PARIS – Valentino gave his sleek fashion audience a taste of real Parisian life on Friday. Her show featured flower stalls, traditional bistro chairs and tables at which guests, including singer Giveon and “The Crown” star Vanessa Kirby, were served wine by waiters.
Members of the public watched from actual Marais cafes outside the venue in disbelief. But they too got some of the action when, to vibrant applause, the models spilled into real Parisian streets after the show in a myriad of sparkling, colorful designs.
Here are some highlights of the Spring 2022 collections presented on Friday:
In the heart of the most trendy and street-wise district of Paris, Le Marais, Pierpaolo Piccioli by Valentino lets go of his hair. It was a vibrant and varied collection called “In the streets of Paris”.
For spring, her goal was to show fashion as it should be – worn on the streets. And that, he did it literally.
There were shiny gold sequins, vibrant colors, baggy jeans and shiny Juliet sleeves that smacked of the ’80s. This season, the Italian designer has embarked on a welcome disco direction.
Yet the designs remained refined despite the reverie of the street: a loose emerald men’s suit had a lavender silk scarf collar that flapped delicately from below. The silky material allowed this collection to retain a true sense of luxuriance.
“(It is) the street which is not conceived as streetwear but conceived … like real life”, specified the house of Piccioli in its intentions.
At the end of the show, like real Parisians, guests received bouquets of local flowers from real florists in the Ile-de-France region, as models strutted through the city streets to thunderous cheers.
ISSEY MIYAKE IS SWEET
The elasticity of the water was the anchor of Issey Miyake’s collection, which included brightly colored swim caps and hats resembling sea creatures.
But it was the form in its purest form that started Friday’s collection – against a backdrop of minimalist square panels.
A sporty waistcoat, clean and pale pastel, sets the tone for spring. It was the top of a dress whose skirt was constructed with flattened Japanese lanterns. This idea of flattened, three-dimensional shapes ran through all 40 looks. The lantern motif reappeared on several key elements as well – one with the hole positioned on the model’s chest like a talisman.
Instead of the regular lantern ribs, the Japanese house, known for its use of tech fabrics, used elastic pleats to give structure and bounce to the bottom of its lightweight dresses. The house called this the “link rings” motif.
It was a soft, portable screen.
THE WALL STREET RAF SIMONS MAGNIFIER
Paris Fashion Week has for years blurred the lines between men’s and women’s fashion. Raf Simons picked up this tried and true theme for his spring show, but took it a step further.
This was a collection exploring androgyny at head office – the last place I would think of as a non-binary safe space.
It was very fun.
At the Bourse de la Begins, a finely tailored business jacket scrolls above a gray skirt with a ruffle cut at an angle. The models sported gender-neutral, grunge-styled hair – the long styles that were all the rage in the mid-1990s.
Simple oversized tops and wide swaths of nude fabric add the minimalist touch often associated with the Belgian designer, who once designed for Dior.
But there was also a splash of color that shattered the collection, which used an otherwise mute palette. Red prints infused the front of a black jacket while blue text on a skirt almost looked like it had been sprayed like graffiti.
MCQUEEN RECRUITS PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTISTS
While many houses still only have a digital presence during Fashion Week, some are launching targeted campaigns to promote their designs. Alexander McQueen is one of them. The brand launched a global artistic fashion campaign this season in which it brought in photographers to take their popular book Tread Slick into a natural setting. Photographers such as Katie Burnett, Max Farago, Gwen Trannoy and Charlie Gates participated in the project, photographing the chucky soled boots at the water’s edge, on rocks, next to flowers and covered in foam bubbles. It’s probably as romantic as fashion week.
Thomas Adamson can be followed on Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson—K