Tabitha Simmons’ Hot Air Balloon Inspiration Is a Real Flight of Fancy

“It’s all about a wandering spirit,” said Tabitha Simmons of her spring 2017 collection on Sunday at Paris Fashion Week. “The idea came from the hot air balloons popular in the Victorian era, and we imagined a girl flying over gardens and fields.”

A jaunty balloon motif came in printed leather as a literal representation, and then the designer let her imagination take flight. The balloon’s rigging was interpreted as ankle ties and strappy sandals, while the clouds through which it soared appeared as suede roundels edged in gold (like an amped-up silver lining). Simmons’ signature laser-cutting technique expressed a more cartoonish take — “like a child’s drawing,” she said.

tabitha simmons spring 2017
Tabitha Simmons' spring 2017 collection at Paris Fashion Week.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock.

Flora came delicately embroidered onto linens and denim fabrications (she’d been thinking embroidered linen tablecloths) and an innovative ruched leather was embellished with daisies recalling traditional British smocking.

And although there were plenty of high-heeled styles in evidence, more contemporary block-heeled silhouettes predominated with three distinct heel heights sure to suit all comers.

tabitha simmons spring 2017
Tabitha Simmons' spring 2017 collection at Paris Fashion Week.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock.

Standout was a hand-finished crocheted lace — beautifully realized in monochrome — on open-toe sandals, pointed stiletto pumps and ballet flats with delicate Mary Jane straps and crystal button closures. “They take a LONG time to make!”

Click through the gallery below to see more styles from the collection.

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