PARIS FASHION WEEK | S/S 2016 Highlights

Fashion Week can be a time of excited discovery or, on the other side of the spectrum, a saddening expression of misled inspirations. Every show poses the equal chance for an innovation-induced high or a long-awaited rush for the exit. This season I returned to Paris Fashion Week for a closer look at the latest designer collections; and here are my notes on the ones I loved the most from the Spring/Summer 2016 runway. 

Illustration by Megan St. Clair Morgan. Photo courtesy of Anrealage.
Illustration by Megan St. Clair Morgan. Photo courtesy of Anrealage.

^ ANREALAGE
For this show, we tried something new. Advised to use our camera phones along with harsh flash, the audience and I found ourselves discovering exactly what makes this Japanese label so unique: As the first flash graced the show-opening ruffled black dress, we were treated to a lightshow of photosensitive fabrics and a bold fluorescent green.

At first, the garments were able to stand alone without the additional high-tech gimmicks, but as the collection went on the relationship between cloth and technology became more and more codependent. But I stay with my initial thoughts: Designer Kunihiko Morinaga’s remarkably savvy collection could hold its own – even in the daylight.

Illustration by Megan St. Clair Morgan. Photo courtesy of Each x Other.
Illustration by Megan St. Clair Morgan. Photo courtesy of Each x Other.

^ EACH X OTHER
“X” continues to mark the spot where art meets fashion for Each x Other as cultural editor Jefferson Hack and artist/poet Robert Montgomery partner to create a spring collection for the romantic rebel, building a wardrobe filled with T-shirts that sported phrases such as “If you can’t afford it steal it,” shiny cropped officers jackets and a range of staple basic, including a slip-dress and the sartorial bomber.

Illustration by Megan St. Clair Morgan. Photo by Mohamed Khalil/Marimekko.
Illustration by Megan St. Clair Morgan. Photo by Mohamed Khalil/Marimekko.

^ MARIMEKKO
With S/S 2016 marking a milestone moment for the label, Marimekko has come a long way since Swedish journalist Heidi Avellan described the Finnish fashion house as “paper napkins and rubber boots.” Now under the creative direction of former H&M designer Anna Teurnell, the future of the label holds strong with a collection that returned to the heart of what makes them great.

Showcasing bold patterns with an artisanal feel, Marimekko’s intimate presentation during Paris Fashion Week revealed monochrome looks and a graphic mix-and-match range of opportunities, reminding us all of the timeless capacity the house continues to flaunt. This season placed a black-and-white polka dot shirt with a bizarre-chic combo of mustard, red and pink, alongside several well-place neutral essentials such as a khaki parka and trench coat.

Illustration by Megan St. Clair Morgan. Photo by Shoji-Fujii/Wanda Nylon.
Illustration by Megan St. Clair Morgan. Photo by Shoji-Fujii/Wanda Nylon.

^ WANDA NYLON
Sparks were flying at Wanda Nylon’s spring runway — literally. As the show started with the bright flickers from a welder and his tools, the rundown infrastructure of a building currently under renovation seemed appropriate as the setting for creative director Johanna Senyk’s debut runway show. Having launched the label in 2012, this is the first time we’re seeing Senyk at PFW, but it was well worth the wait.

Similar to the building where she presented her spring collection, the designer and her label are an antithesis to modern fashion, straying away from the bourgeois of French fashion shows and demonstrating the new French femininity. A genre of womenswear garments where the label’s traditional focus on water-repelling fabrics fuse with a distinct sportswear edge, this season’s collection explored Senyk’s design aesthetics with an invigorated grey jersey dress with cutout back, an essential trench and the powerhouse jumpsuit.

Illustration by Megan St. Clair Morgan. Photo by Marcus Tondo/Indigitalimages.com.
Illustration by Megan St. Clair Morgan. Photo by Marcus Tondo/Indigitalimages.com.

^ YANG LI
Yang Li’s romantic gothic-side appeared early on in the fashion week calendar this season, but what he presented remained a specific point of reference for me throughout the week. Soft and sculptural, his work showcases a smart juxtaposition between tailored separates and notions of femininity (such as a crinkled trouser and sweeping jacket set paired with a lace bralette).

In addition to his true-to-form show openers, Yang Li’s spring collection also presented a masculine military-heavy influence, which contrasted an unmistakable urban edge. For example, Li’s oversized navy coat or khaki trench appeared bearing patched phrases “No dream” and “No lie” inspired by the Swans’ song “Screen Shot.”

Originally published by The List Magazine.

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