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Esteban Cortazar Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2015 Paris

Esteban Cortazar, the Colombian-born Paris-based designer, was deemed a Wunderkind when he showed at New York Fashion Week while still a teenager—and again when he became Ungaro’s creative director before he’d lived a quarter of a century. He may have been rather off the radar since, but he clearly still has some key fashion world supporters: Nina Garcia, Natalie Massenet, and Jason Wu were just a few of the attendees eagerly awaiting his runway return.

Held at an airy Marais studio space, under a vaulted glass-pyramid roof, a violinist with a looping pedal ushered in the proceedings. Balancing diaphanous layers with leather garments, the looks were capped off with chunky-heeled sandals and low platforms with gold-tipped straps. For Spring/Summer 2015, Cortazar’s collection was characterized by a surprisingly autumnal color palette. The first piece down the runway, an oversized teal jacket with clasps ascending up the high neck, was a stylish statement, somewhat more remarkable than the other outerwear items like a navy cape or a mauve suede double-breasted jacket. Throughout the collection, long chiffon layers added dimension to the silhouettes and added a feminine delicacy. Balancing “covered up” with tasteful reveals, Cortazar experimented with the right ratio of fabric to skin: pairing a shrunken elastic-backed pumpkin leather corset with a long asymmetrically-tiered skirt, or long white shirting paired with a cheeky barely-there leather miniskirt. The final looks featured backless and scoop-back tops with shredded, sweeping ropes of fabric, whisking behind the body in long trains. Although the sheer layers were soft and sometimes even playful, Cortazar was most exciting when he went sculptural. His cerulean spaghetti-strap top with strategic geometric cuts was subtly sexy, and his mauve dress with paneling and folds felt structured yet graceful.