ANDREW GN AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
Barring a nuclear winter, it’s tough to imagine an old-money family desperate enough to tear up the palazzo upholsteries for the sake of a new wardrobe (although they’d sooner forgo the private jet than sell the Canaletto). If the tale spun by Andrew Gn as context for his sumptuous Fall collection seemed implausible, then the idea of reworking heirloom textiles conveyed the same principle, minus the panic.
Gn opened his show with a gray flannel cape fronted in undulations of passementerie, hand-knotted fringe trim, and Mongolian fur around the collar; each of these embellishments recurred frequently throughout the collection as decorative devices that added volume and movement. But the jacket with its flat woven panels meant to mimic astrakhan was just as dynamic. As the show transitioned from a predominantly black palette into deep jewel tones, the accents became more distinctive: sleeves amplified with fins of organza, shoulders caped with sequined plumes, and décolletage that glimmered with floral beading.
But Gn reached peak theme with a final grouping of silk satin sheaths with cocoon coats—only they weren’t nearly that simple. The former featured enlarged appliqués of callas, gingko leaves, and peonies, as if lifted from salon wallpaper; the latter’s traditional kilim and tapestry patterning resulted from a complex array of microsuede sequins. Part Grey Gardens, part Art Deco Dreamcoat, those eccentric pairings may prove too gutsy for Gn’s mature clientele, whose comfort zone would max out with the black suiting, bordered in fringe. Alternately, Solange Knowles, who slipped in last-minute, could end up working his oversize hand-knit cashmere sweaters and velvet-patched mohair coats like nobody’s business.