That’s two down and one to go at Akris 100 Years, with Act II staged inside a giant north Paris art gallery, a homage to the brand’s origins and to Switzerland, as a source of exceptional fabrics.

Akris – Fall-Winter2023 – 2024 – Womenswear – France – Paris – © ImaxTree

Much of this fall/winter 2023 collection referenced the 70s, and Akris designer Albert Kriemler’s personal discovery of fashion. In 1976, he attended his first show, and talk about starting from the top shelf. It was Yves Saint Laurent in Paris.
Though this collection was very much Paris-meets-the Alps, where the models marched in hiking boots, or some excellent thick-soled thigh boots. The cast attired in checked coats and skirts; oatmeal Prince of Wales pants suits; flared velvet pants and a great quartet of logo coats, dresses and pants in black orange and brown – Werner Penton-worthy. Plus, Albert is clearly expecting a tough winter in 2024, sending out lots of high-collar shearling blousons, and even totes.

He broke new ground with some super metallic silk looks – from matching yellow gold shirts and short skirts to even, remarkably, a golden Blaxploitation pants suits. East your heart out, Pam Grier.
All backed up by driving 70s-style disco music put together by ace sound architect Michel Gaubert, and based on a soundtrack by Saycet mixed in with swatches of Chopin, Dvorak and Brahms.
Few designers ever have been as much influenced by architecture as Kriemler, who also took a surprising new tack with lots of floral looks, based on a print by Abraham. Still today one of the greatest fabric resources in haute couture, supplying YSL, Chanel and Givenchy. Abraham was long led by Gustav Zumsteg, who besides being a fabric creator par excellence, also happened to own the Kronenhalle, Switzerland’s most famous restaurant. And it was Gustav who took Albert to his first YSL show.

Akris – Fall-Winter2023 – 2024 – Womenswear – France – Paris – © ImaxTree

So Albert’s use of floral prints and beautiful intarsia blankets all freshened up the collection. That said, Kriemler’s focus on the centenary – like his last show in September, which was a stylistic retrospective – has led to a few too many retro looks in Acts I and II.
So, on to the next episode, Act III. It starts in May, with an historical retrospective of the brand in Zurich. A celebration of Switzerland’s single most famous and reputable marque and a moment to savor Mode Meister Kriemler’s unique contribution to fashion.

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