As Paris Fashion Week comes to a close, it’s time to get serious about decoding the catwalk. In order to make this information more accessible, I chose to catalogue catwalk trends first by color, and then by design. Colors include: marigold yellow, bubblegum pink, emerald green, persimmon orange, and several shades of blue including robin’s egg and lapis. Designs were then assessed with regard to originality, ingenuity, and reflection of socio-historical precedent and/or parallels. For a trend to be successful, it must help locate the present in the context of the past, while paving the way for the future. A wonderful example of this was Miuccia Prada’s RTW 2013 collection: she channeled the master artists of the 1920’s and late 1880’s – included elements of the emerging activewear market in her selection of rugby knee socks, and delivered an inside-out interpretation of sequined bustiers atop sheaths and blouses. This exposition of “present-future-now” also clearly resonated with fashion critics and journalists – several editorials have already been published featuring Prada’s collection.
For this go round, designers who best achieved “present-future-now” included Chanel, who delivered a catchy, tongue-in-cheek homage to the mass-market, fast fashion conglomerates; Valentino, who resuscitated Italian art from the 70’s, and married traditional argyle impressions with fine lace embroidery; Missoni, who unearthed a delicious sunflower yellow, reinvented the dreaded 80’s fanny pack, and revived its time-worn zig-zag in a way that felt fresh and future-forward; and Vivienne Westwood, who far exceeded her contemporaries in a frenzied, yet sublime exploration of social consciousness, indigeneity, and old-school glamour.