As tired fashionistas made it to the final sprint of Paris Fashion Week’s 96 physical and digital Spring / Summer runways, Saturday’s runways provided the spark to keep the energy going, despite the rain and gray skies. Some of the world’s best designers have channeled humor, vibrant colors, innovative design techniques, and even animated films for ever more imaginative presentations.
Here are some highlights from the spring-summer 2022 ready-to-wear collections:
VIVIENNE WESTWOOD CHALLENGES DESCRIPTION
Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood was in distinctively eccentric form.
Blending Glam Rock references from Westwood’s heyday of the 80s with historical reflections and firm language, Kronthaler created 66 fashion pieces and put on one of the funniest shows of this Parisian fashion season.
On a plasma screen that projected enlarged images of architecture and textiles, mannequins presented styles that almost defied description.
Did the pale wedding dress with invisible scaffolding at the back resemble a tent, or was it meant to evoke a garment that had been hung to dry on a clothesline? A giant white historic hat had a slim shape, but on closer inspection it was a plush toy bearing the face of a bearded old man.
But if the humor was undeniable, there were also many moments of sublime fashion design. A trompe-l’oeil dress had a pale blue fabric “floating” abstractly down the front. The simpler looks were also some of the best, including a draped white dress with beautiful dynamic material.
ANREALAGE BECOMES CREATIVE
Avant-garde Tokyo house Kunihiko Morinaga has built a huge fan base in Japan for its daring concepts that merge art and fashion.
Saturday, Morinaga did not disappoint.
The award-winning designer has gifted fashion editors a collaboration with Oscar-nominated Japanese animation filmmaker Mamoru Hosoda. It was a fashion short set in the land of “U” – with clothes that evoked the historical sci-fi movie Tron.
The polygonal silhouettes made from triangles of fabrics from his signature patchwork were immersed in the fictional universe of a sort of futuristic Japan.
They were made from vintage clothing and high-tech reflective fabrics which the house says were made using a special bonding technique. The models’ matching platform sandals were adorned with the same pattern. It was an interesting commentary on how the digital world has affected the fashion industry.
Morinaga said the idea for the show started when Hosoda asked him to create the virtual stage costume for a concert scene in “BELLE” (2021), his upcoming animated feature.
HIGH ELIE SAAB
Lebanese celebrity designer Elie Saab has softened his aesthetic for spring with a simple and tasteful collection.
Prints featuring the logo began to display. But the looks quickly moved away – and thankfully – from that rather unsubtle idea to light shirt dresses with segments of lace detail.
A white dress of ample proportions looked elegant and minimalist, almost clinical. It worked well with a vanilla handbag and matching sandals.
Delicate touches abounded in this welcome direction for the designer famous for his va-va-voom silhouettes. Her signature high or cinched waist was still there, but executed smoothly.
The piece de resistance ? A 70s teal green jumpsuit hybrid with pleats that snapped elegantly in the air.
In the heart of the trendiest and most streetwear district in Paris, Le Marais, Pierpaolo Piccioli by Valentino lets go of his hair. This has resulted in a vibrant and varied collection called “Rendez-vous”.
For spring, her goal was to show fashion as it should be – worn on the streets. And that he literally did.
There were shiny gold sequins, vibrant colors, baggy jeans and shiny Juliet sleeves that smacked of the ’80s. This season, the Italian designer has embarked on a welcome disco direction.
Yet the designs remained refined despite the reverie of the street: a loose emerald men’s suit had a lavender silk scarf collar that flapped delicately from below. The silky material allowed this collection to retain a true sense of luxuriance.
“(It’s) the street not as streetwear but designed … like real life,” said the house of Piccioli in its intentions.
At the end of the show, like real Parisians, guests received bouquets of local flowers from real florists in the Ile-de-France region, as models strutted through the city streets to thunderous cheers.
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