paris fashion week: akris

(images via style)

after seeing so many collections this season which have felt to me to be pushing their girls’ sexuality down our collective throats, my take, at least, of the akris a/w 2013 presentation at paris fashion week, although we’re not that familiar with the label (see s/s 2011, resort 2012, s/s 2013), and its designer, albert kriemler, was that this is how one does sexy. it was sleek, stylish, and upscale, while concealing the form with sophisticated outerwear just as often as it revealed it.

anyway, i was interested to see how different the pieces could fundamentally be which caught my eye. for example, though i was drawn to the angelic maud welzen’s smartly tailored cropped wool herringbone jacket and its matching lean cropped trousers, the very essence of that which is refined and ladylike, it was equally hard to look away from that long-sleeved turtleneck dress worn by irina nikolaeva which, with its subtle sheer effect…revealed every curvilinear line which lay beneath. wow.

so in other words, i’m sorely tempted to call this one, much like the guy laroche show earlier in the week, one of those few collections which constitutes a full wardrobe. and i mean, sure, it was–save, i think, for one creamy white furry coat–completely cut in black, but it truly felt we were getting a little of everything here–from the work and nightclub (or bedroom) looks listed above, to samantha gradoville’s cozy, kicking back-style oversized turtleneck sweater, to full-on eveningwear, like those studded geometric crystal jackets and gowns such as lais ribeiro’s slinky, plunging v-necked black gown.

anyway! because i’ve blathered enough, perhaps we ought to take into account what some of the critics have to say? and so, according to uk vogue, “(t)he Akris woman always comes across as confident and intelligent with a subtle sensuality, and today was no exception. Those body-skimming floor-length dresses that have come to be such a strong signature for the brand made a welcome return in all their panelled and cut-out glory, closely followed by a line of impeccably-cut separates that can be easily adapted for both work and play: bootcut and cropped trousers, cocoon coats, knitted zig zag sweaters with matching scarves, and full-length fur.”

“It was sexy,” they continued, “but in an unobvious way: dresses that were slashed to the navel and split to the thigh were sophisticated thanks to sheer tulle panelling preserving the modesty of the models, while see-through shirts were tightly tailored allowing the eye to wander, but not too far. This is a woman who is control after all, she makes the eye inquire rather than hands it on a plate – the thinly veiled faces which added an element of disguise further enhanced this notion. Sleek, suggestive and practical, there was clarity to these designs, making it a collection that is at once clever and very cool.”

meanwhile, style broke in that “(t)hough in demeanor still mournful, Kriemler found interesting ways of letting in the light. Starting with the house’s signature photoprints: This season, he used a dark photograph of a street, the streetlamps casting horizontal white lines across the planes of what he called his new three-piece suit—a double-face cocoon coat worn over a double-breasted jacket and a tunic dress. A nubby, three-dimensional St. Gallen embroidery added shimmer to a short cape and its matching pencil skirt, while a floor-grazing skirt in unlined lamb’s fur had its own sheen. Other embellishments, including gridlike patterns of jet crystals and silk fringe, lit up his evening offerings.”

and wwd reflected that “(t)he clothes were solemn in their mostly black palette but proud in the high necklines, handsome tailoring and intricate embroidery of Akris’ hometown of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Albert Kriemler opened the show with a car coat in double-face cashmere, a house specialty. It was black but streaked with faint lines of white and deep purple. One can easily imagine Ute [the designer’s recently deceased mum] sporting clothes like that as she accompanied the collections to trunk shows around the world. Taut, waist-length jackets and morning coats in angora plaid were also very her.”

“Yet the designer knows fashion keeps moving,” they added, “and so he covered new territory: pert capes in mink or a textured Lurex that glistened like caviar; miniskirts in glossy calfskin; oversize herringbone sweaters with chunky scarves. He etched the turtlenecks his mother favored in tulle and stretched them into short dresses and gowns patched with panels of leather, suede or jet beads for modesty. ‘She had a lot of discipline in her appearance, you know,; an emotional Kriemler said backstage…’In German I can say it better, it’s haltung,’ he added, settling on a word that described both her and his tribute: composed and dignified.”

elsewhere, we heard from fashion week daily that “the only piece in the show that wasn’t black was a solitary stark white classic fur coat, cinched at the waist with a white belt and worn over a cut-out cream turtleneck. Otherwise, models marched out in a dark procession of pencil dresses and round shouldered skirt suits worn over sheer black turtlenecks or long boheme looks, like a cut-out black turtleneck dress with a revealing slit that went from the neck to the waist…Perhaps this was Kreimler’s tasteful reflection on the fleeting quality of time and its inevitable path.”

and, finally, noted us vogue, “the foundation of many of his looks was the button-up shirt. It came in solid leather, cashmere, and wool that was perforated like a grid, and it was most often worn casually untucked with boot-cut pants. Even some of the necks of the turtlenecks had a small V cut out at front so that they looked like a stand-up collar. Kriemler also offered above-the-knee skirts (short by Akris standards) worn with subtly elegant capes. The mink-on-mink version looked like a million bucks, which also might be close to what it costs. In addition, there were some great, chunky, exaggerated turtleneck sweaters with just a hint of Lurex running through them. ” yeow.

(watch the full fashion show video here)

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