Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Björk’s Summer Festival Style Is As Unconventional As Ever

When attending a Björk gig, expect the unexpected. The legendary Icelandic musician is currently touring Europe as part of her Orkestral tour, which sees her play with a different local orchestra and choir every night, reinventing some of her most beloved songs along the way – and at her latest stop in Manchester, she enlisted the city’s celebrated Hallé symphony orchestra to do the honours.

But when playing the city’s Bluedot Festival last night – billed as an “intergalactic festival of music, science, arts, culture and the exploration of space,” which already sounds perfectly Björkian – her willingness to defy expectation didn’t just end with the music. A heatwave may have gripped the UK over the past week, but that didn’t stop Björk from wearing a dramatic hooded puffer gown from Pierpaolo Piccioli’s autumn/winter 2019 collection for Moncler’s Genius project, featuring bold orange and white that seemed to pay (very event-appropriate) homage to space suits.

While Björk’s magpie eye for avant-garde fashion has seen her become a muse to the likes of Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Iris van Herpen, the typically private star has dipped her toe into some of the most cutting-edge labels of the moment with the help of her long-time stylist Edda Gudmundsdottir for a recent spate of appearances. Most notable, perhaps, was the blood-red Loewe gown by Jonathan Anderson she wore to the Reykjavik premiere of The Northman back in April, which marked her first red carpet appearance in 10 years.

This is not the first time she’s worn Piccioli’s designs, having worn a series of ravishing Valentino gowns over the course of her current tour, alongside pieces by Rick Owens, Noir Kei Ninomiya and Balenciaga. To give her look that final lift-off, Björk enlisted the help of her co-creative director James Merry, whose intricate handmade masks have become something of a signature for the musician, as well as contrasting orange eyeliner and a glittery blue lip to add a touch of extraterrestrial sparkle, courtesy of the make-up artist Johannes Jaruraak (AKA Hungry). And as for her apparent immunity to the heat? There has always been something a little otherworldly about Björk.

Chanel Celebrate's Its Ephemeral Boutique In East Hampton

While the summer Hamptons scene has been in full force since Memorial Day, on Saturday night Chanel marked a mid-season arrival in East Hampton: its ephemeral boutique.

The French luxury house welcomed an intimate group of friends out east for a celebration of the seasonal store. The evening kicked off with cocktails inside the boutique, which was unveiled in late June and will remain open through the end of the summer season. Guests including Sydney Chandler, Jessica Seinfeld, Rachel Zoe, Athena Calderone, Lizzie Tisch, Gucci Westman, Destiny Joseph and Reign Judge dropped by the store’s landmarked gray-shingled building (the work of Grey Gardens architect Joseph Greenleaf Thorpe) at 26 Newtown Lane before making their way over to the nearby Baker House, where the evening continued with an outdoor dinner.

Jimmy Chin’s career as a pro-climber, skier, and adventure documentarian has taken him to some of the world’s most inaccessible landscapes. On Saturday, his career landed him in the VIP Chanel crowd with his wife, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. “Jimmy was trying to buy everything [at the boutique], and I was trying to hold him back,” said Vasarhelyi. The married filmmaking duo, who codirected the 2019 Oscar-winning documentary “Free Solo,” live in Wyoming but have a house on Long Island and happened to be in town for the party. “It’s nice to celebrate a brand [Chanel] that does so much to support artists, so of course, we love to be here,” she added. “I’m just an accessory,” quipped Chin.

Chin and Vasarhelyi recently wrapped their first fiction project, a biopic about long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, and are finishing up a documentary about their close friends Kris and Doug Tompkins, founder of The North Face and Esprit, and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. “It’s kind of a love-adventure story, but they became some of the greatest conservationists of our time,” said Chin.
“[Kris Tompkins] found the love of her life in her 40s, and then she left everything. She’s the first chief executive officer of Patagonia — she built that company for 23 years, then she runs away and flies to the real Patagonia. It’s a romantic story, but also about how we live with intention,” Vasarhelyi added.

Chin also stars in the docuseries “The Edge of the Unknown,” coming out this fall on National Geographic and Disney+. “It’s a show in response to all the shows I see about adventure and skiing and snowboarding. I wanted to get behind it all and look at really what the motivations are of these athletes, the sacrifices they’ve made, and their pursuit of transcendence that I didn’t feel like I was seeing in other narratives,” he said.

Lola Tung, the lead of Amazon Prime’s hit series “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” had just flown into town from North Carolina, where she’s filming the show’s second season. The coming-of-age teen drama, rife with a love triangle, is set in a fictional upscale summertime beach community — a world many in the dinner crowd were familiar with. “I flew in with Jenny Han — the creator [of the show] — today, and now we’re here,” said the exuberant 19-year-old actress, standing poolside as she glanced around the lush grounds. “For some reason, [Chanel] wanted me here; I’m very excited to be here. This is my first event like this, and it’s beautiful, and there are a bunch of lovely people here,” she added. “It’s stunning, it’s beautiful, everyone looks fabulous, and I can’t believe I’m wearing Chanel. It’s pretty cool.”

Tung linked up with Han shortly after her arrival; the popular young adult-lit author captured content of her young star for Instagram en route to the dinner tent, where guests had their pick of steak or whole lobster as they dined surrounded by fresh flowers and draped greenery.

After the dessert course (blueberry cobbler) hit tables, the evening concluded with a musical performance by Gracie Abrams, the 22-year-old daughter of filmmaker J.J. Abrams. “I’ve loved Chanel with my entire heart since I was a very small child, so this is surreal,” said Abrams, who was decked out in embroidered velvet pants and a glittered tweed top from the brand’s fall collection. “If I seem shaky, it’s because i can’t believe I’m lucky enough to wear these clothes right now,” she added, before launching into her romantic ballad “Friend.”

These Venetian Shoes Are Made For Walking

What many consider the Rolls-Royce of friulane comes from historic shoemaker Piedàterre, now owned by two seasoned executives — one from film, another from fashion — who are taking a step-by-step approach to nurture its expansion beyond the mythic canal city.

Stuart Parr, the producer behind Eminem’s “8 Mile” and a design guru who managed Marc Newson for more than a decade, says he first spotted Piedàterre shoes 20 years ago on the feet of “people that have great taste and great style in New York.”

His admiration grew to the point of obsession, and he is nothing if not persistent. It took three years to seal the deal, and he convinced his buddy Paul Deneve to invest alongside him. Deneve is known in the fashion industry as the Apple executive who ran fashion houses including Courrèges, Nina Ricci, Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent, before rejoining the tech giant for a second time.

Since quietly taking control of Piedàterre in May 2021, the two men have already made a few moves, including opening a flagship store in Venice’s Campo Santo Stefano, the brand’s first expansion from its historic store near the Rialto Bridge.

They also recently opened a seasonal pop-up in Forte dei Marmi, the seaside resort in Tuscany, and another at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, just ahead of the Cannes Film Festival last May. Deneve says the brand would like to open a store in Milan and “establish a foothold in the United States.” It plans to wholesale the shoes to a “handful” of multibrand retailers. “We’ll be looking for a few partners in Europe and in the States,” Deneve adds.

Both men come shod in Piedàterre slippers to an interview in Paris, lending a chic allure to their shirts and chinos. Enthusiastic walkers, they conduct their meetings during 90-minute strolls through Venice.

It’s hard not to be charmed by the backstory of the traditional Venetian slippers. After the Third Italian War of Independence, families in the Friuli region, adapting to a period of post-war austerity, combined velvet curtains from shuttered theaters and flattened bicycle tires to create elegant and practical, non-slip footwear. They were particularly appreciated by Venetians to navigate cobblestone streets, stone steps and damp boat decks.

Piedàterre friulane have been sold since 1952 — out of a cart parked on the Rialto bridge for 40 years until it expanded to a small store about a minute away.

Parr and Deneve have zhuzhed up the visual merchandising, displaying the soft and colorful shoes on densely stacked shelves, giving the mouthwatering impression of macaroons.

They also set out to improve the sole for maximum comfort and durability. “It’s a Phil Knight approach,” Parr says, referring to the founder of Nike, a runner who is forever chasing after the best performance footwear. “We walk 20,000 steps a day. We’ve engaged some of the best footwear experts on the planet to make sure what’s under your foot feels as beautiful as it looks to your eyes.”

They were adamant not to change much else, including using a network of local craftspeople to hand-stitch the shoes. All the velvets are 100 percent cotton, and production is 100 percent in Italy, “not 99.9 percent,” Deneve stresses.

Classic models retail for 89 euros while versions in fancier textiles can run up to 350 euros. For the latter, Piedàterre collaborated with Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua, a textile firm that dates back to 1499 and has supplied exceptional velvets for churches, government buildings and luxury handbags. Parr marvels that the looms are still operated by hand — and feet.

Celebrities and billionaire financiers have been known to happily wait in line at the tiny Rialto store for their turn to buy a pair of Piedàterres, but Deneve and Parr won’t drop names, nor leverage the high-profile endorsements, preferring to flag loyal but anonymous consumers who have been buying throughout the 70 years of the brand’s existence.

Deneve says “word of mouth” has fueled the fame of Piedàterre, even though there are scores of other makers of velvet friulane at various price points.

He asserts that a singleminded focus on one product made with high quality standards convinced him to step back into a fashion-related business.

“That’s where we saw the potential,” he explains. “When you have a great heritage, when you have an exceptional product and you bring it forward, making it continuously better, and adapting it to how people live today, then I think you have a strong basis for business.”

He highlights the versatility of the shoes that have made them an integral part of the “dolce vita” lifestyle in Italy.

Parr notes that many clients cherish the shoes for traveling because they are lightweight, take up little room in a suitcase, and versatile enough to wear on the beach or to a black-tie-event

Parr’s message to the family that sold him and Deneve the company was: “We’re going to grow this brand as an artisanal product, and it’s going to grow slowly and organically as much as it can and should.”

Monday, July 25, 2022

An Interview With Marco De Rivera

The prestigious Fashion Week Haute Couture and Ready to Wear shows have just ended in Paris this week. Calm falls on all the places invested by models, teams, organizers and public. It's time to discover those who are rarely seen but who are present and active, before, during and after these moments of stress, wonder and excitement. Among these essential professionals who stand in the shadows, behind the spotlights, Marco de Rivera, whose benevolence and elegant figure are known and recognized by the entire Parisian fashion world, professionals, journalists and Parisians on the "front row”, agreed to answer our questions, even a little personal.

Marco, help us choose what we need to remember from this season...

In my opinion, first of all the return to the "real" fashion shows which almost all took place face-to-face with the audience, the podium, the models and the teams backstage then in the show room. I think it was comforting to find these moments again, that it was important for the professionals to see their customers again and to talk with the buyers. It is also important for Paris, the capital of creation, to reconnect with the excitement and emulation of these exceptional days.

Then, as always, haute couture allowed us to discover new talents like the Spanish designers. Present in Paris for the first time with a real identity, a personality, elegant outfits and the technical know-how required to appear in the prestigious calendar. Without forgetting those that we already know with many beautiful proposals, innovative and elegant, or surprising, such as at Schiaparelli, Balenciaga… or young talents from the off-calendar.

What is your role with creators?

It's not easy to summarize because it’s multifaceted. I have exercised it with different designers and my mission is not exactly the same with everyone. I have to adapt to each personality that I advise, to their work, their needs, their requests. This is what’s exciting and, believe me, in thirty years, I’ve never get tired!

Let's say that I stand with the creator to help and advise him in different areas of his action. I can be called an artistic advisor and a strategic advisor. Which means that I try to compose alongside the creator an aesthetic and visual coherence for each collection from its conception, to prepare its visualization, its marketing and its presentation.

I am also concerned with the strategy because I think it is essential for a brand, a house, to know how it is positioned on the market, who its competitors are, which clientele it is aimed at… Answering all these questions is the result of exchanges, even of constant debates with the creator, in a careful examination of its positioning, its project and a precise analysis of its ambitions. My mission also often consists in concretizing what is not even expressed by the artist, by enlightening him, by reassuring him. And that's not the least of my duties!

We must constantly be on the go to monitor what is being done or not being done, to understand what is happening elsewhere, how fashion is changing. Strategic thinking is not an exact science but the evaluation and preparation of a dynamic within an environment itself in perpetual motion, it is therefore a subtle and constant development.

Do you have a mission to accomplish in the preparation of the great moments of the fashion shows?

Of course, because the image of a house comes above all from its parades, hence the infinite care necessary well in advance. The big fashion shows of the Eighties and Nineties in which I participated, like those of Marc Audibet discovering a new aesthetic, marked this era and continue to influence us all. They taught me how much these services, whose duration has gone from one hour to fifteen minutes, still require relentless preparation, intensive work at least six months before the fateful date. 

Upstream of these fifteen minutes, a team of 200 to 80 people, depending on the house, is at work in great tension because the slightest little problem can spoil the whole service. I therefore intervene as a conductor, so that everyone in their place can interpret the creator's score with harmony. This requires generating with the designer and then bringing to life an alchemy between all the professions and the specialists involved in the shows. As you know, casting, make-up and hair styling of the models, lights, music, access for photographers, setting and customer reception, all of these participate into the image of the house. However, each has its own identity and intimate rites.

Have you worked more for French houses or foreign designers?

I had and still have the chance to do both forever. This too is exciting. Let's never forget that Parisian fashion has been and continues to be made by many foreign designers, who came for the irreplaceable know-how and workshops present here. Since Worth in 1887, the “Parisian chic” was built by them.

Originally from Central America, I’ve been living in Paris for forty years. This allowed me to benefit from a "transversal" vision of the world of fashion and its extreme originality. I learned my job through meeting exceptional personalities, thus having the privilege to participate intensely to cultural, aesthetic, economic exchanges. I am also aware of the customs and quirks of this environment.

Having become a Parisian myself, I defend the incomparable place of Paris in the increasingly international world of fashion. It is important to help foreign houses integrate, to advise them so that they’ll be recognized by professional institutions, in a word to find their way in this extraordinary city, welcoming and creative, but sometimes difficult to decipher.

I had the opportunity to organize important fashion shows in other countries such as Korea with Lee Young Hee, Japan with Marc Audibet, but also Hong Kong with Vanina Vespérini or even Berlin, California, Pakistan… When we arrive, the Paris label accompanies us with all the prestige it offers abroad. We have to be up to it and that is tremendously stimulating!

Interview: Lyne Cohen-Solal / Marco De Rivera

Image: Copyright ASVOFF

Saint Laurent Men’s S/S'23

Riding out — way out — to the Agafay desert one hour outside Marrakech, a van full of English and American editors were gobsmacked by the sight of two camels, as still as statues, silhouetted perfectly on the crest of a rocky dune.

An hour later, seated around a circular pool for Saint Laurent’s spring 2023 show, they were mesmerized again, drinking in Anthony Vaccarello’s sensual, tuxedo-inspired silhouettes rippled by a brisk evening wind.

Here was a destination show laden with history, given how much Morocco revved and shaped the aesthetic of fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent, who fell in love with Marrakech from his very first visit in 1966 with his partner Pierre Bergé. Earlier in the day, editors filed through Dar el Hanch, the riad they bought on a whim, and snapped photos of the snake the legendary designer painted in the dining room. If only the walls could talk, a tour guide snickered.

Yet Vaccarello said he sidestepped cliches around the mythology of Marrakech and YSL, preferring to elaborate on his terrific fall 2022 women’s collection, plopping similar smokings and strong-shouldered coats on men, to elegant effect. That much of the collection was black was a no-brainer.

“Black, for me, it’s the best way to see a silhouette, especially in the desert — you see it clearly, almost like a sketch,” he said before the show.

As show venues go, Saint Laurent’s was dream-like, silvery boxes erected on a Mars-like stretch of barren hills tinted orange by the sunset.

It was Dominic Fike’s first time in Morocco. “Check it out, it’s a lake,” he said, pointing to the water glinting in the last licks of daylight. “It’s beautiful. With all the camels and things, it’s exactly how I imagined. We are in Africa, right?”

Luka Sabbat disregarded the memo advising comfortable footwear for desert conditions, arriving at his seat atop towering platform boots that he quickly tossed for cork-soled sandals.

“I didn’t give up. I’m just taking a break from them. I’m doing a photo diary right now for Interview mag so I need to run around,” he said as the likes of Anja Rubik and Milena Smit struck poses before the show.

Fog machines fired up, sending haze drifting across the set as the models whisked around the man-made well. One noticed the strong shoulder line of Vaccarello’s fine tailoring, and the trousers tight on the hips and then widening out and flapping in the wind. Everything looked luxurious and compellingly soigné, executed in fine satins, velvets, grain de poudre — as YSL a fabric as there ever was — and buttery leather.

Just before the finale, a circle of light appeared in the pond, and a hulking lighting rig slowly emerged and propped itself up vertically, like some portal into another dimension. The sense of wonder reached another crescendo.

Backstage Vaccarello didn’t read too much into his design effort other than a wish to show a more fluid, rounder take on Saint Laurent menswear, with small doses of fashion folly.

“A fur coat in the desert?” he said about the hulking fluff of a coat that appeared about midway through the show. “Why not? It’s chic.”

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Leandro Cano Couture - F/W'22 Collection

Welcome to The Dance of the Excluded, where the masks stay at home and the dress code is exempt from armor and frills. Here we come to dance open-hearted, with our lights and our shadows. Our most absolute, purest “I”… for which we have been rejected and excluded, but for which we come today to celebrate and dance until the sun rises.

On July the 5th, the Andalusian designer Leandro Cano will present his next artistic collection ‘CANO: The Dance of the Excluded’, within the Haute Couture Week in Paris. As usual, the designer creates an artistic collection and a ready-to-wear collection, presented last April.

In -Hispania: land of rabbits-, Leandro Cano transported us to an invented space/time that had its roots in the Middle Ages of southern Spain, and which developed a collection in which castles and borders were the common thread, but which was nothing more than a metaphor for the convulsive and agitated times in which we live. It was an analysis of a current society, sometimes advanced and many others with a mentality older than the Middle Ages.

With CANO: the dance of the excluded, the designer from Jaén delves deeper and makes a more introspective journey into that fictional medieval society, in which those who did not belong to ‘normality’ were excluded.

This leads into the creation of 10 models + 1 (one look per year, plus one that includes the others). 11 archetypes, diff erent personalities created through the designs of Leandro Cano. These creations represent diff erent and unique characters, all of them being part of the designer’s personal journey.

Leandro Cano will present his most personal and artistic collection through the symbolic language of these garments. In the collection you could see a reinterpretation of the most iconic pieces of his 10-year career in fashion.

The most prominent materials in the collection will be cotton twill, quilted fabrics, jacquards woven with garment prints, fabrics made on handlooms, leather-based suits, and tailoring wool, gold embroidery, and crochet made with metal chains. Red, blue and gold will be the predominant colors in the collection.

As for the artisanal techniques that have been used, gold embroidery on gold and in wool stand out, elaboration of fabric made on hand looms, with Spanish merino sheep wool, crochet, crochet with mohair, work with embossed leather, elaboration ceramic fajalauza (traditional Andalusian ceramic) and hand-painted garment.

Juana Martin Couture F/W'22 Collection

Juana Martín presents “Andalucía” in her first fashion show at Haute Couture in Paris. The Cordoba designer makes her debut in the official calendar of Paris Haute Couture Week with a collection inspired on her land and her culture "Andalucía", a proposal faithful to her flamenco and avant-garde style.

Juana Martín makes history in Spanish fashion. This Thursday, July 7 at 4:00 p.m., the designer is participating in the Paris Haute Couture calendar with her first fashion show as a member of the Fédération Française de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM).

 "Andalucía" is a tribute to its land and its culture. With the aim of bringing all the essence of Andalucía to Paris, the designer has once again invited her friend and well-known actress Rossy de Palma and the artists Israel Fernandez and Diego del Morao to musicalize the fashion show. Fernández has been described by the press as "the most important singer of his generation" and del Morao has accompanied great figures of cante throughout his career on the guitar. Both have been nominated for a Grammy Award in 2022 in the category of Best Flamenco Album for their latest work "Amor".

The collection, in which the black and white, that are a designer’s sign, predominate along with orange brushstrokes. Made mainly of wool, natural silk, organza and tulle, including different artisan elaborations in the applications of embroidery, rhinestones and crystals. Crinolines provide the garments with volume, another of Juana's unmistakable hallmarks. “Andalucia is a way of claiming my culture and my way of seeing fashion. It is a cultural, new, cosmopolitan and urban Andalucia, different from everything that is established” says Martín.

 We will be able to see accessories made exclusively for this collection such as Maison Felger shoes by designer Marie Weber, and Vivas Carrión headdresses, with a very characteristic lattice work inspired by the typical Andalucian balconies.The designer Marie Weber imagined a dance between Maison Felger and Juana Martin; between a classic shoe and an Haute Couture piece. Each shoe has been developed as a jewel: a unique piece combining embroidery, engravings and ornaments to create a evident line with the poetic work of Juana Martin.

The Mule Maison Felger combines contrasted structured and organic lines reflecting a daring woman with new desires, rules, reinventing her beloved traditions. She finds her inspiration in the men’s wardrobe and changes the codes in an assumed and twisted way. Maison Felger mule is the story of a journey between Brittany and Andalucía and its exceptional know-hows. In addition, the Plata Pura artisan jewelry shows exclusive designs made under the historical knowledge of Cordovan crafts. A fusion of artists that continue to work with good knowledge of the trade and tradition, with a contemporary and vanguardist point of view.

Juana Martin reaffirms herself as one of the most important names in Spanish fashion on the international scene, with this fashion show sponsored by the Tourism Department of the Junta de Andalucía, Marqués de Cáceres and co-financed by the European Union.

Friday, July 22, 2022

YANINA Couture F/W'22 Collection

Nature as a source of inspiration, an endless field for learning and a place where one’s body, mind, and feelings come to harmony - this was what inspired Yulia Yanina to create her YANINA Couture FW 22/23 Collection. 

This season, YANINA Couture, once again, turns to their key theme: the healing energy of Mother Nature, its beauty and harmony. The Collection features an overwhelming kaleidoscope of beautifully shaped floral elements such as flowers, petals and leaves. These elements play in the air like a transparent voile and glitter with thousands of sequins to showcase the uniquely intricate handwork by the YANINA in-house embroiderers. 

Inspirations also came from a character: Audrey Hepburn whose innocent, disarmingly delicate beauty calls to care and protection. Like nature, beauty of this kind needs no explanation but fills the world with grace and gentleness leading the way to sunlight and peace. 

An absolute icon of her time, Audrey Hepburn keeps inspiring millions of women today to find beauty in femininity. This is what makes her an ideal YANINA character, as the House carries classic beauty throughout its 30-year history telling the story with impeccable silhouettes and immutable haute couture traditions. The designer’s vision of that character comes true with every look within the Collection showing a modern young woman, of a nature that is strong and deep, crystal clear while bold and free-spirited to live her life through all the challenges that one meets nowadays. 

 The Collection is created with YANINA signature fabrics like crépes that are incredibly flexible and shapeable; silk and velvet; charming chiffon, duchesse and organza; and of course famous Italian wools. There is also natural leather that gives a bolder touch and feeling of protection to the delicate looks – yet adding to the overall feminine spirit of the Collection that is a perfect illustration to the YANINA Brand DNA. 

Another part of this DNA is the fascinating hand embroidery that makes each piece of the Couture Collection unique. Every season, new magical fairytales are told by beautiful beads, sequins and threads. 

The color palette of the Collection is based on YANINA’s signature black that lets pink, red and sunny yellow shine through. The impeccable black is both, about the elegance of YANINA Couture and about the anxiety that came to rule the world today. Yet, like the flowers waking up to the morning sun, pink and red splashes arise. A sunrise that brings hope. Followed by a bright yellow, the symbol of the day that is filled with light and energy, with the joy of life. The day that always follows any darkest night, an energy that fills the new Collection and that the designer shares with all of her people.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Walter Van Beirendonck - S/S'23 'WIRWAR'

Welcome to WIRWAR. Where a million false promises echo at ear-piercing volume. And chaos is attacking from all sides.

Welcome to WIRWAR. Where we put on grand-feathered performances pretending not to see ourselves fall from the skies WOW. NO! Let’s regroup/rephrase and rewind end times.

Welcome to WIRWAR. Where we uncover the ghosts of futures past still blessing the Golden Boys.

Welcome to WIRWAR. Where we ponder the following: can we wage war against the GREED monsters one moment? And untangle ourselves the other? To paint the world in electric colours and rage and imagine flying high (but not too close to the sun!)

Welcome to WIRWAR. Don’t look for normal. That skeleton is never coming back Up next is everything all-over all at once from the rear and the front If everything can end, all is possible.

Make-Up—Jenneke Croubels & team.
Hair—Charlie Le Mindu & team.
Eyewear—KOMONO X Walter Van Beirendonck.
Music—Gerrit Kerremans.
Show Production—Mark Vandebroeck.
Copywriting—Dominique Nzeyimana.
Graphic Design—Paul Boudens.
Very Special Thank You to Dirk Van Saene.
Thank You to our Manufacturers.
Thanks to the Fantastic W-team: Dorrith, Eiko, Ezio, Floris, Mareille, Marlous, Oscar, Susan, Yannik Timoteo Ocampo from Cellblock 13.
Thank You to all Models and the Dressers from Paris American Academy.


"AIR" is a new progression in the firm's `Street à Couture` approach, where lines continue to modify their formal axes to offer a message of freshness and street full of functionality, colour and sophistication.

On this occasion, OTEYZA reflects on `air' as a true vector and form creator in an exercise of constant balance, rhythm and progression. Movement is the VOICE of form, the WORD of couture, the TRUTH of creation.

OTEYZA is also nourished by the great genius Raoul Dufy and is rubbed off on his colourful joie de vivre; the land and seascapes of the Midi Mediterraneen or by the strength and lightness of his line, marked by the subtle characterization of the form.

Splashed lines in the pieces affirm that in OTEYZA the past and the future are contemporary, that there are no time limits: the lines mark the sartorial gravity and the joy and drive of modernity.

In this season, pure lines in unstructured shapes with larger volumes, as well as pieces encompassed in a more urban atmosphere, will gain force, traced by and agile and versatile rhythm. Side slits and raised collars; sets of long volumes in trench coats and pants; pleated bermuda shorts, polo shirts and sneakers, as well as t-shirts and sweatshirts with great expression thanks to their piping, will compound the new collection, gifted with refined lines.

OTEYZA is a Spanish menswear firm founded in 2012 by Paul García de Oteyza and Caterina Pañeda. The designer duo vindicates traditional tailoring from their workshop in Madrid, becoming one of the greatest defenders and exponents of contemporary custom made and luxury prét-a-couture.

The house marks a new time for the Spanish cloth being pioneer in the recovery of the Spanish merino wool. A global project with the highest levels of ESG (Environmental Social Governance) initiated ten years ago and enclosing from the animal development to its entire local community. Thus, participating in the fundamental axes of the rural and industrial development of fashion in Spain.

This year the firm has received the Madrid Capital Fashion Award, granted by the Madrid City Council, an important recognition that is added to the 2018 National Fashion Award. Furthermore, also this year OTEYZA has received the "Protagonists of the Year" award, by the prestigious media Moda.es.

On the other hand, it has also received recognitions such as the 2018 Best Male Collection award from T MAGAZINE, finalists in VOGUE's Who's On Next 2019, or named Ambassador of Madrid Capital of Fashion in 2020.

Rihanna Is First Out The Gate With Balenciaga X Adidas

Rihanna rarely wore maternity looks during her pregnancy – fashion-forward styles from The Attico and Balenciaga were her only exceptions. Instead, Rih rocked belly-baring crop tops, bralettes and low-riser trousers, bringing a new kind of body positivity to bump dressing.

Following the birth of her son, Rihanna has sampled Balenciaga’s new-season pantaboots, from the brand’s collaboration with Adidas for autumn/winter 2022. The boots-cum-leggings are made from Demna’s signature shiny stretch satin, with Adidas’s trademark three-stripes down the sides and a reworked Balenciaga twist on the sportswear giant’s trefoil logo.

The singer wore her hybrid leggings with a track top to watch A$AP Rocky perform at Lollapalooza festival and, as ever, piled on the jewellery. Rih put a luxe spin on her sporty staples by layering several pearl costume necklaces over her windbreaker.

Last week, Rihanna was spotted in London at the Mexican Geniuses exhibition at Dock X in Canada Water, wearing comfy black trousers, a lace-trimmed top and Wales Bonner X Adidas trainers. And earlier in the month, she and A$AP made an unexpected visit to a barber shop in Crystal Palace.

Rihanna’s fashion outings are few and far between at the moment, but rest assured she’ll always deliver a talking-point look.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

At 78, Catherine Deneuve Is Still The Epitome Of French Chic

Saint Laurent ambassador Catherine Deneuve joined a clutch of house friends, from Anja Rubik to Mica Argañaraz, in Morocco at the weekend for Anthony Vaccarello’s spring/summer 2023 menswear show. Set in the Agafay desert outside Marrakech, a city which holds great significance for the brand and its founder, the setting, complete with a light show installation by Es Devlin, was an Instagrammer’s dream. But for Deneuve, who met Yves Saint Laurent at the age of 22, it was a joy to see a new creative director continue to propel the house forward and create his best collection to date.

Deneuve, a muse to Yves during his lifetime, wore the kind of crisp shirting and slim-cut trousers French women pull off so well. While other guests wore the label’s bold skin-tight catsuits – the kind beloved by Sienna Miller – Catherine kept things pared back and supremely elegant, like she knows best. Her only accessories? A pair of tinted sunglasses and her signature bouffant hairstyle – the same one she has been perfecting since the ’60s, along with her feline eyeliner.

There was much for Deneuve to like in the collection which, according to the brand, dissolved the line between masculine and feminine wardrobe tropes, from the fresh takes on the tuxedo to the grain de poudre separates. The cinematic setting, commented Vogue’s Mark Holgate, came second to the craftsmanship, and Catherine will have seen through all that showmanship to the legacy of her dear friend. A winning moment for French fashion, indeed.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Conan Gray Continues His Shakespearean Fashion Streak

Singer-songwriter Conan Gray clearly has the Bard on the brain. The star has long held a penchant for crafting tweets that read like lines from a sonnet. Now the Superache singer is taking his bibliophilia to a new level by leaning into full-on Shakespearean garb.

For a recent trip to the theatre, Conan decided to embrace the Elizabethan. The rising star donned a velvet blazer and trousers from Saint Laurent, paired with a sheer pussy-bow top designed by CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist Jackson Wiederhoeft. The look immediately calls to mind ill-fated romances, mischievous fairies and a play-within-a-play.

The outfit was fitting for the occasion. Conan was in attendance for a performance of & Juliet, a buzzy new jukebox musical currently running in Toronto, after a successful West End stint. The musical reimagines the ending of Romeo & Juliet through keeping Juliet alive and explores her path towards mending a broken heart. (Oh, and it features Max Martin-produced pop bangers like “I Want It That Way” and “...Baby One More Time” throughout.)

Conan provided fans with fun snapshots from the night on Instagram, which included a Häagen-Dazs ice cream bar and a handy Tide to Go pen. (Stars, they’re stain-prone just like us!)

Conan has, increasingly, taken to soft-launching an aesthetic culled straight from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The starry-eyed singer wore a Valentino look to the 2022 Met Gala that featured a chiffon cape and crystals strewn throughout his signature curls. The star told Vogue’s Hamish Bowles that he and Pierpaolo Piccioli (the pink-loving creative director at Valentino) wanted “something ethereal, something theatrical” for the night.

And for a recent concert performance in New York, Conan wore an Elizabethan-feeling embellished jacket with a frilly top and high-waisted trousers. Hopefully, Conan continues the visual odes to Shakespeare. The looks feel like carefully considered explorations of softer takes on menswear – which we’re totally here for.

Valentino’s A/W'22 Haute Couture Show On The Spanish Steps

For Valentino’s autumn/winter 2022 haute couture show, creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli returned to Rome, where Valentino Garavani founded the storied maison back in 1959. “It’s very personal,” Piccioli told Vogue. “The last time Valentino did a show on the Spanish Steps was in the 1990s.” Below, British Vogue’s fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen breaks down five key talking points from the collection.

The show took place on the Spanish Steps

Otherworldly bodies descending from the Spanish Steps in the golden evening sun, the romantic voice of Labrinth echoing from beneath the Trinità dei Monti… Cleopatra’s entry into Rome had nothing on Valentino’s haute couture spectacular in Piazza di Spagna. “I start from the finale, always,” Pierpaolo Piccioli said during a preview in Paris days before the show. “What I have in mind is these liquid, colourful drops coming down from the Steps, the volumes light and in movement.” He titled his show The Beginning: a return to the city where Valentino Garavani founded his maison in 1959, a place that has moved with the winds of change since the dawn of time. Like Piccioli’s Valentino, Rome’s codes may remain the same but its values are in eternal evolution. That was the sentiment behind a show he envisioned as “a conversation with Valentino” across the past, the present and the future.

It was a conversation between then and now

Piccioli had been dreaming of doing a show on the 18th-century steps. “It’s very personal. The last time Valentino did a show on the Spanish Steps was in the 1990s. It was a different moment in fashion. It was about lifestyle and the perfection of beauty, the glamour, the supermodels,” he reflected. “I wanted to get the spirit of Valentino – the joie de vivre – because I think it’s the only way of making beauty resilient to the time. On the other hand, there’s a picture I want to deliver, which is different from what it was 45 years ago. It’s the picture of what we live in. The Spanish Steps are the same, the atelier is the same, and in the end, clothes are clothes. I like to keep the rituals of haute couture. But the real difference is in the casting – in the humans – that can tell stories and witness a different moment in this world. I want to empower them and give them a voice and the opportunity to tell their own stories.”

It referenced Valentino’s legacy and Piccioli’s own collections

Piccioli’s approach to the show manifested in a collection that didn’t just poeticise the decades-long legacy of Valentino Garavani, but his own contributions to the house. Rather than pursuing newness, he reflected on what Valentino stands for after 14 years under his own artistic directorship (and 23 years as an employee). Unless you’d spent those years under a rock, you’d immediately recognise the resplendent volumes of his dresses, suits and coats, the hypnotising hues of his gem colours, and the drama of his plumed headpieces bouncing like jellyfish in the stream of the Roman evening breeze. “I wanted to do a reflection about how much of myself is in Valentino, and how much of Valentino is in my identity,” he said. “It’s everything I’ve already done but in a different place.” And a different time, when fashion – with its giant platform – has the power to impact a global audience with the progressive values at the heart of this industry.

It was activism wrapped in Roman confection

Piccioli’s era at Valentino has followed a time of political divide when the progressive values he fights for – the diversity, inclusivity and self-expression represented in his casting – are contrasted by a rise of reactionary ideas that has only become terrifyingly evident with recent American Supreme Court rulings. In that sense, moments like the Spanish Steps show – these grand gestures of beauty – are a kind of activism on his part. It may be wrapped in majestically coloured taffeta, three-dimensional geometric plumage painstakingly made to evoke Roman mosaics, or voluminous hand-sequined suits, but at the core of Piccioli’s haute couture is a dream that cuts deeper than mind-blowing craftsmanship. It’s a Trojan horse for the mind, as Virgil Abloh used to say, which drives important values into the minds of its spectators through mesmerising displays of beauty.

It proved that home is where the heart is

With the likes of Naomi Campbell, Kate Hudson, Ashley Park and Anne Hathaway on the front row – and couture clients eyeing up their newest investment as the looks slow-motioned down the Spanish Steps – the show was testament to the global impact of the new age of haute couture that Piccioli has spearheaded in recent years. But as illustrated by the people who joined them – Valentino’s co-founder Giancarlo Giammetti, Piccioli’s family, and their dog Miranda – it’s a success achieved through a grounded approach to the industry, to the mainstream fame he has gained, and everything that comes with it. At the heart of Piccioli’s progression-driven age of Valentino are a realness, friendliness and ease that remain his greatest assets.

Olivier Rousteing’s A/W'22 Haute Couture Show For Jean Paul Gaultier

Olivier Rousteing re-imagines Jean Paul Gaultier’s legacy with a one-off haute couture collection that was full of iconic pop cultural references. Below, British Vogue fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen reports from Paris.

Olivier Rousteing designed a one-off haute collection for Jean Paul Gaultier

A child of the late 1980s and early ’90s, Olivier Rousteing grew up watching Jean Paul Gaultier on TV and on magazine covers, and with the ever-present iconography of his corseted perfume bottles. “He wrote a book in many chapters, and when you arrive here, you need to understand which chapters are closer to you,” the Balmain designer said during a preview for the haute couture collection he created for Gaultier as part of the couturier’s seasonal collaboration structure, which has previously seen Sacai’s Chitose Abe and Y/Project’s Glenn Martens interpret his archives. “It was really difficult, because for me, he’s a legend. He’s someone who was ahead of his time,” Rousteing said. “Today, we talk about diversity, we talk about inclusivity, we talk about breaking boundaries, we talk about no gender. Jean Paul was the first to do it.”

It had all the pop cultural brilliance you’d expect

Rousteing embraced the task with the pop cultural panache that defines his own approach to fashion as a generational product of the way paved by Gaultier decades ago. He recreated Madonna’s infamous topless JPG outfit from the 1992 AmfAR gala in a moulded leather manifestation with trompe l’oeil jeans, interpreted the couturier’s cage and corset structures in Balmain-esque armour dresses, and reimagined the Breton top as dresses wrapped in stripy ribbons or made entirely in striped feather dégradé. A moulded leather pregnancy moment referenced that of Gaultier (“obviously, I created the collection way before what is going on with abortion [in America], but I think it’s important to talk about women right now”) and heart-shaped quilted plissé gowns tied together the language of JPG and Rousteing’s Balmain.

Rousteing made glass corsetry inspired by Le Male

“It’s an open love letter to Jean Paul,” Rousteing said. “When I was growing up, seeing my dad as a straight male with Le Male in his hand – a naked male body with a crop top – was like, wow. Jean Paul actually broke boundaries in pop culture that people didn’t even understand.” As a tribute to that perfume and what it had meant to him as a child, Rousteing constructed it as life-size glass corsetry with the help of the craftsmen who are currently recreating the windows destroyed in the fire of Notre-Dame, and turned the cylindrical metal case that traditionally holds the fragrance into metal skirts and boots. The collection had been four months in the making. “Jean Paul didn’t want to see anything. He wanted to see it on the day of the show,” Rousteing said. Judging by the look on Gaultier’s face on the front row, he loved every second.

The menswear was excellent

For all the fun and ingenious craftsmanship of his womenswear, it was the men’s opening looks that really demonstrated Rousteing’s talent for interpreting an archival reference through a contemporary lens. Inspired by Gaultier’s spring 1994 collection, pan-African cultural references were fused with the grammar of the couture house, as well as Rousteing’s own design language. “That collection was inspired by ethnicities, by diversity, by inclusivity, by the nonbinary. For me, growing up half Ethiopian and half Somalian, Jean Paul was someone who put a lot of inclusivity into fashion. We need to remind people that a lot of the fights we’re fighting today, he was there to fight them for us first.” If Rousteing had designed sixty outfits based on that same reference, you’d never get tired of looking at them.

The experience was transformative for Rousteing

“Being at Balmain for ten years, you have an incredible routine. You know your teams so well, you can push a button and make something happen. Here, I discovered a new atelier with incredible souls who were so supportive of me,” Rousteing said of his four months at JPG HQ. “It took me out of the box that I’m in – this collection made me discover what my own DNA is, without Balmain, because it’s Olivier Rousteing for Jean Paul Gaultier. And because I don’t have my own brand, you only know me as Balmain. This feels like what I want to say. It’s better than going to the shrink. I’m less in the comfort zone.”

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Armani Privé’s 1920s-Inspired A/W'22 Haute Couture Show

“The message is one of joy and pleasure, frivolity even,” Giorgio Armani said of his autumn/winter 2022 Armani Privé show. The collection was inspired by the glittering ’20s, with sparkles, tassels and layered ruffles taking centre stage. Read on for the key takeaways from the show. 

It was all about sparkle

Sparkle was the season assignment at Armani Privé, and Giorgio Armani understood it well. “The message is one of joy and pleasure, frivolity even. It’s a collection that has been inspired by a specific moment, the 1920s, when everything was sparkling and beautiful and light. These are the feelings that we need in this moment, because fashion can also make us dream and escape to a better place,” he explained, after an intimate show held in the Salle Pleyel, which had been entirely Armani-fied with his signature cushioned beige seats and little lamps that illuminated a collection of long, lean lines encrusted with different takes on sparkle, from intricate beading to sequins and glistening fabrications.

Armani looked to the 1920s muse

Tamara de Lempicka, who Armani called “a strong-willed, rebellious, independent woman who was much ahead of her time”, played muse to his 1920s reference. Her influence on the collection – as well as the decade in which she worked – was felt in the spirit of longline jackets and slouchy trousers that maintained a constant balance between the rigorous and the graceful, founded in Armani’s pragmatic approach to haute couture. “I think that what I do with my ready-to-wear collections is always real, but with my haute couture I like to experiment and add a dash of magic. And this balance between reality and magic perfectly reflects my state of mind in this moment,” he said.

It was about optimism

The 1920s continue to be on the minds of designers who are detecting parallels between now and the interwar period one hundred years ago. For Armani, the reference was one of optimism rather than doom – a willingness to uplift times of trouble through the beauty of haute couture: “I think that haute couture needs to be special. For all the rest, there is ready to wear. So, my effort is to always offer something to my clients and my public – including the press – that is unexpected but at the same time essentially Armani, never forgetting the need to create something that is actually wearable. I believe this collection offers something that is sparkling, or pétillant,” he said, referring to his glistening and light-refracting surface decorations.

Armani believes in real-life haute couture

In a time when new names on the haute couture schedule are applying the age-old institution and all its expert crafts to ideas founded in sportswear and workwear, Armani is honing the formality that has traditionally been tied to this most privileged corner of fashion. “There are lots of ideas coming into couture at the moment. However, I feel that what is lacking sometimes is a very simple idea, that is to make beautiful clothes that are actually meant to be worn by the clients. For me this is mandatory, always,” he said. His Privé collection ticked that box in more ways than one, offering a complete wardrobe of day and evening wear that never became too casual nor too extreme. In the red carpet department, especially, it’s what makes Armani an eternal go-to designer. When a series of light blue ankle-length bustier dresses came out – one with a draped skirt that sat around its waist like a cloud – you could see why.

The bride wore trousers

Asked about his favourite parts of the collection, Armani highlighted the foamy dresses that mimicked the look of seawater. “Our effort went into using embroidery that would reflect and refract the light in ways that are unpredictable and surprising,” he explained. In the days leading up to the show, the designer – who turns 88 this month – personally fitted each of the 92 looks, including the showstopper: trousers worn with a sparkly top and embroidered waistcoat, all in bridal white, which broke up the blue and pink palette of the collection and served as cliffhanger for his next move.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Chanel’s Collaborative Haute Couture A/W'22 Show

“I think it’s very important that Virginie feels totally free to go wherever she feels we need to go at Chanel,” president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky, tells Vogue. This season, the collaborative spirit is still very much in the air. Anders Christian Madsen delivers everything you need to know.

It was a continuation of last season’s haute couture show

Remember how Charlotte Casiraghi rode a horse through last season’s Chanel haute couture set? This time she didn’t, but Virginie Viard picked up where she left off. She relocated her show to an equestrian centre in the Bois de Boulogne where the artist Xavier Veilhan – who also designed last season’s set – had created a “labyrinthine forest punctuated with geometric sculptures”, as the show notes stated. The installation echoed the spinning wheels, tubes and giant capsule structures of the January show, which brought a spirit of continuity to Chanel, a house known for its seasonal theme changes. It set the tone for a timeless approach reflected in a collection founded in a contemporary, essentialist take on the Chanel codes.

It was a collaborative effort

“It’s up to Virginie,” Bruno Pavlovsky – fashion president at Chanel – said after the show. “She has in mind this idea of having more than one show in collaboration with Xavier etc, so there’s a kind of continuation.” He was referring to the creative collaborators Viard called on for her last haute couture show, who came back to work on this one, too: Veilhan, the equestrian Charlotte Casiraghi, and the musician Sébastian Tellier. This time, the gang was joined by the model Vivienne Rohner as well as Pharrell Williams, who opened the show playing drums in a video that segued into a terrific Michel Gaubert-curated soundtrack featuring the British collective SAULT.

It contemporised a ’30s silhouette

Viard said she had imagined the collection in the image of Coco Chanel’s ’30s lines: “Fitted to the body even though they have strong shoulders here, and pleated dresses like the wedding dress for instance. And lace too, inlaid, reworked, not embroidered, but repainted.” The ideas manifested in more contemporary ways, in trouser and skirt suits that had a very slightly oversized, casualised sensibility about them, and a series of long, lean black outfits that imbued a sense of formality with ease. “I also like to break the graphic approach with a natural look. The clothes remain light, feminine, designed to be worn. I can’t see myself doing it any other way,” she added.

Chanel won’t be doing product collaborations

Asked if Viard’s ongoing collaboration with her friends could lead to product collaborations the way so many other brands do them, Pavlovsky said no. “We don’t need that. Our product is about Virginie’s universe. She’s very strong. It’s where we feel comfortable. For me, it’s about nourishing the capability of Chanel to include all these different artists. It’s not something new. Madame Chanel did it, Karl did it, and Virginie is able to continue a new kind of collaboration. At the end of the day, these collaborations – which are not about the product – are enforcing the image of the brand. It’s a signature. I think it’s very important that Virginie feels totally free to go wherever she feels we need to go at Chanel.”

Bruno Pavlovsky has a new job on the side

Last week, Pavlovsky added another presidential title to his credentials: President of the Fédération de la Haute Couture de la Mode, the French fashion council. “I think the job the Fédération is doing is already quite strong, and I hope we will be able to continue in the same direction. We have many things to do,” he said of his immediate plans, noting that he was already on the committee. “I think we have some important topics – sustainability, the evolution of the regulation etc – and we need to be a part of this new evolution. Paris, new designers – young designers – are on top of the list. And the Olympics in 2024 will be quite challenging for us, so we need to find solutions now.”

Giambattista Valli’s 10th Anniversary Haute Couture Show

To celebrate 10 years on the haute couture schedule, Giambattista Valli staged a glorious spectacle surrounded by party balloons in Paris. Below, fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen shares five things you need to know about the show.

It’s been 10 years of Giambattista Valli haute couture

Like any girl’s dream 10th birthday party, pastel and silver balloons in the shape of unicorns, octopuses, flamingos, and sharks lined the walls of Giambattista Valli’s show at the Place Vendôme. “Ten years of haute couture!” he said during a preview for a collection that marked his decennial as a couturier. “Back then, everybody was saying that haute couture was dying. The old maisons were closing down. Everybody said it was crazy to do an haute couture collection… and now it’s the hottest fashion week,” Valli reflected, referring to a wave in haute couture that has seen his own house and the likes of Maison Margiela, Valentino, and Balenciaga breathe new life into fashion’s most fabled institution.

Valli has been a key player in the new wave of haute couture

With his cloud-like tulle dreams, Valli has spent the last 10 years confidently catapulting the classic form language of haute couture into a digital age, where a new generation of clients are discovering his work online. His signature creations – bursting tulle skirts, fairytale trains and porcelain-like embroideries – have carved out a grammar at once timeless to the language of haute couture and totally unique to Valli’s brand of unapologetic beauty. “I’m from Rome and my first love was Roberto Capucci,” he said, referring to the Italian master of dimension, “But I interpret these volumes with a real lightness.” Understanding what an elusive new generation of clients from new cultures of wealth want from couture has been Valli’s biggest strength.

The collection demonstrated the duality of Valli’s couture

“My woman is a double-faced coin: one side very pure – when I start to sketch the line of a silhouette on paper – and the other side the total opposite,” Valli said. “My girl, she can be in New York one night and in a Parisian garden the next day.” His anniversary collection encapsulated that duality. The first half was dedicated to the wow effect of simple, stunning beauty: light, almost puritanical silhouettes garlanded with little bows and encrusted with candy-like embroideries and delicate plume. Then, things took a turn for the fantastical, with the larger-than-life cascading and effervescent tulle creations which made their way around the arena-like runway with a lightness that Valli mastered to perfection.

Valli is a rare new-generation couturier

The decennial was an emotional milestone for Valli, who turned his brand into an haute couture house when no one thought it was a good idea. “I always did things when people said it wasn’t the right moment. But that’s the moment there’s space for it. I had something to say for a new generation. Everyone said it was dead. I said, ‘Honey, there’s a new generation of Valli girls!” he quipped. “I’ve been faithful to myself. I don’t look to others, only in a way of gaining knowledge. I went through moments when people liked it, didn’t like, criticised it, but you have to impose yourself. I’m not working for a house that has archives. I’m creating the archives. I started from a sheet of paper, with a sketch, and built up Giambattista Valli.”

You can’t call just any sparkling wine champagne

In a time when couture is a term used far too flippantly, Valli said it’s important to stick to the traditions of the institution while pushing it forward. “Everybody says ‘couture’, but this is haute couture. That’s the main difference. Right now, everybody wants to bask in the light of couture, but you can’t call any sparkling wine ‘champagne’. This is an art of rituals: the research, the craftsmanship, the experimental process. Dreams come true. These women around the world collect haute couture like they collect art.” In inventing an haute couture expression that’s completely characteristic to his own house, Valli said he’s nailed a desire for beauty that transcends cultures. “They love it in China, in Italy, in South America… I think beauty is a good vaccine right now.”

Schiaparelli’s Legacy-Centric A/W'22 Haute Couture Show

Schiaparelli is having a moment right now – as evidenced by the A-listers who flocked to the Parisian house’s autumn/winter 2022 couture show in Paris on Monday. Below, Anders Christian Madsen shares his key takeaways from creative director Daniel Roseberry’s latest collection, which explored the beauty of couture and how other designers have taken inspiration from Schiaparelli in the past.

Daniel Roseberry wants to make beautiful things

“I think we sometimes get defensive when our critics accuse us of just wanting to make beautiful things. But what’s wrong with wanting to make beautiful things? It’s not the only important part of life, of course, but it is a part of life. And to make truly beautiful things isn’t actually that easy. But it is a privilege – and I’m grateful for it every day,” Daniel Roseberry wrote in a note for his Schiaparelli haute couture collection. It heralded a collection that didn’t come with a socio-political or activist foundation, but simply explored the beauty and possibilities of the Schiaparelli aesthetic.

Roseberry reflected on Schiaparelli’s impact on fashion

To coincide with the “Shocking! The Surreal World of Elsa Schiaparelli” exhibition, which opens this week at Les Arts Décoratifs – where the show also took place – Roseberry dedicated parts of his collection to a dialogue with the way other designers have taken inspiration from Schiaparelli through fashion history. He evoked the work of Christian Lacroix – a designer whose impact on Roseberry was evident in his last collection – in silhouettes and surface decoration that nodded at Lacroix’s Spanish collection, and paid tribute to cues taken by Yves Saint Laurent from the school of Schiaparelli in three-dimensional takes on his sunflower motifs.

Celebrities flocked to the show

Schiaparelli is having what fashion calls “a moment” and you only needed to scroll through Instagram to see the celebrity attendance that defined the show. From Hunter Schafer to Emma Watson and Karlie Kloss, famous faces are flocking to Roseberry for a piece of his surrealist magic. “I always talk about trying to achieve that state of creative innocence – of fighting to stay close to that person who fell in love with fashion and its possibilities, of not succumbing to cynicism or world-weariness,” he wrote in his notes. Judging by his adoring fans, he needn’t worry

Roseberry continued his experimentations in couture

Structured in a 1940s-by-way-of-the-1980s silhouette, Roseberry went all out in the surreally artisanal department, in embroideries that evoked three-dimensional breasts, measure tape, trompe l’oeil drawers, and huge sunflowers. He moulded a corset in black crêpe, forged a corseted jacket in vintage denim, and created figurines like doves and sparrows in leather which ornamented looks as if they were statues.

It cemented the new age of Schiaparelli

Roseberry said he wanted to create a moment that didn’t reflect the “the sometimes-dreary self-seriousness” of fashion today, but dared to “return to a kind of creative innocence, to the state of wonder and awe we all felt when we saw our first transcendent show.” As one of the designers in Paris riding – and encouraging – the ever-rising new wave of haute couture, he’s achieving it. Along with his new-generation couturier peers – Demna and Olivier Rousteing to name a few – he has the opportunity to turn the culture of haute couture into a democratic and inclusive art form, maybe not afforded by all but certainly enjoyed.

Christian Dior’s Folky A/W'22 Haute Couture Show

Living in a moment Maria Grazia Chiuri said she did not like, the creative director used her Dior Haute Couture show as an act of coming together. Anders Christian Madsen reports on the new collaboration with the Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko and the tree of life motif at the heart of the collection.

Maria Grazia Chiuri called for awareness

Backstage, before her haute couture show, Maria Grazia Chiuri was wearing the slogan T-shirt she designed for her first Christian Dior ready-to-wear collection in 2016: “We Should All Be Feminists.” It wasn’t part of her new collection, but six years after the designer initially set the tone for a conscious new Dior, she said it was time to reiterate her purpose. “We are living in a moment I don’t like. I am worried that it’s only going to get worse. This is the reality,” she said, referring to the new anti-abortion laws in America. “In Rome, I’ve been seeing posters on the street I don’t like. It’s like a flashback to the past. It’s impacting the lives of all the women who work here. I have this worry that something will happen and I won’t be conscious of it happening. So, I want to be aware.”

Chiuri worked with the Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko

Awareness has been the foundation of Chiuri’s residency at Dior, and when it comes to haute couture – a product made for the few and privileged – she justifies its existence by using her platform to promote people and messages that make a difference. This season, she gave her spotlight to the Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko, whose embroidery-based work she had discovered in the Maxxi museum in Rome earlier this year. “Immediately, when I saw her work, I realised that her embroideries come from folk costume,” Chiuri said, tracing the brainwaves that pieced together a collection founded in folk dress, folkloric motifs and the embroidery that has historically been used to illustrate them – executed in collaboration with the Chanakya School of Craft in India, a long-time collaborator of Chiuri.

The collection was based on the tree of life

In her enormous tent raised in the back garden of Musée Rodin and lined with milelong front rows, Chiuri once again covered the walls of her show in fully-embroidered tapestries, this time by Trofymenko. They heralded a collection centred around the tree of life motif favoured by the artist. “She gave the reference of the tree of life, a symbol I like a lot. It represents the circle of life. I think that’s important in this moment in time because we constantly have to change the way we work and build bridges between different knowledge and savoir-faire,” said Chiuri, whose season had also included an encounter with Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, who has established a network of European artists and artisans “to build a better tomorrow”.

Chiuri interpreted folk costumes from around the world

Trofymenko’s trees of life appeared in various painstaking embroideries throughout a collection defined by the meeting between folky patterns and the unmistakable silhouette of Dior. In her research, Chiuri looked at folk costumes from around the world and realised that the patterns used to signify a regional belonging often have a lot in common across borders and beliefs. Through the grammar of haute couture, she freely mixed her inspirations in a collection that felt like a wardrobe for the global community. Applied to the Bar-jacketed lines of Dior, her folkloric foundation inevitably infused proceedings with an earthy and rootsy spirit, which felt very organic. It was a kind of Earth Mother look, which linked to Chiuri’s post-pandemic approach. Now, she said, is a time for coming together and rebuilding the world we want to live in.

Chiuri reflected upon the state of the world

Chiuri closed her collection preview by reflecting upon the state of the world and the impact every disastrous event of our moment in time has on a global company like Dior. She talked about the terrifying rise of the pro-life movement in America, the war in Ukraine and the ongoing Covid limitations in China. “There are people in my studio, who haven’t seen their family for three years,” Chiuri said. At Dior, she continues to use her platform to create the consciousness she said is vital in a reactionary time. As ever, her message was one of coming together: as the third-biggest industry in the world, fashion has the power to make a difference and we need to figure out how.