Oct 2, 2023
On the fifth day of catwalk shows, Paris Fashion Week, dedicated to the women’s Spring/Summer 2024 ready-to-wear collections, showcased the innovative talent of the designers. The catwalks unveiled some highly sought-after collections. These included textiles by Issey Miyake, couture by Yohji Yamamoto and technology by Coperni.
For Issey Miyake, Satoshi Kondo’s collection this season is highly stimulating, tactile, sensory and vibrant. To introduce his work, he immersed the viewers in a soothing white décor, an undefined space-time and place in the middle of nature. With tiny music boxes, percussions, bells and other strange instruments scattered around the room, musicians imitated the chirping or whistling of birds, the blowing of the breeze or the crashing of waves, while dancers dressed in black or white took over the space, playing with white pleated fabric suspended from the ceiling.
The first models joined in this choreography, covered from head to toe in a single tubular cotton knit that dripped down their arms and followed the curves of their bodies in imperceptible drapes. This sensation of lightness was also conveyed by the superimposition of thin layers of clothing in different colours. But also through the outfits, which seem to have been improvised. Large squares of light cotton with a clean edge were simply laid over the body and tied. Even bags were tied at the ends, like bundles.
The black and white or pastel palette was suddenly illuminated by vivid oranges and blues, or the fascinating colours of the sky in minimal dresses and matching tights, whose prints photograph the gradations of light at sunset or dusk.
This delicate, luminous wardrobe is complemented by a radically opposite one, with more structured garments. Jackets and coats had oversized shoulders thanks to a play of pleats and superimposed fabrics. Satin fabrics enveloped the models in sculptural dresses. A light fabric with a crumpled paper effect was used to make overcoats and comfortable trouser suits, as well as elegant wide-brimmed hats. Another textile invention was used to twist shirts and trousers, giving them movement as if lifted by the wind.
Another Japanese designer on Friday’s programme, Yohji Yamamoto, was also delighted to experiment with construction in a collection of great beauty, which he unveiled under the panelling of the immense salons of the Hôtel de Ville. Apart from a pair of white sleeves on a medieval-style jacket with raised pointed shoulders; candid polka dots on a handful of black dresses; a row of pearly buttons or thick cream ribbons wrapped around dark tunics, the entire collection is black.
Everything was perfectly thought out, weighed up, studied and arranged. Lengths, cuts, seams. The designer removed, added and adjusted, creating volume through gathers, darts and multi-stratum fabrics. Skirts and dresses, inflated at the sides, were reminiscent of crinolines, while coats took on the appearance of frock coats. Yohji Yamamoto used multiple scissors to create origami.
He slit a collar whose fabric folded over the front to form a neckline. He patched a cut-out with lace. Black voile and tulle rose lightly, like chantilly, around the bodies, while the jackets looked shredded.
The models, with their long curly locks blending with the strappy ribbons of certain pieces, were very mysterious, blending past and present. The attitude was one of nonchalant class with a rock twist, especially when they strut around in dark glasses, wearing just a man’s waistcoat as a top, black trousers tightened by a metal chain belt with badges to match their necklaces.
There was a change of style at Coperni, which continued to be one of the hottest names in Paris Fashion Week, with a host of stars and influencers on the catwalks and in the front row. The Beaubourg esplanade was packed with people hoping to catch a glimpse of celebs such as Emily Ratajkowski, Nina Kraviz and Gustav Magnar. Not to mention supermodels Naomi Campbell, Deva Cassel and Adit Akech, who all made their mark on the catwalk.
Still tapping into the technological vein, the brand chose to show in the legendary Ircam research centre, the French institute dedicated to the research of music and sound, the label’s theme of choice. It took its guests sixteen metres down into the basement of the Place Igor-Stravinski adjacent to the Centre Pompidou, where the pulsating heart of the Institute is located – the famous Espace de projection, a sort of metal box with removable walls and ceiling that doubles as a laboratory and concert hall.
From the start of the show, powerful music traveled throughout the space, as the periactes that cover the entire surface – three-sided modules that absorb, reflect and diffuse sound – began to rotate in successive waves. The first model entered in tight trousers, a loose blouse with extra-long fluctuating cuffs and a biker jacket with two mini speakers.
References to sound were everywhere, like the square screens, reminiscent of new-generation mini recorders, inserted like a futuristic brooch on the lapels of elegant blazers. The Swipe bag, the brand’s signature oval bag, had been transformed into a CD player with headphones. A metallic triangle, a reference to the musical instrument, featured on a T-shirt, on both sides of an apple-green tracksuit jacket, but also on the back or front of a dress.
Collars, cuffs, chests and trouser bottoms were trimmed with metallic threads that gave them a rigid appearance. Sculptural bustiers and evening gowns in gold or silver in the shape of hourglasses were reminiscent of ancient acoustic horns or strange wind instruments. One of the most desirable pieces was a shirt in transparent flesh tulle, with just a denim collar and two breast pockets.
As always with Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant, the looks were ultra-clean, alternating between chic, often sexy little dresses and much sportier pieces, such as swimming costumes, cycling shorts and jogging trousers.
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