It's hard to believe that Fashion Greats such as Dior, Givenchy, Chanel were ever once teenagers with a dream. But as with all of us, we started somewhere.
Paris is the birthplace of fashion and during this Spring Summer '11 Fashion Week season the strength of that tradition is seen all around the city, with brilliant shows being staged in the Tuileries, the Grand Palais, reclaimed convents as well as on rooftops and in basements.
The Pedro Laurenço show took place on the Quai Malaquais in the Salle Melpomène whose ceilings are at least 10 meters high and where the convex upper arches are adorned with French National Heritage paintings.
It's always fun to be where The Next Big Thing is happening. Greening Hollywood was there twice this past week at the start of Paris Fashion Week and we weren't alone...Vogue editors, notably the team from Milan were also there. Vogue Italian Editor Franca Sozzani is on a mission to support new and young designers and she has staffed her ranks with writers and editors who are fanned out across the city en force on this same mission.
The vibe at this show was so Brazilian, relaxed, genial. As the famous models pulled up in their taxis and chauffeured vehicles to make it to the show's hour-delayed start-time, the crowd was full of kisses and Portuguese greetings.
Hairstylist Guido Pila - for Redken - pulled up on a chauffeured motorcycle,www.win-win.com, one of the most brilliant urban transport systems I've seen in Paris. His driver stripped him of his helmet and motorcycle jacket as he dropped him off. [*Note this is the only Eco aspect of the show I've been able to discover byprint time.]
Nineteen-year-old Pedro's father, Reinaldo, also a famous Brazilian fashion designer, greeted guests personally as they arrived. Pedro who debuted for the first time in Paris only just earlier this year, is already pulling the stylemakers to his front row seatings and on only just the third day of the Paris Shows.
His geometric cuts, his bold colors were blended with panels of nude netting - an effect that created the illusion that the haute couture designs floated along the runway accompanied by the models.
Models' makeup was "Asian influenced," according to makeup artist Mai Lee, first assistant to head makeup designer, Diane Kendal (for MAC). Faces were nude with bright pink eyeshadow as color accent. Hair was pulled back severely and all models were blond.
Whether your parents are famous or not, you still have to have talent to make it in any business. Margarita, Missoni's daughter, was also in the front row of Pedro's show. She was seated next to Vogue New York's fashion features editor. A young designer I was speaking with while the show was getting prepped, told me how maybe if she could get the chance to work with one of these designers, it might help her get her break in the business. In the meantime she'll be dressing the Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier shows during this Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2011. Noting all the editors and Vogue writers in the audience of this second showing of a 19 year-old designer, it makes me believe that a teenage dream can, and does, come true.
Andrea Crews : Fashion, ART, Activism
When your world is not exclusively fashion, face it, a debut Parisian Runway Fashion Show is a daunting prospect. Just trying to figure out what shoes to wear to something like this can be nearly paralyzing!
So showing up to Andrea Crews' show in a sketchy part of the edgy-chic Bastille district, left me completely unprepared for what to expect.
What designer Maroussia Rebecq, who leads the Andrea Crews collective, delivered was every bit her folksy, French countryside, friends-on-a-picnic atmosphere that she strived for.
The runway show itself took place in an empty basement apartment where the floor was pasted with cardboard boxes, taped with brown packing tape. The show started when her friend, a bearded folksinger, took the stage and started strumming his acoustic guitar.
Crews uses recycled pieces of vintage clothing for some of her creations. This collection's theme was corn and bread. Fresh fruits and baskets of dried fruits were used to decorate the runway stage. Loaves of bread were used to decorate the models' hair and used as pieces of jewelry hanging from the models' necks.
Crews used open casting, so her models ranged from the size of a 12 year old boy to that of a mature and very saftig woman. If it's true that a designer is measured by her street cred, then Crews is definitely Parisian Street Legit. The audience was rastas, artists, fashionistas, international photographers... Both N.Y.
English and Parisian French could be heard throughout the crowd as we all jammed together on the floor seating to watch the denim, lace, t-shirt and corn-printed cotton presentation.
When I asked, Rebecq responded that her motive for choosing bread and corn as motifs were French countryside, religious values, family and friends.
After the show, bottles of red wine were passed around and glasses filled while everyone dove into the platters of fruit and cheese.
All Andrea Crews Photos credited to: Hélène Giansily