It's Paris, it's Ready To Wear collections, and we love it! And, although we are many, many miles away, we cannot stay away from the activites in Paris. We particularly have a special place in our hearts for the RTW shows, as this is the only realistic way of telling a good designer from the complete opposite. Haute Couture may be all very amusing and totally whacky and spectacular - but let's be honest; unless you're Bjork, you're not going to find that pea cock feathered glam gown, with defenseless baby seal tassel your favourite pick of the day. Naturally the Ready To Wear collections are key indicators of what we might see on the streets in the next up coming year.
On a pretend ice rink, the models were showing AF Vandervorst's
contribution to the autumn/winter 2005/2006 collection. The first part of the show offered very little to our excitement; plain, over sized - though comfy looking jumpers with knitted grand mother skirts and lots of pale [rabbit? silver fox? chinchilla?] fur vests and accessories. The fact that the fur accessories are getting such an accepted, common status is rather sickening. It has very little function, judging by AF Vandervorst's illustrations of how the accessories should be worn. Some of the excess fur had been created as head ornaments, to be worn as tasteful little bunny ears. Given the chance, we think the Village People might go for this option. The second part of the show introduced a much more young and stylish selection. Lots of granit, smokey shades in both matt and shiny made it quite interesting. Yes, the collection was nice, but rather simple, if anything; the conservative usage of colours, the lack of bags, accessories (apart from the odd bits of fur), the very plain hair styles, etc... The idea is risqué, as it leaves a lot of choices to the audience. And, in a fashion world of continous stunning collections, the Belgian duo AF Vandervorst don't quite make it all the way.
Right.... Forget our sudden attack on fur; Nicolas Ghesquière
proves to us how the fur collars should be
worn. It is fascinating how the usage of material can make the difference, but Monsieur Ghesquiere does the job wonderfully well. The French costume designer has brought it one step further, to make the fur arguably justified. We've seen the interesting usage of material such as gazar and organdy before. But this, in combination with floaty, feminine skirts is totally new, creative and works very well. The first look made us think of US civil war influences, but on a more correct note, one of the coats turns out to be a reworking of the uniform Cristobal Balenciaga
designed for Air France in 1968 (not
shown below). The jackets, the coats are all very wearable, and once again Balenciaga has delivered a very desirable collection.
To the left, AF Vandervorst. To the right, Balenciaga -