Backstage Stories From Paris Fashion Week 2019
When I first applied for an internship to work backstage for Rok Hwang, I checked his history on the web. Hwang studied at London’s Central Saint Martin and then joined Phoebe Philo’s original design team in 2010 for Celine’s first collection. In 2018 Hwang earned the LVMH Special Prize, which earned him high recognition for his smart, deconstructed and fluid aesthetics.
When working backstage, I immediately noticed the silhouettes were a central focus. The setting of the runway was a dark industrial space lined with tiles. The catwalk made me think of a horror film. There were flashing red lights illuminating the runway and smoke released on the runway as the show began.
I had the opportunity to chat briefly with Rok Hwang. He shared that his inspiration was from his adolescent years growing up in a caravan in Austin, Texas. Also, from watching Stephen Spielberg and Gus Van Sant films from the 1980’s and 1990’s. He stated the importance of details and color in the garments. Huge smile was on his face when saying he wanted the prints to speak to him with the details and the color bring brightness to your eyes. Many of his designs included crochet capes, floral and paisley prints. The models sported protective goggles and carried torches and skateboards. One of his favorite looks was the voluminous navy trench coat with spliced Prince of Wales checks. Also, knitwear was prominent in the collection. Another popular look was the deconstructed snowflake patterned chunky sweater, which was worn inside out, with the knitted sleeves tied around the neck.
Next Stop was working Backstage at Cyclas!
The brand Cyclas is designed by Keiko Onose. “In 2016 Keiko Onose was selected to design a ready to wear collection for the brand Eschew. Now, he creates beautiful designs for Cyclas, I was lucky enough to witness the collection strut down the runway.”
Following the show, I spoke with Keiko Onose about the inspiration for her collection. According to Onose, Gerhard Richter’s paintings have been the ongoing inspiration for her designs. Richter’s paintings inspired the beginning point for last seasons’ design, while other items were influenced by various German abstract artists. Onose designs hint to strong German influence with printed floral coat dresses worn over trousers. The designs resembled a merging of multiple abstract paintings. Other designs were faux fur coats worn over high waisted corduroy trousers. Onose, this year’s collection provides the market multiple options for leisure wear and laughs when saying that who doesn’t love comfort and style!