paris fashion week: sharon wauchob

(images via vogue)

if i’ve in the past (see a/w 2010, s/s 2011, a/w 2011, s/s 2012, a/w 2012, s/s 2013) spoken of my great love for irish designer sharon wauchob, then i’ve also voiced my hesitation with her work during the seasons i’ve felt she’s gone too pretty and feminine (read: commercial), a factor that has been increasingly creeping up upon her collections in recent seasons, but nevertheless, i must say, i was pleased to see that for the a/w 2013 season at paris fashion week, homegirl descended into the darker territory which we know and love her for (or at least, i do).

and so, while i definitely do believe that her work with the hyper-famous eco/whatever-label edun has changed her, and made her (perhaps, probably) more amenable to a more fashionie/salable-friendly aesthetic, thanks to some of the dark lacy pieces, the loose layers, and those numbers towards the end of the show dappled with many holes like decaying, insect-eaten leaves, i could almost believe we’d gone back in time a decade or so, back to the days when her work was so much more textural and moody in nature (yannow, like when she was showing in london circa a/w 2004).

that isn’t to say the kids looking for it won’t find purchase-ready pieces here. thanks to some luxe fur trims and lovely jackets, some of her signature accordion pleats, and a lot of tied-and-twisted numbers that made the models (and anyone at all, really, i can easily imagine, thanks to the tremendous volumes at play here) appear like charming little waifish creatures, there’s a lot a girl with a significant pocketbook could be investing in, come fall. but she’d definitely be projecting that darker image that so drew me (at least, and probably others) to the designer in the first place.

anyway, in a move that you’re probably going to snap and say you should have guessed, style related that the designer “explained before her show that she found inspiration this season in a book of photographs of dancers in the New York City Ballet. The reference wasn’t particularly literalized in Wauchob’s collection, but you could see her working through the idea she said was her key takeaway from those photos—the awesome physical toughness that goes into creating dances of great beauty. The clothes traded between the muscular and the evanescent, in largely pleasing ways.”

“The loveliest looks here saw Wauchob working with lace—she turned out several cool dresses of cobweb fineness and a clutch of low-slung lace skirts that were even more gossamer. You did wonder about the practicality of these pieces, but they were so nicely done, your mind shushed the thought away. Elsewhere, Wauchob had a good thing going with her gold-dappled looks, some of which she’d studded with tiny gold beads, and others that had gold thread woven through the fabric in a pointillist way,” they continued.  “All in all, this wasn’t a groundbreaking show, and some of the daywear silhouettes came off a touch muddled, but it was stocked with a handful of pieces that felt genuinely special.”

meanwhile, according to the irish times, “(w)ith this collection, she brought black lace right into daywear in skirts worn under flared black jackets or roomy coats. Black leather tops had floppy tie fronts, a graceful motif repeated elsewhere and worn casually with grey flares. Even woollen coats had that extra touch of luxury, with lace cut front panels worn with pleated silk skirts. Tiny dots of metallic thread, a modern take on traditional Indian embroidery, decorated knits, jackets and dresses of midnight lace. Fur jackets were simple and square cut. ‘I wanted to take lace a bit further and do fur in a different, more modern way,’ she said backstage.”

and, finally, there was wwd, weighing in that “(a) longer skirt with some movement is becoming a key item for fall, and Sharon Wauchob’s swished seductively, mingling panels of gauzy lace, knife-pleated silk or spangled guipure, almost exclusively in black. She went for something more strict and industrial-tinged up top. There were bold-shouldered blousons traced with zippers or sprouting fur on the sleeves. Rigid and roomy wool coats came either covered in tiny studs or dotted with tiny crystals. The interplay of tough and tender worked most of the time, although coats riddled with cutouts were simply too much when worn over lace dresses.”

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