Couture For the Moment, from Schiaparelli, Chanel and Dior

PARIS – The last time the couture collections took place was the first time most of the fashion world, the traveling circus reunited only for shows, having met after more than a year of a traumatic pandemic. .

It’s July 2021, and the streets of Paris are in full swing; Air kisses have been exchanged for full body hugs and there are rumors that an angle has been turned. There is a vaccine. Restaurants have reopened; festivals were held. Everyone will need something to wear!

The designer will give it to them. Fashion capital-F is back, baby.

All those promises disappeared under Omicron’s reality. Now, in Paris, antigen-testing tents dot the sidewalks, which would otherwise be mostly empty. Cocktails and dinner were off.

And though haute couture shows are back (albeit absent for a few brands: Armani, canceled the Privé show altogether; Azzaro and Giambattista Valli, lurking in digital) , what’s on the catwalk seems nothing like a ceremony for all that lose hope.

Or, like Daniel Roseberry, the creative director of Schiaparelli – the company with the 2021 banner, dressed Lady Gaga for the inauguration of the US president, Beyoncé for Grammys and Bella Hadid for Cannes Film Festival – wrote in his display note: “lost certainty; our loss of guarantee; lose our collective future. ”

He could have added that the loss, just before the season begins, about two of fashion’s most vivid personalities: André Leon Talley, opera editor and true haute couture; and Thierry Mugler, the first ready-to-wear designer asked to join the haute couture schedule, for whom the camp’s powerhouse products made the shows into Shows. Even Kanye West / Julia Fox, what else will he-into-her-in? The tour of the front rows provides only a momentary distraction.

Fashion is in limbo, child? Well, once perhaps anyone can relate.

It would be sad, if sometimes it didn’t look so good. That’s the alchemy of the gig: turning even our general unrest and turning it into something beautiful.

It doesn’t always work: In his second collection for Alaïa, which sits somewhere between couture and ready-to-wear, Pieter Mulier seems stuck in the middle of his founder’s legacy. his own house and ideas.

The knitted bodycon dresses made to resemble Picasso’s Tanagras, pottery from the late 1940s with the female body, are sublime, but a ripple on the Alaïa dress’s signature flares as the bell bottom launches great collapsed. They appear in knitted jumpsuits (sometimes one-legged overalls), jeans – and on top of boots. Wearing tight thigh-high dresses that reveal a strip of skin so that the “skirt” hangs over their legs, they’re l’oeil l’oeil in search of a spot. Or a party (now cancelled).

But at Schiaparelli, in his surroundings and where-we-go-from-here? in question, Mr. Roseberry found inspiration, removing some of the overly munching scene effects that had marked his previous work in favor of a more casual silhouette almost entirely in black and white and yellow.

So there are some metal accessories that he famously made, such as the “flip-flops” (shoes with gold numerals and protruding nails) and the vibrating shoulder palm, as well. like the person displaying a matching dress, hat. and gauntlets made from what looked like flames were cast with gold leaf and gems that turned the wearer into a burning bush.

But mostly cycling shorts and pullovers with rounded collars, cardigans, and pencil skirts. A small black off-the-shoulder dress with orbital loops fitted to the arms and body; another thin strip of metal extruding from the top of a strapless coat resembles a memory of a meteor shower. A large black coat embroidered with gold resembles a vestment; an ecclesiastical velvet collar resting on a white silk band. The net effect is that of an otherworldly religious order.

(Mr Roseberry admits he became “a little bit obsessed with ‘Dune'” during his time in isolation.)

When a model appeared, her eyes were filled with crystal tears, a golden hat shaded her head like a halo, her body was black, she looked like a tall man. .

As a symbol, the only other image that comes close is the dark circles drawn around one eye by select models at Chanel. According to a brand spokesperson, this is meant to be a nod to the constructivism coined by contemporary artist Xavier Veilhan, but in reality, nothing suggests much of an eye. black.

This is partly because that’s where these thoughts often arise these days: worst case scenario. And that’s partly because Charlotte Casiraghi, the brand ambassador and female rider, opened the show by walking down the runway on a gelding layer, and it’s hard not to start visualizing all the shows. type of riding accident that can happen. There was only a general feeling of being kicked in the face.

The jet-black eyes were linked with the layered skirt suit as a protective layer over the filthy bras and the graceful 1920s Négligée skirts that lay lightly on the body. Save for some weird split harem pants paired with a tweed jacket, that means the best collection that designer Virginie Viard has produced since she was born. take over in 2019 after the death of Karl Lagerfeld. At least it did not desperately protest its relevance to the youth of its time.

It is clear that no one can predict the future now, not even what we will want to wear in six months. All designers can do is provide some palliative care to a life on pause.

At Dior, artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri did it. Working (like Mr. Roseberry at Schiaparelli) almost entirely in black, white and silver, and preoccupied (like Mr. Roseberry) with the role of fashion today, she put on a hand-crafted show. pricing; more substantial details than rhetorical statements. Her haute couture becomes increasingly minimalistic – sometimes it’s so low, it feels like it could be blown out – forcing viewers to look closer, and closer, to see what it’s all about: embroidery very delicate looks like fabric; ruched skirts at the neck.

Ivory wool tunic at the back reveals sheer beaded panels and combines an almost nun in its purity interspersed with delicately beaded sheer leggings worn with one shoulder tights glitter or under a midi skirt – both with embroidered metal ankle socks and court shoes covered with jewels, the better to show the craftsman’s hard work lucky her.

It is all set against a wall-mounted 340 square meter (3,660 square foot) backdrop created by the Chanakya embroidery school in India (this is the third time the school has worked with Dior on a show) and reproduces people’s paintings. husband. and artist wives Manu and Madhvi Parekh. The point is, Chiuri said backstage, that “craft has no nationality.” And the value of handmade work, which is not considered folk art, is as great as that of any decorative art.

It’s a more politically radical and interesting idea than the feminism she often espouses on the runway, and one that’s likely to have more impact. She is thinking small, in the biggest way. Couture For the Moment, from Schiaparelli, Chanel and Dior

Fry Electronics Team

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