March 4, 2024


The feeling of suffocation in the set It was real: a musty smell, wet mud, a huge crack in the dark, and the models walking through puddles that splashed the front rows with their celebrities and they also stained the bottom of the denim ever-present at Balenciaga, the oversized clogs and slinky trains of evening gowns now, in her now-classic pink, silver and black.

Fashion does not need an explanation, each one must judge for himself. This is said by the man who has most conceptualized fashion in recent years. Demna, designer and resurrector of Balenciaga, has presented this Sunday in Paris a collection for next spring in a quagmire, the work of the Spanish Santiago Sierra, to simulate the process of creative digging in search of ideas that the Georgian undergoes each season . “I don’t want to explain the collection. It is a reflection on my work as a designer, but also on luxury: What is luxury? A cashmere jumper? Surrounding the collection with clay speaks of this reflection, it is almost blasphemy, but it makes it real ”, he assured in the behind the scenes after the parade Subvert what luxury means, the streetwear, the new, the neat and the dirty is the main idea of ​​this collection that continues with its trajectory of perverting the imaginary of luxury as it already did with the Ikea bag or the checkered bag from the bazaar of everything at 100. “I hate the boxes and labels. As a society we label, especially from the internet”. The boxes, the famous cognitive biases, serve to make us feel more secure, but that’s not what Demna is looking for.

“He Show It talks about the exact moment in which we live. We are all going somewhere, we don’t know where, ”explained the designer moving his speech into the abstract, without citing explicit references or explanations. However, for the viewer to draw conclusions from it, at least a bit of context is needed: the artist Santiago Sierra presented his installation in Hannover in Germany in 2005 house in mud, 120 kilos of mud to emulate the construction of an artificial lake during the Nazi regime. Sierra intended with this work to reflect on human exploitation, power and authority and now replicates something similar in the Nord Villepinte exhibition park in Paris.

The overwhelming setting, the invitation to the show —which consisted of an aged wallet with documentation, purchase receipts, a health card, a credit card and even some coins—, and the dirty Converse that Balenciaga put up for sale a few months ago for almost 2,000 euros to the rapid indignation of social networks, immediately referred to two ideas: What objects are people able to pay for? How is desire generated? And, at the same time, it was impossible not to think about other questions: How are the cities after being razed? What would you take with you if you had to run away from home? How do your belongings, your wallet, your All Stars look, after walking a long way?

It’s nothing new that Demna bases many of his creative ideas on his own experience as a refugee. And it looks like he’s done it again. In the parade there were bags in the form of old and dirty children’s stuffed animals, men with their babies in backpacks and carrying bags that revealed their contents, which was the basics. In contrast to the always oversized silhouette of Balenciaga appeared a series of small down jackets, as if they did not belong to those who wore them. The garbage bag bag and the potato bag bag also referred to a hostile journey. In a model’s hairstyle, a key was glimpsed, the object where refugees, all, place their hope. “Are you optimistic?” they asked. “Right now I’m not optimistic, but I do have hope,” he replied. Because we are all going somewhere, yes, but some journeys are darker.

It is understandable that certain people find the argument of today as a profiler of fashion collections tedious and repetitive, but it is a creative mission. There are others. For those who believe that fashion should be an escape, or a haven for beauty and joy, at Issey Miyake’s show last Friday, the first since the creator passed away last August, a phrase was projected, to applause from Japanese: “I think there is hope in design. The design evokes surprise and joy in people.” The collection, created by Satoshi Kondo, summarized all of Miyake’s great milestones: derivatives of his pleats in different sizes and fabrics, rigorous black, geometric prints and bright colours. The finale, with a dance and the models running, displaying the free movement and fluidity for which Miyake’s designs are known, conveyed hope in a way that was the opposite of Balenciaga’s.

Parade of the collection for the next spring of Issey Miyake, on September 30 in Paris.
Parade of the collection for the next spring of Issey Miyake, on September 30 in Paris.JOHANNA GERON (REUTERS)

Hermès also showed on Saturday a cheerful proposal that played with the colors of the sunset in a rave imaginary in the desert as a supposed ending to a trip through the mountains. The collection mixed layered silk dresses and other cut-outs of very light leather with technical fabrics. Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski brilliantly used ropes, elastics, and zippers from sports or climbing clothing that she fully integrated into her classic elegance. Something like the usual use of the ironmongerythe pieces of hardware, common in the French house.

Four of Hermès's proposals, in the parade of its collection for spring/summer 2023 on October 1 at Paris fashion week.
Four of Hermès’s proposals, in the parade of its collection for spring/summer 2023 on October 1 at Paris fashion week.JULIEN DE ROSA (AFP)

The path continues, life advances, technology is surpassed, but sometimes the gaze goes back. in a boast performative, The Coperni duo, made up of Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant and named after Nicolás Copernicus, created a dress on the body of Bella Hadid live. The model, naked, scrawny and practically inert, endured for almost 10 minutes that two men, workers at the Coperni workshop, sprayed her with spray before the audience. It was, without a doubt, one of the viral moments of the week. It generated surprise and emotion in part of the public and discomfort and skepticism in the other. The fabric, created by the Spanish Manel Torres, is called Fabrican and it is not new. The choice of a very thin model with a passive attitude made it inevitable to reflect on the role of women in this industry. It is also inevitable to think about the performances by Marina Abramovic, rhythm 0and Yoko Ono, cut piece, where the artists offered their bodies so that the public could do whatever they wanted with them. The results were sadistic: As Abramovic explained, the interaction started out friendly and ended aggressively.

Bella Hadid, in three of the moments while she was being made a dress live during the Coperni show, on September 30 at Paris fashion week.
Bella Hadid, in three of the moments while she was being made a dress live during the Coperni show, on September 30 at Paris fashion week.JULIEN DE ROSA (AFP)

“It’s our celebration of the silhouettes of women from centuries past,” the duo said after the show. They were referring to the clothes, because the silhouettes of the women, with the two usual exceptions, were the same as in the rest of the shows (except for Ester Manas’s): scrawny.

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