Paris Fashion Week S/S 2020 Editor’s Picks
From Moynat’s take on the industrial Paris landscape to Hermès’ window-inspired shoes and bags presentation, we bring you the Wallpaper* pick of the Paris city’s spring shows and presentations...
Hermès: The relationship between Hermès and Pierre Hardy is an especially blessed one: if Paris’ most quirky shoe designer gives the French maison a decidedly modern, colourful personality, the brand provides him with the best raw materials and artisanship anyone could dream of. It’s a guaranteed recipe for success. And yesterday’s presentation didn’t disappoint. Staged at the very Parisian Théâtre du Chatelet – a classic space of gilded walls and red velvet – it included a little cheeky performance of anonymous models’ legs dancing up and down a flight of stairs as background to a collection composed of ultra wearable sandals made from suede and buttery leather cut to mimic an anchor’s chain. Criss-crossing straps, Metallic H logos, patchworked dayglo suede and simple, charming babouches completed the collection. Of course, sneakers were also present - they’ve always been Hardy’s strong suit -, this time taking on bright shades of yellow, purple and, of course, orange. An Hermès statement through and through.
Ottolinger: Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient like to do things in their own time. Which was made clear by the little goody bags waiting for each show guest in their chairs yesterday: a small flask of CBD oil and a CBD-infused beige lipstick made in collaboration with Swiss brand KannaSwiss (in the middle of a very probing fashion week day, needless to say guests were enthused). The pair’s clothes have the same chill ethos: they’re irresistibly trendy, but not as mindlessly trendy as to negate a personal aesthetic that, at its best, relies on unexpected, extremely un-trendy elements.
It was the case with this collection, in which gingham was worked into draped dresses (trendy), but also into bodycon trousers worn with a strappy bra and sprinkled with colourful flowers (un-trendy - and extremely fun). Crowd members in the front row were already wearing some of the pieces; and who could blame them? The raw-edged knitwear - worn over asymmetrical bias-cut skirts - the deconstructed dresses and the corset-like tops were undeniable eye candy, the kind of clothes that a trend-oriented yet discerning client would go for without blinking. The Swiss designers know their client, and they also know their success lies in their delicate balance and in not taking themselves too seriously. So when Ottolinger says Relax, it’s a good idea to take their advice. Photography: Reto Schmid
Moynat: Creative director Ramesh Nair often looks to the architectural details of Paris in his accessories designs. For spring, he was taken with the idea of artists and craftsman in the city, lining the rooves of their studios with zinc in times gone by, to enhance levels of natural light. Tones of zinc infiltrated Moynat’s industrially-inclined offering, and in line with Nair surveying Paris from a new panoramic angle, the brand’s Réjane bag appears flipped at a new structural slant. Elsewhere its macaroon-shape bag has been crafted in white crocodile and lizard, and, in a nod to Nair’s obsession with keys, a black snakeskin version of its Mini Vanity shape has an innovative closure, with a lock that can only be opened with a thumbprint.
Coperni: Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer left Courrèges less than a year ago to concentrate again on Coperni, the brand they founded together six years ago, and that had been dormant during their stint at the French maison. Back then, they stressed in interviews their interest in wearable technology. That hasn’t changed (as hasn’t changed their passion for simple, well cut wearable clothes). The pair eschewed a traditional show to stage a presentation at the Champs Elysées Apple store, where a crowd gathered to watch a video introducing their philosophy before a few models briefly presented the clothes live.
Among the wearable technology pieces was a wifi leather bag. There was also a bluetooth bow on the waistband of miniskirts. Clothes-wise, the collection combined 50’s inspired ankle-length skinny trousers and tops with body con mini dresses. Tech meets minimalism for thoroughly modern appeal.
Pierre Hardy: The accessories designer is a master when it comes to geometric forms and fine colourful fabrications. For spring, he proposes a range of kaleidoscopic sneakers, sliders and ankle strap stilettos in colour blocked metallic hues. Elsewhere, more minimalist shapes are seen in pointed pumps and slip on mules, and a range of mid-heel sandals in silver, leopard print and powder blue provide sleek yet practical out-on-the-tiles footwear.
Mugler: In only a couple of seasons, Casey Cadwallader has gone from unknown designer to helming one of the buzziest brands in Paris. Mugler has long been one of those Parisian maisons going through highs and lows. After yesterday’s show, it’s riding sky high. No wonder: it’s as if the designer – who actually trained as an architect before cutting his teeth with the likes of Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez and Acne Studios – had found the perfect recipe for 2020 sexy.
And it turns out to be a concoction of Thierry Mugler-inspired power shoulders (worn by Bella Hadid as she opened the show paired with a sheer corset and butt-lifting tights. And nothing else), colourful ruched bodycon dresses that enhance the curves instead of taming them, skintight capris (yes, capris!) worn with very grown-up satin shirts... but, more than anything, it’s about celebrating diversity. And that’s what Mugler did best. A brilliant casting spanning all sizes, races and gender identifications, including top models and quirky outsiders such as Spanish performance artist Aaliyah Rosales, turned the whole affair from an accomplished collection to a vibrant show that flawlessly harnessed (no pun intended) the zeitgeist. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Koché: As most Parisian university students, Christelle Koché recalls her student days spent at the Centre Pompidou library. An ample, pristine space situated on the first floor of the museum and equipped with metallic shelves holding all manner of classic French books, the library has long been a favourite spot among the locals. Yesterday, it also became - for the first time - a show venue the public enthused over. Kocher - winner of this year’s Andam prize - has lately been staging bigger and bigger shows, treading masterfully the delicate edge between independent streetwear designer and aspiring big league player (the fact that she also works as creative director of Lemarié, Chanel’s Métiers d’Art atelier specialising in featherwork and flowers, also helps).
Ultimately, though, she might be creating her own category: yesterday’s collection was peppered with the classics popular with her longtime fans - embroidered football tops, lacey mini dresses - and worn by an inclusive casting mixing professional models and street cast kids. But there was also a unique flair for the kind of artisanal craft that is usually reserved for haute couture. Embroidery was everywhere, as were feathers, decorating the hems of A line mini dresses and statement hats. Overall, the look was more polished than in previous seasons, without losing its freshness at all. But wherever the designer decides to take Koché, the current incarnation of the brand struck yesterday as the best Paris has to offer. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
A.P.C: Guests gathered in a courtyard near the labels’ Rue Cassette headquarters, entering an immersive APC summer fair, with a café, DJ booth and stalls showing the results of its upcoming collaborative projects with JJJJound, Carhartt WIP and RTH. The power of APC lies in its realism. Its founder Jean Touitou is not interested in conceptual tricks or catwalk-only looks. These are covetable clothes with a soupçon of French chic that people really want to wear. For spring, think an oceanic colour palette of khaki and sky blue, with pops of poppy red, from checked smocks to floral shirts, workwear suits to APC logo sweatshirts. For added snuggle factor, models carried upcycled quilts made by artist Jessica Ogden above their shoulders and sported school girl buckled flats styled with colourful ribbed socks. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Delvaux: The Belgian accessories behemoth opened a museum in Brussels dedicated to its handbag history last month, so it’s fitting that for spring it was inspired by both tradition and future technology. Graffiti art, avant-garde embroidery and neon hues were all on Delvaux’s hotlist for spring, with the brand updating a host of its styles, from the newly proportioned Tempête, inspired by a sailboat’s trapeze, to the launch of the So Cool bag, an expansion of its ‘Cool Box’ style,’ featuring a D-shape metal clasp, relaxed shape, adjustable strap and side pockets.
Nanushka: Standout set design is fast becoming a signature of the Budapest-based brand. For S/S 2020, the label teamed up once more with Bureau Betak on a large living room-like space inside the Melpomene room of the Palais des Beaux-Arts. Here, curving, totemic sculptures were placed atop fluctuating columns, against a huge macramé wall hanging positioned as a backdrop. Lining the space were Netherlands-sourced bamboo and marble furniture, a fitting match with the craft-focused details in the naturalistic collection, which featured Delphic silhouettes, embellished with handmade macramé, crochet knit and fringing. Photography: Audrey Krawczyk
Altuzarra: Richard Malone, Arthur Arbesser, Rick Owens: grandmothers have inspired a host of designers for spring. Joseph Altuzarra’s mother taught him to knit as a child, and the sweaters that she and his grandmother hand-knit for him informed his S/S 2020 offering. As we embrace a more environmentally-friendly passed down fashion system, Altuzarra’s take on modern heirlooms included colourful weave knitted crop tops and tube skirts in stripes and florals, paired with elegant tailoring, knee skimming jacquard skirts and cotton poplin shirting. The mood was vibrant, with pops of post box red, sherbet yellow and powder blue. Bermuda short suits tapped into summer’s most popular silhouette, and artisanal accessories included weaved bags with practical rubber bottoms, like the soles of espadrilles. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Noir Kei Ninomiya: Creative harmony, nature, organicisim, all buzzwords for spring’s shows, as brands have sought to find solace from today’s fractured socio-political and environmental landscape. Creation was on the mind of the innovative Japanese designer, whose sculptural ruffled creations inspire awe-inspired breaths each season. Models appeared on the catwalk in huge puffballs, pinafores formed from fronds of streamers and hooded coats festooned with ruffles of silk resembling a dense forest floor. They wore leafy headdresses, designed by regular collaborator Azuma Makoto, with plumes of ferns milinery takes on terrariums, and militaristic hats formed from moss. There was an uncanny air to the collection, which featured the designer’s idiosyncratic buckled leather jackets and harnesses featuring cut outs resembling rib cages and structures which curved down the back like spiny ribcages. Nature as a weapon, an organic phenomenon pushing through the cracks of today’s mandmade environments, something finite, yet also forever interacting with the human species. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Francesco Russo: The footwear aficionado got green fingered for spring, with a series of stilettos and buckled kitten heels imagined in the tones of fresh peas. Elsewhere, weaving and knotting came into focus (the technique has been a S/S 2020 mainstay, from Fendi’s weaved raffia Peekaboo bags, to the crafty weaved collars at Jil Sander) and Russo presented spiky mid heels with delicate plaited straps, rattan weave boots and stilettos which knotted around the foot like a luxurious fish net.
Paul Smith: The brand’s S/S 2020 accessories collection has us feeling lucky. For spring, Smith took inspiration not only from the gallery scene in Seventies New York, but also crunchy Chinese confectionary. The label has created clutches and bag charms in the curving shape of fortune cookies, and we can’t think of a more advantageous accessory.
Yohji Yamamoto: Sculptural forms, from panniers at Rick Owens and Thom Browne, to crinolines at Balenciaga, have been a surprise staple on the S/S 2020 catwalks. Yamamoto’s show opened with a series of monochromatic black looks with a Victorian caricature sensibility, featuring oversized bulbous hats and sweeping skirts with suspended wire hems. Draping, tailoring and deconstructing are Yamamoto’s bread and butter, and for spring silhouettes had jigsaw like panels, trailed with sequins and beading, and were padded or densely knotted. A series of unusually colourful looks were formed from swathes of layered and draped fabric, emblazoned with felt tip doodles of flowers. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood: Bella Hadid dressed as a bygone bride with a voluptuous lace skirt and matching parasol; a model sporting a bonnet balancing a huge sequin fish, another a Victorian nightgown layered with a rubber vest resembling the silhouette of a man: the looks on the S/S 2020 catwalk were idiosyncratically eclectic. Andreas Kronthaler used the image of a cloud as the inspiration for his show, which featured clothes floating or sliding off the body, including amongst the more outré pieces, sublime tailoring like draped corsages, deeply and asymmetric suiting. ‘Endless possibility’ is how he described the offering, and we can’t think of a more apt definition. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Miu Miu: After a Prada show last week where Miuccia Prada went back to basics, exploring simplicity in all its glory, the Italian designer chose to go in a different direction for yesterday’s Miu Miu outing. ‘There was a conceptual simplicity at the Prada collection; Miu Miu is more about the aesthetic, subtracting and giving it a raw look’, she said backstage.
Italian neorealism was at the basis of a collection that – not for the first time this fashion week – explored the possibilities of make do and mended clothes. Buttons had been displaced in the duchess satin midi dresses. Cardigans were moth-eaten, sometimes repurposed as bodices, with shrunken peplum tops worn over them. Evening dresses were fashioned out of printed linen textiles and a few embroidered crystals. The spirit of Silvana Mangano, Monica Vitti and Sofia Loren were especially alive in the series of finale dresses haphazardly draped around the body from sheer white cotton. Which doesn’t mean the Miu Miu staples were absent of the collection. Jewel tones, ruffled pencil skirts, suede Mongolian vests and coats decorated with 70’s inspired prints wide-shouldered sleeveless coats and knee-high boots were also present. A bit of a departure from the original subject, but that’s what Miu Miu fans crave the most.
Isabel Marant: The blast of whistles could be heard from outside Marant’s runway show at Palais Royal, as guests energetically blew into their sound making instruments-come invitations for the thigh and navel baring festival-ready show. On Marant’s rider for spring? Hot pink boiler suits, delicate bohemian mini dresses with cascading ruffles, slouchy dungarees and ethnic stripe ponchos. There’s a sexy insouciance inherent to Marant’s brand, and one perfectly embodied in the knockout line up of models that walk in her shows each season, from Amber Valetta to Kaia Gerber, Irina Shayk to Adut Akech. S/S 2020’s shows may have been interrupted by rainstorms, but Marant had us feeling ready for a sun-filled riotous summer. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Thom Browne: Guests entered Thom Browne’s secret garden setup at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, where fountains were swathed in stripe cotton poplin and featured with water feature cherubs at the center cheekily appearing too pee. In Browne’s 18th century garden there was an off-kilter air of unease, accentuated by a soundtrack featuring tweeting birds mashed up with the thrashing metal of Anthrax and the Teletubbies themetune. Models appeared on the catwalk, as in walking in a dream, with painted faces, blonde Pompadour wigs, and clad in cinching corsets, panniers and Browne’s signature suiting in dolphin embroidery, nautical patchwork and sugary shades. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Rokh: For Rok Hwang’s sophomore runway show, the London-based designer looked to the concept of a field trip, inspired by the three months him and his family spent on the road in America. The left Austin, Texas in 1994 – when Hwang was ten years old – and drove from New York to Yosemite in a white Lincoln town car. There’s something elegant yet intrepid about the brand’s newest range of File bags, which are hand made by artisans in Spain. These slender styles can be slung over the shoulder and have a field trip-friendly metal clip should you saunter off road.