Paris Fashion Week: The Ones to Watch
Seven talented designers
In her first collection as creative director for Leonard, Yiqing Yin, who focused on intricate textures in her own brand, will turn her attention to prints. Admitting that she hasn't used prints throughout her own collections in the past, she revealed: "I selected prints that I thought could have a modern resonance, once we updated them a little, colourised or sometimes even reworked them, and tried them out on fabrics the house is not necessarily used to working with."
Yin, who was born in China but left at a young age, added elements of her Asian heritage to the Leonard collection, in the form of kimono sleeves and collars and empire waists. "I don't want it to be a Japanese-inspired collection. Rather, it's 'grunge geisha' - much more of a mix of genres and origins, with a kind of nomadic attitude," she revealed.
According to Laura Do and Bastien Laurent, who founded Avoc in 2013, the idea was to "to produce a product that comes with its own universe." For its first collection, the designers pay tribute to Jean-Michel Frank, an interior designer form the 30s in Paris, renowned for his marquetry furniture, which inspired Avoc to create a print.
The Avoc collection is comprised of architectural pieces with a subdued colour palette. A cutout Mao collar is one of the defining signatures of the label, which also features contemporary and utilitarian cuts. Laurent, who previously worked as a artistic director at Wieden+Kennedy in Amsterdam, revealed "I admit, we are big fans of the uniform."
Glenn Martens, who took over as creative director at Y/Project in 2013, following the death of Yohan Serfaty, the brand's founder and designer, revealed he "wanted masculine tailoring and a rough look, but one that is broken up with ultrasexy pieces." Martens still keeps in line with the brand's love for leather, enhanced with a touch of satin and mousseline.
The collection is comprised of t-shirt dresses featuring Y shaped drawsting, with the same rope theme making its way to bomber jackets and gothic themed dresses. The designer's evident attention to detail and tailoring know-how are displayed in his skirts and pants, made using wool or silk.
With a 10 year background designing accessories for the likes of Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Sonia Rykiel and Delvaux, Yasu Michino is no stranger to accessories. But with the launch of his own collection, the designer reveals "it's a whole new chapter, because it's the first time I'm designing for myself."
His 45-piece collection inspired by Pablo Picasso's 'Arlequin', features geometric shapes designed in a calm colour palette, with red, white, black, and powder pink as the main hues.
"I wanted function, easy access and beautiful fabrics," the designer revealed, adding, "You can even use my bags as a cushion."
With materials including goatskin, python, shearling, water snake, teamed with high-end Italian manufacturing - the line exudes luxury.
Virgil Abloh, who launched his label last month with a men's collection, is set to debut his womenswear range via presentations in Milan and Paris.
Cofounder of the concept store RSVP Gallery, as well as creative director for Kanye West, Abloh extends his credentials with his new label Off-White, and hopes to expand the offering to a lifestyle brand. "The concept of high-low, I think, is a part of this generation of young fashion muses and designers, and I want to embrace that within one collection," he revealed.
This season, Mexican designer Ruiz-Musi will present his second collection, which features elegant clutches and handbags, designed using his signature industrial elements, such as brass bolts and buttons.
The designer offers a 70s vibe in his latest presentation, with a colour palette of tan and brown, and materials including hand-painted python, calfskin, and artisanal wool.
This season marks the arrival of Vetements, a mysterious new label founded by four anonymous designers, who all worked together at Maison Martin Margiela.
The label is not focused on any particular look or season, instead, "The idea is to create pieces that anyone can adapt and mix to his or her personal taste and look," revealed one of the partners.
The range offers classics such as trenches, denim pieces made from vintage jeans, knit sweaters, enhanced by playful accessories such as leather boots with a cool plastic lighter heel, and huge silver jewellery pieces designed in the shape of springs.