Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars
It was a delight to be invited to attend such a very special show during Boston Fashion Week 2016. Produced by the always amazing Kathy Benharris, the treat this time around was an exclusive invitation to preview the creative and ever evolving designs of Anne Fontaine. The use of a mostly black and white color pallet was given new life with rich textured accents, brocade patterns, high quality leather and lush fur. As best described by the designer herself the collection is "Decadently Detailed". Heavily influenced by both her French and Brazilian culture I felt Anne Fontaine's Le Maison collection represented a very delicate and lady-like Parisian style merging with a super sexy and moody Rio de Janeiro flare.
Originally established in 1993 Anne Fontaine has certainly had time to meticulously craft her signature looks. After taking the time to marvel over her previous collections online it was a pleasure to witness the progression of her flawless work up close and personal.
Shortly before showtime the crowd was informed of a very special cause for the evening's festivities, not only was it a premier to the fall / winter collection but also a charity event for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America . According to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, about 1.4 million Americans have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Of those, about 700,000 have Crohn’s. In the years between 1992 and 2004, there was a 74 percent increase in doctor’s office visits due to Crohn’s disease. In 2004, Crohn’s disease was the cause of 57,000 hospitalizations.
A very sophisticated layout in the upstairs ballroom at the Four Seasons Boston was a perfect location for such an intimate event. Prior to the show a loop of french audio played through the speakers and put everyone in the mood for a moment in Paris. The crowd mingled in the parlor amid a lighting projection of the Anne Fontaine logo and a televised sneak peak of print shots from the latest catalog shoot played in the corner.. The main room where the fashion show was held was up-lit in soft purple and cream tones with four quads of theater style seating facing a square clockwise runway. The runway pattern of the models ensured everyone had an opportunity to view each piece quite thoroughly. At the end of each segment two models would meet in the middle of the runway smile to each other and pose as if seeing an old and dear friend; both glamorous and endearing. I had hoped to see a broader range of models on the catwalk, however I think the ladies that were selected did an excellent job of representing the chicness of the brand. Overall the show was high-end, well organized and on time (3 event components I value greatly)
I noticed a very intentional tone was set for the show. It seemed to me that the beginning highlighted very young designs, shorter hemlines, flirty lace and tighter necklines. As the show progressed there were more mature and equally beautiful selections suitable for evening galas. The music also seemed to sync with the presentation with the early parts playing modern uptempo music and the end culminating into softer refined classical songs. One of the stand out looks for me was a honeycomb patterned cape / poncho in black and gold paired with a black velvet jumper and a cinched gold belt. I appreciated that while styled perfectly together many of the creations were interchange and easy for a consumer to incorporate into their existing wardrobe. I also noticed quite a few designs with large billowing bell sleeves which reminded me very much of the 70's, the look is also quite in trend for this season. Overall I appreciated the grand statements the clothing made about the femininity and strength of the modern women. The collection showed the idea of delicate beauty blending with powerful design and how those two traits can work in unison. See for yourself by taking a long lovely gaze at this year's look-book.
After mingling with a few friendly folks I quickly learned that the majority of guests were actual clients and consumers of the brand. The Anne Fontaine following is very strong and those in attendance were wowed as they perused the extensive purchase catalog and other gift bag goodies. It was quite a privilege for me to be able to attend and I hope Anne Fontaine will show again in Boston soon.