Bruno Sialelli at Lanvin did exquisite research into the Maison's archives and imagined a kind of bridge between Jeanne Lanvin and today's world – the one he wants to narrate. The show took place in the Manufacture des Gobelins – a historic tapestry factory founded in 1662 in Paris – and it displayed old Arazzi from different centuries. The cosy atmosphere perfectly fitted with the show: Sialelli started his creative process from an ideal conversation piece where the casting also took an active part in it, including different body shapes and ages. After the last men's collection, the designer showed that he found his own vision whilst still keeping his personal trademark. The co-ed show put a very sophisticated woman on the catwalk, whose style spanned from the Twenties to the Sixties. The mix was not obvious, the different styles of the decades inspired a new aesthetic where the bourgeois ladies with tailored coats or the evening gown met the space age girls with an A-shape little dress.
For his debut show at Kenzo, Portuguese designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista went back to the brand's roots and recalled the days when Kenzo Takada moved from Tokyo to Paris to fulfil his dream of discovering the French capital. He didn't have a clue about it, but he knew how to express the joy of colours which, eventually, became his trademark. The collection resumed this journey with utilitarian looks that blended in tailoring, fluent and wide outerwear plus tribal accents – thanks to the prints from the works of the Lisbon-born painter Júlio Pomar (1926-2018) who lived in Paris and, in the 80s, was so fascinated by tigers that he created a series of work about the feline that, later on, was used by the designer. The mood delivered wasn't as joyful as the designer probably wanted to express, the wanderers looked more runaways and the palette, inspired by the colours of nature, was not so joyful as Kenzo's DNA is. The overall look was a bit outdated reminding the glorious Tisci's Givenchy in the sharp tailoring outfits and the slouchy french sophistication of Lemaire in the oversized silhouettes. Yet very eye-catching, it's a bit difficult to imagine it on the street where, at the end of the day, clothes must be seen. The harder job for Baptista will be to attempt translating the showpieces in items that can easily be turned into bestsellers.
"It's all about a girl that wants to go out, party and have fun," said Dries Van Noten backstage after the show. “She plays with the makeup and then starts to dress up. I was inspired by the photos by Serge Lutens where he portrayed amazing maquillages." Truth be told, the makeup used for the show was beautiful (as it was the show itself) and it incorporated smokey yet colourful eyes and lips with feathers applied on the hair to symbolise regrowth. The collection was a well-balanced mix between sparkling glamour and grungy flannels – everything looked dark but never gloomy or trash. London’s Camden Palace and Mud Club were the other inspiration, bringing all the different expressions of style that a nightclub can convene. Van Noten mastered the use of colours, something she is famous for, with prints that recalled Hawaii, tattoo and florals. They added brightness to the nocturnal outfits and the kinky stiletto boots alongside the glam rock platform, turned the positive vibes on. Again, the Belgian designer showed how to be inspired by the past and how to reinvent it without being too nostalgic, all the whilst still managing to add a twist of elegance.
The co-ed collection Fall-Winter 2020/21 by John Galliano for Maison Margiela explored, once again, dress codes of the bourgeoisie whilst reviving them with its disruptive approach. The show was a kind of prosecution of the last artisanal presented last January. The ability to disassemble and assemble new and interesting shapes is Galliano's magic touch but, in this collection, it wasn't as impactful as it could have been. The collection was a collage between bourgeoisie classics, military tailoring and a work-in-progress technique that helped the unfinished effect. The Maison introduced a new project of upcycling called 'Recicla' were the white label – that lists provenance and period – proves they are authentic pieces, handpicked by the designer, restored and re-appropriated as limited-edition garments or accessories, intended for sale: coats cut and turned into collars or short simple dresses as well as wicked and Snatched bags.