Story by Ruby Veridiano.
You can certainly tell that Masha Ma once worked for Alexander Mcqueen.
Inheriting the drama in design from her former boss, Ma succeeds in crafting showmanship. Her latest collection for the Fall/Winter 2014 closed out Paris Fashion Week with vigor, presenting her signature mode of chic and futuristic aesthetics.
Inspired by the wondrous evening bloom of the cactus plant epiphyllum, her collection featured flowery textures that honored femininity with an avant-garde lens. Both poetic and apocalyptic in nature, Ma offers a version of the feminine that casts her as a warrior. For the Fall/Winter season Ma chooses navy, white, and black as her color palette, blooming in the form of knits, woven fabrics, and embroidered flowers. Flower lace face masks add to the drama, giving the effect of mystery. Layers were also a big part of this collection, along with the color white (Part of Ma’s signature style), which manifested as identical platform shoes and over the knee boots for all models.
Masha Ma is a Chinese designer. She graduated from Central St. Martins in 2008, the same year she released her namesake label. A recognized talent, she has won numerous awards and her presentations have been bought out by prestigious stores such as Spiga 2 in Milan and Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong. She is based between Shanghai and Paris.
Masha Ma FW2014 from Masha Ma on Vimeo.
Story by Ruby Veridiano.
There was something eerie in the air inside the Palais des Beaux Arts as everyone hushed to prepare for Yang Li’s Autumn/Winter 2014 debut. Perhaps it was the elongated silence followed by Bruce Springsteen’s somber voice belting “Dream Baby Dream” that created a bit of a haunting feeling. That, and the word “DREAMER” in all capital letters mysteriously kept appearing.
It felt as if everyone in the room held their breath until the first look appeared on the runway. It was a steely blue dress that stopped inches above the kneecaps, clean and crisp except for the waist, where an overflowing peplum spilled out to be caught and held by the model’s right arm. If one piece described the tone of the entire show, it would be this one– a contrast between the seriousness of Li’s tailoring and an effort to bring an air of optimism through volume. Models slowly sauntered down the runway with a detached demeanor about them, adding to the air of seriousness, mystery, and goth. And yet, by etching the word “DREAMER” in a floor length skirt and an oversized top, Li still makes an effort to infuse a ray of hope amidst the gloom, making for something beautifully strange.
With black as a dominant color, asymmetrical, long-sleeved dresses paraded down the runway with lengths long in the front and short in the back. Paired with black hats, it looked like an outfit fit for a modern day witch with a prerogative to cast her spell. Burgundy and camel also made the palette, appearing as high-buttoned jackets, long skirts, and straight-legged pants that reminded me of military uniforms.
Fur pieces and unexpected peplums disrupted some of the seriousness in Li’s designs, hinting at a bit of whimsy. After all, no matter how dark a personality, there is indeed, a dreamer inside everyone.
Yang Li is a Chinese designer born in Beijing. He moved to Australia at age 10 where he played basketball and skateboarded frequently. He studied fashion in London at the famed Central Saint Martins School. He is a protégé of Raf Simons.
Story by Ruby Veridiano.
Oversized menswear pieces juxtaposed with billowy volume in blacks, browns and navy sums up South Korean designer Moon Young Hee’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection. The combination of romantic, overflowing chiffon fabrics combined with relaxed tailoring created a medium between the masculine and the feminine, softening structured silhouettes.
After a trail of black and brown ensembles, the soft, creamy, marshmallow-like pieces that came as oversized jackets and pants were a treat. As one who believes in wearing whites and creams in winter, I found them to be a breath of fresh air, deliciously interrupting the darkness of black hues that are more typically worn in the cold season, especially in Paris.
The theme throughout Hee’s fall/winter 2014 collection was large proportions– oversized jackets, wide-legged pants and thick trenches with enough volume to bundle up in. Personally, while Hee’s designs are not typically the type of silhouette I would normally choose for myself, I enjoy the thought of comfort and movability in them. The theme of comfort is also reinforced through the choice of Creeper shoes, square-shaped, flat loafers that all the models wore throughout the show.
Moon Young Hee is a South Korean designer based in Paris who released her own namesake brand in 1992. She is known for her neutral colors, monochromatic schemes and her take on deconstructed womenswear.
Story by Ruby Veridiano.
French Cambodian designer Christine Phung delivered Pret a Porter perfection for her fall/winter 2014 collection that could easily be worn from the runway to the chicest ski slopes. Accessorizing with bejeweled skis and ski goggles and set on a winter palette of bright blues, navy, grey and white, the collection inspired a craving for winter wonderland, conjuring images of rock, ice, snow and sky. Mixed in with burgundy and a bit of coral, the designer also reminds us of the flames that burn to keep winter warm.
Sleeves with snowflake embellishments, kimono sleeves, flowy dresses designed with exquisite pleating and Swarovski crystal-studded skirts and jackets were some of the most notable pieces. The pairing of burgundy with navy blue, demonstrated through a patchwork pattern for skirts, jackets and sweaters, were also key pieces in the ski inspired collection. Personally, I thought all the pieces were true to the promise of “ready-to-wear” and I would absolutely (and eagerly) wear every single thing.
Phung set the tone of the afternoon with a poetic description of her collection, framed around the story of a fictional character the designer created from her imagination. In the story, the character runs through the snow under the stars, unsure whether she is falling or flying. The confusion between the feelings of “falling and flying “was reinforced to the audience by the singer who sang a mesmerizing set of live music– a perfect pairing for the looks in this collection.
Raised in France by a Cambodian father and French mother, Christine Phung credits her dual heritage for influencing her work, giving her an appreciation for printed fabric and materials. Her Asian background speaks through her designs in the form of volume, kimono sleeves, the use of vibrant color and the choice of using of silk in her materials.
She is an award-winning designer based in Paris.
British Lebanese designer Sarah Baadarani has made a name for herself in evening wear since launching her brand in 2010. During Paris Fashion Week, Baadarani gave Audrey a peek at her Spring/Summer 2014 collection, in which she’s shifted her focus toward versatile daywear pieces in cotton and jersey. Though trousers, blouses, and jackets have taken center stage in lieu of her signature gowns, Baadarani’s ethereal style prevails.
Inspired by the concept of elevating daywear with an infusion of elegant drapery and feminine details, the collection features a juxtaposition of structure and flowing fabrics. Pieces range from structured trousers with a generous sash around the waist, to blazers with billowing sleeves, chiffon pieces peppered with a three-dimensional print of hand-painted roses overlaid by embroidered jewels, and versatile cotton dresses that are cut in such a way that they can be worn three different ways.
Baadarani has taken the brand in an interesting new direction by playing around with material and structure to create a collection of visually intriguing pieces. All in all, she has succeeded in preserving the accessibility and comfort of daywear in the pursuit of evening wear elegance, resulting in a thought-provoking collection that questions the boundaries within fashion.
Audrey gets up close and personal with Paris Fashion Week.
These days, fashion brands looking to cut costs turn increasingly to overseas manufacturing or cheaper materials. NewbarK makes a point of doing the opposite. Founded by stylist sisters Marjam and Maryam Malakpour, all NewbarK shoes and bags are handmade in Los Angeles. Flip a pair of their flats inside out, and you’d be hard pressed to find a hint of glue. We got up close with the NewbarK Spring/Summer 2014 collection at Paris Fashion Week.
Artisanal quality aside, NewbarK dedicates itself above all to comfort. Models favor the brand for its durability, often wearing the same pair of flats for several years before needing to replace them. Their debut collection featured foldable flats you could take “from shoot to shoot” and a market tote roomy enough for all the gadgets and knick knacks one could need in a busy day. Their newest showcases an aesthetic expansion of the brand’s original practical designs. Wedges and flip flops have joined the original flats, which now come in metallic shades of calf-hair and suede. As for bags, NewbarK SS14 introduces more structured satchels, as well as its much-loved hip bags in new colors and textures, including snakeskin.
With the evolution of the brand, NewbarK has also turned its attention to weatherproofing its products. Though the brand’s hometown of Los Angeles is rarely hit with extreme weather, the designers have now incorporated waterproof materials for fans elsewhere, further solidifying NewbarK’s place as a champion of durability, quality, and comfort.
- Ming Xi for Jitrois Fall 2013
Out of all the fashion weeks around the world – all eyes definitely fall on Paris Fashion Week, where hot trends are picked off right off the runway. While you may not picture yourself wearing any one of these looks out on the street anytime soon, it’s always good to take note of the concepts and themes of every collection for inspiration while putting together your fall wardrobe. Some of our favorite trends that came out of Paris Fashion Week included: Stella McCartney’s “tractor soles”, menswear slacks, the return of the 1990s (think back to Courtney Love, baby doll dresses, plaid, and wet hair), and purple as a statement color.
Check out below for some of our favorite looks featuring our favorite Asian models!