Vendome Luxury: October 2013
Spring Collections - 2014: Luxury Brands are Born Here
By Pikke Allen aka ARTIFICE
The definition of luxury varies depending on whom you speak to or where you go. The Vendome Luxury Show in Paris is one of the unique places where what’s “luxuriously new” in the field of luxury fashion takes the stage. Each October, the show is presented in a series of beautiful hotels, Le Meurice, the Park Hyatt, and the Hotel Particulaire behind the Ritz in Paris (now under construction for the next 3 years or so), the Hotel Evereux. With much anticipation each time I visit, I am always excited by what might be in store whether its the next “new” bag designer or perhaps a new wave of fashion designers who have never shown before in Paris. This year the designers were truly international and this made the experience of curating so much more interesting. It was a delight to see ZANG TOI holding forth at his collections he recently showed in New York. I had the pleasure of being in the audience for his previous spring season at Fashion Week 2012. (*see my JL Lounge Review)
This Collection was inspired by the American Ballet Theater shown at the Hotel Meurice evening gown Showcase. ZANG TOI’s growing audience has come to expect his exquisite workmanship and rich fabrics for special occaision gowns that are fit for a princess. He is also a designer with a sense of humor, so rare in the special occaision arena, where designers tend to be a bit serious. Zang was there showing his gowns along with his brother and what I saw was a beautiful "capture" of an evening at the Ballet: Romantic, Mysterious, Formal but with a touch of witty details. Another standout was Lebanese designer RANI ZACHEM who showed the essence of “Hollywood” inspired evening gowns that were a master of cut and styling. They were all about the draping with touches of decoration from beading and gorgeous encrusted jewels. His feminine vision of women was romantic and had that sassy touch of the “showgirl” as some of these gowns were definite red carpet “showstoppers”. His training in architecture and construction shows in how he envisions his work. Another red carpet standout was Reve by KHUSHALI KUMAR. These gowns were not for the timid, as her girls are not afraid to show their figures and she has already been on the red carpet for the Grammy Awards where Leon Rimes wore one of her dresses and I predict she’ll be a breakout hit of the future carpet stratosphere. Along with the gowns there are always extraordinary accessories and the stand-out hit for me was the line of handbags made in South Africa, “Leather Rose” and its a story of how a luxury brand builds itself from the ground up with a vision that is clear and not based on anyone elses. And speaking of unique vision, NORISOL FERRARI, a luxury sportswear and evening line is not only the creator of a new luxury fashion collection but a woman we all want to be: the “Tres Chic” adventuress and a woman who knows her own mind. This collection is based on wearable classical shapes: the tuxedo, the pencil skirt, the luxe legging and ‘Katherin Hepburn’ pant, but she takes it up a notch with luxury leathers, cashmeres, and silks; a hint of the Film Noire Woman is definitely in the room.
No Review of Vendome luxury would be complete without the swimwear category, and the Brazillians who excel in this area were in full force. There are too many collections to name here but my favorite was FERNANDA MAIA who showed a very floral and dynamic collections that will grace the world's poolside set. Another standout at VENDOME is the jewelry and my favorite was young designer Priyanka, her line AAMAYA which has combined her own personal travels worldwide and the new line of gold cuffs she just introduced were spectacular. Of course, a show without luxury shoes is no show at all, and my favorite were Giannico, who was showing a collection of witty, entertaining and really quite serious contenders in the world of shoes. The "Dita Mesh" Boot was a stand-out as were the sexy "Cage" Black Satin sandles that took the Roman Sandal trend up to the top floor. This line should be on everyone's shoe list for shoes this coming season.
The Vendome show is always my favorite stop during fashion week and when I discover new and exciting collections that they present, its a treat.
For further information on each of the brands, please go to each brand's website for products, collections and designer stories. For the Vendome Luxury show website: www.xxb.fr