Monday, March 3, 2014


Andrew Gn's sleeveless gown with beaded bustier

After the carnival-like atmosphere surrounding several fashion shows on Saturday, the ambience at Paris’ imposing Palais des Beaux Arts seemed positively “zen” on Sunday morning. The buyers, bloggers and beauty queens waiting to see Andrew Gn’s autumn/winter 2004 collection at Paris Fashion Week were of course flawlessly dressed, but there was little of the flamboyance seen at some other shows.

Gn's black dress
Gn, after all, has become known for the elegance of his designs which many consider to be haute couture. His fans say it’s only a matter of time before he becomes an international star and, at the show, one could overhear comments of “he’s great, isn’t he?” and “we’re so lucky to see him now”.

The Paris-based Singaporean designer opened the collection with a bold black dress, comprising sheer mousseline sleeves and skirt, and leather epaulets. More leather and silver metal buckles cinched the garment at the waist. The model carried a matching black leather bag with a horn clasp and woven silver metal strap.

From black, Gn moved to greys, greens, blues, reds and other hues. The fabrics included crepe, flannel, tweed, satin and cashmere. Metal eyelets adorned some ensembles, while leather added eye-catching details to others.

A stunning flannel dress with ikat patchwork and black leather peplum saw Gn splashing out with orange, green and pink. But the fun was still to come.

The designer has a thing with robots, and he integrated this interest into his collection. The robots on the blouses and sweaters reminded one of Aztec deities, however.

This mischievousness was in contrast to the glamorous dresses that followed: a strapless gown with green beaded bustier and flowing white mousseline skirt; a sleeveless gown with a blue beaded bodice and black plissé skirt; and a one-shoulder gown with transparent skirt - in unforgettable red.

If there was a drawback to the show, it was the packed seating arrangement and the speed at which the models moved. The two combined caused a few designs to seem rather fleeting, when one wanted to savour Gn’s creativity.

Andrew Gn: walk like a robot.


The quiet yet vibrant elegance at Gn’s show seemed a world away from the clamour of the previous day at the Jardin des Tuileries, where Dutch designers Viktor & Rolf revealed their collection. The Gardens teemed with photographers, dressed-for-effect fans and unwary tourists who must have been wondering what on earth was going on. The feeling was like that of a rock concert.

Viktor & Rolf: shades of grey
The collection itself was in contrast to some of the more flamboyant garments worn by spectators, as Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren went in mostly for grey. Subdued colors were the order of the day, with loose-fitting grey v-neck dresses and sweaters worn with black platform shoes.

The models walked down a grey runway flanked by streetlights, as if on some solitary lane, accompanied by a lone singer and guitar - the American musician Joan As Police Woman. Her “lamentful” version of “Highway to Hell” completely fitted the mood.

Viktor & Rolf did bring on silky browns as well, with splashes of white or silver, and some pastel blues, but the overall effect was of cool, distant glamour. Some of the designs as presented would require courage for any wearer - grey-and-white striped jacket with printed trousers, anyone? -  but they could eventually grow on a lover of ... grey.

Luckily for those who like a bit of colour, especially in grey winter, the designers did show some bright, attractive dresses in salmon, or shall we say, coral shades. Their use of geometric designs and ruffles added interest, but the ubiquitous mixing of leather and fabric might have been avoided.

Besides the clothes, Viktor & Rolf must be praised for their multi-cultural cast of models.  Here, the show was a stand-out. - L. McKenzie & J.M. De Clercq

Viktor & Rolf: coral meets grey
The designers