Some designers in Paris make it seem like it’s business as usual, saying their fashion is about “optimism” and “dreaming“. I honestly think that a good collection right now is the one, which attempts to reflect the circumstances we’re currently facing, even in a slightest bit. And although I admire Isabel Marant for restlessly pushing her signature Parisian style, I thought her spring-summer 2021 collection’s “event” timing wasn’t truly appropriate. It wasn’t long ago that Marant didn’t want to put on a show this week. Impacted by the alarming atmosphere, she thought she’d record a video and call it a season. “Then, I started to get used to the fact that this is going to be our new life,” she smiled. “I’m afraid this is going to last for a little bit. So, I thought it was a good opportunity to start showing in a different way.” Going from zero to Donna Summer, Marant held on to her traditional Thursday-evening slot and staged within the Palais Royal what can best be described as a club night for happier times. There, to the beat of a techno remix of “I Feel Love”, the dance collective (La)Horde went wild as Marant’s girls and boys advocated an upbeat evening-into-daywear wardrobe for an era when this amount of touching probably isn’t advisable off the runway. As she was the first to admit, our turbulent times hadn’t done much to cramp her style. “My silhouette is very recognizable. I cannot design another way. I don’t have to force myself because times are difficult.” That shape remained 1980s-centric, suspended somewhere between Saint-Germain and Manhattan, with extra sheen and shine. Why tease the dance floor at this point in time? “For me, fashion is about enjoying life,” she explained. “It has to be positive. It’s a release of energy to people, putting bad vibes behind.” Her decision to stage a fashion show came with similar intentions, emphasizing a desire to change the exclusivity of fashion shows. “We won’t have any seating. People can just come and find their place.” Although the show was outside, that wasn’t a very good idea in the middle of a pandemic, according to the ones who’ve attended. Nevertheless, the collection itself is pretty and fun.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.