October 4, 2023
Paris hasn’t felt so full of excitement during a fashion week since the pandemic. The week dedicated to the Spring/Summer 2024 women’s ready-to-wear collections has been extremely positive and ended with a stimulating last day. Paris Fashion Week concluded with the shows of three emerging brands, Duran Lantink, Avellano and Ujoh, while the day before, John Galliano, iconic and great fashion designer for the last three decades, dazzled everyone with a impressive collection for Maison. Margiela.
The Parisian brand Maison Margiela, owned by the Italian fashion group OTB, presented a dizzying collection on Monday night. A collection that traveled through time while colliding with the present and the future, painting a picture of today’s fashion as sustainable, inclusive and gender fluid. Of course, it bore the Margiela stamp, as well as traces of Christian Dior and John Galliano.
The latter, responsible for the style of this emblematic avant-garde brand since 2014, has achieved an impossible fusion, summarizing in the same collection everything done, seen and digested in the past, revisiting it and reformulating it in a new language. Without pretensions, simply using a needle, thread and scissors, Galliano ticked absolutely all the boxes: models, style, historical references and soundtrack. Not to mention the cinematic and emotional aspect. It was all there.
As it did last winter, Maison Margiela organized the show in its new Paris headquarters. Upstairs, the row of white-painted, mirror-lined rooms looked like the inside of a spaceship. With her body swaying, her hands buried in the pockets of a heavy coat, a young woman stepped forward in an oversized men’s suit, the shirt unbuttoned and the detachable white collar tied casually around her neck.
Instead, another model walked in long, glamorous gloves and an elegant dress with wavy feathers. The houndstooth bag, the satin, tulle and black polka dot dresses, cinched at the waist and displayed in long folds, and the Chinese-style hat, inevitably carried strong notes of the New Look by Christian Dior, the brand for which Galliano worked. 15 years between 1996 and 2011, writing another legendary chapter of the venerable homeThe story of.
But everything in this collection was processed through Galliano’s eccentric blender and Margiela’s conceptual brain waves, using virtuoso couture techniques and sophisticated textile treatments. The front of some dresses came loose and fell down the sides to reveal the construction of the garment, exposing the lining and petticoat underneath. Shiny fabrics with a strange laminated effect became matte in places. The seams were visible, although in some cases the neckline remained unstitched and frayed. The elegant conical hats were not made of straw, but of cardboard held together with adhesive tape. The light padding used in some jackets was not hidden, but peeked out under the armpits.
Women and men exchanged outfits, the difference only evident in their posture: the girls swayed their hips, the boys adopted a sly, bad-boy attitude. They also wore white gloves and socks held together with a black ribbon. They were equally comfortable in a suit or a cocktail dress, and sported oversized gored shorts, rolled up several times, as wide as a skirt. Maison Margiela said she wanted to express the idea of clothing in transition, constantly exchanged between generations. Clothing that adapts, evolves and reinvents itself. It was, very simply, fashion, with a capital F.
Maison Margiela was a difficult act for emerging designers to follow. Duran Lantink tried it and appeared for the first time on the official Parisian calendar on Tuesday, to enthusiastic applause. The Dutch designer opted for surprise from the first moment, adding a touch of humor. His collection, full of fun pieces, brought new excitement to the final day of Paris Fashion Week, with short, rounded pieces that seemed inflated with helium. A denim jacket looked like a balloon, paired with a buoy-shaped miniskirt, while a pair of tight shorts flared around the waist.
A pool float with white and red or blue stripes replaced a bikini bra. Two inflatable rings acted as handles on a basket built into the back of a dress and swimsuit. Another ring was the bottom hem of a T-shirt, as if it had been folded and rolled up to the chest. Using flesh-colored tulle to support unexpected textile shapes and patterns, Lantink created garments with playful twists, infusing his designs with a quirky streak.
One dress was shaped like a black whale, its tail fin covering the chest and the body sinking downward to emerge at the buttocks. Elsewhere, a diagonal strip of sheer tulle crosses the torso on a vest worn over a shirt, showing off the flesh beneath. With the same effect, this time at the height of the thighs, the upper part of a pair of pants seemed to separate from the lower part, keeping the legs miraculously upright.
Some boys showed off their biceps, dressed in bodysuit-style T-shirts with voluminous shoulders. The shirts were also three-dimensional, worn unbuttoned and cut well above the navel. All sleeved garments, whether mini-sweaters, shirts or jackets, featured oversized shoulders reminiscent of American football uniforms. A pop vibe permeated the collection, evident in the bright red heart-shaped dress.
Lantink, an Amsterdam-based artist and designer, shared the Andam 2023 special award with Ester Manas in June and stood out for his commitment to sustainability. Tired of overconsumption, obsessed with recycling and collage art, since the beginning of his career, Lantink has been accumulating unsold items and excess inventory from luxury brands, using them to create unique creations. He produced the first collection of his in 2016.
The registration was different in Avellano, with more of a red carpet atmosphere. Supported by the Pierre Bergé award – Andam’s emerging label award – which Arthur Avellano won this year in the same session as Duran Lantink, the designer has taken his experimentation with latex even further this season, creating a spectacular collection based on your favorite material.
He introduced a series of new techniques that generated innovative effects, such as moiré latex, which could be confused with astrakhan skin, used by Avellano to make dark suits, shirts and denim-style jackets. He boldly used 100% natural latex to create sheer, form-fitting dresses, as well as plain pants and bras that brazenly exposed breasts. The brand also worked hard on colors, introducing materials in shades of golden bronze and platinum to make mermaid-tail dresses and blouses with gathered sleeves.
Avellano has moved away from the Matrix-inspired style prevalent in recent collections, focusing more on glamorous ensembles. After a week of fitting sessions with Kim Kardashian, who has commissioned seven looks, and a year-long project with the Paris Opera corps de ballet, Avellano has adjusted her volumes to further enhance her silhouette, accentuating her curves. of the body with long tight dresses. around the thighs. He also strove to simplify his thick material as much as possible, opting for lighter weights and fluid, airy suits, which can hardly be identified as being made of latex.
For next summer, Ujoh has designed a new wardrobe with a minimalist and masculine air. The suits have been redesigned with wool and cotton in light blue and pink tones. Double-breasted blazers, enhanced with lapels and sleeveless, were transformed into vests with oversized pockets. The brand used pinstriped fabrics to create jumpsuits, dresses and long flowing skirts.
Japanese designer Mitsuru Nishizaki freed up the shoulders and upper body, while the lower section seemed to retain more substance, with layers of fabric overlapping skirts and often pants as well. He played with lace and lacing to gather the hems of some corsets and opened holes in the sides of some of his summer dresses. Using nylon, he created stiff, luminous jackets.
Ujoh is well known in Japan and has expanded internationally in recent years. It is available at about 15 retailers in Germany, the United Kingdom, China and South Korea. Ujoh founder Nishizaki worked as a modeller for Yohji Yamamoto for seven years, before creating his own brand in 2009. Its minimalist lines and haute couture approach make it completely in tune with the quiet luxury trend.
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