Friday, March 18, 2016

Doll's Eye View: Paris Fall 2016 Trends, Pt. 1

Paris is in turmoil. The French capital hasn't completely recovered from last November's terror attacks. Two major fashion houses are operating without artistic directors while rumors circulate about the departure of designers from other firms. Unemployment is high, retail sales are low....but the show must go on.... The good news: fashion week was nine days long...plenty enough time to stroll through the good, the bad and everything in between. As usual, Paris is a laboratory where designers often experiment with new concepts as well as offer a new twist on old favorites. In this, the first of two parts, the girls show off their picks for the trendy side of style.

The first major trend we noticed was the move towards longer hemlines. Add to that, looser styles from free flowing skirts to wider pants and you've got silhouettes that are the direct opposite to those figure choking clothes that have dominated the market for over a decade. Coats and jackets have broader shoulders. Pants are cut in straight, loose shapes. Wide, body cinching belts are a very big accessory for next Fall. We kid you not. There is a lot of black and grey. Perhaps a nod to the current morose environment that has engulfed Paris since last November.
In the Trenches
Trench coats, bathrobe coats are cut in generous proportions. Aside from the sheer comfort of an oversized coat, the look allows for lots of drama as it falls off the shoulders to reveal the neckline of the dress underneath.
We were inspired by both the oversized trench shown by H&M and the styling of Balenciaga. Karen wears an amply cut bathrobe coat over python printed trousers. I started out with the intent of making a trench, but after adding in the necessary volume to pull off the look, I decided to leave off the front panels take a somewhat simpler route by opting for the bathrobe style coat. Another consideration was my choice of fabric....a cotton moleskin which though luxurious (providing such a sumptuous look to the drape), is a tad thick.

Nouvelle Afrique
Africa continues to provide a wealth of inspiration to fashion palettes, particularly within the Parisian fashion community. Leather tops are cut into abstract shapes then reassembled into art wear over asymmetrical skirts. Black is mixed with brown to create an earthy, raw look. Animal prints are "the new black" and those 3-D reptile scales rippling over a basic sheath are, in effect, a series of layered circles. Even Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent had fun by adding "gorilla" fur sleeves to a simple leather dress!

Day to Nite
The black and white theme we saw last season, continues. White is the dominate color which transforms the black into graphic abstract shapes. This all translates into dramatic look for daywear.

At the house of Balmain, Olivier Rousteing produced a curvy, bold collection inspired by Kim Kardashian. Monica (pictured above) was intrigued by this curious garment. Not really a coat, but much more than a vest...I used a basic sheath pattern (with opening in the front) cut from a wool crepe, to which I added a very large picture collar. Underneath she wears a sleeveless funnel neck jumper. The sleeves are detachable (tiny tubes).

Digital Chatter
What this season lacks in color, is made up in busy, very busy patterns and prints. The silhouettes remain quite simple. When shopping for fabrics, remember to look for monochromatic micro prints or broad brush stroke abstract patterns.

Flora & Fauna
What is curious, is how designers are now incorporating floral prints into winter collections. It's as if to say, style knows no season. (Clearly they've never been to the Midwestern US in January!) Note, too, the shirtwaist dress has returned as a fashion staple. The girls also thought leopard spotted prints mixed with lace was pretty interesting.

Pop Start
Plaids, tweeds or fashion basics jazzed up with "pop star" details or an eclectic blend of colors. The girls liked the oversized checks, plaids drizzled in fringe or a simple look where bright pops of color sparkle behind shimmering metallic and basic black. These are simple looks with very interesting details.

On the surface, the original look featured in the Saint Laurent is nothing special. However, having attended the shows of late Couturier, I recognized the thought behind the current designer. Yves Saint Laurent was a master colorist, often employing unexpected combinations of colors within the same garment. The individual pieces are simple: a princess line collarless jacket, a basic shell, a sarong skirt and a super-wide belt caught with a leopard spotted kerchief. St. Laurent's muses were mostly gorgeous models of color like Jourdan featured here. And often, accessories included some sort of hat!

Orient Express
On the subject of patterns and prints....look for paisleys, oriental scrolls and similar patterns from exotic lands of Marrakesh, Casablanca, , over wrap dresses, hoodie coats or even velvet appliques over the torso of a full, ankle length evening dress.

Origama Mama
In this series, the dresses look more like craft projects employing origami, snowflake cutouts. Think fun, festive.

Strip Tease
Fringe is still with us. In this case, it comes in the form of dresses in leather or technical fabric cut into wide slats.

Coming up next: We look at the more elegant side of Fall 2016 trends in Paris.

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  1. I always enjoy seeing your Paris fashion show photos. This was no exception. I am also very intrigued by your recreations of clothing from major designers for your dolls. I love all of them this time (as always!), but my favorite is the St. Laurent ensemble worn by Jourdan.

    1. Thank you, Phyllis. Many of my dolls line the top of my dresser, chest of drawers and night stands in my bedroom. I sometimes chuckle when I think of all the "designer wear" they all represent. The Paris shows are so big, I'm bound to find something I like--which is always the case. Even though the look is comprised of simple elements, I spent a lot of time getting Jourdan dressed because I wanted so much for her to represent how Mr. Saint Laurent himself would have presented the look. So I shouldn't be surprised it was your favorite! :-D

  2. As Phillis said, these posts are always fun to read - you find the best sections from these shows!

    1. Thank you jSarie. No matter what happens in the other fashion capitals, I know I'll always find something wonderful in Paris! So happy you enjoy these posts.

  3. A lot of eye catching fashions in this group. Your dolls are bringing it, as usual. I especially love that coat. What am I saying... I love all the outfits you did.

    1. Thank you, Vanessa. After the Saint Laurent ensemble, I spent a lot of time working to get the coat just right. And even though it wasn't a line for line copy, I was very happy I captured the generous proportions of the original. The fabric was very important! It looks like kidskin (suede) but it is a cotton moleskin! I was very happy with the result!

  4. I like some of these trends. Can't wait for the long coats and damask prints to kick in :)
    You did a wonderful job with the St. Laurent outfit. It looks infinitely better on dark skin. The addition of the purse reminds me of a gel ink pen I had with almost the same colours: periwinkle-purple, bright coral and hot pink. They really look good together.

    1. Thank you, BlackKitty. Indeed there were some really nice things in Paris. I am really fortunate to have actually attended fashion shows of Mr. Saint Laurent when he was alive. In fact, sometimes I would run home and jot down his color combinations so I wouldn't forget. The current designer has access to archives, but chooses to present the collection in a way that doesn't appeal to me. But once I can see the research shining through style, I can do a dolly version which (I believe) is in better sync with the namesake designer, who by the way, staged amazing catwalk shows.

  5. Wspaniałe, odważne i piękne stylizacje! Jest kilka, które chętnie zobaczyłabym na swoich lalkach! Cudne stroje i kreacje!
    Pozdrawiam serdecznie!

    1. Olla wrote: Great , bold and beautiful styling ! There are a few who willingly zobaczyłabym on their dolls ! Wonderful costumes and creations!
      Best wishes!

      Thank you, Olla. Having worked in the fashion industry for many years, this is always a fun and creative project for me that I enjoy sharing with others.

  6. Très jolie collection. J'aime particulièrement les manteaux. Cela donne de bonnes idées.

    1. Merci. Les defiles de mode parisiennes durent neuf jours. Donc, meme s'il y a quelques collections nulles, il y aura toujours celles qui sont merveilleuse! Mais ce n'est pas encore termine... la deuxieme partie arrive a tres bientot!


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