Making A Seasonal Statement That Lasts

The stage of the Balenciaga runway show was flooded with water. On the ceiling, giant screens were displaying images of stormy skies that would turn into whirlwinds and form vortices like tornadoes while frightening birds, which were fleeing in whole flocks. The skies would darken and then flare-up, and the (empty) seats in the first three rows were partially flooded. Was it Demna Gvasalia's intention to make such a strong metaphorical statement? One that did not only imply that our planet is going in the wrong direction, but that also pointed the finger at our (small) fashion scene, which seems to have lost touch with reality? The timing couldn't have been better since Balenciaga showcased its latest offering on Sunday, the very same day on which new sanitary measures have been implemented by the French authorities to prevent the proliferation of Covid-19 in confined spaces. Regardless of this significant sanitary threat, earlier that day, before the Balenciaga show, a plethora of fashion professionals rushed to Kanye West's "Sunday Service" as if they were rushing to see the messiah himself. In the narrow Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, West's improvised gospel performance — which had no connection whatsoever to the Yeezy presentation that he held on Monday evening — kept his guests entertained for 90 minutes. And even though most of the journalists and buyers who attended the event are usually the first to complain whenever a presentation lasts more than 12 minutes, this time around, they didn't. Tightly packed against each other in an overheated room, these "happy few" were, for the most part, attending the shows in Milan a few days before they arrived in Paris for Fashion Week. And now, as the so-called Fashion Month comes to an end, they are all about to go back home, in all corners of the world, just as if they had never heard of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Back to Balenciaga: as the models hit the runway, most of Balenciaga's silhouettes touched the ground and got soaked in the water that was flooding the podium like an oil slick. The message conveyed by this setting was overwhelmingly loud, however, there was little new in the cuts and shapes of the 105 showcased looks, which draw their essence from Gvasalia's signature style. And yet, the challenge in a designer's profession lies precisely in interpreting a brand's heritage over and over again, from one season to another, by providing collections that do not resemble each other, but that must be part of a continuum nevertheless. From May 7th onwards, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will address this very issue through an exhibition named "About Time: Fashion and Duration." "For a long time, fashion has been presented as a perpetual movement, where new styles would emerge one after another, always opposing old and new, as well as past and present in a state of disruption," explained Andrew Bolton, Head Curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute, at the exhibition's press conference on February 27th in Paris. As a matter of fact, this pendulum of fashion implies that a strong fashion trend often ends up causing its very own rejection as well. This phenomenon, however, has become less apparent for three significant reasons: not only did the number of existing brands multiply at all price points, but the Internet has made new products available to the whole world before they even hit the stores. The general rhythm (design, production and distribution) has accelerated considerably. "The time issue has been on everyone's lips for the past few years," said Bolton. "Designers are constantly being confronted with new challenges related to the multiple demands of our increasingly digitally savvy and connected world." As evidenced by the Balenciaga show, more and more often, the setting of a runway show becomes more important than the collection itself. Nevertheless, this contemporary distortion associated with our society's visual obsession for "live streaming" was not able to take its toll on Paris, where designers are permanently forced to compete against each other and therefore be their most authentic self.

Speaking of which, earlier last week, Anthony Vaccarello unveiled a collection that featured colour codes and fabrics that were very much in tune with the spirit of Saint Laurent. He reinterpreted this heritage with a strong personal touch that perfectly suited his personality and the Maison itself. Bruno Sialelli, for his part, brought some clarity to the creative message he conveyed at Lanvin. Simplified, his offer featured various and varied references and ultimately gained in modernity. Jonathan Anderson's Fall-Winter offering for Loewe was also very much to the point, albeit the designer's references to another era in terms of cuts and volumes... Some dresses were reminiscent of court dress, just like Ann Demeulemeester's, where Sébastien Meunier took over the framework of the basketry formerly worn under petticoats and reinterpreted it in a modern way. All these collections were light years away from the sportswear trend that still dominated the industry not so long ago. In almost every collection, the feminine gender asserted itself. Even at Valentino, where Pierpaolo Piccioli opted for black and had most of his models wearing thick-soled boots, his collection exuded a sense of femininity that is very dear to the Roman house. Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior, Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy, as well as Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter at Nina Ricci, also left their personal marks on their collections, while incorporating some of their company's DNA. The designers who are more commonly known as being "independent" are also worth mentioning for their efforts to establish strong identities throughout their collections. Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto were leading this season, but let's not forget Dries Van Noten, Junya Watanabe, Rick Owens, Lutz Huelle, Olivier Theyskens, Haider Ackermann, Marine Serre, Koché, Atlein, Rohk, Thom Browne, Stella McCartney... As well as Xuly Bët who made a notable comeback on the runway after keeping a low profile for many years. In the 1990s, Xuly Bët's Founder and Creative Director, Lamine Kouyate pioneered upcycling by creating collections crafted from flea market clothes. Regrettably, recycling was not a trend at the time. That being said, it's all the rage right now. But for how long?

SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
A Verdict on Digital Fashion Week
By Fabio Ciquera
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed an array of different and varied virtual presentations,...
By Fabio Ciquera
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed an array of different and varied virtual presentations, online happenings and symposia. One cannot accuse luxury houses to lack inventiveness, and there is a genuine appreciation for the quick turnaround in moving everything online. From Loewe to Prada and...
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed an array of different and varied virtual presentations, online happenings and symposia. One cannot accuse luxury houses to lack inventiveness, and there is a genuine appreciation for the quick turnaround in moving everything online. From Loewe to Prada and Dior, among the many names, the creative solutions have been exciting to watch. This new reality...
Revival LDN: The Upcycled Fashion Brand Aiming At Helping the Environment
By Alice Ierace
For years now, many fashion brands have added sustainability to their vocabulary and, through...
By Alice Ierace
For years now, many fashion brands have added sustainability to their vocabulary and, through research and proposals, have tried to lessen the fashion industry’s huge impact on the environment. However, despite the efforts, many are still the fast-fashion brands ignoring the issue. The problem is...
For years now, many fashion brands have added sustainability to their vocabulary and, through research and proposals, have tried to lessen the fashion industry’s huge impact on the environment. However, despite the efforts, many are still the fast-fashion brands ignoring the issue. The problem is that, no matter how sustainable they deem they are, we are still living in a fast-paced environment...
Reflections on Life post Lockdown at MFW
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
Etro Kicking off day two of Milan Fashion Week was ETRO presenting its Men’s Spring Summer 2021...
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
Etro Kicking off day two of Milan Fashion Week was ETRO presenting its Men’s Spring Summer 2021 and Women’s Resort 2021 collections with an informal gathering at Milan’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel. “We are finally back together, in the garden of this iconic hotel, in the heart of Milan’s...
Etro Kicking off day two of Milan Fashion Week was ETRO presenting its Men’s Spring Summer 2021 and Women’s Resort 2021 collections with an informal gathering at Milan’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel. “We are finally back together, in the garden of this iconic hotel, in the heart of Milan’s Montenapoleone district. We want to highlight that we are a family, that Etro is a family living in a world...
White Mountaineering Brings Back BLK Line
By Elisa Carassai
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese...
By Elisa Carassai
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese designer Yosuke Aizawa. This season, the designer not only presented an exclusive film directed by Daito Manabe from the Rhizomatiks, but he also decided to relaunch his original BLK line. Launched in 2009,...
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese designer Yosuke Aizawa. This season, the designer not only presented an exclusive film directed by Daito Manabe from the Rhizomatiks, but he also decided to relaunch his original BLK line. Launched in 2009, White Mountaineering’s BLK Line proposed a new feel to outdoor wear with high-spec textiles and...
Digital Meets Local at Sunnei
By Elisa Carassai
Before lockdown started, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo...
By Elisa Carassai
By Elisa Carassai
Before lockdown started, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo were supposed to move in their newly-bought building, Casa Sunnei. Not being able to move in, and stuck quarantining home, the duo started reflecting on what they could do to move forward, at a slower...
Before lockdown started, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo were supposed to move in their newly-bought building, Casa Sunnei. Not being able to move in, and stuck quarantining home, the duo started reflecting on what they could do to move forward, at a slower pace.  “During the lockdown, I realized we were moving at a pace that was too fast - we were...
A Play of Poetics at MFW
By Elisa Carassai
MSGM’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Kicking off the first day of Milan’s Digital Fashion Week was...
By Elisa Carassai
By Elisa Carassai
MSGM’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Kicking off the first day of Milan’s Digital Fashion Week was Massimo Giorgetti’s MSGM, with a film celebrating the new Milanese generation of young creatives, as well as the joy of life post-lockdown. Inspired by writer Isabella Santacroce’s book Fluo: Storie di...
MSGM’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Kicking off the first day of Milan’s Digital Fashion Week was Massimo Giorgetti’s MSGM, with a film celebrating the new Milanese generation of young creatives, as well as the joy of life post-lockdown. Inspired by writer Isabella Santacroce’s book Fluo: Storie di Giovani a Riccione (“Fluo: Stories of Young People in Riccione”) – who also happens to be from...
Purity and Tradition Intertwine at MFW
By Alice Ierace
Prada and The Show That Never HappenedFew people do fashion quite like Miuccia Prada. After the...
By Alice Ierace
Prada and The Show That Never HappenedFew people do fashion quite like Miuccia Prada. After the announcement back in February stating that Raf Simons would become the brand’s new co-creative director, today we were lucky enough to witness Miuccia’s last solo collection – her final bow after three...
Prada and The Show That Never HappenedFew people do fashion quite like Miuccia Prada. After the announcement back in February stating that Raf Simons would become the brand’s new co-creative director, today we were lucky enough to witness Miuccia’s last solo collection – her final bow after three decades of unforgettable shows.Of course, a simple presentation wasn’t in the plan – it needed that...
Auralee’s Imaginary Journey Through Time
By Alice Ierace
Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer...
By Alice Ierace
Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer 21 collection during digital Paris Fashion Week as one of the major independent fashion brands.As a brand, Auralee is renowned for its magnificent clean silhouettes, impeccable quality and minimal...
Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer 21 collection during digital Paris Fashion Week as one of the major independent fashion brands.As a brand, Auralee is renowned for its magnificent clean silhouettes, impeccable quality and minimal styling. Its aim? A full exploration into the development of their own fabrics. By taking inspiration...