Prêt-à-Porter Fall 2008:
Nupur, Akris, Requiem
Paris is one of the few places on earth where even the pouring rain cannot stop people from enjoying its beauty, exploring its streets, and in the case of Fashion Week discovering its style. It seemed ironic that on a day of so much gloom I would be meeting with Nupur Tron, one of Paris’ freshest and most fabulous designers for a private showing of her newest Haute Joaillerie collection.
Jewelry that could make any gloomy day glamorous, Nupur’s stunningly intricate pieces sparkled with so much life it was as if the brilliance of the designer herself was shining from within them. Designed with an Indian influence, Nupur makes the traditional trendy, appealing to modern women who appreciate exclusivity and want personalized pieces.
With uncompromising quality, Nupur’s Haute Couture collection is produced in an Indian atelier with royal roots and a history of working with the Indian royal family. First noticed for her signature multicolored tourmaline necklaces, Nupur has grown her collection and received international attention for her intricate earrings, beautiful bracelets, and big rings that combine precious stones, pearls, and diamonds to create colorful and charismatic statement pieces.
Having spent the afternoon with such a charming and passionate designer, my love for her jewelry, which was once based solely on an appreciation for its incredible craftsmanship, has now grown into so much more. Creating her collections with a love that began as a hobby and has evolved into a business, I feel that her abundant energy and passion for intertwining tradition with a modern femininity is what makes her pieces standout with such style. While lusting after multiple pieces featured in the ornately intricate Haute Couture collection, I was most deeply drawn towards these following favorites for their luxurious originality.
Wednesday of Paris prêt-à-porter started with a designer I have always had an affinity for, and as I made my way to the Akris show held at the Carousel de Louvre I was interested to see in what direction Albert Kriemler would take this season’s collection. Have followed the Akris fashion house for many years I have watched its styles meander from flirty and feminine to sculptured and militaristic.
Typically designing through inspiration granted from other art forms, such as Swiss architecture or revolutionary silhouettes from Balenciaga, Albert instead chose to design conceptually. Keeping in mind the sophisticated woman, his collection combined modernized softness with structure, a meeting in the middle of many seasons past, resulting in elegant fashions that looked effortless.
Far more subdued in color in comparison to the sixties style seen at Dior, Akris showed a collection that caught the audience’s attention through opulent fabrics and uncompromising quality, which was evermore enhanced by the nuanced color palette. Belted floor length dresses in silk and tulle were breathtakingly refined, flowing with layers and elegantly accented with strips of cashmere. In shades of graphite, bark, and storm these gowns were not trendy but timeless, and greater attention was drawn to the lavish fabrics and divine details.
Tailored jackets in suede and quilted silk carried on the structure seen in previous seasons, but were belted at the waist to create a more feminine silhouette. Cut at cuff length and paired with either wide or narrow legged slacks, these jackets will make any outfit look fabulous this Fall.
Layering was a major theme of the collection, and even though looks consisted of multiple pieces Albert still managed to elongate the silhouette instead of bulking it up. Gorgeous cashmere turtleneck sweaters were wrapped with mile-long mink scarves and high wasted suede skirts given shape through pleating. Over sized tunics were paired with formfitting tops that added dimension to looks and left possibilities to mix and match many different pieces.
The mesmerizing cashmeres were truly the highlight of the collection and bringing the focus of softness in style, elegance, and comfort to a whole new level with long double-faced coats worn over silk tunics and turtleneck sweaters.
A collection that is sure to be an outstanding success, I could literally see myself wearing almost every outfit walked down the runway. Refined without constraint, this collection provides looks that are effortlessly elegant.
Following Akris, I had a short break and some time to socialize with friends before I headed back to the Carousel de Louvre for one of my favorite up-and-coming fashion houses, Requiem. Having favored the designs of Raffaele Borriello and Julien Desselle since they began as a young creative team only a few years ago, I have watched as the fashion world increasingly takes notice of their style, which combines industrialism with high fashion.
Taking pride in its Parisian roots, Requiem places as much emphasis on superior fabric, cut, and design quality as any house showing in Haute Couture would. While their collections continually carry a polished influence from the 1940’s and 50’s, this season the iconic Jerry Hall and social scenes from Studio 54 were inspiration. As such, the collection displayed an urbanized sophistication, mixing classic black pieces with bright color and fabulous furs.
Simpler pieces were brought to life with voluminous detailing that appeared either in the tops or bottoms of such looks. Ruffled hemlines, pleated skirts, draped necklines, and gathered fabric gave otherwise basic looks a feminine allure.
My other favorite styles from the collection included the forever-timeless jumpsuit, which in all black looked incredibly sophisticated. With a wide leg, voluminous sleeves, and high waste, this piece stood out as an elegant and effortless look for women Chic Over 40. For an outfit that exuded sexiness, I loved the flowing knee length dress, which debuting a plunging neckline and was detailed with pieces of draped fabric.
A collection that continues to grow both in its fashions and following, I am delighted to see such young and talented designers easily finding the their way into the spotlight that is so difficult to attract during Fashion Week. Once again, Requiem has proven themselves deserving of the attention and praise they are sure to receive for their innovative and chic prêt-à-porter collection.
With a busy week that seems only just to have started, I am very excited for all the shows, including Yves Saint Laurent tomorrow, that I will experience before Fashion Week comes to an end on Sunday.