in Paris, in delirium of confinement | Fashion show review, Opinion
“Resist the blandness of the sleeping masses” shouted a garishly dressed punk rock band in front of a poignant crowd in Walter Van Beirendonck’s “Neon Shadow” video, roughly summing up the energy of Menswear Week. in Paris which ended today: a delirious and liberated affair against a backdrop of neon colors, crazy shapes, glimpses of skin and the long repressed desire for gatherings and trippy connections in unusual clothes.
“Rave” was the watchword, so much so that sometimes what we saw in largely digital form looked like a dizzying paragraph from Rainald Goetz’s flagship novel of the same name. Although fiercely removed from mainstream fashion, Van Berendonck must be mentioned first because with his theatrical, colorful and post-human world, he has always inhabited this territory, where definitions of masculinity are constantly twisted and blurred, the notions of good and bad. taste does not apply and fashion is wildly playful.
This season, Van Beirendonck’s influence was apparent across the fashion spectrum. You could certainly smell it at Louis Vuitton, although it wasn’t as literal as what we saw a year ago with the infamous teddy bear incident. Over the past two seasons, Vuitton Men’s Creative Director Virgil Abloh has found his own stamp and tone of voice – adding stylist Ib Kamara to the team was a smart move – and it came to fruition. to Abloh’s most successful and compelling collection to date. What stood out was the use of color, the intersection of stitching and tracksuits, the psychedelia of the checkerboards and skirts that seemed more solemn than feminine.
It was all mixed up in a striking jumble that, as usual, Abloh served with clever logic that seemed more plausible than pretentious. Referring to the sample hip hop culture, Abloh put the whole debate about originality and copying into the right perspective, implicitly claiming that the DJ mentality – which creates meaning in the assembly of already existing things – is the one that dominates contemporary fashion, a place where style, essentially DJing with clothes, has finally replaced design.
But there are still places where old-fashioned design matters. Loewe is one of them, thanks to Creative Director Jonathan Anderson. There was a mark of pagan, fiery released energy coming out of this season that was best captured in kitsch and sequined disco ensembles, in tops draped like giant deconstructed ties, and in parkas, sweaters and tunics with large windows revealing the skin or under layers of color. This is the kind of wardrobe that we imagine stuffed in the sequined suitcase of an Ibiza party animal or in the closet of an extra Liquid Sky.
The format chosen by Anderson was another testament to an original spirit at work. The perimeter of the collection, in fact, was contained between a book about painter Florian Krewer, whose hedonistic and escape-proof nightscapes and personal photos sparked Anderson’s design process, and a volume containing the trippy images. , layered and palimpsestic taken by David Sims to document the collection about a gang of street guys of all shapes and ages. It was like seeing the beginning and the end of the whole creative path, with a plus. With the ongoing dialogue between art and fashion usually only resulting in the obligatory souvenir-type impression, it was refreshing not to see a single painting by Krewer simply transferred onto the clothes. Here, the artistic benchmark was all about the state of mind.
Equally fiery was Anderson’s latest outing on his eponymous label JW Anderson, where events took on an exciting and derailed feeling of staying at home, conveying spirit-altered states of domesticity with beaded curtain dresses. and an attitude of mixing with the wallpaper.
Elsewhere, the hedonistic strain has materialized mostly as bright colors and energetic hues. There were sour pastels in shiny fabrics and loose shapes in Dries Van Noten’s captivating ode to Antwerp. Playing with the kitsch idea of remembrance from the city and consciously opting for an overall jumble instead of tight fitting, the collection featured a mix of everything from men’s to women’s clothing, to women’s clothing to generous outdoors from tailored clothing to sportswear – Van Noten offered wearers an open invitation to this world, allowing everyone to find their own personal mix.
The brilliant shards and mix of perfectly tailored items and athletic wear were striking at Dunhill, where Mark Weston explored a bunch of archetypes, dissected them and reassembled them in a different order, never forgetting the elegance. , one of the most overlooked qualities. in contemporary fashion.
Besides the desire to escape, gambling and hedonism can also be unexpected channels for deeper thoughts. This was the case with the formidable exit of GmbH, conceived as a kind of reverse safari. Drawing inspiration from the traditional, fashionable Western custom of basing entire collections on exotic journeys, designers Serhat Isik and Benjamin Huseby made their own journey into the tropes of whiteness, particularly chic elegance and le snobbery of country clubs, and deconstructed them with a punch. a collection as campy and fun as it is convincing, in particular because all the deconstruction applied to a feminine wardrobe, which has been reconfigured in a new vision of machismo.
At Rick Owens, abandonment and thoughtfulness mingled into an eerily serene take on hedonism with portable fog machines for the fleeing party animal. In fact, there was also a darker streak in the vitality of the season. He came in the shadow plays and surrealistic applications on the soft shapes and the sea of black of Yohji Yamamoto, the eternal punk poet of fashion, as well as in the tribal and ubermensch innuendos of Burberry, where the creative director Riccardo Tisci has managed to capture the cool factor of his heyday at Givenchy. Of course, back then everything was very original, whereas today it has come with a formulaic feel that may seem a bit forced for Burberry. But what he lacked in originality he gained in righteousness. After some missteps, Tisci may have found her way with the revered British brand, and it will be interesting to see where she leads.
Amid all this welcome and welcoming chaos, simplicity also asserted its refreshing powers, taking forms as different as Hed Meyner’s abstract and voluminous design of functional pieces conceived as portable architecture, the clean minimalism of Nicolas di Felice with glimpses of the skin for Courrèges and Homme Plissé Issey Miyake’s poetic emphasis on modular clothing that frees movement. Glenn Martens’ approach to design at Y / Project is also straightforward, though heavily and inventively twisted. By allowing the wearer to interact with and adapt their clothing in multiple ways, Martens has touched the pulsating nerve of the ‘me generation’ and made a mark. This new release was particularly punctual, clean and piercing, and included a collaboration with Fila which was full of interesting pieces.
The clarity of the design, which is just another expression of simplicity, seemed particularly exciting at Hermès, where Véronique Nichanian delivered an extremely light and light collection, strong in natural colors, light nautical notes and suede the more flexible transformed into shirts. It was a joy to see: a vision of pure serenity. At Jil Sander, clarity was given an electrifying touch of freedom and daring in a mix of codes – work and play, day and night – that felt fresh and invigorated the usually harsh Jil Sander lexicon with a thrill of rebellion. Lucie and Luke Meier continue to expand the reach of the brand, and it’s always interesting to see where their thinking goes.
There was a certain solemnity and austerity in the elongated tailoring at Dior, where Creative Director Kim Jones actively involved superstar musician Travis Scott in a creative dialogue that essentially transformed Scott’s look into a Dior look, with one-of-a-kind George Condo. of its kind. shirts. It was an interesting experience of both creative collaboration and fashion as entertainment, which nevertheless came with a certain coldness of expression. Jones is very passionate about his own passions and his intuitions are always there. It is the translation into product and collection that somehow feels manufactured, losing its authenticity along the way. This is one of the puzzles of contemporary fashion: for large groups, earning money comes before creativity, and in a way kills it.
That’s why the extra long and extra slow but so entertaining movie Thom Browne produced was so calming. Focusing on an athlete in training and implicitly comparing physical discipline to creative discipline, the film has emerged as something of a manifesto: a testament to stubbornness and absolute dedication to creative ideas, regardless of the prevailing tendencies.