By THOMAS ADAMSON – AP Fashion Editor
PARIS (AP) — Dior’s world-renowned florals, art and ateliers collided on Friday for a fragrant burst of creativity. The house’s Paris Fashion Week show was a tribute to the late British painter Duncan Grant and famed member of London’s Bloomsbury Group, who died in 1978.
VIP guests were left in awe as they entered a DIOR-branded tent to experience the improvised view of the countryside – filled with around 19,000 real poppies, wildflowers and flora planted on hillsides next to two reconstructed English country houses . All that for the 10-minute fashion show. The set was, of course, intended to evoke Grant’s rolling landscapes.
There were almost as many famous faces on display as there were flowers. David Beckham and his son Cruz, Naomi Campbell, J Balvin, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel were part of Dior’s star-studded front row, peering through petals and clumps of grass.
Here are some highlights from the Spring/Summer 2023 Friday shows:
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For spring, designer Kim Jones recreated the painter’s universe not only by evoking his masterpieces, but by creating the clothes he wore while working, like his straw gardening hat reimagined as a fused pergola on a baseball cap, fashioned by Stephen Jones the milliner. Grant’s signature suits were also a key theme, but reimagined in Jones’ style with clever edgy twists.
A myriad of riffed references to the 1930s — the artist’s golden age. Two sleeves were used in place of a retro belt on a loose double-breasted vanilla suit. They hung in the middle in an abstract way, protruding under the jacket. Elsewhere, tailored shorts featured turned-down waistbands in the slightly clumsier styles of this interwar era.
The woolly socks and gardening shoes were an amusing nod to the painter, who spent much of his time outdoors, but also a nod to Jones himself, a designer for whom the humor is never far away. The collection’s palette was appropriately garden and pond inspired with greens and blues as well as pastels.
A fresh and sensitive wardrobe awaited the guests of Paul Smith’s spring show in the south-east of Paris.
Layering and play on optics were the themes of the season, in looks that drew on the British sartorial master’s daily bread of colours, florals and tailored looks.
A beautiful set of silver coats, loose and fluid, creates an on-trend preppy vibe with eye-catching suit shorts over suede socks and loafers.
Elsewhere, it’s the realm of soft optical illusion in patterning that has given several sets kinesis.
A granite-colored tunic shirt was constructed from a grooved fabric that rippled in zigzags that changed shape as the model walked.
JUNYA WATANABE MAKES A DENIM STATEMENT
The Japanese fashion designer – a protege of iconic Comme des Garçons couturier Rei Kawakubo – presented an urban yet soft display for his eponymous brand on Friday.
At the heart of Junya Watababe’s creations is a concept called “Monozukiri”, which literally means “production” or “manufacturing” in Japanese and which for him has come to encompass a know-how of advanced techniques to make clothes.
Here for spring, contrasting prints, patterns and textures created visual tension, while ripped jeans with a bias cut, replete with colorful appliqué patches, gave the collection some fun.
Coca-Cola logos and images of hamburgers on denim jeans commented on the capitalist nature of the world – and the fashion industry itself – in a pleasant moment of introspection.
There were lots of interesting design twists: a denim jacket made of Japanese denim had a regal stiffness, which contrasted nicely with the lack of one of its chest pockets.
Guests sat like students in a row school assembly hall for Kidsuper.
The irony was not lost on guests who enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek vibe that pervades the alternative house’s fun and engaging mixed-media designs.
An urban style crossed the vibrant looks.
Faces painted in prints looked down from ponchos, pants and coats in colorful garments that spanned the rainbow in color.
The strongest look from the 24-look collection was a multicolored puff dress layered in lime green, bronze and orange tulle that looked a bit like Cyndi Lauper reimagined by a schoolteacher.
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