February 19, 2024

There are infinite ways to set up a circus. Most are metaphorical, but Nicolas Ghesquière decided to ride it for real. In a central courtyard of the Louvre museum, like a beautiful and modern traveling circus, stood a structure that this Tuesday hosted one of the most interesting parades of the week, and which, moreover, was the last of the nine days of Paris fashion week. He set It was the work of the French artist of Spanish origin Philippe Parreno, to whom the Louis Vuitton designer gave free rein to create a stage from scratch, and the result successfully wrapped up the Frenchman’s proposal in which there was little circus but much play .

The models went in and out of the structure, which, with its tent-like appearance, gave a glimpse of the anchors of the canvases, the irons and nails that held the seats, the mirrors that reflected the public. The work, like a “monstrous flower”, showed a game, to make visible the hardware, something that Ghesquière seconded in his collection. Oversized zippers, gigantic buckles, massive chains, essentials in Louis Vuitton’s DNA turned into something else. Like Alicia’s trip but applied to trimmings and auctions. And to the Monogram, the print and logo of the house, which she wore gigantic in bags oversized. A vision of femininity emphasized through the game of proportions, a stylistic exercise that focuses on details. “The infinitely large and the infinitely small come together and invite a closer look,” explained the text sent after the parade. Ghesquière has created a new world under the glass of her circus. It was a pleasure to see the confident models parade, without stumbling, with freedom of movement, with short dresses, complex but comfortable at the same time. The hands in pockets, which became the star of the day, picked up the glove of the scenery, the nomadic world needs good pockets.

It was Gabrielle Chanel, precisely, who introduced freedom of movement as a concept of style and femininity. And in the fashion show this Tuesday, the creative director of the house continued this legacy. He tweed in pastel colors in baggy jumpsuits, suits with bermuda shorts and made of silk, light appliqués of feathers, all sprinkled with subtle but effective shine. Of course, in no other collection are pockets more present than in those of the French house. It should not be forgotten that Coco Chanel was the first to refuse to make small pockets, common in women’s clothing, and that she managed to make them part of the iconic image of the looks Chanel.

Five of the models presented by Chanel in Paris for the upcoming spring/summer 2023, during the city's fashion week, on October 4, 2022.
Five of the models presented by Chanel in Paris for the upcoming spring/summer 2023, during the city’s fashion week, on October 4, 2022.Pascal Le Segretain (Getty)

Before the show began, a short starring Kristen Stewart and directed by photographers Inez & Vinoodh was projected in front of the public. In the image, the actress leaves the mythical Parisian cinema Le Champo after seeing the film by Alain Resnais Last year in Marienbad. the movie, a film cult of the nouvelle vague, was already referenced by Karl Lagerfeld in 2010, creating the Marienbad esplanade as the setting for the Chanel show. In addition, the French house restored the film in 2018.

Sighs and balustrades, gates, corridors and stairs projectedly wrapped the creations presented by Virginie Viard, who this time based her proposal on the allure, a French word that does not have an exact translation into Spanish. Its meaning has to do with style, character, poise, charm. According to the text by Olivier Assayas that delved into the idea of ​​the collection, the allure it is an alchemy, “for fashion to have this alchemy it needs mystery to work, that invisible that is present in all the arts. Often starting from something very small, born of chance as much as of necessity”.

Miu Miu also focused her collection on useful fashion. The shape and the background coincided in the message that Miuccia Prada put on the catwalk through elevated basic elements thanks to noble fabrics such as leather, gemstones and chiffon, but also on the contrary, as is usual for the Italian designer, making seemingly delicate pieces such as nylon party dresses. “Fashion is part of real life: it has a use, be it to dress the body, be it to express a larger purpose, larger issues, the legacy of the individual and culture. Fashion’s notion of utility and service influences physical expression. The pockets, synonymous with practicality, are made in different fabrics and layers, exceeding the limit between decoration and function”, explained the firm’s press release.

Several models parade for the brand Miu Miu, on October 4, 2022 in Paris, at the presentation of the spring/summer 2023 season of the Italian fashion brand.
Several models parade for the brand Miu Miu, on October 4, 2022 in Paris, at the presentation of the spring/summer 2023 season of the Italian fashion brand.AFP/GETTY

The pockets, what a simple element. It would seem logical that all the garments would carry them. It is not like that and when they appear consciously, to free the hands, to really carry objects, as a statement, they transmit a powerful effect. So did Chitose Abe, the Sacai designer, who added portable pockets to almost every outlet in the collection. She also claimed freedom of movement thanks to the folds that gave the garments bellows. The sleeves, which often prevent precisely the gesture of putting the hand in the pocket, were very long but loose, folded around the wrist and elbow, like an enormous puffer that despite its volume is practical and not uncomfortable. The parade, joyous and received with excellent reviews by the audience, summed up the creator’s state of mind in the only print with letters in the collection: “I have a feeling that I’m going to be fine”, a line taken from the song by Lizzo About Damn Time.

Hope and optimism are not the same, but they are similar. Paris fashion week would have ended on a high note if it hadn’t been for Kanye West’s surprise Yeezy show. Up to an hour and a quarter had to wait on Monday, complacent, the priests of fashion, to see the collection of the American. The expectations were immense, it’s Kanye West, he could decide to do whatever he wanted, and what he did was offend a large part of the audience with a t-shirt with the white supremacist slogan White Lives Matter —white lives matter—, used against the Black Lives Matter movement, which provoked harsh criticism and even caused some people, like Will Smith’s son, Jaden Smith, to abandon the controversial Show.

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