Toto’s navigation is completely out of whack and when I woke up this morning, I was no longer in Paris (and, if you’d believe it, wearing patent leather red shoes). The good news is: there’s a premeditated reason–I didn’t actually just wake up here–I’m going to Dallas tomorrow so maybe if you’re in Texas, we can hang out. The bad news is, I very, very regretfully had to forfeit firsthand viewership over a pretty generous deluge of phenomenal shows. That is not a humble brag–watching clothes sway in a particular pattern and hearing the models march to the beat of the music while trying to understand why the venue choice reflects the clothes being previewed is an irreplaceable experience. Where the internet (photos) fail, human interaction never will.
I made it to about half the shows clocked in below and for the ones I was forced to rely on a combination of Vogue.com, Style.com and the Instagram community at large, I’ll just say: I am elated–absolutely elated–that fashion is taking plaid seriously. I wonder how long we can subsist in the 90s before it’s time to take to the early aughts?
Go ahead, now, read me.
Show: Maison Martin Margiela
Vibe: Margiela remained true to the curiosities and obscurities of the mental objects of the Belgian designer while taking into account that as Cathy Horyn put it in relation to the shows at large this season, “restraint just looks good.” Case in point: crisp white shirts are just that–crisp and white but not without the dramatization of a sleeve that immobilizes wrist-use. Wide leg palazzo pants are only as particular as a blunt paint stroke (in variations of pink, yellow, and red) creating the illusion of a track-pant-mark but feeding into absolutely nothing that is sporty.
Important Notes: The cut-out bands behind almost every single dress, jacket, and shirt suggest my short hair has the shelf-life of another, I don’t know, six months? Just kidding, but it seems here that better than actually cutting the hair is tucking it into a strap and allowing for the cascading long locks to function as a sort of counter-fabric from rear view. Also, like at Balmain, forget the middle part and the side part: it’s no part or bust.
Vibe: Honestly? It felt very back-to-school-girl if the girl in question had experienced some interesting uni-gender romance over the summer inciting what seemed like the once-impossible possibility that if she doesn’t want to look like a girl, she doesn’t have to look like a girl. The thing about this particular girl, though, is that she’s kind of confused. After all, who could say no to a ruffle so dynamic? (See: photo 1)
Important Notes: Clare Waight Keller is working hard to bring the real, whole, true spirit of Chloe back to the house, nodding quite decisively toward the femininity emblematic of the brand but understanding the importance of modernity (the buzzword of this season, or is that just me?) which in this case quite strategically means understanding that there is no longer one, directional point. It’s derivative but it’s new and it means everything while saying nothing.
Vibe: Phoebe’s kingdom shall prevail based on the merit of consistency.
Important Notes: The use of different plaids in familiar silhouettes is lovely. The strong folded short-sleeve arm holes on a wool cropped top is even nicer. But it is the way in which Celine’s models hold their bags, the abandonment of fur after such extensive use in a season that doesn’t even call the fabric to action (see: Spring), and shoes that function as boots, stockings, maybe even leggings, too, are precisely the details that separate Celine from its contemporaries.
Show: Acne Studios
Vibe: There’s a “Studios” in our new branding and don’t you forget it. Indeed–we’re no longer just a well-sheathed parody of your 14-year-old’s facial problems.
Important Notes: What once seemed like an alpha selection of jeans (which, mind you, is still just that) and leather outerwear has snowballed into this fascinating play on dynamic, luxurious fabric and color. The way in which these layers fall and the fresh silhouettes evoking the brand’s newness are a real testament to the seriousness evident in Johnny Johansson’s evolution from contemporary label to full functioning high fashion ready-to-wear brand. Fashion is still fun, though–that should always remain true–which is probably why the shoes in this show make the models look like they’re stepping in fresh wedding cake, right?
Vibe: Ricardo Tisci is smart in that he knows precisely what works–precisely was excites his editors and incites his customers. You want a sweatshirt? I’ll give you a sweatshirt. A nod to the 90s? You got it–play with this plaid, use this leather and here’s a rather muted floral print to make it our own. Our own–it’s just that, isn’t it? That when Tisci designs, it feels like he’s designing for the collective.
Important Notes: Is it too ambitious for me to implement the age-old Man Repeller raison d’etre right here? If it looks like a vagina (which these models heads do), it’s probably couture. Or in this case, exemplary ready-to-wear.
Show: Comme des Garcons
Vibe: Rihanna is to Disturbia what Kawakubo is to Esoteria.
Important Notes: It is still Rei Kawakubo’s world, we’re just living in it and only the strong can survive. I wasn’t at this show and as such, your opinion is probably better than mine so let’s deconstruct it together. These were two of my favorite looks (that velvet! Those sleeves! A jumpsuit! Vagina?) but have a peek at the rest of the collection here. Don’t forget to come back, though. I’m waiting for your report.