Fashion Shows Archive

Forever Rykiel

PARIS, France — Julie de Libran finished work on her spring collection in July, so the news of Sonia Rykiel’s death on August 25 required a re-conceptualisation not of the collection but of its presentation. Sonia’s shows were notable for their chatty Parisiennes gabbing their way down the catwalk, not like the frosty mannequins on other runways. De Libran couldn’t quite swing that groove (the fraught youngsters de nos jours don’t do catwalk …

Female Empowerment in Paris

PARIS, France — All of a sudden, in Paris, it was 1968, 1977 or whatever year in recent history coincided with an outburst of protest and a moment of change. Sort of. It was, of course, mostly a mise en scène. These being our digitally superficial times and this being designer fashion — an exercise in turning the basic human need to cover up into a desirable …

Celtic Legend at Alexander McQueen

PARIS, France — Credit photographer Jamie Hawkesworth. He went to the Shetland Islands, off the north eastern coast of Scotland, to shoot a McQueen campaign, and designer Sarah Burton followed along with her team. And there they fell under the spell of the last whisper of land before the United Kingdom dissolves into the North Sea. It was a location made for a McQueen story: rugged, primal …

Esteban Cortazar's Journey to India

PARIS, France — In June, Esteban Cortazar’s apartment burned down. And — post-Beyoncé — we all know what do when life gives you lemons. The designer didn’t phrase it quite like that backstage after his life-affirming show, but he did say that he had become determined to turn the dark into something light. The result was a spiritual, joyous and personal spring collection that prompted …

Giambattista Valli's Sporty Touch

PARIS, France — The work of Giambattista Valli is quite specific. He is a designer of dresses — ethereal, sculptural and generally occasion-oriented. His stylistic span, however, is much bigger and he offered proof of this at today’s show. The opening look — all black, very slim and oddly sporty — felt decidedly non-Valli, at least the dressy Valli which we are used to. The sporty …

Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia and a Fabulous Fashion Synchronicity

PARIS, France — During his Balenciaga research, Demna Gvasalia came across a fabulous fashion synchronicity: 1958, the year when Cristobal Balenciaga developed the silk organza gazar which became his signature fabric, was also the year Spandex was invented. The ultimate body-conscious fabric vs. the ultimate couture fabric — that played straight into Gvasalia and his co-conspirators thinking long and hard about the parallels between couture and fetishism: the …

Unadulterated Ungaro

PARIS, France — “100% Ungaro” declared the press notes for today’s Emanuel Ungaro show. “Pure DNA” was another punchline. Creative director Fausto Puglisi was referring to the 1980s heyday of the maison: a gloriously baroque time of mega-shoulders, miniskirts, super-ruffles and a gazillion polka dots and flowers. Think Joan Collins as Alexis in Dynasty or Princess Stephanie of Monaco in her popstar phase. That’s exactly what …

Yohji Yamamoto's Black Magic

PARIS, France — Punk, for Yohji Yamamoto, is a state of mind that never tires. While his contemporaries become milder with the years, the king of black gets sharper and punchier, his asymmetric tailoring a thing of harsh beauty, his sense of drape dryly poetic. The magic about this designer is that you go to his shows imagining exactly what you will see — a sea …