Purple Velvet and Leopard Boots for Isabel Marant’s Pre-fall – WWD

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For pre-fall, Isabel Marant mixed up her take on tomboy femininity with sophisticated touches, all with an underlying ’80s vibe.

That reference may not have been intentional. “The ’80s was not part of our original intake,” said artistic director Kim Bekker. “But we love a shoulder.” And how it showed: on batwing minidresses and sweatshirts, oversized blazers and big jackets. Generously cut trousers also spoke volumes with their roominess and gave a dose of power to the silhouette.

Preppy looks in striped button-downs and checkered blazers were roughed up by moto jeans, and a white lace minidress stayed away from saccharine territory, balanced out by a slouch boot. Quilted jackets were rendered in denim, while leather riding pants were cropped to shorts, with paper bag waists tightly cinched.

Marant also played with prints, mixing florals with leopard print. Jolts of color came in amethyst, as seen on a velvet minidress, with pops of ruby in a body-con number and a slinky low-scooped tank.

Most of the looks were anchored by a slouchy leopard print boot with an almost minuscule kitten heel. Marant wanted to add a “bit of toughness”; the sharp metal point kept it just this side of demure.

Marant added that styling was key to this collection that put a focus on accessories, including layers of necklaces and belts with hints of cowboy in patterned silver studding. Other accents were voluptuous sculpted jewelry pieces, hefty bangles, and the house’s hobo bag, which has been a strong growth category for the brand.

It’s all very commercial, and indeed the Paris showroom was buzzing with buyers the day the collection was on view.

Commenting on the lack of female designers in the top positions of the big fashion houses, Marant noted that she, like many other women designers, focuses on real, wearable pieces.

“Men [designers] have fantasy and phantasm. I think the novelty and what makes fashion go forward comes very often from men designers more than women because a woman designer, she’s much more down to earth and projecting herself into her creation,” she said, adding women are often working away at their own labels. “We know what we want to wear — what makes you look good, slim, is comfortable. The approach is definitely different.”

The collection was classic Marant, proving that sometimes you are your own best influencer.

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