Femme et Jeune Filles (the lady and young girls) was the theme centered around Agnès B’s Fall/Winter collection at Paris Fashion Week. Taking city life as her inspiration the designer had fabricated looks that replicated the stereotypical characters teeming in a metropolitan. The show started with a sister duo singing folksy African songs as they walked down the ramp – definitely a refreshing start but only later made you wonder -what was the connection to the collection?
Then the models sashayed in. Monochromatic cotton maxi dresses, woolen beanies and plaid wraps – we had taken off on an Amish note. There were then printed button down blouses with matching trousers, checked shirts with ribbons around the neck – it was all very Jeune Fille indeed. A rustic element was introduced with moss green and chocolate suede skirts and the models even posed awkwardly like naive village girls. The collection took an androgynous turn with a charcoal pantsuit that represented the garçon manqué (tomboy).
We were then lead into a mini island vacation with a set of flowy dresses, tunics and skirts all with photographic beach prints paired with baseball hats and varsity jackets – an effort to make the otherwise dowdy look more modern I suppose.
After a few odd suits and patchwork jumpsuit we were presented with a punk-like tartan blazer paired with platform sneakers depicting the modern city girl. Animal print jackets, houndstooth skirt suits over graphic tees all represented the edginess of a thumping city.
At some point a South American band had trooped into the background filling the venue with some upbeat music, a much required pick-me-up for the monotonous clothes. Then came in the quintessential schoolgirl in a turquoise printed skirt and leather knapsack. There were also puffed culottes and tight breach pants all worn under frumpy cashmere cardigans.
The last set of looks consisted of Picasso like mosaic screen print dresses over shiny patent leather minis. There were also graphic street life inspired poncho tops and shiny coats. This divergence between the rustic settings of a village into the ultra urban bustling city life felt disconnected and abrupt. There was no synergy in the colour pallet and the silhouettes appeared unflattering and slightly obsolete. The collection was a long busy one and a melting pot of too many diverse inspirations that were puzzling and creations that were uncoordinated.
Written by Tanya Mehta