Sweet With Tooth
If Paris is a feast for the eyes, a last meal to hold us over until the couture shows in January, well—this season was like gorging on candy. All sweet and little substance. Not even rich opulent, multi-note chocolate that lingers on the tongue; first here, then there. No. More like Smarties—those plastic wrapped, pale colored, dusty and unsatisfying sugar pellets at the bottom of your purse you eat and then wonder, why did I do that?
I was going to do a tally of all the nipples I spotted but I lost count somewhere after 2 and half billion. Even with all the tits, I felt most exits were very girly and not so womanly… do you know what I mean? Prominent spring design elements were ruffles, ribbons, and pearls. Since I am not shopping for my own first communion I found this disappointing.
There were however, some stunning and fulfilling (and still feminine) exceptions to the saccharine. There was some designs who did frills and flowers and femme without dainty or demure or diminutive. At first, I wanted to dislike Sarah Burton’s collection. When I saw this exit, which I would describe as a baby doll dress, I wanted to throw the baby out with the bathwater. She’s done it, I thought. She’s marred the house of a true king.
But I pressed on, looked and relooked, and at the risk of sounding completely cliché: Alexander McQueen still does it for me. Clearly the collection was ocean themed, and I felt both the playful rolling and crashing vigor of the waves in the structure and texture of the clothes. Doesn’t the ocean tease and tempt as much as it storms and wrecks? I felt the busyness of coral reefs teeming with life. I saw the churning of the shallow seas. What type of woman could rule such a tumultuous place? I felt taken there, and told a story, which is the poetry all of us want from clothes. Even if we are also cunty and particular.
What I love so much about McQueen, and what the “Savage Beauty” Met retrospective impressed upon visitors, was that there is a hard edge to femininity that doesn’t have to be dulled or extracted for women to be beautiful. Ms. Burton arranged all the jagged pieces in just such a way that dresses were both hard and alluring.
There were flouncy ruffles just as there were masks that managed to make pearls somehow confrontational.
Comme des Garçons was also good. The story there was sleeves. Here is the absolute only sleeve in Paris:
But I was most captivated by this number, without any sleeves at all.