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PFW FW19: Balenciaga, Givenchy, Celine, and Akris

Whitewall is in Paris this week covering the Fall/Winter 2019 collections from Balenciaga, Givenchy, Celine, and Akris.

Celine’s presentation kicked off with a model being lowered in from the sky, emerging from a large box above. Following the first look, women clad in a collection that gave us the subtlest of 1970s vibes continued pouring down the runway, which featured a simple design inside a wide, darkened space. A utilitarian palette of grays, blacks, and browns had sophisticated playful details like neck scarves, frilled tuxedo shirts, and voluminous fuzzy coat trims. Hemlines were calf-length and below, seen on garments like a pleated tweed skirt (worn belted with a blouse and cardigan) and a printed dress with tiered ruffles around the shoulders. Jeans were promoted to officewear, when paired with blouses and jackets, and gaucho pants made a comeback, imagined in versions with sparkle-painted plaid and allover black sequins. Retro outerwear styles were a highlight this season, with a range of blazers, leather jackets, letterman-inspired coats, ponchos, capes, and voluminous furry pieces seen accompanying many garments. Each look was completed with over-the-knee leather boots and aviator sunglasses.

Givenchy’s new collection, The Winter of Eden, was a romance of decades, invoking suggestions of the origin myth by intertwining strands of temptation with a polished sense of individuality. The Garden of Eden and the snake itself were represented through florals and a series of reptilian reminiscent pieces, like a serpentine coin purse worn around the neck and an all-over snakeskin shirt. Sculpted tailoring yielded voluminous, structured details, seen in pieces like a broad-shouldered green blazer worn with matching trousers, and a nude mini dress with giant cape-like sleeves. Details like small frills and flounces were added to necklines and trims for soft variations in the flowing silhouettes, which added to the air of effortless verve each look presented. Highlights included a gray herringbone coat worn with a striped waist pouch and snakeskin platforms, a black top and pants with the sparkling Willow tree embroidery, and a selection of cascading plisse dresses in various floral prints.

Following the idea that fashion is a conversation between a woman and her clothes, Akris’s Fall/Winter 2019 collection urged its wearer to “make her mark!” Inspirations this season included Richard Artschwager’s 2006 work All In Good Time of eight exclamation marks created with horse hair, and Johann Wolfgang von Goeth’s Goeth Farbtafel prints, which explore the emotional value and psychological impact of colors. Prints and graphics were geometric, seen in pieces like a jacket with sections of checked print, and blouse and skirt in a block print of black, white, and primary colors. Monochromatic looks dominated the collection in hues like navy, deep green, mustard yellow, and black. Silhouettes were loose and nonchalant, made perfect for layering. Some things we loved included a black velvet skirt worn with a sheer top and gold knee-high boots, leather pants with the printed high-necked blouse, and a long dark cardigan worn with plaid pants.

Offering clean lines, minimalistic details, and unusual takes on updated classics, Balenciaga gave us a Fall/Winter 2019 collection that embraces casual daily activities like grocery shopping and commuting, integrating them into eveningwear styles that can transition throughout the wearer’s day. Shoulders were shifted up and outwards, adding volume to outerwear through details like puffed sleeves and large, rounded shoulders reminiscent of American football padding. Garments featured primarily solid colors or a singular print, seen in looks like a red biker style jacket worn with a solid magenta midi-length skirt, and a seafoam green skirt and blouse with a tall Elizabethan collar. Reminiscent of bathrobes and other loungewear (our favorite part) was the selection of pieces that made us feel like pajama day could be everyday—including an aquamarine quilted coat that tied at the waist, a plaid coat with a scarf and hood hybrid that fell the length of the hem, and a fluid floor-length gown in neon pink. Other highlights included the easy eveningwear pieces like sequined body-con mini dresses and the monochrome pant suits and blazer dresses.




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