Friday, April 24, 2020

Dolls Eye View: Paris Winter Trends 2020

Well here we are at the end of our Fashion Month where I focus is Paris. Again, this is another collection that may possibly never see the light of day given production was halted right after the catwalk shows ended. Paris was not as wonderful as Milan. For the most part, the ideas didn't seem to be there. Unlike the grand revival of classics we saw in Italy, the basics on display in the French capital were....boring. I spent a lot of extra time to produce this report because it will be the last "current" source of inspiration for some time to come.

Putting this report together took a LOT of time. Designers have not been using the tools of color, texture, fabrics or styling. When getting "product" out to the public as quickly and cheaply as possible is the main concern, creativity goes out the window. Throughout the two weeks it took me to pull 11 looks together, much thought went into the styling. There were often changes of models, changes of accessories, and even changes of design elements which saw me sew something together only to toss it away because it lacked a certain.... excitement! Fashion is the sum of its parts. Everything counts. When it's on the catwalk, there should be a glamorous or even an outrageous touch that makes you excited about the rest of the outfit! That might be an extra layer, an over-the-top hat or pair of boots. A pop of color or something that sparkles or shines. In any case that is what we attempted to for this, my girls last trip to Paris for awhile. So without further delay....let the show begin!

Shine On!
Shiny vinyl, a staple of the 1960's "Mod" look is back but in a more sophisticated fashion. We're seeing it for pants, suits, coats and boots. It makes everything look new like a shiny new car! This time around, shiny vinyl is teamed with matte wools or even a big fluffy feather jacket.
Sybille could not resist this look. It is a two-piece suit (basic hip length jacket belted over a pencil knee length skirt) with matching over the knee boots. Tossed over her shoulders is a (faux) leather trimmed wool kimono coat. What we love about this look is that this is a real wardrobe booster. Each piece can be worn with something else!
With Joy, the look starts with a basic sweater and tan leather skirt. Over it all....a navy shiny vinyl (basic) straight coat and boots (these are actually spats I created early on. They slide over Joy's platform shoes)!

Fringes of Society
These are very classy looks given the edge of fringe. Me and the girls really love the scarf look in the middle, but alas....I didn't have the supplies to try this. Still, I have a deep found love for fringe, be it silk or cut, so the girls knew they would get some version of this.
What's important in the house right now are clothes my girls actually want to wear. If I had felt, I would have been tempted to create this poncho designed by Arje. Instead, I started out with a poncho I made out of chamois awhile ago. As you can see, I took this look far beyond the parameters of the original look. And while the original poncho is something you might see in a store, the way Grace wears it, is the way it would be shown on the catwalk. Over-the-top, go-big-or-go-home worn over a cashmere sweater and fitted pants with a great big shawl tossed over the shoulders! This is how you do it!

Grey Scale
Expect grey to make a grand entrance for Fall 2020. This will mean a return to classic wool fabrics! Here we see them cut in a variety of classic looks from a vintage jacket with picture collar to full trousers, coat dresses, straight over coats and more! Note-- small belts are back in style!
Stefani fell in love with the collar of this Altuzarra suit. When retooling it for her, however, I decided to make the jacket with frayed edges to give it a more modern edge. We made the suit first with trousers, but the end result was, well...... ho-hum (very ordinary). So I made a pencil thin skirt instead using a slightly darker, smoother wool which added depth and a subtle contrast to the overall look. Stefani was pretty content, but then spotted a little fur trim on an old glove of mind.....
She can wear the jacket as is OR...... tack the fur onto the collar. Her pearl brooch is actually an old clip on earring!

Basic Instincts
Personally, I don't really see the genius in any of this. The stark silhouettes are okay, I just wish there was more research into color and fabric. But still, this does warrant a glance because not all of dolly's wardrobe will be super fancy! Just remember that when it gets this simple, you should opt for good fabric!
 I didn't have anything to sew for Meagan's look. This is pure styling from pieces already in the house: a bathrobe coat with shawl collar in beige doeskin (cotton), a (cut and sew) sweater worn over (faux) leather stretch pants! Just remember to add accessories: glasses, gloves, chain belt, handbag, wool scarf and a nice pair of black "leather" ankle boots.

On Edge
We absolutely adored this group outlined in black because it reminds us of a modern version of a popular 1960's look originally made famous by the iconic designer, Courreges. Unfortunately, I didn't have trim to make any of them but I did start to explore the idea of painting on the edge. This is worth exploring but this report took me so long, I decided to save this for another day!

Wild Thing!
Take a walk on the wild side where texture, pattern and sometimes color is the main story. And while the animal print or nap makes it easy to create the look for dolly, you can always explore the idea of creating your own shaggy fabric (which we'll do in another post)!
My dolls already have LOTS of animal prints in their wardrobe. So we needed to find another variation of this print on print ensemble. By now, we know that matching coat/dress ensembles are big for Fall. But the last thing we wanted was another matchy-matchy outfit when there are many other options. For Emanuela, I chose an oversized leopard spotted fleece (cut from a cheap Dollar store scarf) and teamed it with a fluffy faux fur coat with a similar color palette and pattern. We've captured the concept but executed it in a more interesting way!
 Many craft stores do have squares of shaggy fabric which means it's easy to make Zoe's coat! It is a basic pattern (front, back and straight sleeves). Instead of accessorizing it in black, I decided to add a pop of red with the addition of her gloves and stocking boots!

Merry Widow
 From a country where black is a color....this is all about silhouette. Leading the way, the iconic Japanese designer, Yohji Yamamoto. What we like about all of these looks is the research for new, interesting yet feminine modes of dress. We love the ruffles, the poufs the drama of it all. I personally love the layering of black on black, but any of these can be translated into the color or fabric of your dolly's choice.
 Take Sophia's ensemble for example. We created this version of Yohji Yamamoto's dress/coat ensemble for her. Instead of using a fine or silk crepe, we went a little adventurous. Her ankle length straight coat was cut from panne velvet and the 2-piece dress from taffeta. The skirt actually from an old gathered skirt the girls aren't wearing. I simply pulled it up into poufs to one side and tacked them back down onto the skirt to one side. I chose to work in black because it is the signature of the designer who rarely works in any other color. But for your doll, feel free to reinterpret!
This was a simple coat I had actually made for another outfit but pulled it at the last minute. So I used it instead of the black coat and see what a difference this made! The designer originals don't have to be made line for line. Think of using them as a springboard to something else amazing. Make them your own!

Winter Garden
This story is largely about print and color. We love the idea though we wish the color palette reflected Autumn instead of late summer! I also like the idea of exploring floral printed velvet. That is what will distinguish these clothes from those created for a warmer climate.
The draped "couture skirt" is a favorite in my house. For Catherine's version, I used "Jouy" cloth (cotton with 18th century line drawings of landscapes or figures) draped to one side (foundation skirt underneath). The fun thing here are her stiletto boots....which match the skirt! On top: a blue stretchable velvet top with a bow at the throat and removable sleeves.

Again, it is nice to see color and print for a Fall collection. Both me and Alva liked the look of this Dries Van Noten ensemble in a glance. But for Alva, I simplified the dress, leaving off the diagonal ruffle which, for my taste, did not add anything to the look, (and actually interfered with the pattern of the floral print) especially on a 1/6 scale. The idea of pairing the dress with a contrasting grey coat is an interesting one, but I chose instead an abstract floral printed velvet with similar colors for Alva's cocoon coat. (Note: Originally I made a straight basic coat from the velvet, but felt a contrast of silhouette lent more to the look. This is an example of working the overall look until something clicks.

Royal Order
It's been a long time since we've seen luxury clothes like these. What they all have in common: simple silhouettes cut from sumptuous brocades. My girls love the opulence of the metallic patterns as well as the gilded knee high boots. But once again, it's worth noting how simple each piece is!
Brocade fabric is usually expensive. The easiest way to get the same look is by opting for a fancy trim instead! I used a 4-inch (10 cm) trim to create Kadija's jacket and matching skirt.

In Contrast
We love the geometrics of it all! Dresses with a distinct asymmetrical vibe constructed like a giant jigsaw puzzles.  This is simple and stunning!
Nadja's dress is essentially a simple knit sheath dress with a white triangle insert. This required taking the dress, drawing in the shape then adding in seam allowance so the dress can be put back together as one. By itself, the dress is stunning. But upon completion, it still need a bit of drama. So I Nadja to lengths of sheer fabric--one in black, the other white.

Midnight at Maximes
This is an odd group of eveningwear with a few good ideas. We like the 1930's drama of a drop shouldered gown or deep decollete gown suspended from the wearer's earrings. And we even like the simplicity of a fishtail velvet dress. It is all about what you ultimately do from there!
 There was something quite intriguing about the bare shouldered gown showing a flash of a bra. Nonetheless, we didn't like the cheap looking bra, nor the sloppy bodice and plainness of the fabric. So, quite naturally, we took liberties for Dorian's version. Instead of the bra, I took a bit of beaded lace and fashioned a fancy camisole. The plain fabric was traded in for crushed taffeta. The
"stole" is a simple rectangle twisted and caught at the back. This is worn over a gathered skirt closed on the side to show off a flash of leg. She is, of course, also wearing opera length gloves and bejeweled sheer boots.
This is what this looks like when removing the stole.

And so, here we salute the end of another fashion season, a month unlike any other. I do have photos for one last report...Fall/Winter 2020 menswear. But I plan to hold off before posting. In the meantime, I have been gathering ideas for "Behind the Design" tutorials. There is a rich fashion history out there and while we wait to see how this Coronovirus plays out and impacts our lives, there is much to explore. And perhaps we will do some updates of previous projects. There are still many, fashion oriented things we can look forward to! So stay tuned! We're still here!

In the meantime, we thank you all for stay safe. Stay virus free.

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  1. Again, I love your versions far more than the originals. I can see where the originals are all about the fabrics, but they certainly are playing it safe. Interesting how much fabric they are using when we will be dealing with tough times in the future, will YARDS of fabric really be practical? I hope everyone doesnt' retreat back to 'safe' skimpy, style-less looks. I remember when every store had nothing but army green, gray, black or camouflage available--during the Iraq/afghanistan wars.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Sandi. And yes, they certainly did play it safe. I'm not sure why. What it because of the economy which was rather shaky before the pandemic? Or is there something not happening in the design process? As I was putting together these fashion reports, part of me felt they were probably already out of date. The pandemic completely short-circuited the whole manufacturing/production/retail process so we will, more than likely not see much if any of these styles in the store come September. In the meantime, this pandemic has impacted the industry as well as the consumer. Usually after a major war, there are seismic shifts. Things tend to simplify. After WWI, bustles and all that 19th decorative art gave way to simpler silhouettes, shorter hemlines and streamline art, otherwise known as Art Deco. After WWII, women stopped changing clothes 5 times a day. Hemlines shortened, pants became an item. So it's reasonable to think in some way, there will be some major shift. Personally, I have been waiting for "21st century" style. Designers and consumers have been overly reliant on reviving fashions from the 1970's, 80's, 90's, but especially the 1970's. We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, about all I can do is to look back and reminisce the "good ole days" of fashion as I have known in my lifetime. Stay safe. Big hugs.

  2. Great show. As always, your creative versions are insane.

    1. Thank you so much Dlubaniny. So happy you enjoyed the show. Stay safe. Big hugs.

  3. Your creations are more creative than the real ones! All the looks are gorgeous, elegant and stylish. I just bought fabric very similar to that of Catherine's ensemble! It's not delivered yet, but I look forward to using it. Wonderful work, as always! Big hugs X

    1. Thank you so much, Linda. This took me a little while to pull together, but I made a special effort to get each of my chosen looks just the way I thought it would have been presented "back in the day" when these shows were a really big deal. I even took the time to try each outfit on a few different "models" to present them in the best light. When all was finished, it reminded me how much work, beyond the essential garment creation, goes into producing a fashion show! Have fun with the new fabric! I've had mine for awhile, but never thought to use it for a draped skirt and boots until I saw the Dries Van Noten dress! (The boots were my idea!) Thank you again, for your visit. Big hugs!

  4. Mnóstwo tu kreacji, które przyciągają wzrok i są naprawdę rewelacyjne! Bardzo podobają mi się luksusowe, brokatowe ubrania i kozaki!
    Czarne, długie suknie z dekoltem są piękne i eleganckie! Koralikowa koronka jako podkład pod czarny, lejący materiał to świetny pomysł!
    Poncho - Twojego projektu - jest cudowne!
    Tak samo jak żakiet ze spódnicą w pięknym kolorze, z dodatkowym futrzanym szalem - fantastyczny!
    Świetne projekty i przepiękne wykonanie strojów dla lalek!
    Ps. Ogromnie podoba mi się pomysł z broszką :-)
    Pozdrawiam serdecznie ♥

    1. Olla wrote: Lots of creations here that catch the eye and are really sensational! I really like luxurious brocade clothes and boots!
      Black, long dresses with a neckline are beautiful and elegant! Bead lace as a foundation for black, pouring material is a great idea!
      Poncho - for your design - is wonderful!
      Just like the jacket with a skirt in a beautiful color, with an additional fur scarf - fantastic!
      Great designs and beautiful execution of doll costumes!
      Ps. I really like the brooch idea

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments, Olla. Yes, there were quite a few good, basic idea on which to build. And I had a lot of fun adding my own twist to things! After seeing so many crazy styles, it was nice to see a return to old fashion glamour with more luxurious fashions. The idea of the brooch came to me because the suit (both the original and the doll version) looks so retro, so vintage. After I made the jacket with the wide, sweetheart neckline, I thought it begged for a fur collar. And the fur collar needed a brooch. A vintage earring was the perfect scale! Thank you again for stopping by. Stay safe. Big hugs.

  5. I enjoyed this post a lot, April. There are many great creations here, I found some inspirations to be truth. Not all, that's for sure. Some of them I didn't like at all.
    But. Your versions are amazing. I love Stefani's outfit. Pencil skirt was a great idea! Meagan's clothes are perfect. Sophia looks amazing. I love all the creations from Black Widows group, they really have something.
    And Kadija's jacket is just brilliant! I love it.

    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Kamelia. Coming from you, I am really flattered! As you can imagine, this took a lot of thought and effort to come up with the doll versions because in some cases, there was a certain something "missing." Sometimes, its the design itself which was too safe and lacked attitude. Sometimes it was the lack of initial research of color and fabric, too few accessories, too little imagination. And then there is a question of styling which seem to be lacking. So... I had to rely on my own personal memories of shows past. On the bright side... the simplicity of it all allowed me to put my own spin on things. And that is a lot of fun in itself!

    2. Well, all these troubles are not visible on the photos. At all. :)
      You did a great job!


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