Paris Fashion Week Is Full of Visual ASMR (And Yes I Have Chills)
09.30.19

Paris Fashion Week has been giving me chills. Not because of the clothes, mind you—although they’ve been great—the true source of my goosebumps has to do with their presentation. The visual elements of each show have been more ASMR-inducing than the next, resulting in the kind of social media content tailor-made for mesmerization (there have been occasions when it wasn’t totally clear whether I was watching a video from fashion week or a recent post from @ifyouhigh). Little did I know that keeping up with PFW from afar via Instagram would lead me to be indirectly hypnotized, soothed, relaxed, comforted, hugged, and tingled at random over the past five or so days. I’ve gathered up some of the five most potent instigators of these sensations below so you can start your week off right. Now, go hide in a conference room and enjoy.


1) The Bouncing Dresses at Balenciaga

 

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There’s something very satisfying about hearing an infant described as a “bouncing baby girl.” Ditto for closing your eyes and picturing a heavy watermelon dropped squarely in the middle of a trampoline: b-b-b-bounce. Mmmm. Yes. If we were to try to prove that eyes have the ability to detect melody in the same way that ears do, bounciness would be the perfect fodder. Such was certainly the case at the end of Balenciaga’s runway show, which treated us to a lineup of bouncing ball gowns and that undulated with each step the models took, up and down and up and down, a most delightful jello wobble. The materials they were made with–richly textured metallic gold and silver, deeply saturated blue and red velvet–were clearly chosen to enhance this effect.

2) The Bubbles at Rick Owens

Vanessa Friedman put it best when she Tweeted, “I could watch the bubble blowers at Rick Owens all day”–to which I can only muster a monosyllabic same, because I’m so enchanted with the thing to which she is referring: a group of black-clad figures who surrounded the pool of water at the Palais de Tokyo and use nets to create clouds of bubbles throughout the entire runway show. So captivated was I with the ensuing litany of bubble-filled videos that I am only just now asking the important questions, like, did Owens get permission to fill the pool with soap!? The other-worldly set was a fitting backdrop for the magnificently rendered clothes, which were created in homage to the designer’s Mexican heritage.

3) The Floating Clothes at Issey Miyake

 

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I wasn’t the type of kid who fantasized about living the life of a Disney princess, except for one thing: getting dressed with the help of chirping birds. I couldn’t help reacquainting myself with that daydream after consuming no fewer than seven different videos of Issey Miyake’s runway show, which didn’t have birds but did have floating clothes. The only thing more chill than having a friendly bird help me get dressed would be having a dress simply float down onto my body as soon as I got out of the shower every morning. I have spine tingles just thinking about it.

4) The Pram Ride at Thom Browne

 

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While there didn’t appear to be anything–human or otherwise–inside the pram that a model pushed down the runway at Thom Browne, I was nonetheless vicariously soothed thinking about what it would feel like to be tucked up in there, underneath a soft blanket, lulled to sleep with the gentle wiggle of my mom’s (?) seven-inch high strut. I pictured this exact scenario when I got in bed last night and I can assure you it was much more impactful than counting sheep.

5) The Waterfall at Nina Ricci

 

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Speaking of being lulled to sleep, why turn on my sleep noise machine when I can simply listen to the tranquilizing shhhhhhh of the giant waterfall situated on Nina Ricci’s Paris runway? In addition to the comforting sound it made, it also produced a uniquely comforting visual experience. Turns out that gazing at paper-flowery vests and cream-puffy dress collars and bubble-gummy skirts behind the screen of a glistening downpour is basically the fashion week equivalent of chicken soup for the soul.

While you could make the case that many of these ASMR-adjacent happenings were conceived for the purpose of garnering social media attention, I would beg to differ–because instead of distracting from the clothes, they enhanced them in distinctive, intentional ways, highlighting the movement of a certain fabric, illustrating the character you could become in a certain pair of shoes, transporting us to the room even if we were miles away. They reinforced the purpose of runways in 2019; despite the ability to Google a collection after it has debuted, the manner in which it did still matters.

Feature photo via Getty Images.

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