International fashion producer, Global Fashion Collective, presented three runway shows at Paris Fashion Week, for the first time last month. The grand Palais de la Decouverte near the Champs-Élysées provided a stunning setting to showcase nine international brands including Kirsten Ley (Canada), Annika Klaas and Madeleine Mesam (Germany) Ozlana (Australia), Faun Studio (Canada), Pariha (India), EmulEos (USA), Erxi x MrHuaMrsHua (China), Sarah Kosinski (France), Devotion Designs (USA).
A bold collection of designs from Canadian haute couture designer Kirsten Ley provided a dramatic opening to the runway shows in Paris. A recent move to Paris by this innovative designer appears to have inspired her creative processes further, with an exciting new range of highly structured pieces in a striking palette of blues and yellows.
Each of Kirsten Ley’s hand-sewn, sculptural garments take hours to create and is a unique work of art. Silk, chiffon and leather garments combine soft, flowing fabrics and designs with strong lines and tailoring.
It was good to see German knitwear designer Annika Klaas back on the Global Fashion Collective runway, this time in Paris. After taking the top prize at the European Fashion Award (FASH) in 2018 and showing at Tokyo and Vancouver fashion weeks in 2019, the young designer also created a prototype of sneakers during a residency with Adidas. She’s also been busy creating a strong Spring/Summer 2020 on-demand knitwear collection, included more of the knitted sneakers she made with Adidas.
As with Annika Klass’s previous designs, this new collection was produced using a production process on Stoll ADF, German-made, computer-based knitting machines. Using these machines allows on demand production with orders produced the same day (the most complicated piece takes around three hours to knit) ensuring no overproduction and very little waste. And this year the designer has teamed up with artist Madeleine Mesam who creates beautiful prints for Annika’s designs for their joint collection “An Archive of the Sunflower.”
Prolific Chinese designer and artist Niu Niu Chou of MrHuaMrsHua showed his versatility and creativity with a completely different collection than the showcase we’d seen in New York a few weeks earlier. This unisex brand highlights China’s diverse cultural heritage and ethnic origins. The designer uses a combination of techniques including digital printing, embroidery and other traditional Chinese crafts, to showcase the beauty of the East, with a nod to Western pop art. His Paris collection of formal wear included elaborate tiered dresses with puffed sleeves in crepe, lace and beading.
EmulEos, the brand by North Carolina based designer Emily Prozinksi, featured crystal encrusted boxing gloves in her collection at Tokyo Fashion Week last year. “Brainstorm” her Spring/Summer 2020 collection presented at Paris was inspired by MRI photos showing the colors of brain activity and fibres of the brain appearing like a fringe on a garment. Nerve endings are shown in beading details. A grey and white fringed mini-dress, purple beaded trousers with a grey and white hoodie in soft folds were among the strongest pieces shown in Paris.
Faun Studio by London College of Fashion graduate Marisa P Clark launched in 2018 and has already shown at Vancouver, LA and New York fashion weeks. This Canadian designer has created a womenswear line that could be described as whimsical and feminine.
Sarah Kosinski launched her eponymous brand at Vancouver Fashion Week in September 2018. A year later, the French designer has just shown her high fashion evening and wedding dresses at Paris Fashion Week. Using a pastel palette, her simple yet elegant designs also made clever use of beading and embroidery to add unique details to each gown.
Pariha by Bangalore based designer Parinitha launched in 2016 with the aim to blend Indian tradition with contemporary trends, inspiring looks that are universal yet Indian in spirit. Distinct silhouettes, a combination of fabrics in dramatic hues and strings of subtle embroidery are a few elements that run through this delightful ready-to-wear brand.
Devotion Designs draws inspiration from the details and silhouettes found in 1950s Hollywood. Realising that curvy women looking for beautiful evening wear have difficulty finding outfits over size twelve, designer Wendy Schindler has remedied that situation with a stunning range of body positive gowns. Hand embroidery and premimum fabrics including lace and velvet, in jewelled colors like emerald, ruby and amethyst made for a striking show in the grand central hall of the Palais du la Decoverte. At the moment the gowns are made to order but the plan is to branch into ready-to-wear.
With another successful showcase completed, Global Fashion Collective is going from strength to strength and continues to be a great supporter of emerging fashion brands. Next up for GFC will be a showing at Tokyo Fashion Week this month, followed by their first presentations in London in February 2020 for London Fashion Week.