lafw: quynh paris

(images via can)

yay, kids! it’s the moment we all haven’t been waiting for! no really, i’m sorry, i shouldn’t snark. it’s just so bloody hard with los angeles fashion week, especially when you’re researching an event and the biggest news to pop up with regards to the subject is…this. well, no actually, there is some great stuff, and i’m usually always pleased with a few of the diamonds we do find, it’s simply that the event seems to be on a continuously downward spiral, and ultimately sometimes i fear for the fate of the designers associated with it. and i wonder that it gives these designers the direction they need.

but just..take, for example, the label quynh paris. we were introduced to designer nguyễn quynh nhu last season (s/s 2013) at the event, and i was and am genuinely pleased to have met her, because i truly do believe ms. nhu to be one of the more talented names passing through the halls of lafw. however. if at the same time i was impressed by the ethereal delicacy and flowing structure to some of her beautiful evening gowns, i nevertheless wondered at other looks having anything to do with the main thrust of the collection. and much the same went for her a/w 2013 exhibition, titled ‘purity’.

only perhaps to a more severe degree, leaving me to wonder if the lafw governing body, like, gives these kids time limits or any kind of editorial help, encouraging them to cull from their collections the looks that perhaps, yannow, have like, nothing to do with most of the rest of the pieces. it’s a problem that we see from time to time, but, years ago, i remember oscar de la renta saying in an interview (i forget where or the exact wording) that they’re careful about what they put on their catwalks, to keep things within a tight time limit, and to never overstate their case (as in, if they have too many similar pieces), or, like, incorporate those looks that they may make every season (staples, etc.) but which might have little to do with the rest of the work.

and i guess ultimately that was my biggest (and growing) problem with ms. nhu. on the one hand, as ever, things seem sort of like a fairy or mermaid has pulled them together, kind of organic and textured and what-all, but a little bit asymmetrical and wild. and yet…underlying this, there were several exits that had a much more rigourous and structural (almost origami-like) tone to them, resulting in what might happen if we plunked down, say, a narciso rodriguez capsule collection in the midst of one of rodarte‘s more balletic offerings. get my drift?

right, then. so before i let this whole review run away like that, we probably ought come back to some of the salient points, such as the examiner‘s little interview with the designer, in which she explained that “I got the inspiration from the PURITY of the transparency of crystal of the dew from morning I saw it through my window, water drops on nature, the first sign of the the sun…the purity of a new day.” and when queried about the materials, she rejoined that “I used wool for coats, yarns knit, cotton linen, silk, silk lycra, lycra.”

meanwhile, although there’s never a lot of lafw analysis, there was a nice little write-up on one of the designer’s black dresses on neon tommy, noting that “(t)he see-through, glittered evening gown was seductive yet feminine, embellished with dark black flap-like details. Both sides of the gown featured slits rising high above the model’s knees,” and i agree with them! i also personally loved a slightly asymmetrical white sleeveless knee-length dress, with a slanting hem (and front slit) and a double strap on one shoulder that evoked the work of helmut lang at his finest (and just before he left his house).

but there were a few moments that were maybe too derivative, like an asymmetrically-strapped black corset-type top worn with skinny black trousers that reminded me a little too much of anthony vaccarello’s a/w 2012 work, and sometimes the organic, winding nature of the pieces just came off as a little sloppy. on the whole, though, i’d say certainly ms. nhu has talent, and i’d like to see it cultivated, but i feel like she needs to work with the right team to push her, and get the right edits, and i’m simply not sure, long-term, if lafw, with its audience full of f-list ‘reality stars’ and permitting of thirty minute-plus long shows is the right way to go in the end (see some nice additional images at the lafw site).

(see some video ‘preview’ action here)

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