Valentin Yudashkin, Alfredo Villalba, Junko Shimada
Second edition of the shows I attended during Paris Fashion Week. From private showings, to pom-pom hats, to strutting with Bryan Boy.....
As someone who loves to write and report during a show I pay attention to what kind of crowd is attending. Are there young Hollywood starlets or professional looking men and women there to buy for stores and not be photographed? It says a lot about the image the brand is trying to portray by who attends their shows. Do you have the Kardashians or Anna Wintour, or nowadays both? At the Valentin Yudashkin show I noticed that the room was filled with French women wearing dresses, heels and furs. An impressive accomplishment considering it was a 10am show. You could feel from the atmosphere in the beautiful hotel hall that this was a collection for those who will buy the garments and wear them out to dinner or balls.
Valentin Yudashkin’s Russian roots show through in his collections that are loved by the Parisian glamorous. With furry hats and turtlenecks under dresses it was also a collection to bear the winter in, with a touch of glitter.
In London, presentations are a huge part of fashion week, making their way onto the official schedule as well as up and coming designers putting them on by their own means. However, Paris is all about the runways. While presentations do exist they are few and far between on the official schedule. Designers who do not put on runway shows also have showrooms, where buyers and reporters can see and even touch the collection, having a personal encounter with the garments.
When I received my invitation to the Alfredo Villalba presentation room I expected it to be like many of the ones I had been to in London, a room filled with people and models standing for everyone to snap pictures of the clothes. In Paris though everything is done a little more elite. I walked into the beautiful hotel and down the hallway to the showroom. I peered in and then immediately walked right back down the hallway.
The room was empty except for a few men in suits sitting at a table, rails of clothes, and one model wearing a gorgeous gown. I seriously thought that I must have stumbled into somewhere I wasn’t meant to be. But after checking my invite and email several times this was in fact where I was meant to be. I walked back into the room and presented my invite like a twelve year old trying to sneak into an R rated movie. Without hesitation a man in a suit greeted me and asked if I would like to speak in English or French. He then proceeded to walk me through each look in the collection explaining the vision and execution.
While I was wondering the whole time if he realized that I wasn’t anyone special I did manage to soak up the beauty of the collection. The fall/winter collection was entitled Urbanite, having a strong industrial aesthetic while also having a feminine under tone, paying close attention to the shape and movement of a woman’s body. The colour scheme was dark, black, greys, navies, but the splashes of bright coloured flowers, laser cuts, or thigh high slits brought the sensuality into the collection.
After showing me the collection I was explained to that the Alfredo Villalba house is undertaking a new journey these coming years with direction from the son of Alfredo Villaba, Diego Villaba. My lovely French guide then gestured to one of the suited men seated at the table. Realizing that there casually sat Diego Villaba. The brand is merging street-wear and couture, attempting to create a more global luxury brand. Bending the rules of the traditional fashion concept. I am truly excited to see what is to come of the House and I thank the Alfredo Villalba team for thinking I was whoever you thought I was.
This sadly brings me to my last show of Paris Fashion Week. Luckily it was a fun one to go out with. I sprinted to Junko Shimada after stalking the Valentino show, which I only found out the location by stumbling upon it on a run that morning. Thankfully I had to time to change out of my runners, walk out of Valentino like I had attended (with Bryan Boy!), and make it to Junko Shimada. I said in Part One of Shows that I loved walking between shows but the cobble streets of Paris are tricky to hustle on.
The collection itself was a tartan and puffball dream. You could hear the bagpipes playing with the high socks and side flat caps but there was also a very elegant vibe to the overall look. The collection, while definitely strongly inspired, did not lose its wear-ability. Any woman wearing it would be able to make a fun and daring statement without anyone thinking she was headed to the Highland Games, well maybe if the Highland Games met Ascot.
So, there are all of the Paris Week shows I attended! I will still be doing articles on street style and a round up of all the shows from Paris, in time to make your wish list of what to buy for this fall.