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filmed by JEJ for FACADES

This was an exhibition of a collective which comprised young designers from Seoul, with each designer showcasing his/her own brand of design.

The first batch of women's wear was a modern take on classic shapes through the use of subtle colours that separated the different parts of the human anatomy in a rather refreshing manner.  Tempered by beiges and whites, this collection was left wearable with an austere and monastic air.

This was followed by the next women's wear designer that featured classic contemporary pieces in the guise of a shorts and top combo, and a pant ensemble.  Nothing really new except for the fabrication which was a print that reminded me of sleepwear.  Done with that.

The first of the men's wear collection was a treat.  Well proportioned sunglasses framed the models' faces fairly well.  A classic spring coat in beige was thrown over a casual ensemble of shorts and a polo top.  No problem there.  The next outfit was a combination of a pair of printed shorts, a blazer and a smartly colour-blocked t-shirt.  Not avant-garde, as the board beside each collection claimed, but modern, nonetheless.  Footwear were a definite plus on these gentlemen.

The next collection, also men's, featured printed suits in black and white that rendered the outfits a little busy to the eye.  Some of the trousers cuts' were questionable.  And although the suits were done fairly well (I wouldn't wear them), they really had no real occasion to which I would imagine they can be worn.  The over-all good workmanship was generally hindered by what I opine as the designer's limited understanding of what a suit could and must do.  I see this collection as being interesting to a young clientele who would rather stand out than be seen in something appropriate.

The following men's wear collection featured pieces like a basic black polo which I thought was a charm.  Immediately after, it was followed by a beige jacket worn over a layered skirt in two shades of beige, which ended around and below the knee.  I do like skirts on men but this one didn't do the trick for me for something already so unusual.  Moreover, the fit of the clothes did nothing for its wearers and everything seemed to squeak out, "young designer" which is still no excuse for juvenile design.  The best of this bunch: a pair of low-crotched trainers which I deemed the most wearable of the lot.  Juvenile, it is.

In the heels of this last collection were two black suits that, although were fairly good for a younger audience and executed properly and with good fabrication, were still short of anything new or exciting.

The fact that this whole collective was an exhibition rather than a catwalk show worked against whatever the designers had wanted to express.  The lack of movement left the pieces with less to show off, more difficult to decipher, and a tad pretentious.  The boards that were set up next to each collection in their attempt to explain the pieces' philosophies made matters worse.  One would think that even as English is a foreign/second language in Paris, the collective would have had the sense to hire the services of any writer that could have saved the readers from texts that were, in a word, laughable.  I've read better English printed on 'Hello Kitty' lunch boxes.


filmed by JEJ for FACADES

This whole collection was in ivory and its colour family, with no shade darker than the lightest beige.

Beautifully sculptured tops worn over tights and leggings were a dreamy opening.  One after the other, a mastery of the designer's vision of how her tops (in the guises of blouses, jackets and short dresses) should look, fall, and be worn was proved repeatedly.  The collection flowed smoothly as her sculptured pieces slowly morphed into softer pieces, with some of them boasting remarkably good draping skills.  I also couldn't help thinking that no matter how her pieces —especially her forté, the tops— may be viewed as unorthodox, they could actually prove good basics that could easily be revamped and worn with anything from jeans to a ball gown.

Far from over, we were treated to a bevy of wonderfully tailored knitted dresses that were, fresh, original, yet familiar enough to be unobtrusive: a nod to the designer's yen for classic shapes that show off a woman's body at its best.

Not all the pieces were astoundingly good but none would ever be considered even close to second-rate or inferior.  And the fall of the garments, supported by a sound grasp of tailoring technique, rendered this collection worthy of a Paris show.  


filmed by JEJ for FACADES

Manish Arora opened with outfits that were reminiscent of the kind of dressing, to which the well-heeled fashionable young ladies of almost a decade ago adhered: dresses worn over fitted trousers.  A look, then, I had always found fetching on the right wearer.  This time however, one needn't be a lass in her early 20s to be able to get away with this charming look.

The first four dresses looked extremely comfortable to the eye and glaringly so to its wearers.  They flowed and showed movement which betrayed a wonderful balance that can only be achieved by sound cutting.

Colours were in pale shades of jewel tones that were embellished deftly with the right amount of embroidery and beading.  This man has a woman's eye for colour and I sincerely mean that as a compliment.

Were there influences from other continents?  Definitely. But they were tweaked toward a Western point of view; there were no costumes here, at all.  The dresses and the ensembles, proportioned masterfully proved that timeless pieces are as fresh as the outlook of its creator.  Any woman I know would want to at least try these pieces on, let alone saunter in them.  A stickler for technique, I found the sleeves to be well proportioned and extremely balanced.

As for his pantsuits, that man, Manish, owned them.  They were his and his alone.

His decorative elements, although far from shy or safe, were tasteful, original, pulled-in and graceful.

A beautiful collection, indeed.  My congratulations to Mr. Manish Arora!

Fun/Candid/Spontaneous Interview: with Simon & Tracy of LINDA FARROW

Video fimed by JEJ on the last day of Tranoi Trade Exhibition in Paris June 2012

Thanks to Simon & Tracy for letting FACADES interview them candidly and spontaneously 'off guard'.

And thanks to a few glasses of champers after another long day at Paris fashion week the interviewer was slurring!

Please excuse him.

Backlash SS13 Presentation & Interview w/ Isamu Katayama

Filmed by JEJ on July 1, 2012 at the Blash SS'13 presentation and party. 26 rue saint-claude paris 3e 

Video 1 Presentation

Video 2 Interview

other videos

One of the current Japanese designers based in Paris Isamu Katayama of Backlash is there to stay despite the current economic situation.

He says the 'Japanese Movement in Paris' (referring to the next/current generation of of Japnese Designers) are quite powerful and aims high.

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