Sweet, Sweet Times. Paco Rabanne SS20

Nostalgia has conquered fashion, and nothing can be done about that. But some designers make it really, really joyous. Paco Rabanne‘s Julien Dossena is a great example. Since his last spring-summer collection for the brand, something finally clicked and the designer finally seems to be feeling more confident with his vision for the brand. Chain-mail dresses aren’t the sole focus. He looks at the Paco Rabanne heritage from another angle. “He was utopian, not dystopian”, Dossen says of Rabanne. The 1960s and 1970s, when Rabanne was the bright new thing, were times of limitless optimism in France and for the enviably stylish and beautiful people who were part of a generational awakening. Julien took 1970s pop and psychedelia under the lense, creating something carefree and fun. “A dreamer and a realist…symbols of naiveté rather than nihilism.” A big red heart was placed in the center of the bodice of the first dress he sent out, and repeated in men’s chain mail top in the finale. “To me, it’s about a kind of strength. Being proud of being nice and kind. It’s something that I value now,” said Dossena. “I don’t know if that makes sense visually, but it’s what I’ve been thinking about.” The puffed-sleeve lamé blouses and the skirts, and the mod pants suits (based on templates pioneered by Françoise Hardy and Prince) were the collection’s major highlights, just as the juicy Guy Bourdin colour palette. A standout piece? The patchworked leather jackets with rising sun and cosmic planet motifs. It’s a delightful line-up, which instantly lands on my ‘season’s favourite’ list. Also, this collection will sell like hot buns, I think.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

The King of New York. Marc Jacobs SS20

Traditionally, Marc Jacobs’ collection was the grand finale of New York Fashion Week. In a completely empty space, with different vintage chairs (painted white) standing in the middle as the guest seatings, a flock of paradise creatures emerged out of one side of the Park Avenue Armory, went across the audience, and disappeared. And then they came back, one by one, dancing and twirling according to Stephen Galloway’s choreography. A maxi velvet dress in orange, emberoidered with hippy florals; granny-ish knits with cats and kitschy landscapes; floor-sweeping gowns made for spectacular, late night dancing; patchworked denim flares; knitted mini-dresses that make you think of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate wardrobe; old school rockstar wife look as seen on Bella Hadid; another gorgeous ball dress and Savile Row-esque pantsuit… Describing each look in the collection is a non-sense, because they should all be seen. This was one of Jacobs’ most optimistic collections ever, full of dreams and emotions, love and happiness. For spring-summer 2020, the 60s, 70s and 80s were mixed and fused with Marc’s most beloved personalities and their bodies of work: think Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfelfd, Shelley Duvall, Anita Pallenberg and Marina Schiano. But simultaneously, it all feels… Marc. One more thing that should be praised in this line-up: it’s a mindful balance of wearable pieces that will actually sell in stores, and delightful fantasy. This is what the designer struggled with for the last few years. And he finally overcame it. Marc continues to be the ultimate king of NYFW. Dream a little dream of me

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

New but Old. Courreges SS16

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It’s difficult to make an old fashion house relevant. Hiring Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant, the designers behind a very young and yet not widely known label Coperni Femme seems to be crazy, if we take the house of Courreges as the case. Courreges, during its times of prominence (60’s & 70’s) was described as MODERN and INNOVATIVE. These two words were certainly the keywords of the debut SS16 collection, which felt refreshing, but not ground-breaking as in past, when Andre Courreges introduced these two abstract terms to the fashion industry. This collection was the biggest A-skirt parade that I have ever seen – the 60’s scanalous mini-skirts were featured in blue, yellow, red, white and many other colours, just like the crew-neck jumpers. The jackets were the revamped versions of the famous Courreges bikers, but without that infamous kitschy logo. Everything looked sleek and plastic-fantastic (note the shoes) – however, I am not sure what’s the sense of all that brand rebirth.

We’ve already got Paco Rabanne designed by Julien Dossena, which is also revisiting the past. Effect? Good collections, but the futuristic spirit of Paco will never comeback. The audience won’t say “WOW” again to these chain-dresses. The same with Courreges – these clothes from Meyer’s and Vaillant’s collection won’t shock anyone today, as they already had their moment in fashion history. Both the designers handled a great brand (Coperni Femme is actually hibernating due to Courreges) with a great idea and vision. Their first collection at Coperni was really exciting, as it was totally new. And now, when I see their recent work at Courreges, I have one question in my mind – who will buy those jackets? Don’t we have other labels with great, leather jackets? We live in a generation of ideas and creativity, so why don’t the major fashion concerns look forward to expanding brands founded and designed by the new-breed designers? Making old look like new is not always a good idea, unless you are Alessandro Michele (the creative director of Gucci). I just truly hope that Sebastien and Arnaud won’t waste their priceless five minutes at Courreges.

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