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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

David Antonio celebrates 40th anniversary with exclusive collection for the holidays

David Antonio with his team (from left), Manyie Goytía, Norma Hernández, Olga Rivera, Marta Alvarado and Isabel Rivera

By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The Star

With Paris’ fabulous joie de vivre threatened on Sunday by violence, rioting and looting, and fashion houses canceling shows, it was uncertain if the House of Patou’s fashion show would even happen. But it did.

The French company painted La Ville Lumiére fuchsia, literally. Walls and buildings were covered in neon pink advertising with dancing shoes announcing Patou’s Spring Summer 2024 Collection.

And how could they not? This is a courageous brand that has been delivering fashion for over a century, through thick and thin, through war and peace. A label that has been helmed by fashion institutions the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix doesn’t shy away from a little commotion. After all, is this not what fashion is all about? To keep people up when things are down? Didn’t we all appreciate the efforts some designers went through to keep us smiling through the pandemic? There.

Since 2018 Patou has been in the hands of creative director Guillaume Henry. He has maintained the elegant and chic style of Jean Patou, who founded the label in 1914. Patou was known as “the most elegant man in Europe.” His philosophy was “Elegance, beauty, fine arts and fantasy, in these four words you’ll find my collections.”

On Sunday we saw the pioneer’s philosophy, in fast forward. Modern. Festive. We saw Henry’s take on fantasy and beauty, “the extraordinary in the ordinary.”

“Dancing Diaries,” the collection, is a nod to the 1920s, but also to party girls everywhere. The 1980s? Perhaps. He designed playful mini dresses in pink, orange, black, turquoise and seafoam. Very short, very tight and very feminine.

We loved his bralettes and tailored slacks, short skirts and blowsy crop tops. Also winning? Big breezy cotton blouses with butterfly sleeves. Orange mini jackets and boleros, turquoise body-hugging dresses, and baby doll dresses in shimmering white. Attention to details: sparkle everywhere. In straps, borders and hems, everything is trimmed with recycled crystals.

“Dancing Diaries” was staged at Salle Wagram, a historic auditorium 200 yards down the hill from the emblematic Champs-Élysées.

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