PARIS — When I asked Andrew Gn about the inspiration for his spring 2013 collection, shown at Les Beaux-Arts de Paris, he responded, “We’re covering the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to India 1961, and it’s absolutely sultry.”
He went on to explain that during this time the queen had a stopover in Japan as well, so there were also influences he described as minimal and “simple, but not plain."
“We’re covering the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to India 1961, and it’s absolutely sultry.”
As a designer who is known for his embellishments and colors, these aspects of minimalism were quite new for him. But it was not a full-on departure; his signature style still crept in with jeweled anklets made of pearls and dramatic silhouettes and sleeves.
The show opened with simple, waist-cinching ladylike silhouettes accented with strong shoulders and leather and pearl buttons, all done in black and white. The opulence of the queen in India came through next, with georgette silk blouses and crystal embroidery on duchess satin, in a lilac and metallic silver color palette. One of my favorite looks was the cropped silk “taj pants” in a soft pink, with an embroidered duchess satin jacket.
Gn’s signature black-and-white embroidery was in evidence as well as some interesting brown tones he calls “caramel” mixed with cobalt blue and a bit of chartreuse. The final 15 looks were a series of dresses and gowns that embodied all of the details from the collection, from color to fabric to embroidery.
While backstage, I had a chance to talk with hairstylist Seb Bascle on the inspiration for the models this season. Trying to stay in line with the simplicity of the collection, Bascle decided on a Brigitte Bardot-inspired look, with a side-swept pony tail with a slight pouf in the back.
The make-up was minimal as well, focusing only on a strong red lip.
Gn successfully took us back in time, as a beautifully adorned royal, with the perfect touches of modernity and grand fantasy. As Gn elaborated “riding on a bejeweled elephant, seated beside the Maharaja of Jaipur…”