Category: Trends

Chanel

Chanel
“Whether it was endorphin effects of the big outdoors scenario or the clothes, this walk in the country produced a fashion high that was shot through with relevance. The spray and the sunlight sparkled on clear plastic coats and capes; the house tweeds fluttered with fringes or were reduced to almost transparent cages. Lurex threads and crystal jewelry glinted. The intricate balance between natural-looking textures and advanced technical skills was breathtakingly dynamic to behold.” —Sarah Mower

Comme des Garçons

Commes

“An angel appeared in the middle of the Comme des Garçons show. Her white tweed coat twinkled with minute crystals. A huge, padded overcoat rested on her shoulders. When she turned, everyone saw: She had a pair of white lace wings embedded in her back. A wonderstruck intake of breath from the audience sucked the air from the room. . . . Creative resistance has been a theme of this season. The Kawakubo angel—a timelessly chic fashion goddess in her imposing white tweed suit—stood out as the singular persona manifested at the center of a colorful, surreal, cartoonish, kawaii toy- and computer game–referencing parade.” —Sarah Mower

Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten
“In an age of haste and shortened attention spans, Dries Van Noten is one of the few remaining designers who does much more than a quick-fire one-statement show. On this runway he offered different types of women ways to be themselves at night: a fluid, vertically striped silver and pewter pantsuit; a black tuxedo with an organza over-layer scattered with jewels; a sensationally simple little black dress with a diaphanous train floating from the shoulders. With the vintage-y crystal earrings, worn singly, and the genius touch of silver eyeshadow and glittery lips, it was all a total license to shop. Which is a really big thing to say when most women, past a certain point, have all the clothes they need. This collection proved the point: When designers are really good, they give us what we didn’t know we wanted.” —Sarah Mower

Loewe

Loewe
“ ‘Relatable’ and ‘accessible’ are often used as fashion-snob synonyms for inexpensive product. Yet Anderson’s redefinition of the hollow term luxury has filled it with tangible new meaning. On the one hand: On sight, you know where you could wear one of these T-shirt dresses or one of Anderson’s familiar long-midi fit-and-flare things. A romantic heart would sing to have one of those modern-day Tess of the d’Urbervilles cotton flower-print dresses. This is no-trouble fashion of a high-flown order. And on the other hand: You absolutely see it’s going to be incredibly expensive, and that it’s worth it. The level of innovative materiality going on in Loewe’s workshops—the craft, plus the sophistication—is astonishing.” —Sarah Mower

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton
 “The Louvre’s evolution from fortress to royal palace to museum took centuries, but time is flattened inside. That was the motivating concept behind Ghesquière’s new collection, which combined the frock coats of its royal palace phase with elevated versions of the athletic clothes and sneakers that tourists pad around it in today. Speaking afterward, Ghesquière said, ‘I thought anachronism was interesting. How today can we incorporate pieces considered as costume into an everyday wardrobe. . .?’ Ghesquière’s neat trick here was making the past look like the future.” —Nicole Phelps

Maison Margiela

Margiela
“Nobody wants to see Galliano’s imagination grounded by commerciality—but at the same time, which of his fans’ hopes haven’t been dashed in the past by the distance between his dreams and retail reality? With this season, that is no problem at all, what with the huge choice of regular outerwear, the gorgeous gold Lurex fan-pleated dress, the English-tweed checked suiting, the cutoff Western booties. And yet? After this show, wouldn’t a ‘practical white T-shirt’ be a nice thing to come across in a store, too?” —Sarah Mower

Paco Rabanne

Paco Rabanne
“Dossena’s aesthetic—clean, modernist, tinged with athleticism—has now evolved into a definite signature, and is one of the most interesting in Paris. So far, though, it has never given anything away in terms of a personal narrative. This one, it turned out, was the exception: his most autobiographical collection by far. ‘My father was a nightclub owner in Brittany. It was called The Tiffany Club—with a real old-school dance floor that lit up,’ he laughed. ‘So I wanted to expose something I haven’t before: How to dress for the night.’ ” —Sarah Mower

Rick Owens 

Rick Owens
“There was beauty of a sui generis kind here: in the fine, grid-like bugle beading on the torso of shifts; in the trio of all-white looks cobbled from humble-looking T-shirts stretched gracefully across the shoulders; and in the vibrant, living green of one of the show’s asymmetrically draped dresses, its swaddled midriff evoking nothing so much as a marsupial pouch. Like Owens’s Spring men’s collection, this show was called Dirt, which, coupled with the spouting fountain, offered another reading of those strange show-ending looks that were less like clothes and more like moving sculpture. They’re not refugees or meringues; they’re seeds. Hopeful, life-giving seeds. Maybe Owens has been reading up on matriarchal feminism? Maybe not. ‘Crude American brutalist’ though he may be, he’s too subtle to put it in any specific terms, but what a kick it is to parse it all out and wonder.” —Nicole Phelps

Thom Browne

Thom Browne
 “Technically speaking, the collection had a surprisingly simple narrative: Take all the familiar American tropes, including plaid, madras, and quilting, and render them in tulle. In a season of transparency, Browne’s use of the delicate fabric was undoubtedly the most impressive. But beyond the intricacy and ethereal nature of the clothes, there was a bigger, more important story here. Where some designers submerge themselves in the real world, Browne has always posited fashion as fantasy, dreaming bigger, pushing the eye to places it didn’t know existed. At a time when the world feels like a pretty bleak place indeed, his brand of escapism is more appealing than ever. It only makes sense then, that Browne should close his show with a life-size unicorn puppet instead of a bride—the mythical creature is surely his spirit animal.” —Chioma Nnadi

Top Collections of Paris Fashion Week

It was an intense nine days. We came and we watched, we had our bags searched and bodies scanned, and we drove in choking traffic, over and over again, but nevertheless we all saw it: Fashion in Paris is alive and kicking. This Vogue consensus of opinion on the shows would run to the 10 Best in a normal season; this time, no special pleading about being supportive in a dark time, we’re up to 12. Just as no one was really expecting it, all the designers below took exception to the gloom and fought back at it with exceptional, nuanced, well-made, practical, mood-uplifting work.
There was talk about escapism and optimism this season, but as Pierpaolo Piccioli said at Valentino, it was more about appreciating what is already there—in his case, it was the inspiration of Mr. Valentino’s ’80s glamour, seen from the distance of a moon-traveler. Demna Gvasalia took the real—upcycling ordinary dress codes and objects as mundane as glass mustard-pots as glass cuffs—to make it extraordinary. Julien Dossena showed Paco Rabanne girls to the disco dance floor, a going-out escape that sparklingly reflects the spirit of unputdownable youth.
We live on, despite our troubles: Rick Owens’s majestic piece of performance art gave us that sensation of human resilience against the odds. I challenged Phoebe Philo when she said she was an optimist: How, in this time of terrorism, war, and political agony? Her answer: “My principles that apply when I’m designing or in anything I do, is to take personal responsibility. All I can do is to be a good citizen,” she said. “I believe in the Buddhist belief that everything starts at home.” That conversation resonated with me, because in her Céline collection—she also talked about the joy of working in Paris with an exceptional atelier of skilled people who make things by hand—and in what we saw from Jonathan Anderson at Loewe, who talked about “calm,” there was also a visible honoring of craft tradition. Incredible, specialist, human handwork, rather than impersonal machine-made product makes the difference between the banal and the mind-blowing, between blah, forgettable clothes and things which keep imagination and desire alive.…