Gabriela Billini is a non-native New Yorker who travels the world to understand why people wear what they wear and how. She is an independent fashion reporter, trend chaser, and self-proclaimed beatnik.

East Meets West

LISELORE FROWIJN S17“East meets West” is not a new concept in itself. But then neither is, say, the idea of writing a play. As in all art, excellence comes in the execution.

On the first day of Paris Fashion Week, both designers Liselore Frowijn and Samuel Drira of Nehera channeled East Asian inspiration, putting forward satisfying collections for the Spring ’17 season.

 
Liselore Frowijn
 

What you’ll immediately notice from Liselore Frowijn’s SS17 presentation is the billowy ease and self-awareness of the inspiration. The looks draw from an era in Kyushu, Japan, and fearlessly fuse island traditions with modern day looks.

Starting with the top layers, I found them to be understandable and easily adaptable, despite their irregular shapes. Some customers might shy away from such forms, but Frowijn made it look so easy.

The looks draw from an era in Kyushu, Japan …

A key styling detail, which seems to be hanging on for another season, is the open summer sandal paired with socks. The Frowijn shoes were two-piece flatforms, with the foot band featuring textured basket weaving, in a salute to a summer favorite.

To bring nature into her collection, the designer organized wooden works into the accessories, making an appearance in link bracelets and a wood-linked sash.

The designer organized wooden works into the accessories.

I was very happy to see the designer take more of a print approach, as it made for a more refreshing, exciting, and very appropriate spring collection. She presented prints that flirted with mountainous Asian visions; trees and nature motifs were fluid, aided by silks.

My favorite aspect of the presentation was seeing even structured pieces carrying a thin air of ease — making them appear weightless and fashionably liberating.

I believe the designer’s Asian inspiration was felt in many places, but strongest in styling. A couple of the looks had thin leather belts wrapped around the models’ waists, mirroring a kimono. The way they were tied gave the looks a young, non-traditional, and relaxed finish.

 
 
Nehera
 

Lots of skin in unusual ways was seen in the Nehera collection, with attentive cutouts and the occasional sleeve missing. It reminded me very much of Céline’s ease and comfort, with more urban additives. The colors in the Nehera collection were more concentrated to neutrals, making it more wearable and targeted for city dwellers. It had a cosmopolitan feel, although in a very urban, worn-in way.

Big city street style is changing, and Nehera is seemingly leading us to where we all want to be.

Big city street style is changing.

Inspiration from Asia in the Nehera collection raises questions about what makes something “East” and what makes something “West”. The deconstructed, undone tops and jackets — plus the fluidity in the collection — gave it a playful quality. Even the trimmings on the midi skirts felt young.

Footwear was as simple as it could have been, providing me a chance to focus on the look, and also bringing a more traditional Asian note to the compositions. Drira added a handful of looks using waterproof fabrics for a more practical understanding of spring — it is, after all, the rainy season.

I loved seeing the ankles wrapped on a pair of joggers: such a small detail, but it added so much excitement to an average pant. After all, a pant is a pant, but what you do with the pant shows vision.

What you do with the pant shows vision.

All in all, the Nehera’s adaptation of Asian shapes gave the collection more of a backbone. It is well thought out and well executed.

We will be shopping this brand come February delivery.

##

With love,

FWO

Advertisement