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Paris Fashion Week: At Junya, Comme and V&R, clothes are concept

October 3, 2010 |  9:33 pm

Take a simple concept and riff on it endlessly. That was the recipe for several spring collections shown in Paris over the weekend.

Junya1 The horizontal Breton stripes that have been all over the streets like a rash since last year have trickled up to many a designer runway this season. But in Junya Watanabe's hands, stripes became extraordinary.

Turning them every which way, he created Op Art effects on T-shirt dresses, coat dresses and long skirts.

He added to the seafaring theme with nautical-prints (think lanterns and life preservers), canvas windbreakers, softly draped chiffon trenches, and straw boaters. (With their heads covered by stockings, the models looked even more like faceless mannequins than they already do.)

Junya Watanabe spring-summer 2011 runway collection photo gallery

Comm1 At Comme des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo's concept was somewhat more mysterious. A coat with other coats hanging on its back, or a thick black strip across the front like the bars across photos in a worst-dressed fashion spread.

A dress loaded down with other dresses, or sculpted into perfect shape with a molded leather bra, wide, waist-cinching belt and full skirt.

What did it all mean? When I saw a white jacket with a black band stretched across the bodice from sleeve to sleeve, preventing the arms from moving, I had an inkling it might be about the toll of fashion (the excess, the extremes to which we mold and adapt our bodies, etc.) In other words, this was a show about fashion victims, which is amusing on so many levels.


For the finale, models came out in pairs, attached like Siamese twins with a dress between them. Were they bound by fashion as kindred spirits, competitors or something else? Who knows, but as always, the collection was a mindbender.

Comme des Garçons spring-summer 2011 runway collection photo gallery

Viktor & Rolf designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren have had their share of mind-bending collections, too. But this season's was not one of them.

Vr1 Instead, it was centered around the concept of a man's button-down shirt (which we have seen them do at least once before). The designers reimagined the shirt as a pair of cropped pants with French cuffs, a shirtdress with an open collar tilted to one side to reveal a bare shoulder, and another shirtdress with jersey insets at the waist and sleeves.

But between the awkward silhouettes and cheap-looking satiny fabrics, it was clear that this time, the shirt got short shrift.

Viktor & Rolf spring-summer 2011 runway collection photo gallery

-- Booth Moore, in Paris

More All The Rage coverage of Paris Fashion Week

Photos top: Looks from the Junya Watanabe, left, Comme des Garcons, middle, and Viktor & Rolf, right, spring-summer 2011 runway collections shown during Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times. Photo left: coat from Junya Watanabe. Photo right: dress by Comme des Garcons, middle: two models from the Comme des Garcons runway show. Photo bottom: Shirt from Viktor & Rolf. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson & Peter Stigter / For The Times.