Fashion Week: Dark Hours

After New York, London and Milan, the Fashion Week that presented women’s ready-to-wear for the coming autumn-winter was to end in apotheosis in the fashion capital of the world, where it was held from February 28 to March 8. But Paris could not be a party. After two years burdened by the coronavirus, the tragedy of a war on our doorstep gave a certain sense of absurdity to the parade of people rushing to the parades.

This is how the fashion world has understood it, which has done a balancing act to show its compassion in the face of this conflict without spoiling the show. Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la haute couture et de la mode, set the tone, inviting “live the parades with the gravity that is essential in these dark hours”, when remembering that “Creation is based on the principle of freedom, whatever the circumstances”. Many designers showed their solidarity with Ukraine, wearing yellow and blue, asking for donations on social networks. Beyond that, on the runways, most of the collections displayed a prophetic sobriety.

Black returns as well as the non-color of the next season. Stunning in Saint Laurent, where Anthony Vaccarello ditched sexy for classic chic, with his supremely elegant Parisians parading in the shadow of the Iron Lady. Also absolute at Givenchy, the filiform silhouettes dressed in leather and satin by designer Matthew M. Williams assuming an almost punk genre. Black also predominates in Rochas, where Charles de Vilmorin declined it on different materials, from brocade to muslin, in a color chart effect. The black splashed but very present in the palette of Nicolas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton who, as a master of the mixture of genres, showed a perfect masculine / feminine wardrobe, worn without transition during the day and the night.

Balmain and Instagram star Olivier Rousteing has also toned down his exuberance this year. From a personal accident, he drew a collection that responds strangely to war news, expressing a need for protection through padded corsets, tops that look like futuristic bulletproof vests, golden shields. Military references found at Dior, where Maria Grazia Chiuri designed corsets with air pockets, reinforced shoulder pads, armor for modern women worn over lace dresses or vintage houndstooth suits. Also at Loewe, Jonathan Anderson adds padded sausages or recycled plastic bodices to evening gowns. Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer (Coperni) have reinterpreted the coat, in black wool, which covers the head as if to hide from a hostile exterior. At Acne Studios, Jonny Johansson even offers a dystopian universe, populated by silhouettes dressed in holes, damaged clothing, in an aesthetic Mad Max.

But the highlight of this Paris fashion week will remain the Balenciaga fashion show. His creator Demna, who has always stood out for the political messages in his parades, has outdone himself in homage to Ukraine, a refugee from Georgia. In a salon in Le Bourget, where the words of the Ukrainian poet Oleksander Oles (1878-1944) resounded, the guests, behind some glasses that kept them at a distance, remained seized in front of the models dressed in black, in leather suits. , wears floaties, XXL coats, fighting under a fake apocalyptic snowstorm.

endless boots

Heeled or flat, pleated or molded, thigh-high boots, long relegated or even discredited as vulgar, are back on proud display and designers like them high, even very high. Thus, Isabel Marant exhibits a beige leather version like an ice hockey goalie legging, but giving it an ultra-feminine air. Vivienne Westwood’s Andréas Kronthaler delivers them outrageously sexy on red vinyl, a nod to Pretty Woman. At Givenchy, we rediscover them instead, in a second skin of smooth matte leather, worn like stockings. For Chanel, Virginie Viard declined them with maxi rain boots, in black, khaki or beige rubber.

Isabel Marant, Spring-Summer 2022/23 Collection

Vivienne Westwood, Spring-Summer 2022/23 Collection

Givenchy, Spring-Summer 2022/23 Collection

eternal tuxedos

The feminine version of the tuxedo returns to the scene. This iconic piece invented by Yves Saint Laurent in 1966 remains a staple of the brand, featuring squared shoulders and classic lapels, true to the original. But we also noticed it in a disco version at Louis Vuitton with a wide-cut masculine jacket with large lapels, dotted with black sequins. In Coperni, on the contrary, it is fitted and unstructured with open necklines at the waist, furiously sexy. And very current in Rochas, where Charles de Vilmorin uses satin and a flowing cut for an evening dress effect.

Louis Vuitton, Autumn-Winter 2022/23 Collection

Coperni, Autumn-Winter 2022/23 Collection

Rochas, Autumn-Winter 2022/23 Collection

transparency games

Lace, fine chiffon, fishnets, openwork prints: the body is revealed, the skin is revealed, many designers have chosen to reveal a little… or a lot. As in Loewe where Jonathan Anderson dares with the shirt in total transparency, but in an iridescent recycled plastic material that distracts the eye. Sensual and vaporous, the Koché woman wanders around in a cornflower-colored chiffon mermaid dress, half-naked. Dior signs a dress with an Art Deco-inspired lace top finished off by an overlay of embroidered veil petticoats. At Coperni, the midnight blue beaded minidresses let light pass through, like a Milky Way over the body.

Loewe, Autumn-Winter 2022/23 Collection

Koché, Autumn-Winter 2022/23 Collection

Dior, Autumn-Winter 2022/23 Collection

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