• Love that I always see the best pieces by Brit designers abroad @nicoll_studio @liger_hk
  • Swash land at @liger_hk Patterson St store #SwashLondon
  • Patchwork chair by Brut Cake at @littlethingmag shop in OCT Loft Shenzhen
  • Close up of @_dion_lee_ skirt and #ToBeAdored shirt from @sister_tokyo
  • Chased after Brunie here up Hollywood Road. Just because.

IMG_1837

"Now here comes the science behind-the-scenes yadda yadda yadda…"

When I first heard that MADE, the New York FASHION WEEK initiative started by Jenn√© Lombardo, Mazdack Rassi and Keith Baptista was coming to Paris, I, along with some Parisian fashion PRs let out an audible "Woo-hoo!"  To say that MADE's sponsorship of shows and presentations and gathering of young designers at Milk Studios in New York, has significantly altered New York Fashion, would be an understatement.  I barely rememeber NYFW pre-Milk MADE.  I do recall being struck by how naff the Bryant Park tents seemed, in comparison to the shows and presentations that I was seeing at Milk Studios when the initiative first began.  For me the Lincoln Centre is really not that much better than the tents (sponsor activity practically outweighs shows), and so it's even more of a relief to hail a cab outside and head down to Milk Studios.  What Lombardo, Rassi and Baptista have successfully done is to serve designers first and get the taste level of the initiative pretty much spot on, creaming the best of what's new, young and exciting in New York (and beyond – look at the rise of the London-based brand like Ostwald Helgason, who could arguable attribute their success to Milk MADE).  Even commercial tie-ups, which are present on-site don't feel heavy handed but actually serve a purpose – for instance a Walgreens tuck shop handing out free pretzels or Lexus cars giving people rides.  The thing I like the most is the inclusivity.  When those evening presentations roll around, there's a great hustle and bustle at Milk Studios, where large volumes of people get to see three or four designers within a one-two hour slot, allowing word to spread through social media, blogs as well as the usual press guns.  It's win-win for industry folk without a great deal of time, people who don't necessarily get tickets to the bigger shows and the designers who get to showcase their work to a large audience.    

IMG_1835

The challenge then was to bring all of that to Paris, a city that isn't necessarily known for showcasing young designers at fashion week.  The call to support young domestic talent is on a high though.  The pressure for ANDAM to award French winners has resulted in a mini-wave of young designers that could be called Paris' Bright Young Things – Olympia Le Tan, Julien David, Anthony Vaccarello all come to mind.  MADE made their first headway in Paris last season by sponsoring the shows of all three designers.  This season though, they declared their presence properly with an official central venue to hold and host their first MADE in Paris show programme.  At the H√¥tel Salomon de Rothshild this season, MADE put on six on-schedule shows and six presentations over the course of four days.  Did it live up to my ludicrously high expectations, given how grateful I am for its mere existence at New York Fashion Week?  Well, yes and no…   

……………………………………………………………………………………

The shows that were part of MADE's roster are in essence, shows that already existed on-schedule at Paris Fashion Week.  A.F. Vandevorst and Sharon Wauchob are dab hands at PFW and the likes of Gareth Pugh and Anthony Vaccarello are, as this Business of Fashion piece points out, designers who can essentially show on their own without the help of an initiative like MADE and get sponsorship elsewhere.  That said, bringing them into a sumptuous space like the intimate salons of the H√¥tel Salomon de Rothshild was a thrilling experience for different reasons.  I'm merely reviewing the MADE concept so I'll leave out the specifics of the collections for now.  Finally we were able to see Vaccarello's technical prowess up close in a show context, and see all that oozing leather melding into well-judged hardware.  Likewise, Gareth Pugh's finale of bing bag couture could be be better appreciated when they were fluttering by, 40cm away from my vantage point.   

Tumblr_miunbmHHsN1qfbqolo1_1280

Tumblr_miunc8h7Dd1qfbqolo1_1280
Anthony Vaccarello images from Bureau Betak blog (really fantastic showcase for their show production work by the way)

1032450

1032451
Gareth Pugh show photography Jacques Habbah for Dazed Digital

I didn't get to see Yang Li's presentation but this London-based designer made a confident presentation debut concentrating on refined double-faced textiles and dramatic lengths.  

Yang-li-002
Yang-li-003

Yang-li-005
Yang-li-006

……………………………………………………………………………………

I was excited to go and see the French knitwear sister duo and their label  Piece D'Anarchive, whose work I've actually never seen before in person, but I had interviewed for a piece in Elle UK.  They're all about French savoir-faire and the projections of knitting machines and an installation of yarn spools emphasised that.  Models flitted in and out with the outfits on but we were mostly left to inspect the pieces on the rails.  It's once again a very concise collection exploring texture and the ultimate boundaries of precise knitwear.  They benefited from the intimate presentation setting too but it would have been great to see a line-up of models in the collection rather than the odd ensemble floating in and out of the room.  

IMG_3846

IMG_3849

IMG_3855

IMG_3852

Pda1
Pda4

IMG_3862

Pda2
Pda5

IMG_3853

……………………………………………………………………………………

A complete lack of models didn't hurt Dusan's presentation at all, as he presented his Victorian-inflected collection in a burnt wooden beam installation, on masked mannequins.  I'm a great admirer of the quiet but powerful sensibility of this Serbian-born, Milan-based designer.  His are the type of clothes that can be arranged in a static installation, free for all to contemplate his astute choice of fabrics and comfortable yet dramatic silhouettes.  It certainly fed the tactile desire to touch his clothes.  

IMG_4543

IMG_4545

IMG_4547

IMG_4556

IMG_4564

IMG_4559

IMG_4572

IMG_4552

……………………………………………………………………………………

LA-based label En Noir, designer by Rob Garcia made their first proper seasonal debut at New York Fashion Week at Milk Studios and they were asked to come to Paris as well to feed the young crowd in the city of lights who have a penchant for dark and brooding clothes.  Kanye and A$AP Rocky are apparently fans.  It's not my aesthetic cup of char but it shows that MADE in Paris could be a showcase stomping ground for designers not based in Paris at all.  

IMG_4617

IMG_4594

IMG_4619

IMG_4611

……………………………………………………………………………………

Jewellery designer Ligia Dias couldn't showcase a full collection at MADE because she was about to give birth, but instead chose to create an installation with the help of an International Herald Tribune newspaper girl – a clear reference to Jean-Luc Goddard's Breathless as well as Kurt Cobain's lighter.  No really.  According to its owner, artist Scott King, he caught the lighter in his hand at a Nirvana gig in Birmingham in 1989.  It's supposed to question our ideas of what is diposable and what isn't.  How it related to Dias' jewellery, which I'm a huge fan of, I'm not entirely sure but it was definitely an interesting way of presenting something in the absence of the designer.  

IMG_4577

IMG_4581

IMG_4582

IMG_4591

IMG_4588

……………………………………………………………………………………

Heaven Tanudiredja's jewellery presentation was a lot more visual and frankly, visceral as well.  I'm glad he got the chance to properly showcase his talent as he's been toiling away in showrooms for far too long.  It was his moment to shine and he grabbed the eyeballs with his collection inspired by troubled minds.  With pieces named after medical conditions like Pyromania, Anorexia Nervosa, and Agoraophobia, you'd expect the worse but in fact, they're visual representations of the complexities of the mind.  Little hands, teensy chairs and mini-cogs going round and round are all symbols of the brain at work.  It swerved in a different direction from the beautiful encrusted gem formations of his past work but instead used things that were literal and recognisable to build up into pieces of beautiful chaos.  

IMG_3866

IMG_3910

IMG_3915

IMG_3880

IMG_3881

IMG_3885

IMG_3877

IMG_3893

IMG_3914

IMG_3871

IMG_3926

IMG_3911

IMG_3897

IMG_3901

……………………………………………………………………………………

Keith Baptista noted that injecting the "culture" element into the programme would be the challenge for next season in addition to gaining more commercial sponsorship, something which has proven more difficult to obtain in Paris.  There really wasn't that youth-driven buzz that you get at Milk Studios in New York but then again, Paris is a very different beast.  A venue as lofty as H√¥tel Salomon de Rothshild, whilst beautiful can feel a little stiff for the sort of energy that Made is aiming for.  The presence of Radio Garage, which I went on as a guest, helped bring something buzzy to the space but it was well-tucked away from view.  It would have been nice to have additional complimentary activities to the shows, as you wandered around these neo-classical high-ceilinged lounges as there certainly was the space for it.  

Then there's the selection of designers.  It was a great start but Baptista also said that they want the programme to be bigger for next season.  Hopefully they will scout harder and bring on names that I personally see in Paris showrooms, which could do with a presentation platform.  A lot of the designers that were part of MADE, whilst brilliant, didn't feel very "new" to me but perhaps that's the innate discoverer inside of me talking.  Jacquemus for instance put on a stonker of a show this season in a Parisian indoor piscine and perhaps he'll be reluctant to give up that freedom of venue choice (although it has to be said, in New York Made do sponsor designers who don't show at Milk Studios) but he's one example of a young Paris-based designer, who could do with the sponsored showcase.  Niche labels such as Lahssan, who has made a streetstyle hit with his trenchcoats or Wanda Nylon, and their see-through outerwear could do interesting presentations.  Or beyond the Paris-based, Japanese labels such as Toga, which is gaining steam on the international stockist front, could be another great addition.  They did a small presentation this season on their own but again, centralising these smallscale presentations and grouping the unfamiliar all into one venue and giving them multiplied exposure would be far more fruitful than trekking around Paris trying to squeeze everything in between what is already a packed show schedule.  It's still very much early days for MADE in Paris but these first steps could potentially augment Paris Fashion Week into not just a place to see the houses, the biggies and the culmination of a season, but to see the starting seeds of something new.   

Comments (12)

  1. Very nice, thanks for sharing.

  2. So Charming says:

    The clothes, photographs are just beautiful – thank you for sharing.
    http://www.socharming.co.uk

  3. I love that you shot some of these designs really close up so we readers can get an actual sense of the construction of these garments! Thanks!
    A new post is up on Local & Opulent and I have shoes on the brain! Seriously, who doesn’t love shoes. This collection would have Carrie Bradshaw drooling!
    http://localandopulent.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/533/

  4. I love that you shot some of these designs really close up so we readers can get an actual sense of the construction of these garments! Thanks!
    A new post is up on Local & Opulent and I have shoes on the brain! Seriously, who doesn’t love shoes. This collection would have Carrie Bradshaw drooling!
    http://localandopulent.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/533/

  5. I love that you shot some of these designs really close up so we readers can get an actual sense of the construction of these garments! Thanks!
    A new post is up on Local & Opulent and I have shoes on the brain! Seriously, who doesn’t love shoes. This collection would have Carrie Bradshaw drooling!
    http://localandopulent.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/533/

  6. Jana H. says:

    Love the black clothes you can combine with leather or not, maxi or mini skirts, soft fabric but very strong and clean cuts, it’S wonderful. Working with leather is always different I guess, and to see peaces every type of woman can combine and even wear on a daly basis is great.
    thank you for the photos.
    Jana
    http://www.justwanttobewonderful.wordpress.com

  7. verity says:

    I think i’m in love with the white studded piece !
    http://vasfashion.blogspot.co.uk
    verity
    x

  8. Cammi Pham says:

    It is beautiful i don’t usually like print but i love the black/grey print dress

  9. Luisa Cativo says:

    Those last few pieces of jewelry are particularly touching.
    I just can’t understand why is that in the age of information and globalization, fashion is still so geographically segmented. As a designer from Portugal, and as I assume other designers from other countries alike, it’s frustrating to find no support and no way to be a part of initiatives like these.

Comment below