© Louis Vuitton
After the Marc Jacobs show in New York, the Fall/Winter 2020-2021 Women’s Fashion Week schedule moved on to Milan and featured, for the LVMH group, the collections of Fendi and Emilio Pucci, as well as the unveiling of a new leather-goods line by Bvlgari. As Dior opened the Paris Fashion Week, followed by Kenzo, Patou, Loewe, Celine, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton, we look back at these fizz and flair moments of creativity.
Louis Vuitton: Time Clash
For the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2020-2021 collection, Nicolas Ghesquière, the Maison’s Artistic Director for Womenswear, confronted the innumerable eras that have nourished fashion over the centuries with contemporary freedoms to pair, dare and look at history with playful subversion. A biker jacket is worn over an old-fashioned pleated dress, while a flamboyant matador jacket is paired with ultra-modern pants. The show welcomed anachronism as an attitude, proposing agility and total freedom with respect to a wardrobe. In the clash of styles and eras conventions disappear and individual personality takes precedence. The models walked the runway under the gaze of 200 characters dressed in outfits from the 15th century to the 1950s. Their garb was the work of costume designer Milena Canonero, known for her work in Stanley Kubrick films A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon and The Shining. Composed by Woodkid and Bryce Dessner, the music for the show was also a hybridization of eras. The piece, entitled Three Hundred and Twenty, references movements in a baroque composition written 320 years apart. A further illustration of the affinity between the contemporary Louis Vuitton wardrobe created by Nicolas Ghesquière and the heritage of the Maison.
Givenchy transforms the female body into a work of art
To express the body language of powerful women and to evoke the imperfect beauty of an arthouse heroine – such was the ambition of Claire Waight Keller’s Fall/Winter 2020-2021 collection for Givenchy. With a palette of black, white, cherry-red and tobacco-brown, the designer wove a thread between the golden age of French cinema and the art of performance. Dramatically proportioned fabric collages were shown alongside pagoda-shouldered capes and coats cut from fine, double-face Melton. Sculpted knits and sleek fake fur embraced the body in deep folds. In terms of accessories, the wide-brimmed hat of Givenchy Haute Couture reappeared in soft felt, while barely-there sandals were delicately tied at the ankle. The GV3 bag designed by Claire Waight Keller was revisited in glossy spazzolato leather and three-tone suede, while the Antigona Soft appeared wrapped in archive printed-silk scarves.
Celine blurs gender boundaries
True to the philosophy of Artistic Director Hedi Slimane, the Fall/Winter 2020-2021 collection embodies an evolution of the Celine wardrobe. New proportions and smooth velvet are the foundations of the season’s silhouettes. This is a unisex collection, with each piece – including the bags – designed to be worn by men as well as women. As the models walked the runway, each look echoed the next in a play of fabrics: smooth velvet on jackets, pants and dresses, silk on androgynous blouses, shaping a new vision of romanticism. Some of the accessories were created in collaboration with Fondation César and reinterpreted the sculptor’s iconic compressions. Crafted from silver and vermeil, these limited-edition jewelry pieces are in equal measure pendants and works of art. The collection also spotlighted the new Les Cristaux Celine jewelry line, with bracelets, rings and pendants fashioned from nine precious stones, including rock crystal, smoky quartz and star mica, chosen by Hedi Slimane for their beauty and symbolism.
Loewe, an exploration of ready-to-wear’s frontiers
Inspired by both the pomp and austereness of Spanish iconography, the Loewe Fall/Winter 2020-2021 collection is an exploration of silhouette and texture. Loewe Creative Director Jonathan Anderson looks for new ways to fuse the diversity of craft and ready-to-wear. Ceramic pieces by Takuro Kawata – who was awarded a special mention at the 2018 Loewe Foundation Craft Prize – are incorporated onto dresses and the drawstrings of Flamenco clutches. The collection illustrates a desire for playfulness, audacity and creativity. Volumes are extreme, as are juxtapositions of textures in amalgamations of opulence and utilitarian, coarseness and shine, matching wools with brocades or cottons with jacquard silks. The Hammock tote combines suede and calf, while bejeweled shoe clips add a regal touch to pumps and sneakers, creating a certain harmony to the majesty of the silhouettes.
Patou, Act 4 of a playful woman
Patou presented Act 4 of the brand’s renaissance in the intimate setting of its atelier during Paris Fashion Week, helmed by Creative Director Guillaume Henry. The Patou woman is happily ever-changing, from sailor to starlet to gourmand on the go. Always open to new possibilities, her wardrobe is perfect for every occasion and impromptu caprices. Sometimes roomy, sometimes cinched, the cuts adjust to the moment and whims, from an elegant evening gown to a comfortable red mariniere. The meticulous collection is elevated by discreet yet essential accessories. From a sailor cap with a masculine touch to elegant gilded earrings, every piece in the protean wardrobe designed by Guillaume Henry for Patou Act 4 becomes essential.
Kenzo: inspiring journeys
A journey figures at the heart of Kenzo is, that taken by the Maison’s founder Kenzo Takada, who left his native Japan on a ship headed for France. He knew nothing of Paris and spoke no French, but was ineluctably drawn to the dream of Haute Couture and its epicenter, the City of Light. These dreams and memories of travels inspired Felipe Oliveira Baptista for his debut collection as the new Creative Director of Kenzo. The tubular structure of the set for the Fall/Winter 2020-2021 echoed this inspiration, designed as a modular and mobile object that can be re-used for future events. This nomadic, non-conformist spirit informed the pieces in the collection, with reversible coats that go from monochrome to printed or down jackets that become sleeping bags. Superposed materials add to the energy of slender silhouettes and the amplitude of cuts. “Painting-dresses”are inspired by Lisbon-born painter Júlio Pomar, featuring tiger motifs from a series of works done by the painter in the 1980s, echoing the iconic Kenzo motif. This inaugural collection by Felipe Oliveira Baptista is an enticing invitation to discovery and journeys.
Dior: return to roots to fight today’s battles
For the Fall/Winter 2020-2021 collection, Dior Women collections’ Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri delved into her teenage memories, recalling powerful emotions and her first fashion loves to serve as inspiration for the pieces in the wardrobe. Maria Grazia Chiuri has special affection for checks, found on pleated skirts and pea coats, as well as polka dots, a motif from Monsieur Dior’s archives that served as the starting point for dresses in various lengths. Knitwear was another star this season, spanning all the wardrobe essentials: sweaters, jackets, skirts and pants. The set for the show in the Jardin des Tuileries was designed in collaboration with the Claire Fontaine collective, evoking Maria Grazia Chiuri’s commitment to the feminist cause with the phrase “I say I” inscribed over the entrance. The manifesto brings to life a story of self-assertion and Maison Dior’s creative approach to the multiple aspects of feminine subjectivity.
Emilio Pucci, drawing on the past to bring daring to the present
After three years away from the runway, Maison Emilio Pucci stepped back into the spotlight by inviting Christelle Kocher to reinterpret its heritage. The Creative Director of Maison Koché drew inspiration from the rich archives of the Florentine Maison, revisiting them with her very contemporary style. This started with the design of a new logo welcoming Koché into the artistic universe of Emilio Pucci and symbolizing the spirit of the collection, with its daring update of the past. Thus, feminine lace and silk were combined with technical jersey to bring a fabulous energy to dresses, transforming them into elegant sportswear. The collection also demonstrated its modernity by a desire to break down barriers – between past and present, between sportswear and evening gowns, and indeed between genders, with male and female silhouettes shown together in perfect harmony.
Fendi, a show of dazzling sobriety
The Fall/Winter 2020-2021 women’s collection designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi, Creative Director of the Rome-based Maison, is all about flamboyant intensity. A subtle mix of materials pervades every look: cashmere, fur, leather and lace are at the heart of the season, combining with harmony and sobriety. The collection’s elegant color palette tends towards monochrome, attaining a virtuoso balance. Though the Fendi woman asserts her seductive personality, she does so with restraint and refinement. The clothes are generously proportioned, as seen in cozy loopback sweaters and voluptuous fur coats. In terms of accessories, bags are a particular highlight, notably the iconic Baguette and Peekaboo, the latter shown for the first time in an accordion shape, alongside leather shoppers and charms inspired by vintage Fendi packaging, which were a feature of the last Men’s collection.
Bvlgari unveils its new Bvlgari 7 Ways bag
In the middle of Fashion Week, Maison Bvlgari presented its new collection of Leather Goods and Accessories in Milan. Drawing inspiration from fine jewelry, these new designs are destined to take glamour to unprecedented heights with their references to Bvlgari’s iconic snake motif. For instance, the Bvlgari 7 Ways bag can be worn in seven different ways, alluding to the transformative nature of the snake, which adorns each bag in the form of an exquisite jewel. Bvlgari also presented its new eyewear collection, inspired by the last B.zero1 collection, in a retro-futuristic style.