Sunday, March 9, 2014

Doll's Eye View: Paris Fall 14 Fashions Pt.1

No matter happens in any of the other fashion weeks, Paris is a totally different animal. This is the place where anyone remotely connected to the fashion industry (including the wannabes) comes to see or be seen. The stage here not only focuses the spotlight on French designers, but most of the important designers around the globe. For here is where you show with the hopes of being internationally recognized.

This is the market most known for tossing out conceptual suggestion which are then picked up by others designers, manufactures, stores, textile professionals for reinterpretation. What you see is not always what you get. Designers will use the stage to show off their creative talents, all the while making the sales with more standard clothing at an off-site showroom. And though you will find many of the same trends spotted in NY, London and Milan, the direction of these shows will, sometimes, abandon the ship and swim in a totally new direction.

What has been interesting over the course of the last four weeks is how little eveningwear emerged on the catwalk. One would assume that either today's woman doesn't dress up very much when she goes out or, perhaps the glamor-wear is reserved for the Haute Couture presentations. It seems as though most after five fashions have become understated, minimalized, and definitely fading to black. For daywear, Unseasonably cold weather patterns are encouraging designers to create "comfort clothes" that are as roomy as they are warm. Hermes is especially good with combining comfort with luxury (due largely to the high market fabrics.) There is a lot of black and grey as to be expected for this time of year. Fall/Winter 2014 is not only about silhouettes, it also sends out a strong message about the importance of textiles as well.

Knit Wits
If you can knit, crochet or macramé, you're are in luck. There are lots of supersized knitted sweaters, and ponchos on the catwalk here. The good thing is that you can use human sized cable stitches for the doll clothes which for a 1/6 scale, should result in an oversized look to your diva's garment. But even if you don't knit (like me), layers of cut and sew jerseys are just as important (and easy to make). Moreover, jerseys will give your doll clothes both the softness and the drape we all love.

Asphalt Jungle
This is a textile story. Grey is a natural trend for Fall fashion. However, you should think about collecting tweeds, checks, glen plaids, texturized jerseys in tones of grey, pewter, asphalt, slate grey. Slim jackets slip over little dresses and leggings. With the Beatles' Anniversary so much in the forefront, some designers have flirted with a revival of sweet 1960's styles as well.

Digital Noise

Again, it's all about fabric. In fact your material is more important than the silhouette of the garment. Look for fabrics with small black and white "noise" prints: swirls of short strokes, nubby textures, horizontal lines and irregular dots....all in monochromatic tones of dark+light.
Scribble Gestures
If you cannot find the pattern you're looking for, get out the paints and create your own! What's interesting in this group are the signature prints featured at Sonia Rykiel. The dress to the left is simply "Moi" hand inscribed over and over. The "cross hatch" panes are assembled into a "statement" jacket.
Cape Cod

And while on the subject of the 1960's, the cape is back. Simple to make, whether long or short, this is a garment that adds dash to a slim pants, short dresses or skirts.
On Point
Basic silhouettes are shaken up a bit with asymmetrical detailing like handkerchief points or uneven necklines or simply an organic wrap around the body.
Livin' Large

The Polar Vortex has spawned many fur coats for next winter. We'll look at those later. What is important in Paris, is that there are other options. Options like Yohji Yamamoto's super sized down coats given a few brush strokes by the artist. This trend also includes oversized coats with gigantic collars.

And then there is Haider Ackermann, a designer known for his layering, and for making incredible clothes. You will not be able to duplicate this look (as is) for the doll. However the take-away is to incorporate craft macramé to the fashions. We love the safari jacket over the cargo pants or even the pleated skirt. But we really love the workmanship in the top and dress.
There are soooo many things just on this page I would LOVE to make for my dolls. So I am making a note to self to revisit a number of these styles for a later date!

It's not over just yet. Stay tuned. Paris Part 2 is coming right up!

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  1. Hi April, I like the oversized knitwear very much, I want to try making that for one of my dolls. I was glad to see Belgian designers too, living in Belgium myself :-). A very inspiring post! Nymphaea

    1. Hi Nymphaea. What I like most about Paris Fashion week is that it is so very international. And, as you must know, the Belgian designers are world known for their cutting edge fashion. I can't knit, but I'm thinking of cutting up an old sweater to get the look.

  2. Again a great post, and so many intriguing suggestions....I really like the Hermes lines....looking forward for part two. Your girls are having a field day!

    1. To be very honest, I wanted to recreate that big light grey coat. But it would have delayed my post by another day. Still....this is something I plan to make. My girls love fashion weeks more than Christmas!!!!


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