PARIS —“How was your fashion week?”
"Happy it’s over,” Lindley and I answered in unison staring at our aching, swollen feet.
“We are never as busy as this, the whole world is in Paris for fashion week,” said Franck, of Uber Paris who managed to maneuver us out of the Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome traffic skillfully on the last day of Paris fashion week.
Paris has become the melting pot of fashion weeks, where not only foreign designers debuted, but also French collections that were inspired by other cultures.
Paris is always the most anticipated locale of the month-long showcasing of collections, which also includes New York, London and Milan. Industry crowds from all over the world come for the utterly feminine and chic edge the City of Light is known for.
Franck was right — while French fashion houses debut spring collections in Paris, it was their inspiration that brought a different culture and appeal through the spring 2013 collections.
Paris has become the melting pot of fashion weeks, where not only foreign designers debuted, but French collections that were also inspired by other cultures, like Maiyet with a sophomore collection that was influenced by Peru’s rich indigenous culture and natural wonders.
Maiyet debuted at the green-embellished Palais de Tokyo, setting an Amazon ambiance. The 41 looks set in the order of a journey, began with fresh all whites touching upon the salt beds of the Sacred Valley, detailed with hand embroidery.
Maiyet prides itself on pioneering a new luxury as a fashion brand that celebrates artisanal skills from unexpected places. The young luxury brand is deeply committed to forging partnerships with artisans globally, having recently partnered with Nest, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to training and developing artisan business to promote entrepreneurship, prosperity, and dignity in places that need it most.
A trip through Peru was narrated though deep brown and plum earth undertones in shorts and hand-woven separates in bold tones, resembling the Amazon greens and fertile earth. Each piece in the collection is truly noteworthy. A hand batik long shirt-dress from Indonesia cinched at the waist with a braided double belt from Peru concluded the collection as one of the most covetable pieces.
These culturally-influenced collections brought a spark of foreign life to Paris fashion week with soft, but live and bold color palettes.
The world journey left South America and headed north to Africa with Pascal Millet and "Rock the Casbah," inspired by his trip to Tangier, that presented earth tones reminiscent of the city, but the perfect attire to wear to the location on holiday. A collection composed of the perfect summer/ spring vacation wardrobe, with graceful tunics, structured separates, and embellished cropped jackets to top a cool desert evening with glamour.
The tailored jacket was trending among other collections in Paris, a piece Millet elegantly executed with well-accentuated but soft shoulders, so as to be worn for years to come and not be classified as a barely-worn trend in the Millet woman’s wardrobe.
As opposed to the obvious somber collections of straight line black-and-white, these culturally-influenced collections brought a spark of foreign life to Paris fashion week with soft, but live and bold color palettes. Inspired by the Chinese folk art of paper cutting, the Shiatzy Chen collection “Perpetuality” debuted tailored separates for a woman of the new age.
Vivacious colors mark the collection with a retro feel; as shared in the show notes, the use of colors accents the play of light in paper cutting. Large patches of printed paper-cutting patterns are brought to life in textured gowns and separates of the collection. But it is far more than the color palette of Shiatzy Chen’s collection, her design skills are intriguingly complex. By abandoning restrictions of space, three dimensional objects are layered and represented in one surface, in this case, the individual garments.
Through the traditional folk art of paper cutting, a suitable wardrobe for the alleys of Tangier, or a journey on the Amazon of Peru, designers transformed cultural inspirations into collections and concluded fashion month with the correct spirit to look forward to in the Summer and Spring to come.