What you see is what you get at Chloé, and the tactic seems to work with a new fan base, who rocked up to the show in head-to-toe looks. The collection, Ramsay-Levi explained, was divided into three parts: nomadic (a buzzword this season), “old Ibiza,” and finally the goddess dresses that closed the show, inspired by Pasolini’s Medea. Her de-intellectualisation of fashion is interesting in that it’s in no way uninformed or silly, just miles away from the complicated and sometimes wanky narratives in which so many designers love to indulge. It makes for instantly shoppable fashion that needs no dissecting, analysis, or interpretation. Other, of course, than why Ramsay-Levi chose the reference in the first place? “I love hippies and I think it’s a great counter-culture. It’s inspiring still today because it’s people who reboot to a new zero; an idea of how you can reinvent life, your link to sensuality, to community. I think it’s still very relevant and I want to bring it to the city.”
It’s been 30 years since Jean Paul Gaultier put men in skirts here in Paris, but the image of the male body in a dress is no less stigmatised in the public forum today, even if we like to think so. That’s why the moment when Michele sent out a buzz-cut boy with tattoos and tennis socks in a slinky baroque-print scarf dress and a big backpack felt momentous. In this age of gender fluidity, a man in a dress should be the most insignificant thing to us, but it still got the camera phones going like no other look in the collection. It was great. It helped to fuel Michele’s most sexually loaded collection to date, which had men in super lowcut leotards and leather and rhinestone dance belt cups – in most sinister Clockwork Orange style – and opened with a horror short film that featured a man and a woman torching their tongues with a lighter over a bidet. Must have been Monday.
GUCCI SPRING SUMMER 2019
Gucci moved its presentation to the first evening of the Paris shows to close a French trilogy that started with a pre-fall collection shot in Paris locations significant to 1968 and took out the Alyscamps cemetery in Arles for its cruise show. Alessandro Michele’s choice of venue, the fabled Le Palace nightclub and theatre in Montmartre – so gritty and dusty Gucci had to change the carpet – was a perfectly suitable choice for his underground elves. But it was the noticeable progress of Michele’s plentiful shtick and his bold styling moves that made this collection more compelling than his usual theatre.
It was in homage to Leo and Perla, who didn’t just have the best cat names ever but set Italian experimental theatre on fire with their provocative takes on Shakespeare in the 1960s. Michele’s typically indecipherable show notes came with much ado about Leo de Berardinis and Perla Peragallo, but their impact on the collection seemed to be rooted in the confrontational, the alluring and the highly sexualised. Those tendencies were an unexpected and great move on Michele’s part; more of that, please, sir. “I realised something when I was going back to my room,” he said after the curtain had closed on his theatre and bows were taken.
It was her first time at that rodeo, but not for the fashion industry, which has so often mixed performance art and runway shows to cringeworthy lows. Perhaps that’s what made this one so thrilling. Rarely has any foreign element in a fashion show been so entrancing, or added as much character to a collection as the one Chiuri commissioned from Sharon Eyal’s dance company this afternoon, in a dimmed tent in Bois de Boulogne. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t trying to be poignant. Rather, it was energised, spirited, ravishing and totally transfixing. You could have sat there all day getting shivers watching those racehorse bodies tripping and floating like they were trapped somewhere between underwater weightlessness and on fire, white rose petals dropping from the ceiling in thousand-fold. The soundtrack was amazing and hard to describe.
“I’m lucky to open the week. There’s only another show tonight,” Chiuri said, referring to Paris Fashion Week’s special guest star Gucci, who would have opened the ball had Dior not moved its show to Monday afternoon; not that it wouldn’t look as mesmerising on Tuesday at 2.30. “Because during fashion week the shows go by so fast and sometimes you lose the experience. And now, with the new media, you see the show through a phone. So, it’s important to convey the idea of us living in the moment. I hope that with this performance we can create something that people want to experience and get involved with us. Not behind a phone,” Chiuri paused. “Probably I dream!” (Indeed, putting on a mind-blowing dance performance isn’t exactly the way to make us stop Instagramming.) “I try to speak more about experience and less about just clothes,” she said. “We are speaking about the future of fashion. Something more. Fashion is not the same as when I started out. We are living in another moment.”
Vivetta has created a technicolor dream for its SS19 collection, pastel tones with fairytale, visionary fantasy, infused with an eccentric and enchanting glamour, painted in delicate hues with irony and grace.Candid swans rest on small tunics in painted inlay macramé, or on long romantic crocheted dresses; knots of blackberries in Swarovski crystals, glisten on impalpable cape dresses like clouds of degradé tulle; pretty butterflies seem to palpitate on fragile tulle bodices embroidered by hand with fringes of beads and feathers, which bloom on taffeta skirts thickly pleated as corollas of flowers grown in a fabulous greenhouse, or accompany denim trousers richly decorated with precious jewel-like embroidery.A pop rainbow, inspired by Peter Max’s 70s psychedelic graphics, illuminates suits in Nappa leather, inlaid with eccentrically Western flavour; wide skirts in sumptuous taffeta or dust coats with Elizabethan sleeves veiled by a puff of tulle are studded with magical galaxies of shiny stars.Bouquets of hydrangeas bloom on mini-dresses draped in technical organza with a liquid effect, enriched with frills and rosettes, seducing in their theatrical yet simultaneously naive glamour; fanciful blooms decorate fluffy pouf skirts worn with candid poplin shirts or balloon dresses light like meringues.
This collection is an invitation to play together - says Vivetta Ponti, founder and designer of the brand - In my illusory and smiling world grace and fantasy triumph. As if a spell transfigured the reality, making it magical. A surreal short film that never fails the happy ending.A warm, childish sense of humour lies like a breath on the striped poplin dresses in sweet macaron shades; draped tunics are created by transforming classic men’s shirts, whose sleeves become pleated skirts or whose cuffs are wrapped around necklines - as well as contrasting bows on clean poplin blouses or cut-out inlays on palazzo trousers revealing the outline of a face.Vivetta invites us to take part in this game of illusions and smiles, in this world where grace and fantasy triumph, in a reality that, transfigured in some spell, becomes magical and surreal as in a film with a happy ending.
Styling by Georgia Tal
Production & Direction by RANDOM
Casting by Caterina Matteucci @CM Casting
Hair by Beppe D’Elia using l’Oreal Professional for Beautick
Make up by Beautick
Nails by MH artist
Music by Dorian Grey
Sunglasses by Poppy Lissiman
Fendi is one of the houses to flex its visual brand value in a major way over recent seasons, catering to young generations’ thirst for prized possessions like branded bags, trainers and even socks. Logos that used to belong mainly on accessories and the odd T-shirt are now sprinkled over everything from hoodies to skirts by the bucket load, effectively making garments hot commodities on par with leather goods, price tags very much in tow. This season Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi took that development one step further. Instead of letting the clothes inform the bags, they worked the other way around, “looking at things from a different perspective,” as Silvia said.“We wanted to have functional clothing. Not just for occasion. We wanted something for everyday life: the normal woman, the active woman. A real wardrobe,” she explained. Adwoa opened the show in a transparent coat with bonded brown leather panels and pockets, which was literally the garment take on the bag she was holding. Edie modelled a tan leather coat with multi pockets moulded into the leather as if it were a utility bag. And Kendall sported the Gen Z trend for wearing a bum bag over the shoulder, pairing it with an oversized white utility jacket with massive pockets embossed with Fendi’s double-F logo. “It’s very much about real life. As women we have these big bags and you can’t find your phone and it’s ringing,” Silvia illustrated, giving particular attention to all the mobile phone and key sized pockets that appeared on garments, belts and bags. The idea might be universally appealing but the clothes seemed aimed at no one more than the young generations and their love of branded accessories.
That feeling, of course, was only backed up by the pitch-black venue, that massive dystopian dinosaur, and Vevers’ ghostlike floor-length prairie skirts, unravelling dresses, heavily but hardily embellished tops, almost horror-like Disney motifs on sweatshirts, and hyper-aged leather coats and mountaineering jackets. He’d found inspiration for his scavengers on a 24-hour trip to Santa Fe where he visited Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch, walked the Turquoise Trail and became fascinated with the middle-of-nowhere abandonment of its tiny clusters of houses. “An aeroplane wing is propping up half of the house and half of the tiles of the roof are some salvaged thing, and all the post boxes are painted and patched together. It almost feels commune-y,” Vevers gushed. “It almost feels like an alien planet. Weird rock formations and the sky. Nothing. Really in the middle of nowhere.”
His whirlwind inspiration jaunt ended in a downstairs dive bar called El Matador. “It was probably one of the best nights out I’ve ever had. The music was amazing; had that early '80s vibe to it. Bit sci-fi-y, quite pop-y, bit off and random. I don’t think there was anyone over 25 in there. And people were wearing things from that area, I guess: bits of western, a cool T-shirt. It always felt to me a bit New Romantic. A bit punk, a bit New Wave. But I’ve probably over-fantasised it,” he smiled. You can’t accuse Vevers of not establishing a clear aesthetic at Coach. From the garments to the show experience itself, you know what world you’re in and what you’re getting, and that familiarity no doubt appeals to the brand’s young customer base to whom these elements probably read like girl gang rather than desert cult.
Simons’ collection was uncomplicated, influenced to literal degree by The Graduate and Jaws, which we all know so well and which are both “important movies in my memory,” he said. “We are attracted to things that are dangerous. We can’t stay away from it.” That sentiment applied to both films, one interpreted in decorative mortarboards, the other in wetsuits that felt indefinitely made for the runway. “It can stand for protection, for sex, for different things,” he said of the scuba pieces. “It’s not as complicated as I wanted it to look.” True to his newfound merchandising ways – not unlike those of contemporary pop stars, who sell hoodies with their portraits on them – Simons set his eyes on that most universal of film posters, Jaws, and transformed it into the kind of T-shirts he, when branded with the CK seal of popular coolness, sells like hot cakes. “I’m fascinated with how something can be a masterpiece, no matter if it’s underground or commercial, or if it’s for a big or small audience,” he said of the film.
More than I find it stubborn, there’s something incredibly romantic about how much Jacobs believes that creativity, glamour and fabulousness will save us all; or maybe it’s just his refusal to give into commercialism. Whatever it is, he continued in stride on Wednesday night, in runway looks that sure brightened the fluorescent ambience in the JFK lounge an hour later. This was dress-up bordering on fancy dress – or perhaps those ballrooms of Pose some of us keep going on about – with all the clown ruffles, pussy bows, cascading flounces and supersized corsages it could take. Socialites gone mad, or crazies playing socialites? Either which way, Jacobs made his point and ran with it. Maybe not to the bank, but in these youth-fuelled times of defiance when conformist rules are rewritten and new perspectives are gained, talking sales seems a little bit square anyway. Season after season, Jacobs is making it clear: he’s a showman who won’t sacrifice his stage time for anything, like Ewan McGregor’s 19th century poet in Moulin Rouge!, believing in beauty and living for love, above all. If that’s the kind of show Jacobs wants to put on every season, who are we to decline an invitation? If only he’d stuck to his usually so punctual ways and we could all have stayed to see the theatre unfold.
“When I was younger I was looking a lot at the legacy and heritage of the house, but now I feel it’s all about the future,” Olivier Rousteing said, alluding to the many forms and shapes of liquefied iridescence that defined his show. “I’m really happy to do what I do. I went through so much criticism but right now I feel peaceful with who I am,” Rousteing said, echoing a statement often heard backstage at his Balmain. He framed it in some of his favourite 1980s silhouettes, scoring the affair with a camp soundtrack of 1980s evergreens such as “Heart of Glass”, “Take on Me”, and “Tainted Love”. But while Rousteing’s current sense of self-rest is lovely, this collection seemed way more forward-thinking than so.
The glass-like oily surfaces, rainbow tinsel, iridescent quilting, luscious lamés and dense sequin work were a refreshing departure from his typical tweeds and braiding. Not one that felt any less Balmain, however, especially when he filtered the multi-coloured palette of iridescence into loud solid Technicolor tones and unusual-looking xerox plisse prints towards the end of the collection. “What is my reality? A lot of people talk about my reality,” Rousteing reflected, possibly referring to his Instagram following. “You are so many different kinds of women. Balmain is inclusive. I feel like it was a strong show. Fierce and confident,” he concluded.
Natacha Ramsay-Levi drastically opened up her silhouette: “large, wide, very comfortable, to have volume, to be generous,” she said in a preview on Wednesday. The designer found her inspiration in characters bred through cinema, from actresses like Stéphane Audran to Anjelica Huston, desiring to capture how “cinema can give depth to the psychology of a character.”
She expressed it as a philosophy relating to women’s conversations with their own wardrobes: how one tweaks one’s own character through dress. “She really plays with herself. It’s her going into different characters to enhance herself. When you get dressed that’s how you want to communicate with other people,” Ramsay-Levi said of her season muse. Translated into jodhpurs and bohemian dresses with riding skirts cascading from below the hips, it made for less effortless and more complex silhouettes than last season’s approachable tailoring (which is already making appearances in the wardrobes of show-goers). Medieval elements - embellishment, quilting and heels - found their way into the collection courtesy of Ramsay-Levi’s love of 1970s queen Anjelica Huston, who appeared in the film A Walk with Love and Death set in the fourteenth century.
“It’s taking the idea that outerwear becomes the dress,” Galliano said.Look around the emerging designer landscape and Galliano’s front-running proposal of a new glamour has been warmly accepted. Designers like Matty Bovan and Molly Goddard find a new understanding of glamour in make-do and mend eveningwear and casual throw-it-on ball gowns. Whether the industry realises it or not, much of this discourse is thanks to the ideas developed in the optical white laboratory of John Galliano, who spends months cultivating concepts, techniques and fabrications for his haute couture collection and distils them into the accessible ready-to-wear we saw today.'Unconscious glamour’ links to his romantic view of dressing in haste, freeze-framing spontaneous gestures in cuts and styling.
“For me it’s powerful glamour,” Paul Surridge said. “Sensuality is always going to be there, because that’s what I said I would stand for, but when you start breathing the culture of the company there’s a lot of talk about glamour.
“I’m here to push forward the brand, not maintain a previous existence. I’m respecting the codes but also very conscious that this industry feeds on new.” His proposal was - not without courage in these explosive times - a take on sexy. He expressed it in a stereotypical take on alluring party dressing: lurex-threaded, skintight, floor-length gowns with cutouts serving as windows to the body, a micro-sequinned water-like dress that clenched to the skin, and a little pink chainmail cocktail dress with feather embellishment. “This season is about legs and décolleté. Cavalli has always been about friskiness, which means flirtatious and fun,” Surridge said.Roberto Cavalli, who now spends most of his time in retirement on a island outside of Stockholm, made big business distilling and bottling the sexiness of the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Now, the answer to Surridge’s question lies in redefining what sexy means for a new view of the world.
Interest in the "inner" clothing has shaped the unique personality of the Margiela fashion house. The latest season of Maison Margiela Artisanal Haute Couture Show, John Galliano aims to use technology to master in a whole new level of layering. All we have to do is to turn on the flash and take a picture when the model passes in front of us. Of course, for some lucky people, it works so well that it can visually record a ghostly horrible and beautiful result; unfortunately, the models move too fast, my flash is slow, and finally I shoot a dozen beautifully photographed wall photos. This may make people interested in the time difference between the eyes, fingers and these small devices. Slow down, the beauty will reveal their own. Humanity is still the master.
Margiela always blinks with human touch. Galliano has so much life in the clothes he creates that he must shape the collages around them and paint them in another dimension of time and space: trench coats open the zipper on the skirt lining, the ski jacket has Bronze Lamé gold and silver line brocade, a tweed chiffon jacket combines the trench coat skeleton. Now think of it, the first thing that came out of my mind is the recent "Blade Runner 2049". Into the future of the world, the familiar eventually become unfamiliar. Elvis appeared in the soundtrack of the Galliano show as well as Roy Orbison and Nancy Sinatra.
Spanish Actress and Model, Penélope Cruz, wears custom Ralph & Russo couture to the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles, USA.
Wearing a black embellished Chantilly lace off-the-shoulder ball gown with draped silk gazar bustle.
(Photo Credit: Kevin Tachman)
ACTRESS KELLY RUTHERFORD, TV PERSONALITY KELLY BENSIMON, AND MISS UNIVERSE 2018 IRIS MITTENAERE, MISS USA KARA McCULLOUGH, MISS TEEN USA SOPHIA DOMIGUEZ-HEITHOFF SIT FRONT ROW AT SON JUNG WAN’S SPRING 2018 SHOW.
(Photo Credit: Rodin Banica)