The womenswear brand Paris 99 has made its mark through playfully bringing into the present garments inspired by the culture and fabric of former generations. Paris 99 Starn’s first two collections were heralded for their perky re-interpretation of mid-century Americana and were influenced by the time she spent in the kitchen with her grandmother. Starn’s third collection F/W ’19, the designer’s first fall winter collection, incorporates to a much greater degree the designer’s love for art, and looks for inspiration at a society and period significantly farther from home; the Northern Renaissance, and each garment is named after a painting of a joyous winter scenes from the 16th-18th centuries.
Starn, a graduate student of art history, looked to art for inspiration for Fall/Winter, and the painting “Hunters in the Snow” Pieter Bruegel the Elder struck a chord. The painting’s foreground depicts men heavily draped in dark fabric trekking through a snowbank. They head toward a small hamlet filled with frost-covered homes; in the valley people ice skate on a lake the color of the sky, surrounded by baron trees and snow capped mountains. Immediately taken with the colors––the white powdered blue sky and lake, the red homes with their architecture trimmed with white, and the dark clothing of the painting’s subjects––Starn decided to work with these colorways .
The trends of 16th century women’s fashion in northern Europe, characterized by contrasting fabrics, excessive trims, hourglass silhouettes, and paneling, further influenced Starn’s designs. One of the most widely utilized and popular winter fabrics of the period was wool. Merino Wool had recently been imported to northern Europe from Spain. Velvet was another favorite fabric of the era. Starn has chosen to work with both materials for this collection, combining Merino Wool with double-faced velvet ribbon trim. To get the paneling structured effect of contrasting fabrics Starn chose a very contemporary faux-python – these two fabrics play off each other texturally, and in their creation (wool being the hair of sheep, and faux-python is the imitation of a snakes outer skin).
The construction of the collection blends 16th century trends with more modern notions of style. Loosely fit mini dresses and separates, nods to present fashions, are adorned with puffed sleeves, recalling fashions of the past. Nearly excessive amounts of double-faced velvet trim embellish the garments. Velvet strips tie at the waist, wrists, biceps, and neck, and replace buttons on blouses and pants. These ties have a dual purpose: adjusting the tightness of the ties both modifies the fit of the garment for the wearer’s comfort and creates an hourglass effect when paired with the stiff paneling of the python fabric.
Stockists include: Opening Ceremony
Ecommerce photographed by Sam Williams
Ecommerce models are Cilene Guiadeen, Emily Hazeltine, & Amadiah Yehuda
Ecommerce makeup by Sydney Utendahl
Lookbook photographed by Jack Siegel
Lookbook models are Gabbriette Bechtel, Paige Reifler, & Sydney Utendahl
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