March 29, 2023

Paris Fashion Week? see the highlights of the year – 03/10/2023 – Ilustrada

Joana Vasconcelos took the Dior show at Paris Fashion Week by storm with an exuberant runway installation. The Portuguese plastic artist dominated the space with more than a ton of colorful fabrics with varying textures, all from the Dior collection, spread across the ceiling and along the catwalk.

The models, who presented the autumn-winter looks for this year and next year, walked with a zig-zag pattern among prints, sequins and lights. The collection clashed with the artist’s work. Signed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, the concise, serious and of course extremely elegant clothes almost took a back seat to the show.

The designer offered a subtle visual feast of coats and skirts in neutral tones inspired by the legendary black actress and dancer Josephine Baker, an icon of the Jazz Age, the wild 1920s and the civil rights movement forty years later.

Chiuri maintained her tradition of dialogue with other art forms by having African-American artist Mickalene Thomas, one of the hottest names in contemporary painting and collage, as her special guest of the year. Thomas’ work alone provides an overview of figures from black and queer culture. Dior clothes, this year, featured black women.

Speaking of exuberance, eponymous label Rick Owens brought his own with an oversized jacket covered in hand-embroidered silk chiffon fringes and sequins—the sewing process took six hours—and with shoulders that formed an upward curve.

Exaggerated measurements were another eye-catching element of Owens’ fashion show, which also featured aggressive, black looks, set off by high-heeled boots and sharply angled shoulder pads.

Several of the lean, androgynous-looking models, shrouded in artificial fog, wore black lenses over their eyes, as if these women were gothic horror characters who ended up on the catwalk. Estonian rapper Tommy Cash, the aspirational muse for Owens’ sinister aesthetic, walked the show wearing a tight white tank with “sue me” emblazoned across the chest — and, from the waist down, nothing more than a prosthetic trick.

“He doesn’t lose focus,” said rapper Usher. “His clothes are ones you will have in your wardrobe forever.”

One of the statements made at this year’s Paris Fashion Week is that exuberance and beauty don’t necessarily go together. Secret models wearing huge red false eyelashes, beanies with side horns and angular jackets.

Off White, in turn, put a model on the runway with her head covered by a mechanical look made of interlocking gears, leaving only the eyes and mouth visible. This is one of the recent examples of the adventures of Off White, an eccentric brand, with the iconography of steampunk, a subgenre of science fiction that combines retro and futuristic industrial technology.

It’s no wonder that actor Jared Leto, himself a style mannequin along these lines, was in the front row watching the parade — covered in a white leather coat to contrast with gloves and black sunglasses. It is worth recalling that Leto will play Karl Lagerfeld, the legendary designer of Chanel for four decades, in a biopic.

Still on the theme of legends, the statuesque Naomi Campbell walked for Off White, but wearing the brand’s most demure clothes, such as a body-hugging black dress whose collar made a perfect circle around the model’s head.

Campbell’s presence is a nod to Virgil Abloh, an Off White designer she was friends with. Abloh died in 2021, aged 41, from cancer. The only strong takeaway from the Off White show is that its new creative director, Ib Kamara, debuted with a bang.

Let’s quickly go back to Jared Leto. The actor attended the first fashion show for the brand Vivienne Westwood, whose eponymous founder died in December 2022. The position was taken over by the designer’s widower, Andreas Kronthaler, who evoked Westwood’s eternal rebelliousness and elegance — and defied her tribute by stamping the designer’s face on a t-shirt.

Rebellion also set the tone for Stella McCartney’s protest collection. The designer presented coats, dresses and skirts, among other pieces, made from grapes, mushrooms and apples that mimic animal skin. The corridor was a stable. “My clothes didn’t kill anything,” he told the press.

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