NICOLAS ANDREAS TARALIS
Paris gets a bad rap for being one of the capitals of fashion and yet doing a poor job of supporting up-and-coming young designers. I have to agree that most of the innovative young talent in the industry seems to come straight out of New York--we are a city that fosters ingenuity, ambition, hard work and raw skill. We do love a good rags-to-riches success story. It's part of the American landscape, after all.
France, on the other hand, seems to be rooted in history, it is a culture that has a deep respect for institution and legacy, leaving little room for any determined young upstarts to thrive. This season, however, there were three new(ish) designers in the City of Lights that caught my eye and made me think that times could be a-changing.
Sharon Wauchob can't exactly be coined a "new designer." She's been producing her own collections for a little over a decade now, but has just recently begun to gain recognition from the press. She also boasts a new gig as the creative director of Edun (Bono's eco-friendly line), which is only helping her case. For fall, she showed a slashed and sharply cut sexy collection that had me wanting to take a pair of shears to my leather dresses. Pedro Laurenco, a 19-year-old designer from Brazil, blew everyone away with his very first collection--a geometric, militaristic group of leather, latex and plastic looks shown in the very same room Yves Saint Laurent used for his couture shows. And Nicolas Andrea Taralis is back on the fashion radar after a 3-year absence (he was focusing his efforts on a design stint at Cerruti) with a tough, lean collection that was seriously covetable.