Wauchob brings sexy black lace into the daylight

Models wearing a selection of the clothes from the ready-to-wear collection by Irish designer Sharon Wauchob at Paris fashion week. photograph: charles platiau/reuters

Models wearing a selection of the clothes from the ready-to-wear collection by Irish designer Sharon Wauchob at Paris fashion week. photograph: charles platiau/reuters

Fri, Mar 1, 2013, 00:00

The high points of Sharon Wauchob’s ultra-feminine winter collection at Paris fashion week yesterday were sensual black lace dresses and separates.

Shown in the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild, former home of the banking family and now an events venue, the collection had all the hallmarks of the Irish designer’s laid-back style, its offhand look belying the concentration on detail and elaborate cut with which she is associated.

Wauchob, the creative director of Edun – the U2 ethical brand – has just launched an accessories range of bags and jewellery in China. Further developments in Asia are planned.

Graceful motif

With this collection, she brought black lace right into daywear in skirts worn under flared black jackets or roomy coats. Black leather tops had floppy tie fronts, a graceful motif repeated elsewhere and worn casually with grey flares.

Even woollen coats had that extra touch of luxury, with lace cut front panels worn with pleated silk skirts.

Tiny dots of metallic thread, a modern take on traditional Indian embroidery, decorated knits, jackets and dresses of midnight lace. Fur jackets were simple and square cut. “I wanted to take lace a bit further and do fur in a different, more modern way,” she said backstage.

Ann Demeulemeester’s hard-edged monochrome aesthetic has always been her hallmark but her collection seemed more graceful and languid.

Shown in an empty building in the Place Vendome, the models strode out in long robes and open-panelled coats of white or black wearing oversize bowlers studded with feathers.

As an exercise in chiaroscuro, these gowns, some with fringed sleeves or dip dyed, had an almost monastic quality, but the addition of fur gilets, leather cummerbunds and roomy trousers kept the look less austere.

Reaction to Alexander Wang’s debut collection for Balenciaga in Paris was muted, though US press and buyers welcomed its austerity and clean-lined modernity. Sensitive to the political implications of an American rather than a French designer taking over such an august fashion house, they responded positively but without overwhelming enthusiasm. “It was restrained, wearable . . . without too many fireworks,” was Anna Wintour’s comment.