Dressing Up for Fantasy Land: Thom Browne and Alexander McQueen at PFW

When someone said I lived in fantasy land I nearly fell off my unicorn. I truly do believe in the topsy turvy, wonderfully whimsical world of make believe and find that it is both an escape and a way of living that I have tied into the mundanes of reality. Which is why when two designers showcased fantasy as a key theme in their Paris Fashion Week (PFW) collections, I was instantly giddy.

Thom Browne

With a Little Mermaid theme playing int he background and white globes of light hanging from the luscious architectural ceilings of the Hotel de Ville, this was one dazzling affair. He called his collection one that focused only on Tulle, recreating American classics to celebrate the romanticism of Paris. The result was one of finest craftsmanship of fabrics and styles that showcased fantasy and fit in a whimsical and beautiful way. The story behind the styles was of the twins Jeanmarie and Marybeth, with their sore and lumpy bodies that still praised individuality. Which is why there were dresses with curves and protrusions, jackets with voluminous accents, a tuxedo dress with the breasts hanging out, out of proportion hips on many pieces, and perfectly tailored suits with stylistic gashes and cuts in touche spots. There were outfits that resembled a mermaid, an octopus, and a caterpillar, all taken from the myths and legends of The Little Mermaid. There were darker accents too, like a sequined skeletal girl, a few working women in fine suits with tulle construction. Followed by jackets that looked like Madras jackets but were woven with tulle strips, or cricket jackets and puffed tulle jackets and other tweed, plaid and houndstooth outerwear in asymmetric cuts. The sequins and embelishments on starkly designed asymmetric black coat and on a sheer white dress were standouts. The closing had the twins emerge with the help of a unicorn made of lace and tulle, with a clear message that in the Planet of Dreams, all body types are accepted and one is to be themselves at all time.

Alexander McQueen

McQueen’s Sarah Burton chose a floral center stage to display an optimistic, beautiful and feminine collection by the iconic brand. Based on the gardens of Great Dixter and the country ways of the English gardens, the collection and ambiance was heavily inspired by rains, sunshines and nature overall. There were a plethora of feminine dresses, mostly looking rather pink owing to the ambiance that struck the eyes like a fantasy. However there was an interesting juxtaposition of funk and girlish vibes, with floral and lace dresses paired with utility boots, or leather dresses with hardware paired with chunky jewelry and studded boots. There was a lot of asymmetry, on off shoulder ruffled dresses where ruffles continued to snake down legs in unpredictable patterns. There were also trenchcoats with silk florals all over, knit dresses with ruffles, and several jackets in leather, denim or mixed with gingham check, for a country feel that was updated by a host of zippers and oversized collars or hardware fasteners. The florals continued with evening wear and party dresses that were almost entirely made to look like single roses or bouquets with intricate silken swirls. The series of reconstruction and deconstruction of fabrics and styles that blended modern goth with Renaissance was truly out of this world. And literally belonged in another fantasy altogether.

8 responses to “Dressing Up for Fantasy Land: Thom Browne and Alexander McQueen at PFW

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