Dispatches from Paris Fashion Week: Day 3
Ed-in-chief Andrea squeezed in Loewe, Chalayan, Dior and Yohji Yamamoto
The first show of the day was Loewe, bright and early at 9.30am. At the Maison de l’UNESCO, the show space was partially outdoors and flooded with natural light, signalling a new dawn at the Spanish luxury house with new creative director Jonathan Anderson’s first runway show. Harking back to the codes of the house, Anderson used leather, of course, throughout the collection and his treatment of the material ranged from raw and organic, like a camel suede dress adorned with rough-hewn patches, to casual luxe with slouchy bright leather trousers belted around the hips. I’ll be the first to admit that I was sad to see Stuart Vevers leave Loewe, but the brand is in more than capable hands with Anderson, and I’m definitely liking the fresh and modern direction that he is taking the label.
Next up was the Chalayan show, entitled ‘Moor’s Gaze’, according to the show notes. The Moroccan influence was immediately apparent from the lattice wall on the runway, and echoed again in the collection with lattice prints on languid separates. While it was mostly a safe collection filled with wearable resort-y pieces, there were a few details that made the collection memorable, like the sunglasses attached to a scarf that then wrapped around the head, adding a sense of cool to the collection. Then there was the dress that started out looking like it was paired with a jacket – halfway through the model took off the ‘jacket’ and let it fall down to become another layer to the skirt. Finally, there were the three finale gowns that gracefully incorporated an image of a woman in a burqa.
Then it was time for Dior, one of the shows that I look forward to the most during Paris Fashion Week. It didn’t disappoint. Right before the show started, the lights were turned up so bright it was almost blinding and thumping techno music by Michel Gaubert (the go-to DJ for most of the mega fashion brands) blasted at an almost ear-splitting volume, leaving us with little choice but to sit up and take notice.
The collection was thoroughly modern, as one comes to expect from Mr. Raf Simons, slightly ironic considering that he was inspired by 18th century France for this collection, the royal court to be precise. According to Simons in the show notes, “it was an idea of confronting what people now think is an aesthetic that is modern – it felt more modern to go to the far past, not the ‘modernised’ look of the last decade. The challenge was to bring the attitude of contemporary reality to something very historical; bringing easiness to something that could be perceived as theatrical.” Leave it to Simons to make centuries-old fashion feel so covetable right now.
The last show of the day was Yohji Yamamoto, in an intimate setting with only two rows and the models winding through the small space so I really got to see the clothes up close, down to the stitching. The collection harked back to nineties Yohji, with deconstructed and layered slip dresses, black lace cropped tops, spider web knit dresses and fitted double-breasted jackets in his signature black and white palette. It was a much more wearable collection compared to seasons past. But of course, it’s not a Yohji Yamamoto show without some theatricality, and that came in the form of the bride, the final look that was an elaborate wedding dress adorned with purple flowers and a white helmet.