PARIS FASHION WEEK

VIVETTA PONTI

Vivetta Ponti lives in a creative dimension all her own. Trying to detect current trends in what she does is really beside the point. Her world is a deeply personal kaleidoscope of images, memories, and fantasies, patched together with a retro-tinged spirit. The charm of her sentimental aesthetic probably taps into the subtle nostalgia we feel for the freedom of childhood, and the longing for a lost moment in time when we could dream, be unconcerned and blissfully, happily silly.

Ponti recently changed her company’s industrial business partner, which brought about a new energy. “It felt as if I were moving from an old apartment to a new one,” she said; so for fall the idea of home was at the heart of the collection. Memories from Ponti’s family home were enthusiastically translated into an abundance of prints, fabrications, embroideries, accessories—she definitely went imaginatively overboard.

An antique carpet belonging to her mother provided the floral pattern knitted onto an oversize cardigan; a padded bedspread was translated into a chubby pink capitonné piumino in techno duchesse. Sanderson roses printed on canvas, instead of gracing a comfortable upholstered couch, were cut into a trompe-l’oeil hybrid blazer-jumpsuit; the round shape of a lampshade was the inspiration behind a puffy balloon skirt. The surrealist streak always favored by this designer was there in the patterns of a pink and baby blue velvet jacquard, whose curlicues at close inspection revealed profiles of teddy bears and purring kittens. The feisty majolicas of Joseph Holdcroft were morphed into an extravaganza of three-dimensional motifs appliquéd on a spectacular leather coat. The pièces de résistance were a coat in curly wool from which sprouted almost a half-dozen vintage teddy bears and a voluminous piumino made from a patchwork of candy-colored ruched satin pillow covers.

Obviously, such an abundant layering of visuals can feel overwhelming, but the collection retained a disarming playfulness. It made you smile.

CHANEL 2019

Paris France

Karl Lagerfeld’s last collection for Chanel opened with a moment of silence for the late designer, as friends, collaborators and fans turned out in Paris to remember his 35 years as the creative force behind the French couture house.

Conceived before his death at 85 in late February, the catwalk was transformed into a typically over-the-top winter wonderland setting, complete with wooden chalets and smoking chimneys, sealing Lagerfeld’s reputation at the pinnacle of fashion showmanship.

Lagerfeld's loyal celebrity following came out in high numbers, like models Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer, to actress Kristen Stewart, multi-hypheante Janelle Monáe, and more — all dotingly wearing Chanel, head-to-toe.

As with every Chanel collection, accessories honed in on the more literal interpretations of Lagerfeld's vision.

Chanel's fall 2019 offering didn't lack in earth tones, either — there were coffee leather flair pants, various wood tones in jackets, sweaters and bags (a future hot-seller, for sure), and more.