Post-Streetwear Tailoring in Paris
The sportswear trend hit especially hard in France – probably because it resonated with a deeply engrained – yet rarely celebrated – local street culture.
Backstage at the Koché Spring/Summer 2019 show in Paris. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.
But like all seemingly good things, it rapidly turned out to be more complex than expected. Suddenly, editors all over town ran around clad in codes of a population they’d never dream of speaking to. And the latter was – unsurprisingly – never represented or included in the process.
All of which brings me to my next point: it’s anything but surprising that we’re already moving away from that. Or, rather, that a growing amount of brands have kept the cultural essence of sportswear and re-injected its philosophy back into a refined (and may I say, more respectful) adult wardrobe.
Take Koché who brought back baggy pants à la Aliyah, football jerseys, and tracksuits to the runway: this season, she swiftly moved into feminine dresses, bodysuits, and a solid dose of tailoring. This “homage to the know-how” as Christelle Kocher put it, proved that cultures can be referenced in a gracious manner. Head scarves melted into embroidered ensembles, classical dragon illustrations were reworked into pop colored pixel motifs; Indian face jewelry was paired with sheer tattoo tops, making both look punky.
Victoria/Tomas Spring/Summer 2019 show in Paris. Photos by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.
As for French label Victoria/Tomas, a casual yet elevated sense of chic: frayed denim was crafted into rigorous suiting, layers of shirts were worn with the ease of a sweatshirt, chopped off trenches were adorned with hooks, belts, cords – all suggesting for moldable pieces that can be adapted to each individuality.
Maison Margiela Spring/Summer 2019 show in Paris. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.
And Margiela chose to question genders and genres in a subtle way. Say, by merging a classically feminine draping and a strict masculine blazer; or juxtaposing cycling shorts with tweed riding jackets and plenty of bows. Skirts came with slits and cutouts and were worn as tops; jumpers were tied around the shoulders for a cape-like effect. If identity is a performance to be reappropriated, the same can be said about garments, the collection seemed to say.
Anrealage Spring/Summer 2019 show in Paris. Photos by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.
Last but not least, the frontier between nature and nurture was once again blurred on Anrealage’s catwalk. Designer Kunihiko Morinaga imagined poetic, organic 3D-printing. The glow-in-the-dark textiles, fish scale-like textures, photochromic fabrics composed a delicate, graceful chic – reminding us of our deep addiction to technology, even in the most intimate moments.
If fashion is a sign of our epoch, this season seems to say that deconstructing norms can start by putting an outfit together.