Artistry consistently trumps wearability at Paris Fashion Week, with the runways taken over by a number of the most eccentric and visionary designers in the world. Eight designers to watch at Paris all hailed from Japan, with old masters like Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto giving way to newer labels like Kolor and White Mountaineering. And of course, there was a strong showing by Junya Watanabe, whose contemporary take on archetypal pieces made for yet another strong showing.
COMME des GARÇONS Shirt
As expected, COMME des GARÇONS Shirt presented plays on the man's woven shirt. Patchworks, stripes, and even scissor holes and appliqued pieces of fabric transformed the wardrobe staple.
Even as Rei Kawakubo titled the collection "Armour of Peace," with coats and jackets seemingly inspired by samurai suits of armor, she subverted the warring motif with floral headwear arrangements. Later, psychedelic, floral and geometric prints softened the tailored uniforms of the classic pinstripe suit.
Designer Yusuke Takahashi looked to the nomadic horsemen of Mongolia for this collection, which explains the subtle equine motifs that appeared throughout. Fabric technologies and exotic silhouettes emphasized the physicality of the garments.
Junichi Abe went for subtle glamour in Paris, revealing pieces dressed in patent leather and leopard print. The collection was a study between our modern and natural worlds, creating a balance matched by his play on proportions.
Designer Chitose Abe mixed and matched fabrics and layers, creating hybrid pieces that challenged expectations. Quirky, yes, but also compelling and persuasive, featuring unparalleled craftsmanship in the details.
Designer Yosuke Aizawa unveiled a collection that extrapolated his brand's its outdoorsy roots. Gore-Tex and nylon, combined with Mexican blanket motifs and distressed denim, took the garments to a new level of urban sophistication.
Yohji Yamamoto took his oversized proportions to a comical level in Paris. The designer admitted as much, confessing that the layers were meant to evoke mothers piling on sweaters and coats on frigid winter days.