WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE...
Slouchy pajama shapes, menswear inspired outerwear, sheer lace and pops of bright orange. So far, so good... but nothing revolutionary.
It's not just what you show that's important though, it's how you show it.
The Paul and Joe AW12 collection brought together a world of influences from contrasting times in a way that felt painfully right. The jackets, in warm shades of green and brown, channeled an Americana Ralph Lauren vibe. While the floral print matching tops and trousers harped back to Celine's SS11 show. Don't take these references to be a criticism though. Sophie Albou gave them her signature French twist and they came out looking entirely new and fresh. There was a thread running through that hinted at Empire: fur, leopard print, African savannah landscapes - all an undeniable nod to British heritage. Blend that together with the sexy allure of the hottest Parisienne woman you can imagine and you've got the new Paul and Joe girl.
My favorite looks were the loose masculine inspired ones. Slouchy oversized trousers that sat low on the hips (offset by glittery belts?! even better), floral prints on the pajama style sets (a trend that was starting to feel overdone but now I'm looking at with new eyes), all the outerwear and the lace sleeved button back black blouse (whoa, try saying that three times in a row fast) worn by Ruby Aldridge. Other notable things? The little brown leather belts. So simple but so good. I haven't worn a belt in freaking ages but I want the one in the first image (so badly).
I won't lie, there were things in the collection that I didn't immediately jive with. It was a bit scared by the sequins - they will forever remind me of what girls wore when I was 12 to look 'fancy' and for that reason alone I will always struggle to come to grips with sequins. The leopard print was also an immediate concern. Before the show I was told one thing: 'There's lots of leopard.' I was expecting a D&G explosion of in-your-face sex-appeal. But instead got discreet leopard printed velvet blazers and loose trousers in an oversized version of the print. The latter, worn with a sparkly belt and chunky neutral knit made it as my favorite look from the entire show. That's saying a lot because Tuesday morning I would have bet my right arm I'd never want to stick my pins into a pair of leopard bottoms. I tip my hat to you Ms Albou, you made this California girl want to become French.
Massive thank you to Harriet at HPR London for hooking me up with a ticket last minute. xx