Mood board: Fashion people may have not felt like dancing when they arrived, for the second time in less than three hours, to the Grand Palais tired from a long nine days of shows – but that was about to change. After all, the Salon d’Honneur had swiftly been transformed into a dance floor, complete with several dozens mirrored disco balls and all. Their light reflected on the ceiling, floor and walls and was a clue of what we were about to see from the collection. Giambattista Valli – creative director of Moncler Gamme Rouge – has famously taken what could otherwise have been practical but boring outerwear and performance clothes to transform them into a world of fun, all the while staying true to his ultra-feminine – and ultra-desirable – sense of aesthetics. Today was not going to be an exception. This time, it was all about dancing, as models entered the runway in typical ballerina attires of pointes, leg warmers and layerings of soft yet performative tutu skirts, sweaters and jackets.
Best in show: Imagine a – rather chic – dancer living in the big city, running to catch the subway after practice. That, according to Valli, was the inspiration for the collection. A sweatshirt carelessly thrown over a shirt-dress, a tutu skirt worn over a big sweater, a cache-coeur worn over a long dress, an oversized parka quickly worn over practice clothes. That was the very ‘all that jazz’, Flashdance-influenced spirit. But of course, this being Valli, in its most couture, powder pink, flower-embroidered version. Still, it could work. One editor cleverly called it ‘ball-leisure’. It’s just a step further from athleisure, and one that is easier to integrate into the less casual wardrobes of European girls. We can see it happening.
Team work: ‘I'm not the star of the collection; you are the stars of the collection.’ That's what Valli said, backstage just before the show, to the troupe of Chicago-flown dancers that were to perform during the show. Most of us had seen videos of ‘hiplet’ ballerinas on our social media before (’I was so obsessed with them, now I finally get to see them live!,’ ecstatically exclaimed my seating neighbour after the show). A hybrid of classic ballet and hip hop, hiplet (pronounced ‘hip-lay’) is best performed to energetic bits of dance music like Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You. Which is basically impossible not to dance to. ‘Dance is universal, and it’s inclusive. It’s not exclusionary like it was before, anyone can do it.’ Proof: even exhausted, blasé editors ended up moving at the show’s finale. That’s a feat.