Atlein Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Paris Fashion Week
A lot has changed for Antonin Tron since the much buzzed-about debut of Atlein last March. His brand has been picked up by stores like Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, The Line, Net-a-Porter, and The Webster. In July, he won ANDAM’s First Collections prize, a well-earned windfall that allowed him to effectively double his output to 33 looks. What hasn’t changed: He’s still showing his collection inside his own well-appointed apartment (with his brother managing the door downstairs), and he still relies on that same supplier of jersey for his hand-draped designs. What else? Those designs are still very, very good.
The ANDAM money has been well spent. For his sophomore collection, Tron didn’t disappoint. He infused his gracefully fluid silhouettes with color (robin’s-egg blue alongside earthier tones like a sage green and a reddish clay). Using a sturdier jersey he developed with his factory, he unveiled the rarest of treasures: truly good trousers (his were sharp, pin-tucked, and high-waisted). Office-ready sheath dresses had their figure-flattering seams picked out in graphic topstitching. A long, liquid black evening gown had a strappy back and a slinky, wet-feeling weight due to the jersey viscose piqué (another fabric made uniquely for the brand). “There’s nothing to constrict or to stop the movement of the body,” said Tron. “To me that’s the most important thing.”
Most pieces were made of different weights of jersey alluringly seamed together in alternately sheer and opaque panels. This was a nod, Tron explained, to the sculptures of John Chamberlain. “I like how Chamberlain just presses two things together,” he said, producing a book of the artist’s work from a shelf in his foyer and opening it to an earmarked page of car crash sculptures. The designer had also employed a team of jewelry makers in the Marais to create sturdy, hand-sculpted enamel pieces inspired by the Le Vaucour lava-glazed pottery that he’s amassed over the years and through repeated trawls of eBay.
Tron’s designs strike a balance between the structured and the soft that is essentially and innately female: the elegant minimalist pleasure of a gown that feels like a T-shirt; the single, strategic drape that changes a silhouette from simple to spectacular. It’s a thrill to watch develop, not least when one considers what’s ahead for the young designer. Accolades, of course, but then a strategically nurtured business: Knits, he hopes, and then slowly, carefully, more. “I’m dying to do coats,” said Tron. “I love tailoring. But we’re going to grow slowly. I want to take time.” We’ll just have to wait.