Between Mystery and Mood Swings

Kicking off the Digital Couture Week today was Maison Margiela with the first instalment of the brand’s Artisanal Co-ed Collection for Autumn Winter 2020. Showcased as moving imagery over four ascending stages, the collection will conclude in a final revelation on 16 July 2020.

Much like Margiela, Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab opted for a vague yet powerful video for its Autumn/Winter 2020 collection. Rather thas garments or models, Mounia Akl directed for the brand a video inspired by nature where glimpses of Saab’s atelier are mixed with nature and its many sounds. “When the noises of our busy lives were silenced, only one sound emerged from within the deep void: the sound of the sacred source. While going back to the roots, we are paying homage to artistry and digging deep into the abundant beauty of nature,” the brand explained.

Returning to couture isn’t easy and Bouchra Jarrar, who just rejoined the game last season after a hiatus from the industry knows this. This is why this season, the designer decided to celebrate sisterly love - a universal concept that is very dear to her and created a film that was a meaningful expression of life at the moment – especially a reflection on life post-quarantine.

“Human interaction, especially through physical touch, has become so precious. This has brought me even closer to fabrics, how materials feel when in contact with the body, which is the essence of my work,” stated the designer in an official statement. 

In case of point, the collection consisted of a 10-piece edit of well-crafted wardrobe essentials, including white shirts, blazers, gauzy tulle skirts and feather-trimmed dresses – the typical wardrobe of la Parisienne – which were to convey “tenderness, lightness, but also real depth through feelings.”

The pandemic and the fear of the unknown it brought with it has definitely shaken everyone to the core. Lucky for us, Viktor Horsting e Rolf Snoeren – better known as Viktor&Rolf – weren’t amongst them. In fact, let’s not forget that the two designers were the first ones to organise a virtual show open to everyone in 2008 and, in 2010, they overturned the concept of fashion shows by literally dressing Kristen McMenamy on stage.

“Change is necessary. The world around us is changing rapidly. Whether apocalypse or new spiritual era, you will continue to be able to step into the singular universe of spectacular beauty, unexpected elegance and spiritual glamour of Viktor&Rolf,” the brand wrote in an official statement.

Once again, the designers subverted the traditional catwalk and decided to gift us with yet another iconic collection formed of three different wardrobes for three mindsets in extraordinary times of change. Each wardrobe has three outfits: a nightgown, a dressing gown and a coat. 

The first of three outfits that together embody a rather sombre mood: a feeling of sadness and anger, familiar to many these days. The satin nightgown features intricate lace appliqués with a rain cloud pattern whereas a grey chenille dressing gown shows an elaborate bow and extra-long sleeves. The look is completed by a majestic faux leather coat whose volume with conical-shaped motifs exudes a feeling of security. 

The second group of outfits signals conflicting emotions. The nightgown is manually decorated with a polka dot pattern of contradictory emojis, each symbolizing a different mood. The dressing gown that accompanies it has asymmetrical bands and a sequence of bows that runs along the left sleeve. Lastly, the maximalist coat with an asymmetrical cut in pink and yellow eco-leather with glitter hints completes the outfit.

The last three ensembles radiate love for Autumn/Winter 2020. The red, white and black lace applications on the nightgown are used to create an effect opposite to the previous one: melancholy leaves room for serenity. The bathrobe has an enveloping bodice and an important skirt, highlighted by two heart-shaped pockets in red quilted satin. The final coat in white eco-leather features the heart symbol that shows unity. To emphasize that we all deserve to be loved, regardless of age, colour, gender, race, religion or sexuality, the look is embellished with dozens of sparkling hearts. 

Celebrating an anniversary during digital fashion week isn’t easy but this did not stop French designer Julie de Libran from launching a video celebrating a year working as an independent designer with a special video produced by sound designer and director Frédéric Sanchez. The short film features behind-the-scenes of her made-to-measure dresses label, in which you see fittings and other exclusive moments, as well as a voice-over of the designer reflecting on the importance of fashion to her and expressing oneself through this craft. However and unfortunately, this season Libran decided to not present new looks.

A new approach for Valentino this season as well. The Italian fashion house previewed a 1:00 minute video showcasing the inspiration behind its latest Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 2020 collection. The digital live performance, which will take place in Rome ‪on July 21st at Cinecittà Studios, was created in collaboration with Nick Knight and it will create a dialogue between human and digital touch, igniting the inner values of Couture: creativity, imagination and emotion.

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