Chloe Comme Parris goes dark at LGFW (Video)
The ethereal and light-filled short that provided prologue to Chloé Comme Parris' FW11 collection promised a show with a similar feel. It lied. The white screen suddenly plunged into moody marbled darkness backed by an equally heavy soundtrack. The faerie-like creatures that flitted along the runway in the soft Spring collection were now replaced by their fallen sisters.
Chloé Comme Parris was still recognizable in the details, though. Cut-outs, asymmetrical hems and buckle-details still reigned, now against a more fall-appropriate palette of black, black and um, more black. While I was smitten with the elements - sheer paneled tops, hard/soft texture juxtaposition, plunging necklines - the overall effect was all too reminiscent of early-90s art-school goth. The student parallel is helped, I suppose, by the buckled rucksacks and eyeliner applied with a teen-angst heaviness of hand.
Without the backpacks, though, the models were befitting soldiers on the Dark Lord's payroll. One such look launched the collection in a Brandon Lee-esque trench with tough metal hardware detailing and jewellery that (beautiful though it was) could double as a weapon. Dare I even draw Hellraiser comparisons?
Competing textures and fabric weights added so much visual interest and variation, that the monotone palette was easily forgotten. The all-black theme was broken here and there with a confusing subtly-metallic taupe striped fabric, reminiscent of deck chair cushions. It was a disappointing introduction of "colour". The collection could have carried itself on the glorious variations of black - sheer soft-black chiffon, deep-dark velvet, and grayish dense wool knit.
I'll admit I had expectations before the show. I wanted more romance, I suppose. But while most of the collection screamed "Underworld", pretty little pieces broke up the overwhelming edginess. Long satin shorts with a sheer hem, a gathered chiffon flounce, and flowy tapered jersey pants went a long way to soften the collection.
The finale dress, too, brought a little more femininity to the show. The dress' structured plunging bodice gave way to a fluid skirt with that signature asymmetric cut (these girls give good hem!). If Robert Rodriguez made a crossover into chick-flickdom, this would be the result. My interest is still piqued and I'm definitely optimistic for the future of Chloe Comme Parris. Especially now that I know the sibling duo has a dark side.
Writing by Dayna Winter. Photos by Istoica.