Dolls Eye View: Paris S/S 2020 Part II


Ah...Paris in the springtime! As I stated in Part I of this report, the good thing about Paris fashion week is there is always something for everyone. Not too interested in experimenting in edgy looks? No problem. Paris is awash in feminine looks for the next spring summer season!

Rive Droite
We start our journey in early spring when the chill is still in the air and color has not yet bloomed. On the right bank of Paris is where the proper « nice girl » looks reside. Here we see everything from lightweight linens cut in easy to wear tunics over pants to jackets etched with lace, flirty little coat dresses....all drenched in the go-anywhere tone of Parisian black!

Rive Gauche
Across the river...left bank chic, an easy going look with the tough edge of leather was literally invented by St. Laurent in the 1960’s. The good thing is, it is still alive and well and defined by a new generation of designer, 50 years later! This group is essential a collection of leather (and vinyl) jackets over straight legged trousers and mini skirts. Once considered on the edgier side of style, these are now fashion classics.

Joan fell for the shiny vinyl jacket. She has a feeling we’ll be seeing much more shine in the seasons to come. Here she’s put together a hip grazing navy vinyl jacket belted over pencil thin pants and ankle boots.

Crosswalk

Plaid is big for spring. The girls really like the big « chalk » strings...white on black...black on white. No matter which plaid you choose for your diva, the silhouettes are young and flirty. 

Veronica was quite intrigued with the combination of oversized plaid and her favorite...fringe! We made this 3 piece outfit for her consisting of a bare midriff wrap top with leather straps that wind around the waist over a double breasted skirt trailing in fringe. Over her shoulders is a tiny « shrug » (a small bolero in the shape of a open ended tube.

Summer Breeze

Oh but summer is final here and what could be more befitting on a warm day than a pretty white ensemble. All super feminine, the girls flipped for a body skimming dress with ruffles dropped off the shoulders, a multi layered dress with plenty intrigue or the simplicity of a pure white pantsuit.

For Kym, however, summer is all about the coolness and easy chic of a shift dress cut in sheer white cotton with a simple over coat. The dress is the basic sheath without the seams stitched down. I added in an separate layer that stops at the top of the thighs. It’s basted together with the dress which is then sewn together at the side seams.

Jardin des Plantes

Bring on the color! After all, it is summertime! We loved the big splashy floral and tropical prints as well as the tender roses painted against a white backdrop. More importantly, we loved all of the things that make overall look irresistible...fabric that wraps around the bustling, waists that are marked, and especially drop shoulder sleeves with plenty of volume.

I love the colors of this print, especially when splashed against a white background. I took liberties with the silhouette. My fabric was a tad too thick to blouse over the waist with any success, so after gathering the neckline I simply used a small belt to tie under the bustling. The sleeves (poufs attached to small tubes hidden underneath) were added afterwards and attached to the underarm of the dress. I did not like the shorter length nor the boots, so me and Sophia agreed the dress should be ankle length.

Caribbean Beat

Continuing on with our color fest.... we loved the movement, the ease and the brilliant tones of this group. The prints are more abstract but the silhouettes are whatever makes you happy....skinny pants and wrap tops to a giant scarf dress that flows around the body with the greatest of ease.

And that is exactly what caught Grace’s eye. A nice big splash of color in the form of a triangular cut of silk suspended from a small gold wire necklace. 

Basking in the Basque

We thought France was being invaded by the Spaniards but realized there is a whole culture of this lacy, swashbuckling style down Arles, in southern France. That stark white coatdress with its lacy petticoats is quite nice, but the girls went crazy for the over abundance of lace, especially when presented in such graphic contrasts. 

Noor fell for this sort of contrasting vibe...the toughness of leather softened with the gentle touch of lace. The dress is made in two parts: a leather corset belted over a gathered handkerchief pointed skirt, with lots of lace appliques. And though the dress is quite lovely as is, we felt it could use one more element...a tiny bolero jacket made from a tiny bit of sheer lace.

Not to be outdone...Stefani stepped up and grabbed this glamorous gown made from black taffeta and feathers. The dress is a classic draped dress in a short length with a train that trails out from the side. Marabou feathers are then added to the front. 

Orient Express

When I saw these dresses I was most anxious to make something from Chinese brocade. I love the exoticism, the richness of color and print. In the end, the garments themselves are like jewelry!

Right in time for Christmas.... I found some red and gold brocade. The best part is, both sides are useable! I decided, however, not to adhere to the original coat because I’ve made a kimono coat out of brocade for the girls already. So I decided to have some fun and let myself be inspired by a coat designed by Martin Margiela (we featured in a previous post). Tiah’s coat is cut in one piece and the sleeves are added afterwards. Instead of letting the collar drape over the shoulders that reveal the reserve side of the fabric, I draped it then stitched down the tucks on both ends. The cuffs are separate—worn like bracelets. As you can see I didn’t line this. The fabric is polyester (and unravels mercilessly). So it is essential to melt the edges with a flame. The pants underneath are just regular stovepipe trousers I cut using the reverse side of the fabric.  

If I took an extra day to post this, it is because well Sofia begged me to make her something out of brocade and even chose the color! Again, I strayed from the original design. I didn’t have my beads and needles with me, so instead, I cut out extra butterflies, melted the edges and added them back on to a basic bodice as appliques. I also had a pressed tin ornament to which I added a bit of gold wire to transform it into this necklace. The original skirt is a chiffon with gathering just above the knee. Instead, I opted to make a sarong skirt our of a single square of the same fabric. Hint: should you be tempted to work with Chinese brocade,  beware that, unlike the pure silk version, this fabric is a bit stiff and frays terribly! For that reason, I melt the edges of all pattern pieces. If, on the other hand, you are fortunate enough to find pure silk, it is a dream to work with. You will not be able to melt the edges, instead you will have to hem or line the garment.

On that note, I’ve given the girls a little time off to explore and enjoy Paris. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. So they’ll be sending back lots of photos to share for an up coming post!

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