The Fashion Statement: Paris Celebrates Halloween Early?
Far be it from me to criticize designers when they get creative, try something new or push the envelope. That's fashion.
But, is it me, or are designers presenting collections in Paris this week getting downright costume-y? More than a few of them have gone from subtle references in their collections to frighteningly literal representations of sea creatures, Roman gladiators or whatever else inspires them.
Take Louis Vuitton's show yesterday. Marc Jacobs used giant Afro wigs-the kind you'd pick up on the Halloween aisle-in his presentation. Disappointingly, the Afros were the only things unifying the collection comprised of everything but the kitchen sink (Davy Crockett fur, American Indian accessories, military looks, hippie, club kid, etc.).
Alexander McQueen called his show Plato's Atlantis. With hair sculpted into reptilian fins, models walked by in oversize platformed shoes that looked like heads-scary in more ways than one (you could probably break an ankle in those things). Reptilian patterns, scales and otherworldly silhouettes brought home the idea that we all came from ancient creatures of the deep.
It was a chainsaw massacre at Viktor & Rolf. Paying homage to the economy, the duo took a chainsaw to tulle gowns, cocktail gowns and jackets. To be fair, you expect this sort of thing from these fashion pranksters. These guys have been poking fun at the industry for years (and laughing all the way to the bank).
Gallery: The Fashion Statement 10/08/09
Finally, how can you wrap up Paris fashion week without mentioning the most terrifying show of them all? The fashion elite wanted to burn Lindsay Lohan at the stake for her debut collaboration with Estrella Archs at Ungaro. The unfocused attempt at design was one thing. But then the actress slapped strippers' pasties on models' breasts and plunked big giant hearts on their foreheads. Sophomoric. The most popular headline of the week among fashion reviewers? Quelle Horreur!
Admittedly, part of the game is putting on a good show. Fashion weeks are meant to entertain the insiders and the public at large-the industry equivalent of the Super Bowl. The outrageous stuff you see on the runway (never intended for the street) makes for good theater, creates an image or mood and gets press attention.
It starts to get freaky when the costume-y stuff doesn't complement the collection but becomes the collection itself. Then again, it is October after all. Trick or treat!