Sunday, April 8, 2018

Dolls' Eye View: Paris Fall '18 Trends

Ahhh, Paris!!! This time around it did what it does best...centering its attention on form, line and cut. Be warned: this was not the place for color. After all, we're talking about winter when the sun is covered under a cloak of grey clouds and madame is forced to tuck everything under coats, capes and boots. This season, the designers we liked, took a little time out to focus on concepts, story telling and those fine little details that make their fashion statement a fascinating journey.

Autumn Leaves
Take a walk in the woods to find the inspiration for this theme. Basic garment silhouettes are littered with patterns of leaves or appliqued with leaf decals. For the most part, garments are long and loose. Fabrics are a little chunky (keep an eye out for socks with leaf patterns!)  Colors are subdued or totally grayed out, given a spark with the help of shiny metallic accessories. We can even think of a pretty little dress of silvery (snow dusted?) leaves that flutter over the hem of a metallic lace shift dress. These are looks that take borrow their color palette from late fall when fallen leaves have lost their tone to early winter with the first frost kisses what's left of existing vegetation.

About Town
The overall message for daywear or late afternoon dresses, is....long and loose, easy to wear. This a style of elegance we haven't seen in many a year. There is nothing super fancy about these clothes, just nice easy cuts that are attractive and easy to wear. Count on the fabric (especially winter white or light neutrals) to pull off the look. Windowpane or chunky plaids, oversized houndstooth or abstract prints like the bold scribble print over Guy Laroche's dress coat  (which you can DIY with a fabric marker)come to mind.

I had to look close to see that what I thought was a coat dress was, in reality, a jacket and loose straight skirt. But for Emanuela, I decided to go with my first impression and turn the look back into a coat dress. I used the basic sheath dress pattern (with the back cut on the fold and the front with extended seams) to create her dress, complete with patch pockets. And though the original do not have vest pockets, most Chanel ensembles, whether one or two pieces, usually sport a four pocket look. I used gold bead caps as buttons, though hidden snaps were used to keep the dress closed. Where did I get the fabric? Surprise! In one of my next posts, I'll show you how to Chanel-ify a piece of fabric!

So Chanel, Faux Chanel
Speaking of Chanel.....Years ago while I was working for a local Paris magazine, we received a memo from the company forbidding us from using the phrase, "Chanel suit" in our description of that boxy 2-pc ensemble made famous by Coco Chanel decades ago. We all thought this was silly that the company did not see the compliment in our gesture. After all, how many styles are attributed to a single designer for over 60 years of existence. When we see nubby fabric, quilted materials, we automatically think...Chanel. This theme pits the real Chanel (which looks anything but typical) with other designers (who do the look really well though unintended). (Will the real Chanel, please stand up!!)
Dorian is our official Chanel spokesdoll in the house. So imagine the surprise when we outfitted her in this classic grey sheath dress and told her it was....Ralph & Russo! We both loved the grey tweed fabric made into a chic after hours dress, opera gloves and all! Okay, Dorian, now you have two designers you can wear!

Intergalactic Warriors
From the "Wonder Woman" reboot, the "she-ros" of "Black Panther" to the strength of the #MeToo movement and beyond, there is a feeling of female strength and power in the air. Strap on your boots, slide on those gloves, and get ready to do some battle.. is the feeling behind the collection strutted out by Belgian designer, Ann Demeulemeester. Of course we know there is more to this movement than black leather straps and high heeled boots, but its fun to see this played out in the virtual universe of the designer's fantasies! (And it makes for fun fashion!)
It was fun putting together Samantha's outfit. She's wearing essential a wrap dress with the skirt part cut and tacked up in spots belted over tights. What really makes this look, of course, are the accessories--little tubes with pointed edges points for the gloves. Barbie (Cher doll) thigh high boots (though you can make your own spats to cover existing shoes). And tiny leather strips tied over both the boots and the shoes just for the effect!

Return of the Jedi
I'm not sure if it was the result of Elon Musk'sTescla launched into space or the popularity of the moving "Black Panther", but designers were clearly ensconced into a cocktail of outer space gear and super woman imagery. These great big, black looks continue on with the help of Japanese designer, Yohji Yamamoto (who's been doing this look for over 30 years). And yes, everything is black, black some more! An essential element of these looks---a black leather waist corset. The result...a look that is big, bold and high drama almost to the point of caricature.
Unless you want this Star Trek look, it doesn't have to be so....serious! What I liked about this look from Yohji Yamamoto is the top with the draped neckline. The fluidity of the skirt. And how everything is pulled into the body with an oversized leather corset. But for Nichelle, instead of trying to replicate such an odd skirt, we both settled on a pair of wide trousers. The top is a simple knit top with a bit of sweater weight wool knit twisted and stitched on around the neckline.

Cloak Room
It would appear that designers presenting during Paris fashion week, were all concerned about the changing weather patterns and frigid temperatures. The girls saw quite a variety of coats. Pictured here are big, loose coats whose primary virtue is the richly patterned materials from which they are cut. While you are out shopping for fabrics, look for paisley prints, interesting Art-Deco inspired patterns or even something as simple as herringbone. 

Blizzards & Bears 
While on the subject, global warming is on everyone's mind these days. So the girls weren't at all surprised at seeing the number of big loose coats in snowy winter white wool, as well as the polar bear outfits and boots. The notion of bears everywhere isn't limited just to coats and pants. There are also stylish cubs.... like the one we saw at St. Laurent:.a faux fur dress with a fuzzy-wuzzy collar on its way to an imaginary arctic party!
Veronique's bear essentials are comprised of a basic faux fur coat, a matching detachable hood and a pair of fuzzy spats that slip over existing shoes or boots. This was cut from an inexpensive faux fur we found at a local crafts store! (Everything is good when you know what to do with it!!!)
And wouldn't you know....not far behind is Katoucha in her faux fur dress with a long-haired faux fur scarf wrapped around her neck!

Techno Vibe
This is a fun group of party clothes I'd like to explore in another post. The "space age" look (a little left over from the 1960's) is made from unusual materials...bits of plastic cut into circles or tabs, tape from an old music cassette cut into fringe for a skirt....or silver vinyl cut into a jacket. The idea points to a revival of the philosophy behind famed 60's couturier, Paco Rabanne and his "space age" fashion, teamed with the notion of recycling odd materials into today's edgy looks. 

Girl Talk
One of the attributes of French fashion....femininity, a theme that always marks the collections here. We see it in clothes with lacy detailing, ruffles and frills. We see it in curvy, little sexy dresses that pay homage to the female form. Of course, everything is black but still...These are clothes my dolls love to wear!

Curried Mango 
 Amidst all the black...a lightning rod of hot tangy color straight from the kitchen! All materials are on the table here. Think silk, satin, leather or even velvet! It's all quite tasty!
There is this Polish designer, Maticevski, I have been following for a few seasons now. I am intrigued by the cut of their clothes, in particular. The simple, yet dramatic lines of Gail's saffron crepe-back satin one shoulder dress is simply stunning! 

Velvet Underground
Last winter, velvet made its comeback. Though there's less of it this time around, it's still around, often used in combination with other fabrics for a variety of looks and silhouettes. What caught our eyes here, is the shifting proportions around the waistline. The girls loved the lines of a high waist flared evening skirts over a form fitted top as well as the tiny velvet empire bodice over a big splashy floral printed silk.
A form fitted lingerie inspired corset with a velvet skirt---Ingrid immediately jumped for this dress. I made her corset (and matching gloves) out of lace and gave her a lace coat to toss over her shoulders for later!

Abstract Beauty
Shades of the high fashion appeal of the late, great, Balenciaga..... This is all about simple, pure shapes--worn alone or teamed with other elements-- and how they create their own drama.
When I first laid eyes on this outfit, I saw a thigh high mini dress (shift), under a big bubble of a cape and tights. And that is exactly how I made it. Anna wears a simple shift dress (made from two layers of polyester organza) over opaque pantyhose. Her cape (made with two layers of polyester organza) was constructed in the same way as a gathered skirt, but fashioned around the neck rather than the waist. Instead of creating the exaggerated lines of the  shoulders, I chose instead, to make soft pleats for a more graceful effect . The stiffness of the fabric is what helps to maintain this shape. Its sheen adds to the modernity of the look while the sheerness of each element creates the overall look of drama.

At the end of the day, dolly might just want a wee bit of bling. For that we turned to the collection of Russian born, Valentin Yudashkin who sent out a classic (and classy) bevy of fishtails,sultry draped couture dresses and "Hollywood" gowns glowing of frosty white and shimmering silver aflutter with petals, spangles and beads...a befitting champagne toast to a most interesting fashion month!

For those of you fairly new to our blog....Featuring trends from fashion weeks in the US and Europe as well as red carpet events is an important part of what we do here at Fashion Doll Stylist. This helps us help you keep your beloved dolls in the thick of current fashion and it gives us ideas for projects, tips and tutorial and serves as inspiration for fabric and color recommendation when shopping for fabric. In able to come up with a few of the looks featured during our fashion coverage, I had to explore fabric options and alternatives which I'll be sharing with you shortly! Stay tuned for more fun!!!

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  1. love your choice from the catwalks to make for your girls - gorgeous. Looking forward to learning how to Chanel-ify fabric.

    1. Thank you. Each season there's always a challenge. But I'm pretty happy with the results.

  2. Jesteś wyjątkową Osobą! Z Tobą nigdy nie można się nudzić! Zaskakujesz nas coraz nowszymi pomysłami! Bardzo lubię odwiedzać Twój Blog, bo zawsze czeka tu na mnie miła niespodzianka! Masz niebywały dar odtwarzania miniaturowych kreacji dla Twoich przepięknych lalek! Prezentują się, jak zawsze, wspaniale i cudownie oglądać stworzone dla nich ubrania!
    Serdecznie Cię pozdrawiam ♥

    1. Olla wrote:
      You are a special person! With you you can never get bored! You are surprising us with new ideas! I really enjoy visiting your blog, because there is always a nice surprise waiting for me here! You have an incredible gift of playing miniature creations for your beautiful dolls! They present themselves, as always, wonderfully and wonderfully watching the clothes created for them!
      My heartily greetings.

      Thank you Olla, for your very kind words. With each season that passes, I try to steer clear from the simple outfits and instead, choose very interesting looks to make for the dolls. Over time, I find I am getting better and better at making these little creations. Thank you so much for your continued support and for your friendship.

  3. I'm amazed (as always) with your creations. This time number one is for sure Cher's outfit. I love the gloves you made, those straps and everything. It's so perfect!
    Blue velvet and lace dress is in my favourite colour. It's great and beautifuly made.

    1. Thank you, Kamelia. I've been choosing outfits that present a challenge. As I was working on the outfit you like, I discovered that the dress is pretty ordinary. What really makes it work are all of the accessories. When I finished, it almost resembled a Star Wars costume, which I thought was pretty cool. The blue velvet dress is something I, too, would wear.

    2. Star Wars! I knew it reminds me of something! :)

  4. Yum, great clothes, I wouldn't mind having a go at the Talbot Runhof Veronique is wearing (Silver Society?), she could do with a new dress. Thanks heaps.

    1. Than you, Julie. This was really fun. I almost made the Talbot Runhof dress but when I looked at the original photo close up I saw there were tiny flower embroidery and I did not have the time. What is fun about this exercise is that you only see the front of the dress which means you have to figure out what's going on in the back. On the bright can take liberties with the back!!! Have fun!!!

  5. Beautiful creations! The bubble cape would probably not be very practical to wear in daily life but looks just fabulous on your model.
    The front of the human size yellow gown seems to be cut in one piece, do you think it is? I think this is a brilliant design! Your yellow mini dress is fabulous and so is the big bracelet you added :-).
    The Yamamoto sweater and pants are also perfect for dolls, I love how you made it.
    The "Techno Vibe" section seems fun indeed, I bet you'll come up with awesome creations inspired by these looks!

    1. Thank you for all of your kind words. You have a really good set of eyeballs!!! When I made the yellow gown, I don't think I looked as closely as you did. So my dress has a set in sleeve. But after seeing your comment, I realized you were right. The human sized dress is cut in one piece. So.....even though I was in the process of working on the next post, I stopped, draped another yellow dress...which if you take another look at this post---you will see a new and updated version of that dress but on another doll!
      The cape is really for making an entrance-red carpet event or a delightfully elegant dinner. Milady could either check the cape at the coat check or wear it around the waist over the dress like an apron!
      As far as the Techno Vibe is concerned, I'm already getting the bubble wrap, the old cassette tape and a few other craftsy items ready!!!

    2. Wow, now it is an exact copy! I like both versions, with the set in sleeve and in one piece :-). I HAVE to try this for one of my own dolls :-).
      I can't wait to see your Techno Vibe clothes!

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you so much Urszula. Happy you enjoyed this post. Big hugs.


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