Bonjour, Paris! Our fall 2015 collection coverage is wrapping up in fashion's first city. For more of our Paris Fashion Week coverage, click here.
At the beginning of A.P.C.’s fall presentation, guests were handed a packet of postcards printed with past collection campaigns. There was Julia Restoin Roitfeld as a teenager (1995), and Stella Tennant at the height of her fame (1992), among others. The incredible thing about looking at this little time capsule was that the clothes really haven’t dated much, if it all. (Watch the film "Lost in Translation" and you’ll have the same reaction: Scarlett Johansson’s A.P.C. wardrobe – which is now more than a decade old – is still great.) A.P.C. designer Jean Touitou explained that he and his team spent the season reflecting on the brand’s 27 years in existence. “I am not a genius who works late at night with worshipers eating no food,” he joked. “We do sleep at night and we do eat food.” Each vignette of models represented a different element of the A.P.C. look. Some ideas, and quotes, from the presentation included:
“La militant.” Clad in headscarves and military jackets, this group referenced Touitou’s youth as a revolutionary. “Those girls were extremely attractive to me because they were passionate.”
“Madame raw denim.” Here, each model wore the brand’s classic Petit Standard jean with Chelsea boots. Touitou talked about A.P.C.’s first collection, and how women used to come into his then-unbranded shop to buy the men’s clothing. (For the first few seasons, A.P.C. had no name. The initial line was called Winter ’87.) “There’s nothing to see [here], no belt, no bag, no jewelry, no nothing,” he said. “Women don’t need accessory. Wearing nothing special [says] everything about this woman. I know it’s a bit of a contradiction with hardcore fashion, but that’s the way I feel.”
“Mid-Nineties with today’s eyes.” “Over and over, we try to reinterpret,” Touitou said of his fair-isle crewneck sweater, grey wool trousers, and straightforward trench. “Minimalist is not something easy to do. The question is, how to get to the very essence of a garment. People tell me I’m not trendy. Thank you. Thank you so much. You do the trend, I do my work.”
“Pret-a-Porter comes from couture.” These almost-prim, mid-century shapes were inspired by the idea of how fashion houses used to work. Before ready-to-wear existed, a client would hire a tailor to make a dress from the original couture pattern. “In my archives, I have pieces by Dior made by Alaïa,” he said. (Before moving to Paris and becoming a famous designer in his own right, Alaïa had a private client business in his native Tunis, Tunisia, which is also Touitou's hometown.) “It’s pretty touching to the see the Alaïa [hand]. It wasn’t a knockoff business, it was a legitimate copy.”
“The Heroines of Marguerite Duras.” The writer and her characters inspired the next group of gray mock-neck dresses and simple overcoats. "I thought she was extremely elegant," he said.
"Sexy." “I do not only like women who dress like a man or like my mother or like a French intellectual,” Touitou said of his models in feminine black skirts, sweaters and dresses.
After the controversial comments made at A.P.C.’s January menswear show, going back to basics seemed like the best way for Touitou – and the rest of the fashion world — to move on. While he didn’t address the matter, he did confess that, “I do feel naked sometimes when I do these things.” Was it enough? Only time can answer that. – Lauren Sherman
The Paris-based Risto Bimbiloski manufactures his knits in his hometown of Ohrid, Macedonia, where his mother manages his atelier. One sweater from his Josef Frank -inspired fall collection features 108 flowers made of 1,800 grams of wool, and was produced over seven days by the hand of three different knitters. Not a simple feat.
That kind of loving care can bring real personality to a garment, and Bimbiloski’s pom-pom dotted knit trousers, pomegranate-intarsia sweaters and hybrid-knitwear tops had a playful, energetic feel. Surefire hits included a boiled wool coat in cobalt, lined with the collection’s signature botanical print, and a fluffy, string-y alpaca vest. — Lauren Sherman
A little bit of the Wild West here, a dash of South Bank Parisian life there: Aurelie Bidermann’s fall collection was inspired by many things. But above all, it was festive. “It has a joyously irreverent spirit that is slightly tongue in cheek,” said the designer. She played quite a bit with black and white, which gave everything an elevated, party-time feel. – Lauren Sherman
Juan Carlos Obando
For the first time, Juan Carlos Obando showed his fall collection in Paris instead of New York, although that didn't mean he shifted from his usual aesthetic. The designer offered a vibrant and sleek wardrobe of perfectly elegant cocktail attire, inspired by the work of the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. — Margault Antonini
When the designer Dryce Lahssan launched his eponymous brand, Lahssan, the idea was to focus on the trench coat, reinventing it every season. So, what does next winter's trench look like? He imagined a coat made from four pieces of zip-away leather, meaning it can be long or short, depending on your mood. The idea is quite clever, when you realize you can wear a long trench one day, a '60s coat the next, an '80s-inspired jacket, or a cropped bollero. — Margault Antonini