Fall 2008 Runway Trend: Volumed Architecture

PARIS PRET-A-PORTER (PARISFASHION WEEK) FALL-WINTER 2008-2009

PARIS, March 11, 2008 /FR/ — One of the trends seen this season on the decisive runways of Paris Fashion Week, could be described as a long-legged silhouette topped by a baby-doll dress, skirt or coat, most times with the hemline placed at mid-thigh, with a big volume displaying an elaborate structure.

Seen on the very first day among the collection presented by Fatima Lopes, or on the next day by Cher Michel Klein, it was decisively enhanced in both case either by very high stilettos or by high-heeled boots of second skin leather covering also the thighs. Legs were in both cases elongated, clad in the boots or in the black leggings also seen in the two previous seasons on the catwalk.

Many variations on this theme were interpreted differently by fashion designers. Atsuro Tayama paired volumed sleeves in checkered black and red wool to black stockings to achieve a suppler and softer effect.

Martine Sitbon for Rue du Mail decisively interpreted that shape matching it with her general atmosphere of Art Deco or Art Nouveau inspiration in a much applauded approach.

Even Wolfgang Joop at Wunderkind, in an otherwise willingly out-of-the-trends collection, has added circular paddings around some shoulders to confirm this direction in his baby doll ensembles.

Sonia Rykiel gave her very own version in trapeze shaped short woollen coats, worn with opaque stockings of contrasting colour together with high platform sandals for a more comfortable effect topped by a bowler hat.

Balenciaga, with its extremely innovative and successful designer Nicolas Ghesquière, added to his moulding pants appliqués derived from futuristic uniforms on the sides, knees and ankles to give more volume to the upper part of the body, built here in a stiffer manner on collarless jackets with rounded shoulders and raglan sleeves in metallic shades.

However, two master designers stood out in their vision of architectured looks. Karl Lagerfeld who has proposed for his eponymous brand, a longer torso enhanced by a classic long jacket of perfectly seasoned blue, worn with a skirt of matching fabric and colour, pleated just below the hips to give it much volume. The effect created, paired with only flat shoes is stunningly elegant.

The other surprise came from Alexander McQueen, who was much inspired by royalty this season and has projected in the front of many looks the rich amplitude of a white tutu covering the knees, paired with embroidered long jackets of blue or red velvet in the shape of riding coats, but with the workmanship of formal court-like luxury.

Loaded with imaginative creativity these looks definitely make a fashion statement: women can now mould what suits them best in their body, fashion designers will recreate the right volume, with an artistic twist, where it could be needed.

JEAN PAUL CAUVIN