Disco dancing at Patou on Sunday night in a ready-to-wear show which opened a week of fashion activity in Paris, most of which is devoted to haute couture.
Despite the current unrest in France, with car burnings, attacks on police stations and looting of stores in Paris, the house of Patou took the courageous decision to go ahead with its runway shows. Staging the event in Salle Wagram, 200 yards down the hill from the Champs-Élysées.
Patou’s show took place amid tight security, but in the end a regiment of influencers – including usual suspects like Caro Daur and Tina Leung – and even Anna Wintour showed up for Patou’s Spring/Summer 2024 show.
To witness a collection that continued in the spirit of the house’s previous show – staged inside LVMH’s luxury market Samaritaine – with Parisian cool gal contemporary chic.
Opening with baby doll dresses; very short tank tops to show lots of tummies; or party gal coats – all their straps and hems trimmed with crystals. Made in crepe in a color palette of black, bright pumpkin and peppermint, they were jaunty and projected lots of joie de vivre.
The cast walking around a central DJ booth – spinning the likes of ‘Let’s Have a Kiki’ by Scissors Sisters – in the basement of the hall.
Patou’s creative director Guillaume Henry then changed gears, reverting to his signature silhouette chez Patou – his big breezy cotton blouses with cape and butterfly sleeves. Which just about worked on the 1.8-meter models, but kind of dwarf a regular size. Not surprisingly, not many of the front row influence peddlers wore these blouses.
A series of jersey looks, bitter orange mini jackets, turquoise flamenco dresses and logo tops got things back on track. And one had to admire the logo half-moon bags, and a great series of patent leather platform shoes and sandals, which will be best sellers.
“You are magnificent!” extolled Guillaume post-show, as veteran super model and fellow designer Inès de la Fressange embraced him; wearing a humongous cotton blouse but carrying it off.
“Last season was about shopping chronicles. A Patou lady who goes to the Samaritaine to build her wardrobe. Tonight, it was dancing Paris, and the desire for clothes for cocktail hour and for evening. Because until recently we have shown lots and lots and lots of daywear,” explained Henry in the backstage.
A backstage located upstairs in the Salle Wagram, a magnificent old dancehall, and the scene of many previous epic shows – like Alexander McQueen’s legendary They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? collection.
The Patou show instead was held in the low-ceilinged, claustrophobic lower floor. Quite why was frankly unfathomable. But at least the show did go on.
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