Presence and the “right now” were the inspiration behind Balenciaga’s spring show, more explicitly, the exploration of what modern clothing means and how that correlates with all the noise around politics and the overconsumption of media news. The clothes themselves had a futuristic aura, as per Balenciaga usual. Tailoring took a contemporary twist in suit ensembles, given the designer’s woes about this generation’s disregard for tuxedo suits. The show’s visuals were a collaboration with digital artist Jon Rafman, which Gvasalia met at Art Basel. Colorful projections blasted along the venue and the bright-toned clothes, making it more of an art exhibition than a fashion presentation. Denma Gvasalia’s intention for his Spring 2019 Balenciaga show was to save the spectacle (and clothes) as a vivid memory in the audience’s brains. “I always had this idea of a video tunnel, like being inside someone’s digital mind,” he said.
The Louis Vuitton Spring 2019 show has Nicholas Ghesquiere’s signature all around. His personal array of ideas was injected with a mix of futuristic and feminine dose: the construction of clothes was a cross between structure and flow. High-tech fabrics were stamped with spaceships, while dresses in scuba fabric were dramatic at the sleeves and structured at the waist. An example of one of the prints that gave ode to the 80s and 90s is the retro jazz cup pattern swish that we are all familiar with (if you’re not, take @fuckjerry’s Instagram logo as reference).
Unequivocally Saint Laurent, Anthony Vacarello’s themes for next spring are sexy, short, and dark. Beaming off Helmut Newton vibes, women and their femininity are on a pedestal. Nipples were visible through sheer tops, and the show was bounteous with legs and more legs. Dresses, shorts, and skirts were mini-sized, while pants were skin-tight or cigarette-like. Some of the looks were bodysuits sans pants, instead pairing them with black stockings. A reference to the 70s was seen on boxy-shoulder blazers and wide-brim hats paired with rockstar skin-tight pants.
Valentino opened its show with a black flowy kaftan-like dress, followed by an army of black ensembles. By look fifteen, the color palette transitioned to white, then red, and finally the girly prints with colors inspired by Matisse and Gauguin appeared. “I was thinking of paradises, about artists’ colonies of the past,” said designer Pierpaolo Piccioli. Pure couture in a leisurely way, the collection seems upscale but relaxed, more like a queen in her day off.
Chanel’s show is the most coveted, always. Instead of hosting the show on a sandy beach, Karl Lagerfeld recreated one of his own. The result? A breathtaking scene, even if man made. In the midst of Paris fashion week madness, Chanel show invitees basked in the grandeur of the unpremeditated scenery change: fake waves, sand, and sun, gave the illusion of a relaxing (but fleeting) mini break. Shoes in hand, barefooted models’ tweeds twinkled with the water’s reflection. The famous tweed jacket designed by Mademoiselle Chanel herself was paired with athleisure this season, take lycra shorts and capris as example, deeming it a mix of classic and contemporary. Kaia Gerber wore a logo-fied crop button-down top paired with the famous Chanel logo chain belt over black leggings. Accessories were redefined. The classic quilted bag went for several remakes: from front-angled backpacks to two bags fused together as one, they all cater to the millennial demographic who is focusing on utility, movement, and athleisure.
MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA
John Galliano gave us a “work in progress” theme this season at Margiela. Clothes had cut-outs and a raw angle; stitches were visible, giving it an “incomplete at the atelier” feeling. Models wore zoot suits and golden brocade bustiers over tuxedo sets. Dresses were still mapped with chalk all over, and most of the cape coats had cut-out details and gigant pockets. There was a wide range of trench coats, all oversized, some turned into dresses. By the last two looks, there were holographic fabrics as accent pieces.
Baby Bangs, white tights, and blush-pink: all synonyms to Miu Miu. For Spring 2019, Miuccia Prada presented a disheveled but feminine woman: take slips paired with blazers. Giving an air of “I’m young but I want to be grown,” models wore pink mini dresses under oversized-boxy blazers paired with knee-high socks. There was a decent amount of leather, all in neutrals and mostly in two-piece sets. Flowers as randomly placed motifs were seen in almost every look. Miu Miu, known for its modern application of 60s fashion, sent down A-line coats in croc vinyl as well as different colored leathers– straying a little but not too far from her distinct vintage references.
For Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2019 collection, designer Sarah Burton did romance injected with goth. Leather and flowers; black and pink. The Victorian-like dresses sent down the runway were uplifted with black leather details, such as belts or gear reminiscent of bondage wear. Robust and fragile all at the same time, the clothes are a beautiful oxymoron. The collection was “about sisterhood, about women’s milestones and rituals: birth, christenings, weddings, funerals. It’s about being strong and emotional, but also saying it’s okay to show your vulnerability; not to have to put a brave face on it,” said Burton.
For Balmain’s Spring show, inspiration came from Egyptian architecture paired with the Parisian routine of Olivier Rousteing’s life. There’s lots of architectural references; look number two is reminiscent of a dome. There’s also structure at the shoulders of dresses and blazers; as well as references to mummies in the white pants and ensembles. White overpowered the collection. If shades of “mummy” white and architecture aren’t Egyptian enough, there are hieroglyphs printed on tops. The collection is unmistakeably Balmain: mini dresses in structural forms, without compromising Rousteing’s personal touch. It’s Paris meets Egypt,” said Olivier: “because every morning when I wake up I see the Obélisque on La Concorde, and the Pyramide du Louvre . . . . I think it’s really important to mention that so much of the beauty of Paris is in its history, and its history is not only what we call French.”