Paris Day 2: Let's Go Back to Dreaming

The feminist proclama chez Dior  continues collaborating with Italian and American artists. Starting from the show scenography that relied on the ABCs, where maxi prints portrayed different women in the shape of a letter, created by artist Bianca Pucciarelli Menna (1931), aka Tomaso Binga, a woman that choose the masculine pseudonym as parodying the privileges reserved to men alone. Her work through the decades has been focused on asserting the female way of thinking. So, she used words and bodies in a transgressive and destabilizing way to affirm her mindset even when she was invited in 1978 to the Venice biennale. Still fighting, she was at the show and proclaimed a piece before the beginning.

Dior Fall/Winter 2019 show in Paris. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.

The défilé opened with a long wool skirt and the high-waisted belt incorporating a saddle pocket, one of the new accessories of the collection. The bucket hat was another one, which is maybe not so hip since it is already the Summer 2019 must have. The look was completed with a “Sisterhood is global” t-shirt, the second homage to feminism of the season. The phrase is from Robin Morgan (1941), the American feminist poet (there were also the “Sisterhood is powerful” and “Sisterhood is forever” tees), which celebrates the concept of sorority. The show rediscovered some codes of the maison: Christian Dior’s nipped-waisted dresses, the Bar suit, the leather jacket by Yves Saint Laurent for Dior, and a profusion of buffalo check in red or green and black. The vision of creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri is masterfully product-driven, and the results in the stores undoubtedly support her collections, but the magic of the French grandeur is still missing. Maria Grazia is an illuminated creative person and perfectly focused professionally with the needs of today for a behemoth like Dior, but a company like it must be also a dream maker; it’s a duty. By injecting an overdose of rêve in these impeccable products, the Chiuri vision seems beyond criticism.

Marine Serre Fall/Winter 2019 show in Paris. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.

The “beautiful package” method is what designers like Marine Serre or Christelle Kocher at Koché are applying to their brands – a very spectacular, surprising, and emotionally involving presentation that is often more beautiful than the clothes. The former – a 20-year-old open-minded French designer, winner of the LVMH Prize in 2017, and immediately projected in the fashion Olympus for being a Balenciaga posse girl – presented her collection in an underground cellar in Issy-les-Moulineaux, a small town in the Parisian suburbia, known for its industrial and architectural heritage. The scenario was post-apocalyptic, blazes of laser lights were cutting the slightly foggy air in the darkness of the basement. The inspiration was a message to society to take care of our planet. Which is true. These survivors took shelter underground in order to preserve themselves and founded a new pluriversal aesthetic that randomly mixed different styles (from elegant to sportswear). Along the signature balaclava printed catsuits and the foulard dresses there were coats with huge furry collars and details, fluorescent uniforms and tailored tartan coats, tailleurs and dresses. A collection delivered by a millennial for millennials that don’t care about the strong references from her previous job or from collections from the 90s masters, to mention a few. But actually, who care in general, because this world is going too fast to stick to memories, which is fine, but let’s be also aware that the real talents are still to come.

Koché Fall/Winter 2019 show in Paris. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.

Koché, designed by Christelle Kocher from Strasbourg, who founded it in 2015, enlarged the presentation to the maximum. She is evolving her style from a radical streetwear with street-cast girls, mix and matched clothes from vintage to folk, and industrial locations to a major and mature presentation with a concert audience. The collection was good. The style of the designer is present, but deeply evolved in something that is moving toward an expected direction. Bourgeoisie printed dresses, blouses, and shirts; egg-shaped coats with wide couture-like feathered hats; velvet and silk slipdresses; and glittered evening dresses paraded along the signature flag printed items and the new Nike collaboration. These young brands played the right game telling their story, including people, and becoming cool. In two years, Serre has become one of the coolest things in the system; Koché, in four years, defined a strong identity, evolved it, and keeps growing. It’s all about how the message is packaged.


Saint Laurent Fall/Winter 2019 show in Paris. Photo by Alessandro Garofalo for NOWFASHION.

The end of the second day of Paris Fashion Week was celebrated by Saint Laurent. Anthony Vaccarello, the creative director, walked back to the 80s quoting the style of the iconic muses of the House: Betty Catroux, Bianca Jagger, and Catherine Deneuve. Sharp and super-wide shoulders for all the tailored items were a kind of sculptural homage to the Yves Saint Laurent masculine classics for women. Those ladies live only during the night: tuxedos, Vaccarello’s signature minidresses reloaded into the Maison codes; Opium (the fragrance launched by monsieur in 1977) inspired chinoiserie in gorgeous red/black velvets, and silks and fur details. The collection marks a very important step into a new (needed) identity that better reflects le spirit de la maison, keeping with the past but exploring a stronger point of view. This night obsession perfectly fit with both DNA and it’s the path to walk. The elongated silhouettes of the wiry girls clutched on infinite spike heels were magnificent, perfectly in-tune with the designer’s language and precise for the modern Saint Laurent identity. Backstage the designer gave us another feminist message, saying that even if his woman looks like a hyper-sensual femme fatal, she’s not aggressive or a fighter for power or eulogies; she’s confident because she doesn’t need any help from anyone. We need to dream about beauty in a world that is going in the wrong direction. And the first fashion duty is to create dreams and let us enjoy them.