Bourgeoisie met latex at Saint Laurent today. Anthony Vaccarello surprised everyone with sexy looks inspired by the uncool Nineties, turned cool by the designer's mixture of vintage items from a man's wardrobe and vinyl leggings, tops and dresses for a hypersensual wiry silhouette. "I treated latex as the new denim," stated the designer backstage after the show. "It's a material that I found interesting as it could be effortless to use. It was treated as a fabric and I reproduced some of the iconic pieces from the Saint Laurent heritage. Usually it looks cheap with a a plastic look, so I wanted to give it a new luxury life. The collection was sexy because Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent was making women sexy, I kept this concept by modernizing it." The Saint Laurent woman is rich and her existence is split between her mundane day life and the extreme and unexpected nightlife. These two worlds merge in one look on the runway, a classic turtleneck top in shiny latex paired with a high waisted checked wool skirt. There are also full black latex ruffled dresses with rounded cleavage, Bonton in shape but pervy in the soul. "I put some bold colours as many times I have been told that I only use black, so show that I can have fun also in doing these," said Vaccarello smiling. The designer showed that he had the guts to further push on the gas of sexiness with creativity and design. It's not easy to mix the two worlds without appearing tacky and, on the other hand, it has been made so many times that the risk of déjà vu is right there. But the designer did it at its best by mixing products and dreams to create a look very YSL without the nostalgia.
The gadgetisations of luxury brands is an inescapable process that every company is facing - the demand for the creation of the dream affordable items and the aim of selling small pieces at insane prices is on everyone's agenda. Some are succeeding whilst others are struggling in finding their own language. Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior showed that she has mastered the skill and her last Fall/Winter 2020/21 collection was the perfect example. Few references and the many looks (84 in total), most of them composed by hyper-desirable pieces for every age, yet with a very young overall effect. This time, Chiuri's inspiration was autobiographical, she went back to her teenage diary where she used to collect photos of her mother's portraits, the actresses hung on the walls of her couture atelier that inspired her client and images of other creative minds. This led the designer to the words that Christian Dior was exploring when he wrote 'The Little Dictionary of Fashion', published in 1954. In it, he expressed his love for checks, fringes and pois which were all promptly showcased on the catwalk. They were the leitmotif of the show, together with durable knitwear and denim presence. Accessories were the key of every look from shoes and boots to saddle and tote bags, foulards, bijoux and hats. Chiuri liberated her 'working class' approach in a luxurious way where glamour and magic are outdated. So, why change if the CEO is happy? On top of this, the art collaborations related to feminism that have been a part of her shows since the very beginning have been disguising a bit from the lack of dream by adding another layer of communication, even if it is becoming a deprived cliché. This season, the designer partnered with the collective Claire Fontaine that curated the setup of the venue with suspended illuminated phrases inspired by feminist slogans.
Dune, the 1984 movie directed by David Lynch, was the inspiration point for French designer Marine Serre's co-ed collection. The film is set in a distant future where humanity lives in a network of supporting planets and Arrakis is the only one where people can find the melange, a precious rare spice that enhances individual traits. The aesthetic inspiration for the clothing in the film is very particular. The designer imagined the communities existing in this apocalyptic future where, in her vision, the melange is the motor that mixes everything. The tribes started with the memories of tailored houndstooth business suits that became armours in the shape of long gown coats, suits or dresses. Then, suddenly, everything eased, and a flash of frilly fuchsia activewear led into the messenger's tribe, all black, wearing cocoon-shaped padded hoodies, ball skirts and glove bags for their navigation devices. The gloomy atmosphere turned bright and more positive with the families wearing yellowish carpet-based outfits that looked like a sign of hope for a better future, as did the fuschia ruffled blooming dresses of the final. Marine Serre kept high the attention on her warning message for a world that is quickly collapsing, and this collection looked lighter than the previous ones; she managed to maintain her codes while leaving behind a bit of the drama she used to have.
"The beginning of the collaboration with Renzo (Rosso) opened a new possibility of working with denim for me, which I've never actually done before," said Christelle Kocher before the show. "I wanted to apply my couture approach to the jeans, and I was excited to challenge myself and the fabric makers to find together new solutions." The designer became famous for her disruptive approach to use football jerseys and turning them into other garments. "I trained as a pattern maker, and I always applied my skills to my work to create new shapes that would speak the couture language, without being it, turning it into a more democratic and approachable fashion. The last assistant of Mr Charles James was my teacher, so I was really into that." The co-ed collection explored some of Koche's classics such as bias cuts and the different fabrics' patchwork, prints, some sportswear and streetwear looks, mostly for men. Lace was in the details or on full feminine dresses. The finale was precious with beading and bijoux over denim capes or with long asymmetric skirts and gowns. This collection looked a bit like a step back to her original designs, which is not a bad thing but, by doing so, she lost the allure she gained through the years, and that made her reach a very sophisticated style.