mattiussi was hoping to capitalize on being among the few in-person shows on Wednesday.

The autumn-winter display did not disappoint, being the biggest of the Paris season so far, attracting the likes of actresses Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Huppert and former French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy to the first rank socially distant from the Paris Stock Exchange. French actress Isabelle Adjani even turned into a model on the catwalk.

This collection was what Mattiussi does best: wearable, masculine and boxy, served with a flash of camp color, feathers or sparkles.

The dial of time was turned to the 90s with a predominance of statement coats: varsity sports styles, oversized monochrome plaid jackets, a giant oversized number in shocking pink and the giant fur coats of that decade.

Feminine styles on female models were also showcased – a common feature of Parisian menswear – in the form of shiny leopard print outerwear or a silver sequined tight top that was salable and cool.

Dark hues and a black palette gave the proceedings a masculine air, but it was enlivened by flashes of royal orange, acid yellow and the appearance of a few Shirley Bassey-esque feather boas.

STEVEN PASSARO SWITCHES DIGITAL VIDEO

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on many fashion houses, forcing the cancellation of big budget collections in favor of digital videos showcasing new designs.

Although these videos attract a global following on Instagram, fashion editors believe the heady mix of clothes, stage sets and celebrities that make up a Paris Fashion Week show are hard to emulate on a digital platform.

But the new hybrid calendar has been good for some creators, especially smaller homes. Steven Passaro, who appears for the very first time in the official program of Paris Fashion Week, is a designer whose notoriety has increased precisely because of the new style of digital presentation.

Passaro, 29, says he didn’t have the money to stage a full Paris Fashion Week show, but a video was available.

“It’s my first time on the calendar. It was possible because the (fashion) edition didn’t want me to do a show. Making a video means spending a lot less money,” Passaro told The Associated Press “It gives small houses like us big opportunities.”

Passaro, whose aesthetic mixes tailoring with appliqué tailoring and emphasizes hypersensitive looks, graduated from the London College of Fashion before founding his eponymous label in 2019. But shoppers, he said, were not yet ready to accept his creations at that time.

“PFW (Paris Fashion Week) helped us to be credible as a brand,” he said.

LEMAIRE OPT FOR THE FALSE SIMPLE

Tasteful and deceptively simple designs graced the Lemaire runway in a sublime collection. The 56-year-old founder of the house, Christophe Lemaire, co-created with his partner Sarah-Linh Tran. Her resume includes a four-year stint as head of Hermès women’s fashion.

Designer talent was in the spotlight for the fall-winter show which used meticulous details, pre-war styles in soft hues and plays on proportions.

Designs for men and women merge effortlessly. 1970s block heels mingled with loose or dropped 1920s waists, while oversized coats looked both 1930s and fashionable.

The restrained color palette of autumnal taupes, beiges and blue-greys worked well in giving this funky collection a classic hue. Even the humble denim jacket evoked a timeless vibe, made loose and streamlined with the feel of the youthful and optimistic USA of the 1950s.

BLUE MARBLE SHOWS AMAZING COLOR

Cultural fusion and a melting pot mentality were essential for designer Anthony Alvarez as he staged his first show on the calendar for his fashion brand Blue Marble.

The brand name is borrowed from the iconic photographic image of the Earth taken in 1972 by the crew of Apollo 17. Obviously, it is a brand symbol that recalls Alvarez’s heritage: it is born in New York with a mix of Filipino, Spanish, French and Italian roots.

The collection celebrated this vision of the globetrotter with vibrant colors and a myriad of references. The first looks were reportedly inspired by the richly hued sails of traditional Philippine boats.

Geometric shapes in purples, yellows and pinks gave the collection a funky feel as it mixed with quirky, tongue-in-cheek details. Psychedelic knits, 90s sunglasses and fitted coats with sequined hems mixed with ankle boots reminiscent of surf wear.

Alvarez is another example of how the hybrid digital fashion calendar has shone a spotlight on tiny homes.

CHANEL CRIES GASPARD ULLIEL

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, known for his appearances in Chanel perfume commercials as well as film and television roles, died on Wednesday following a skiing accident in the Alps. He was 37 years old.

Ulliel portrayed young Hannibal Lecter in 2007’s “Hannibal Rising” and fashion mogul Yves Saint Laurent in the 2014 biopic “Saint Laurent”. He is also in the upcoming Marvel series “Moon Knight” and was the advertising face Chanel Bleu perfume.

In a statement to AP, Chanel expressed her “deep sadness” at the news, saying that in addition to being an ambassador for the house, Ulliel was a close friend to many.

“We were lucky to have by our side all these years a person endowed with great culture, immense talent, and unparalleled kindness. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. »

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