Put down your smartphone? Not at Paris fashion week

Usually, smartphones are the bane of organised
events, but one Japanese designer decided to use snap-happy fashionistas to
his advantage and make them work to see his latest collection.

As Paris kicked off a nine day fashion frenzy on Tuesday, tech-loving
designer Kunihiko Morinaga for Anrealage unveiled a spring/summer 2016
ready-to-wear collection made from photosensitive material.

But to experience it in all its glory, you had to put on a headset for
the
sound and activate the flash on your smartphone to photograph the models.
Fashion first. Instagram or Twitter later.

To the naked eye, the clothes were grey or black, sometimes striped,
resembling origami as the geometric lines played tricks on your vision.
But under the light of the flashing cameras, the designs changed colour,
becoming neon yellow or revealing chequered and diamond-shaped patterns in
yellow, blue, pink and green.

A Finnish summer solstice

The Finnish brand Aalto meanwhile drew a large crowd to its first
collection presented at the prestigious Paris event, with standing room only
at a runway show laced with nostalgia.

There was a hint of a nineties rave party during a summer solstice as
models paraded in front of a wall of vintage speakers in long, loose-fitting
silhouettes.

Designer Tuomas Merikosi used striking layered combinations, with a
nearly
formless dress over jeans, long tunics over trousers and twin-layered
skirts.
He played with long, rounded collars, and gave long sleeves short shrift,
either slicing them open or placing their opening midway down the arm.

Fashions that are sticking around according to Aalto: the popular bird
print, nineties-inspired dark lips and masculine cuts with a feminine touch

that don’t cling, of course.

“During the summer solstice, people are really happy to be outside after
the long winter, to party in the forest, on the edge of a lake,” Merikosi
said
after the show.

“This collection reflects this attitude, with numerous masculine elements
which have been feminised.”
Gender-blending was also hot on the catwalk of another Paris newcomer,
Nehera, a brand founded in the 1930s by a Czechoslovakian entrepreneur that
was recently revived.

French designer Samuel Drira proposed a wardrobe that “transcends
seasons,
sexuality and styles” with a mostly white, ecru and black collection of
unisex
silhouettes.

Olsen sisters’ garden in Paris

Celebrity twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, 29, who went from child TV
stars to respected stylists and businesswomen, have chosen to present the
summer collection for their brand The Row in Paris this year, instead of New
York.

The collection, shown by appointment, was chic, relaxed and inspired by a
“woman in a garden” wearing a long, white and ethereal dress, or a long
black
jacket embroidered in sequins.

Paris is the last stop for the 2016 spring/summer womenswear collections
after New York, London and Milan.
Wednesday kicks off with the return of iconic French fashion brand
Courreges, known in the 60s for its futuristic fashion.

Well known French names such as Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermes
will
also be presenting their latest collections. (Anne-Laure Mondesert,
AFP)
Image credit: AFP Photo

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