Dolls Eye View: Paris Fall/Winter '17-Part 1

Part one: the art of fashion. As usual, we have divided this report into two, given the nature and diversity of the Paris ready-to-wear collections. In this, a country where fashion is considered an art, it is natural that we dedicate an entire post to the more creative side of Paris fashion week. These are styles with a bit of an edge for dolls that like to experiment with their look.  As the case with Milan, this was a very good season and the girls had no problems choosing next winter's wardrobe. (Note: If this is not your cup of tea, just wait a few days, we'll be covering the classic side of things with the next post!)

Club Improv
Since the early 1980's when the Japanese embarked on the shores of France, we expect to see styles that are conceived with thoughts...."out of the box." Freestyle draping, abstract shapes, long for day--short for night, there are no rules. Silhouettes are androgynous, unorthodox and austere in their monochromatic color palette.
There was something almost poetic (and very '80s Yohji) about this draped dress created by the design firm, Aganovitch. If you look closely at the original in the background, you'll see it is accessorized with a pair of spats! As with any other draped dress, I began with a hip length foundation, then tacked the fabric guided by the movement of the full scale garment. I chose Nichelle to model it because, I felt her big Afro hairstyle and dark skin tone added more impact to the power of the style. The elegance of the doll rendered an otherwise avant-garde silhouette into a somewhat softer, more feminine look to my surprise. When you are going for any of the looks in this group, take a good look at the overall message, then "improvise" without trying to "copy" exactly the look!

Architecture 101

Many of the upcoming trends borrow from the 1980's. This group is about structure....particularly in the area of the shoulders. These are fairly classic (sometimes tailored) silhouettes with pumped up shoulders. Think big, think broad. Some are round (Jacquemus) while others are square (St. Laurent). For the moment, this may appear a bit distorted to your eyes, but expect to see much more of these football shoulders in seasons to come. Trust me. Your eyes will adjust! There are several ways to create this effect. We'll explore them in a future post.

Yvette wears a modified version of a cape I've done before. The shoulders were raised up and literally squared off.

The New Pants Suit
Once again, this is a throw-back to a bygone era that saw the pantsuit as the face for the "Dress for Success" movement. This time, however, the look is less uptight. Pants run the range of skinny to wide and fluid. Note the range of lengths: from over the ankles to sweeping the ground! The jacket or coat that's tossed over the shoulders is tailored around the shoulders but has some interesting detail worked in. Think long slim (basic) coat with slim short trousers or a tailored coat over super-wide pants.

The Style That Shagged Me
A great look for winter, these are looks that begin with concrete grey toned chunky woven fabrics, shaggy faux fur and fringe! Texture is major even though the garments remain fairly basic!
Nadja fell head over heels for this coat/skirt ensemble designed by Paule Ka. I used the pattern for the basic jacket (but modified it into a double breasted version). I fringed the edges of both the skirt and the skirt. For the jacket, I added a second layered of fringe.

Any type of shaggy faux fur or even marabou feathers can be used to create a similar jacket. But for this look I took a shortcut. We're really looking at two jackets. The faux fur jacket was made with deep armholes and slightly wide sleeves. It is slipped over a leather jacket (with shawl collar). Okay, so the bare chest makes no sense whatsoever. It's just an old catwalk trick. Sybille will be putting her top back on right after this post is finished!

Skin Deep

Leather is always a part of fall/winter collections. The newest look here involves metallic brushed black leather, the mix of suede and leather, and maxi coats over frilly dresses.

Cirque d'Hiver
So once again the question prevails...where's the color. And just like with London....there was color and lots of it. Here, at least, the end result was sometimes playful, but often quite pretty. But the problem I really want to buy a half yard/meter of yellow faux fur?

Twilight Time
Black is always a hit in Paris and...amongst the dolls in my house. Swept up in the creative aura of Paris, the girls fell head over heels for dresses with asymmetrical cuts and Chanel's sparking boots. (Hmmm....didn't we just do sparking boots to match evening dresses!!!)
Anna loved everything about this dress sent out by the house of Nina Ricci. But she wanted me to make it down to the ankles and slit up on one side of dress to the thigh! Instead of making this dress in one piece, I made it in two. A tiny "shrug" is made with a tube of micro sequins, the same fabric that's in the high waist skirt. Anna has a tiny bust so the bra was a bit of a challenge. Jersey was too hard to handle, so in this case, I used tiny scraps of suede for the cups and embroidery yarn for the straps that tie around the neck, back and waist.

Belle Epoque
This theme recalls the opulence of art and fashion from the turn of the last century. The artist Klimpt and fashion designer Paul Poiret both come to mind. I liked this group with its golden patterns, embroidery, body skimming styles. The patterns on the tunics could be achieved using foiling. The sheer Alexander McQueen gown in the middle could be imitated using a sheer lace or even hair netting embellished with lace medallions. I loved the velvet (couture) boots.

But with only a week to pull this report together, I could only choose one outfit to make. I found a really beautiful lame at the local fabric store. I added a few spots of silver foiling and a few golden beads. Me and Kelly both LOVE the combination of gold lame and suede, so the pants were cut from an old scrap. This started out with a basic (shift dress) pattern that I recut into this asymmetrical tunic. The pants are 1-pc stove pipes.

This is just half the story in Paris. Coming up next: part 2: The Classics.

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