Sad statements were not enough, the side “and meanwhile the business goes on” had become intolerable in terms of image. On Friday, as the Russian assault on Ukraine intensified, the sector’s beachheads moved. LVMH, Kering, Hermès and Chanel have announced the closure “temporary” of its stores in Russia. The gesture is especially significant on the part of LVMH, which has 120 stores and 3,500 employees in the country. This French movement joins that of other big international brands such as Ikea (which caused a massive influx before closing), Nike and H&M. Meanwhile, in Paris, fashion week continues, turning around.
Rick Owens, technicality and sentiment
The measure and rigor do not prevent the great. This was demonstrated by Rick Owens on Thursday afternoon at the Palais de Tokyo, the great magician that he is. Against the backdrop of Malher’s Symphony No. 5, the American (based in Paris) starred in a mystical procession: vestals 3.0 spread smoke (mixed with an aroma created with the Aésop brand) through a kind of incense burner. Sometimes you couldn’t see anything at all, or just ghostly silhouettes, the designated photographers would get angry because then it was reduced to unemployment, but it was magnificent. We had the impression of being immersed in a forest covered in mist from which bewitching creatures emerged. It could also be seen as a metaphor for a world that has grown darker and more opaque since Putin launched the assault on Ukraine, although this parade could not have been conceived at the last moment.
As is often the case with Owens (who also designs furniture), the wardrobe seemed sculpted, from ready-to-wear to echoes of haute couture. Ultra-pointy shoulders, iridescent evening gowns with sumptuous draping and asymmetries, cocoon-like puffer jackets, enormous capes, coats and blouses including a crazy almond green, in goat hair… Owens plays with shapes and, in fact, fashion designers to they often duplicate the architects of the body. . His great virtue is not only being a great technician with a dizzying aesthetic. His clothes, like his fashion shows, necessarily convey feeling, even if it is a mess given the radicalism that is sometimes breathed at work: he is famous for his zombie models, his often dark masses with industrial soundtracks, its underground prism. On Thursday, he especially he gasped and moved. “Fashion has always been a way of communicating and expressing value systems, then he said. Value systems related to physical beauty and status, but also to moral beauty. In times of threat and conflict, the way we present ourselves to others can express what we stand for and what we aspire to: advancing in the world and treating others with empathy and kindness. A bit of Owens in this world of thugs: hello, Putin.
On Loewe’s part, the supposedly very brilliant, cultured and conceptual Jonathan Anderson announces a “fashion that reacts, stripped down to crude primitiveness with the thrill of perversion.” The result is much better than we could have imagined at the time, like these large pumpkins found in the middle of the Paris Tennis Club, created by British visual artist Anthea Hamilton. “Its large soft and warm forms invite the touch and the possibility of lying down on its padded contours, like objects full of surreal potential and humor, but also full of beauty”specified a press release after the parade.
It is above all the garments that we want to touch, caress, examine closely, especially those made of latex that have the air of a second skin. The molded leather dresses, the transparent tops to reveal the nipples, the molded felt bustiers, the draped dresses, the balloon bras: Anderson plays with the female anatomy, emphasizes it, accompanies it, playing with materials – latex, at both, but also leather, felt, tweed, mesh, 3D printed fiber, silk, resin. And he does it with humor, especially through trompe l’oeil. He mentioned car dresses, whose lower part is molded into a body. Those with lip shells obviously invite kissing, while another suggests the body embraced by two hands. We see Salvador Dalí in those dotted with little balloons. A couple of the pumps appear to have candy apple heels. We smile, as we perfectly perceive the mastery of the work, and the possible levels of appreciation – Anderson pushes but seduces, dares but not crushed by the famous “creator’s vision”, his wardrobe is both disruptive and communicative. Impressive intelligence.
Isabel Marant, forever young
If there is a festive brand that brandishes lightness as a banner with strong colors, sequins and mini dresses, that is Isabel Marant. This season, the Parisian designer wants simplicity and presents a mixed collection less seductive than usual, with the music of Blonde Redhead on headphones. She has also opted, and this is a good omen given the geopolitical context, not to celebrate in the gardens of the Palais Royal (1st arrondissement in Paris) after her fashion show as usual.
Therefore, the collection is postponed. Even jewel pieces (like this all-beaded top) are paired with wide-leg pants to break up the overstretched effect. We proudly wear (as we often do this fashion week) thigh-high boots, sometimes in “Persian rug” material (can’t wait to see how it will look on the street), and handcrafted leather overalls, bomber jackets from coral color as long as coats, parachute canvas pants and a lot of mesh, sometimes very hairy. On the boys’ side, the nostalgics copy the style of the series’ heroes. Strange things, in a total denim look and sneakers with velcro. Isabel Marant, who does not stop opening boutiques in the four corners of the globe, addresses both the youth of 2022 and the “adults” who do not want to see themselves grow old.
Chloé, chic and strict ethics
At Chloé, a calm, assertive woman without nostalgia has always triumphed. Artistic director of the brand since December 2020, while leading her own brand, the Uruguayan Gabriela Hearst irrigates this DNA with her ecological convictions: she is a long-time defender of the ethical choice of materials, traceability, the reduction of carbon footprint or recycling, and each of its collections is accompanied by a press release detailing in particular the origin of the materials and their environmental impact – excerpt from this season: “It is estimated that 73% of the mesh has less impact; over 60% of the cashmere portion is recycled and Chloé continues to encourage the use of unused stock.” For this collection, he indicates that he spoke in particular with the travel writer Isabella Tree, who recounted in a book how, together with her husband, she converted land depleted by intensive agriculture into an area where nature, fauna and flora, have naturally regained their rights. A cure.
Presented in a greenhouse in Parc André Citroën, with a sand track for the podium, Chloé’s wardrobe exalts refined luxury, with hints of understated exoticism. Leather is in majesty, declined in dresses, skirts, tops, coats, jackets, trench coats. The colored pieces (chocolate, camel) are magnificent, hieratic. The fabric comes to warm them, colored (palettes of reds, oranges, browns, blues), mention of the passages that represent mountainous landscapes. We find with pleasure the huge ponchos that Hearst likes and that invite you to walk in all weathers, in addition all the girls walk more or less flat, with mountain shoes, cowboy boots or riding boots, she is a woman with feet on earth. her cocktails which she prefers. The show closes with Amber Valetta, regal in her belted, double-breasted patchwork coat.