Balmain, Acne Studios, Dries Van Noten, Coperni… Against the background of the war in Ukraine, the fashion week dedicated to women’s ready-to-wear for autumn-winter 2022-23 somehow continues in Paris.
What did the designer mean, what “message” does his collection convey about our world? In the age of all-out storytelling, the question often comes up after a fashion show. In the current context, it seems all the more useless: how can a work begun months ago be relevant in connection with the war in Ukraine that broke out a week ago and is making all moods heavy? It was therefore a coincidence that the Balmain fashion show benefited Wednesday evening.
In a statement of intent (which followed a social media post where he said he was) “Aware that more important things are happening in the world today” and where he greeted “dignity, resilience and commitment to freedom” Ukrainians), Olivier Rousteing indicated that he designed this wardrobe following a reflection on social networks: “Like many others, I initially believed that digital innovation would only bring positive change. I was convinced that a more direct and direct form of communication would open up new ways to share creative visions while giving as many people as possible access to catwalks and showrooms. Indeed, these technological advancements have had positive effects. But now we know all too well the downsides of digital life.† and describe “unhealthy obsession” who won it when, badly burned after his chimney exploded, he had to hide his condition from his 7.6 million Instagram subscribers. “Ultimately, this experience made me realize that the only possible response to social media’s incredible potential for humiliation is to face it with your head held high. […]† He then posted striking photos, in which he appeared bandaged from head to waist, his face not fully healed.
This mummy lace in particular featured the first part of the parade (mixed and river, 106 passes), a volley of tapered but quilted white silhouettes – we thought of a glamorous version of the fencers’ outfits. But the corsets were also reminiscent of body armor. And indeed, if Olivier Rousteing stays true to his army of beings on “sexy” conqueror, this collection offered an unprecedented protective dimension. These girls and boys, even in the most bare of outfits, were lined with padding, breastplates or torso that were certainly gilded but could take the beating, and their very pressed shoulders like their large boots (platform or even ski) suggest that they trace regardless of the obstacles. A resistance dressing room. Impossible, for the help, not to make the link with the war in Ukraine.
Acne Studios, seedy not seedy
But really, beyond the obvious (sorry for the tragedy going on and the donations of money), what can the designers say or do, if not get on with the work and stay on track? For Acne Studios, Jonny Johansson is rolling out a collection that responds to a growing challenge in the clothing industry: that of eco-responsibility. The device, a large white square in which the onlookers are divided into squares of benches with a granny print – sunken into the ground, implying that they are looking at the collection from below – suggests a different view of what we wear. By switching to upcycling (recycling in a luxury version), for example. This wardrobe praises it, in a neo-grunge spirit, especially via the more or less faded denim that gives rise to, for example, a patchwork ball gown. Hyper oversized coats appear mottled, certain outfits appear made of curtains or wallpaper, or derived from large vintage dressing gowns, tops look tattered, holes are ubiquitous down to the gorgeous wool thigh-high boots, like stigmata from a moth attack. Only the effect is not shabby, rather luminous and poetic.
Dries Van Noten, Italian decadence
Dries Van Noten takes much of his inspiration from his garden in Lier, south of Antwerp, far from the hustle and bustle of fashion. It is in this square of greenery that the Belgian designer finds his strength. The garden is also the starting point of a new era, and an important turning point, for the house of Dries Van Noten, which sees it diversifying its activities, with a collection of perfumes (alcove) with jewelery bottles, accessories (comb, toiletry bag , mirror, scarf) and makeup, starting with 30 lipsticks. Now in the lap of the Spanish group Puig (including Paco Rabanne and Jean Paul Gaultier), Van Noten has developed fragrances in the image of his clothing creation with a dozen perfumers: hybrids and at first sight anachronistic, “impossible combinations” that under his control reveal captivating scents.
On the fashion side, the Antwerp house has chosen to present its collection on video and during a presentation at the Hôtel de Guise, a charming and dusty mansion on rue de l’Université. This season Dries van Noten wanted to pay tribute to Italian women, exuberant and glamorous, with singer Mina as a reference and the erotic Polaroids of architect Carlo Mollino in mind. The whole, staged in this decrepit Parisian “palace”, is shrouded in decadence with precious accents in the materials used and the know-how necessary to develop it, such as these cracked leather shoes like porcelain or this white with blue waffle effect quilted jacket . A silhouette returns several times, in different colors and textures, a jacket (or jacket) with arched shoulders and tubular seams that accentuate the curves of the piece – special mention for the short version in cherry red velvet and the white nylon jacket that looks like crumpled paper. Another long, purple version with puff sleeves is paired with a pink shirt and skirt with red lace-up boots. All the art of contrast “à la Dries” at a glance.
Coperni, teenage ghost
Hosted in a studio in Plaine Saint-Denis, the Coperni fashion show plays second B with a runway surrounded by American-style lockers and a school bell that rings to mark the models entrance. The French brand has also had the honor of LA teenager current series, Euphoria, with the presence of two of her accessories on screen: sunglasses worn by actress Zendaya and a mini purse seen on the arm of Alexa Demie (Maddy), one of the show’s reveals.
Dedicated to their Ukrainian teams (they produce some of their tailoring in Kiev), the new (mixed) collection by Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant starts with a series of classic pieces, but decked out with a hood, like this crossover jacket with a integrated hood or a balaclava cut into a jacket collar, or even a cream wool bodysuit. Young women wear very short (black wraparound micro skirt or wool version) combined with high thigh highs to warm up pumps. The Coperni duo have fun revisiting the shapes of various basics like this black trench coat with openwork on the belly or thisblue furwith integrated hood that ends in a cable at the front, confirming that the hybridization of shapes and textures, even the alliance of opposites, is one of the trends of the season.