“Chanel freed women, I empowered them.” Yves Saint Laurent couldn’t have described the fashion house better back in the 60’s, a notion that is still highly applicable to the Spring/Summer 2019 collection showcased in Paris last week.
Tailored designs, the infamous Le Smoking tuxedo suit and rock-n-roll jackets made up a masculine-feminine silhouette which cannot be mistaken as anything other than Saint Laurent. The collection definitely had a classic YSL vibe, but the fairly new creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, also made sure to set his signature mark on the collection – which involved short and black. Cut-out swimsuits, leather hot pants and black chiffon dresses with thigh-high splits were some of the highlights on the runway. As if the collection wasn’t eye-catching enough, the catwalk was turned into a dark infinity pool lighted up by luminous palm trees surrounding the platform. WITH the majestic Eiffel Tower glowing in the background. Now, that’s a sight you wouldn’t easily forget.
Balenciaga’s Spring Summer 2019 show was, as Demna Gvaselia does best, an ultimate reflection of current culture. The set design was an experience in itself as the runway was inside a tunnel of LED-screens with flickering visual images that lighted up the catwalk. “We wanted an experience, which was like being inside someone’s digital mind,” Gvasalia said. This digital experience was translated onto the collection with its futuristic aesthetic and robot-like models. The design was chic and clean, made up of neatly tailored boxy coats and blazers, straight lines, volumized popped-up collars and bodycon dresses. The collection was far from boring. It was rather imperfectly perfect, which can be said the same of our current digital era.
Rick Owens was (literally) on fire for its Spring Summer 2019 show that showed in Paris last week. The courtyard of Palais de Tokyo was transformed into a theatrical ritualistic scene with a burning pyre standing in the middle of it all, surrounded by models stomping down the runway in modern-day harness inspired design. In his program notes, Owens cited historical references from the early 20th century that were visualized onto the collection through reworked denim bottoms, fringy layered dresses, leather detailing and bold sculptural creations. The colour palette was very characteristically Owens featuring black, off-white, grey, olive, brown and burgundy, while the dramatic silhouettes were topped off with bug-eyed sunglasses, geometrical headpieces and burning torches in hand. Both the set design and the collection featured elements that are symbols of “hope, dread, serenity and nihilism” according to Owens.