Christian Dior showed an interstellar meeting of the 18th century and a future imagined by Raf Simons, Louis Vuitton and Kenzo featured avatars and holograms, and Loewe welcomed a new designer, as Paris Fashion Week looked resolutely to the future.
In the heart of a giant mirrored cube set in the center of the Cour Carrée du Louvre, Raf Simons’ collection for Christian Dior showcased models evoking Madame de Pompadour’s wardrobe with materials, prints and details inspired by a minimalist future era. Long cape-like overcoats were worn over shorts, while flowing blouson dresses segued into modernist corsets held in place by clip buttons.
Nicolas Ghesquière presented the Louis Vuitton show against a truly stunning backdrop, the new Fondation Louis Vuitton, which opens to the public on October 27. Giant holograms of models’ faces opened the show, intoning the defining value of the Fondation, total creative freedom. The designer was guided by this mantra, sending out flared velvet trousers ornamented with Oriental motifs, high-neck black and white lace dresses closed with long fabric straps, and leather bags that folded on themselves.
Kenzo also mashed up virtual and reality for its runway show. Guests were welcomed to a skate park by Knola, a 3D avatar projected on giant LED screens. Like a messenger from the future, Knola reminded everyone that “There is no Planet B” to which we can escape if ours were to disappear. Umberto Leon and Carol Lim had a resolutely optimistic take on this message, presenting an ingenious, future-facing collection of enveloping oversize pieces in a rainbow of pastel tones.
This year’s Fashion Week was also about experimenting with colors and materials. For his first women’s ready-to-wear collection at Loewe, Jonathan Anderson revisited the House’s emblematic material, leather. His creations were marked by sharp diagonals, using leathers in myriad colors for long dresses, trench coats or flared pants.
The same clean graphic look prevailed at Céline. Phoebe Philo designed a contemporary wardrobe including long floral print dresses and meticulous kimono-style suits with cinched waists. No stranger to surprising associations that are always elegantly executed, the designer worked with ceramics in this collection for closures on dresses, brooches and pendants.
For the coming Spring-Summer season, Riccardo Tisci adopted a more mischievous tone at Givenchy, revisiting black office uniforms to create a carnal collection that plays on contrasts between leather and flesh-revealing cut-outs. Straps, thigh boots, iron rings and studs were prominent in a show where clothes are treated as a second skin that enhances the body, rather than a uniform to keep up appearances.