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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Paris Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Round Up

We have a poke around the catwalks of Paris Fashion Week A/W 2010 to see what was on offer...

Written by Ellen Grace Jones

What’s the concept behind Arae? The inspiration behind arae is hard to explain. For this exhibition it was the seventies, capsule Amira Fritz, the Australian label ‘Romance Was Born’. In general it was trying to create exhibitions based on working together as opposed to using money to show work.

How does this year’s Arae exhibition compare to last years? Last year was fashion only- it featured three of the same designers as this year and the wonderful Florencia Kozuch. It was very dark- we blocked out the windows and chose a dark space. Each time it’s meant to be quite sensory so there was an eerie soundtrack but this time there is no soundtrack.

How will you be transforming the exhibition space for Arae? We want to change the space from a bright clean room to something garish. We are trying to build a waterfall of acid coloured flowers. KengKeng Watt has been helping to build this. I want it to feel quite random.

What kind of work can we expect to see? There are photographs, illustrations and installations as well as a fashion piece. It’s pretty mixed and disjointed and deliberately so. I wanted it to be a strange selection somehow. We even have a short film from Katrina Choy.

How did you go about selecting the exhibiting artists? Some people through other projects like Sara Bro-Jergensen and Louise Larsen. Some are my friends and some I found through their websites like Tian Wang whose work I just really liked. Her prints really inspired me so I emailed her.

Aside from Arae, what other exhibitions have you curated and are there any more in the pipeline? Well Arae is my first foray into exhibitions. It’s a learning curve. I will do another one in September in a bigger space with an entirely new concept. Something totally different again. I really like combining live music with the artwork so I want to build on that. I would like to take it abroad eventually and tour.

For more infomation on the Arae exhibition, click here
What’s the concept behind Arae? The inspiration behind arae is hard to explain. For this exhibition it was the seventies, more about Amira Fritz, medicine the Australian label ‘Romance Was Born’. In general it was trying to create exhibitions based on working together as opposed to using money to show work.

How does this year’s Arae exhibition compare to last years? Last year was fashion only- it featured three of the same designers as this year and the wonderful Florencia Kozuch. It was very dark- we blocked out the windows and chose a dark space. Each time it’s meant to be quite sensory so there was an eerie soundtrack but this time there is no soundtrack.

How will you be transforming the exhibition space for Arae? We want to change the space from a bright clean room to something garish. We are trying to build a waterfall of acid coloured flowers. KengKeng Watt has been helping to build this. I want it to feel quite random.

What kind of work can we expect to see? There are photographs, illustrations and installations as well as a fashion piece. It’s pretty mixed and disjointed and deliberately so. I wanted it to be a strange selection somehow. We even have a short film from Katrina Choy.

How did you go about selecting the exhibiting artists? Some people through other projects like Sara Bro-Jergensen and Louise Larsen. Some are my friends and some I found through their websites like Tian Wang whose work I just really liked. Her prints really inspired me so I emailed her.

Aside from Arae, what other exhibitions have you curated and are there any more in the pipeline? Well Arae is my first foray into exhibitions. It’s a learning curve. I will do another one in September in a bigger space with an entirely new concept. Something totally different again. I really like combining live music with the artwork so I want to build on that. I would like to take it abroad eventually and tour.

For more infomation on the Arae exhibition, click here

After climbing what seemed like a trillion rickety flights of stairs at the grand, information pills historic, page Lycee Henri IV to reach the Manish Arora show, the dusty old library in which I found myself was at paradox with Manish’s glorious technicolour visual assault on the eyeballs.

After the entire room was collectively told to, “shut the hell up!” by the photographers pit (Parisian ones are infinitely more aggressive than London ones, with snappers thinking nothing of hollering obscenities at the expectant mob) we were treated to sequins, jewelled embellishment and beadwork all in eye-popping hues looked distinctly futuristic offset with acid coloured, angular cut bob wigs.

A bizarre finale featured what appeared to be headphones with rotating fibre-optic tendrils (which reminded me of those 80s Christmas trees) and I pitied the poor model whose were falling off as she tenuously struggled to hold them on.

The opening look of the Balmain show screamed one thing to me: Marc Bolan. The big shaggy purple coat, dandyish blouson and tight leather pants spoke pure 70s glam-rock and what followed read as something of an homage to the sleazy, louche and decadent era.


Balmain Illustration by Christopher Morris

Paisley brocade suiting, tight, tight leopard print, and oodles of gold lame and leather. The boulder shoulders that we know so well popped up a couple of times, but the silhouette that Decarnin is sticking to the most is his ultra-short, long-sleeved micro-dress. Nothing revolutionary here, except a well executed, inspired theme as per usual.

If show invites hint of things to come, then Bernhard Willhelm’s package of six neon, erotic postcards nailed the agenda for his installation-cum-presentation. One part art show, two parts fashion show, absolutely all freak show, the scene resembled something I can only describe as a cyber-Geisha gymnasium.

Models wore pick-up-stick mohicans, wielded baguette pugil-sticks, plantpot dumbells and trickled mutlicoloured gel from teapots over towers of champagne flutes. Sexual voyeurs (moi included) rubbernecked to get a glimpse of a duo rolling around, dry-humping and 69ing with wanton abandon (trashing the set in the process). Once the girl removed her head from the guys crotch I realised it was my friend Marie – gotta love her balls – or rather, the guys whom she had her face in.

The clothes were pretty secondary to the madness, but as usual, humour took a central role embodied by the repeated phallic motifs. Geisha themes and Japanese symbolism were prominent and I loved the stacked heel shoes in collaboration with Camper.

Viktor and Rolf created their very own Russian Dolls from Maggie Rizer and Kristen McMenamy for their performance art show. The design duo took to the catwalk themselves and curiously peeled away multiple clothing layers, proceeding to dress the models (each channelling a sniper vibe with leather baseball caps and round-framed sunglasses) before they took to the catwalk.


Viktor & Rolf Illustration by Christopher Morris

Beginning with an Eskimo-style coat large enough to smuggle a whole innuit tribe, this gradually revealed cartoonish, oversized proportions; giant capes, tweed – both actual and digitally printed, all in varying shades of black, charcoal, pewter and gun metal. I found the seemingly gratuitous abundance of fur quite sickening. The collection was entitled, Glamour Factory, though I did wonder whether it could be dubbed Animal Factory – or indeed, Slaughter House…

Since the elusive Martin Margiela made a sneaky exit from his eponymous label two seasons ago, his absence was palpable with collections that seemed little more than poor parody’s of a Greatest Hits Collection. This time round, even with no creative director at the helm of the label, Maison Martin Margiela presented a serious return-to-form avant-garde show.

Sheer, bilious trousers cascaded over his trademark sloppy bucket-esque boots, the most unique and prevailing silhouette was that of bizarre column skirts and trousers whose waistlines seemingly hovered around the body. Contrasting textures juxtaposed interestingly; rubber/PVC turtle necks with fine-knit cardi’s and velvet with leather. Giant cable knit jumpers appeared as if they’d been knitted with rope. The closing few looks made me splutter; had the models climbed inside a yeti hide?

Ellen Grace Jones is founder of The Real Runway.

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