Nicolas Ghesquière proposed the "anti total-look" working on the concept of time and relating different epochs to their aesthetics. The tie with past, present and future was the main focus and he questioned himself on what would have happened if countless ages had been united in the same moment and place. His narrative pushed the idea of wearing clothes with a careless approach and a freedom of thought and mixed/avoided any gender or style. Having said that, the whole concept also winked to Met’s next exhibition "About Time: Fashion and Duration" that will open May 7th 2021 in New York and that the brand will be sponsoring. Back to the show, it started with the spectacular setup that revealed bleachers where 200 characters wearing costumes starting from the 15th Century all the way to the 50s – conceived with Oscar-winning designer Milena Canonero – as well as the live singing soundtrack made by artists Woodkid and Bryce Dessner. Entitled "Three Hundred and Twenty", the soundtrack was inspired by Bach’s peer and fellow composer Nicolas de Grigny. Despite his lesser success, he lived again at the Louvre tonight, where the event took place. It was like actors of the same movie, with a clash of different centuries and decades, were all summed up in the looks that shunned every aesthetic protocol. The anti total-look Ghesquière wanted to show sounded a bit flawed. Even though the collection was very eclectic, it's innate for a single brand to propose a full outfit. On the other hand, the clash of styles was clear but maybe they dared a bit too much in styling as the different ages sometimes didn't coexist. The original starting point was very exciting, especially considering that today's world mixes up everything at turbo speed without any memory. A deep analysis made by such an important Maison would have been enlightening, but melding and mixing it is a very personal process difficult to sum up in an aesthetic good enough to satisfy every different vision.
Miuccia Prada played with charm and its fascination. She highlighted the positive side of fashion, the happiness of playing with clothes both by wearing and designing them, whilst changing their meaning and shapes. The result? A joyful elegance made of colours, hyper decorations and exaggerated lengths from micro to macro. She mainly covered the body seducing with flashes of flesh using long coats and skirts that enclosed and suddenly disclosed the body with opening and deep slits. The short game was played with mini balloon dresses and the camiknickers that completely exposed the legs. The overall flair was reminisced of the Forties in shapes, colours, felted wools, wrinkled silks, big shoulders and the uniform fascination with military inspired coats styled with belts that marked the waist. Although the daywear was very plain, it was then a crescendo until the moment when the evening part exploded into a stream of crystals, embroideries and bijoux on nude-look chiffons, loyal to Signora Prada's love for jewellery. The collection marked another change of direction despite last season’s show. Although summer gained Miu Miu’s beautiful DNA back by leaving behind the excess of decoration and reproposing the awaited simplicity, this collection started with the same mood and then exceeded in décorations that slightly weighted the second part of the show.
Simplicity is the word that Virginie Viard adopted since the beginning of her tenure at Chanel. This Fall-Winter collection was about romanticism, but without any frills or flowers – the designer spoke just with the clothes and the attitude of the models on the catwalk. There were different sources of inspiration, Claude Chabrol's 1968 movie "The Does" about the tortured relationship between two women (there was also the sapphic touch on the catwalk when couples of models were walking and talking with complicity), the horseriding details from 'romantica' the racehorse of mademoiselle or the riding boots Karl Lagerfeld used to wear with the striped suit. All this war presented in a clean space, in the Grand Palais as usual, where the seats were white with a black outline as the iconic packaging of Chanel is. It was a cozy and pure collection, very 90s, that featured side open jodhpurs, mini skirts and shorts that exposed the legs. Silk jockeys were worn with seven league inspired boots, which were the only model of shoes proposed on the catwalk with few other classic bags and an imposing jewellery selection. It is surprising how a company such as Chanel dared to not show many accessories which are one of the main arms of their business. Maybe in the Karl era there were too many, but it will be interesting to see how they will communicate them now, without the glamour of the défilé.