Paris is full of showrooms during fashion week, though few felt more dynamic than Together X Plan 8 and The Selects, a novel concept taking place near La Bourse, the former stock market of Paris.
Staged in a beautiful space, an 18th century piano nobile filled with rare Napoleonic antiques, busts and oil paintings, Together featured several avant garde talents, and a neat selection of 10 happening young Korean designers in The Selects.
Partly funded by Korea’s ministry of culture, The Selects included fashion forward creators like Seokwoon Yoon, a Korean-born but Brooklyn-trained talent, who wowed with his re-imaginings of Americana. Pro baseball shirts finished with name tags on the outside; cute black cotton surgeon’s tops with ribbed cuffs; or oversized David Byrne style suits, their exterior breast pockets finished with exterior cardholders, the better to carry your yellow New York MetroCard.
Others to impress were Doucan, with the tagline ‘Après La Mousson’, which showed attractive denim jackets, skillfully finished with piping, or hyper ruffled dresses.
Other standouts included Mmam, by designer Hyun Park, with excellent masculine tailoring, deconstructed with aplomb. Jackets cut double breasted on each side; natty tops in fine fresh wool, that on closer inspection turn out to be made of inverted men’s pants; and a series of great shirts, where collars twisted around the neck and shoulder and down the back. Mmam’s trench-coats were also something else, with shoulder panels interacting in clever duets.
“Together is a hybrid between a trade show and a showroom. During covid a lot of brands got tied up in exclusive contracts with agents, but here you can work with different agents at the same time. We are a space-maker supporting talent. There are about 7,000 brands showing in Paris right now, so our edit and location is vital to making this project stand out,” explained Rafael Jimenez, the Venezuelan-born but Paris based CEO and founder of Plan 8.
Jimenez, an eight-year veteran of Comme des Garçons – hence Plan 8 – estimates that there are 300 key international boutiques globally that designers really want to target. A highly experienced operator, Jimenez was recently a key player behind organizing the Saudi Fashion salon in Palais de Tokyo, featuring some 100 Saudi Arabian designers in Paris this summer.
Elsewhere in The Selects, Vegan Leather – which boasts it never uses any materials of animal origin – showed new leather in neatly silhouetted jackets, and pretty floral cottons. Fans of Korean fashion forward designs will also appreciate Bmuet(te), featuring all sorts of technical taffeta looks – in unexpected combos, like jerkins with multi ruffled skirts, all finished with mini bowties and laces.
Other labels included were Cahiers, En Or, D-antidote, Julycolumn and Maison Nica – in a powerful expression of K-culture.
All part of a project backed by the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), led by Stella Heesun Suh.
In front of oil paintings of the Emperor Napoleon and his nephew, Louis Napoleon, Together by Plan 8 featured Chihuahua Dragon, a novel collection of dynamically cut pinstriped jackets, and eye-catching black leather handbags sprouting diabolical horns.
Even more impressive, Paris-based couture brand Jisoo Baik, had several hyper imaginative wire-framed gowns in lace metallic silk, including looks that Björk wore on her recent tour.
There is even a Ukrainian contingent, with A.M.G. brand from Kiev, with summery ecru pinstripe blazers; and soft wool herring bone jackets with frayed hems. And an Italian element – as Carlota Barrera showed splendid silk lady gangster jackets in gold and black pinstripe, and great nylon clubbing gear.
Together’s range even extends to Bali, with a great shirt line by Revolver – pronounced R.Love.Ver – all made in Indonesia, and featuring witty fabric patches, bold colors, color blocking and forgiving shapes.
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