Akris A/W 2013/14 at Paris Fashion Week

My first fashion week post! That is unless you count my piece on the Oxford Fashion Week show which, whilst it was a cool event to go to and see some hot new talent, it’s not one of the big four. Hopefully this will be the first of many more such posts to come.

Last Sunday I was sitting on the Eurostar trying not to nibble my fingernails in excitement as I was going to a fashion show that evening and, not only that, but the show of one of my favourite designers. I love Akris’ clothes because they are so very clean, easy and effortlessly chic. I was delighted and grateful to be a guest of the London store and was very excited to see the show and be immersed in the experience. So here we go.

The venue was an imposing building with a beautifully grand interior design – everything I imagined a fashion week venue to be. The runway was long, white and bright, with the press at one end and a twenty-piece orchestra at the other. Booklets on our seat informed us that the show was a  tribute to Ute Kriemler, mother of Creative Directer Albert, who died of cancer in December. Upon reading this, I correctly guessed the collection would be dominated by dark colours however could not have imagined how uplifting the pieces would be.

Save one cream outfit, the collection was dominated by shades of black. The instantly recognisable Akris feature of photogaphs printed on clothes emerged early on as an image of a street with streetlights casting light across the road.  Even when the light vanished and the clothes were completely black, the collection played with textures and effects to lighten the sobering dark. Mesh, square patterns and plenty of layering created depth and interest amongst the blackness, making the whole collection seem far more accessible and light-hearted. As well as this, the range of fabrics used, sometimes in one outfit, was surprising and exciting.

Akris 1

Although we were afforded glimpses of Kriemler’s grief, such as a hemmed tassel fringe, overall the collection was surprisingly uplifting. The silhouettes, as was to be expected, were sharp and clean, highlighting what Albert called his mother’s elegance and effortless style. Of particular note are the mesh dresses, whose slits and slats reveal so much and yet so little, showing a little playfulness amongst the understandable grief.

Akris, Ready to Wear, Fall Winter, Paris, 2013

Whilst Bach – his mother’s favourite – played in the background, we were treated to a collection that was serious yet celebratory; we were encouraged to love the clothes and their understated confidence as Albert clearly loved his mother. With the combination of the almost harsh sharpness and punchy cuts of the collection, Bach and the back story to this season’s collection, no wonder a slight hesitancy followed the last model before we burst into applause. The fact that we were grinning from ear to ear at the sheer beauty of it all is surely a fitting tribute to Ute, who was a beloved figure in the Akris family and will be long remembered and admired through this stunning collection.

The images here are just two of the forty-two beautiful looks from the show. To see the rest, head over to NowFashion.com.


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