Victor Glemaud‘s brilliant autumn-winter 2022 outing oozed with the energetic New York chic of the Halston days – and the graceful confidence of the Halstonettes. Lately, Glemaud has been working a more minimalist groove, and this season the designer ramped up that aesthetic, stripping down and paring back his signature vibrant knits. Models sauntered into the marble paved atrium in classic stilettos, their hair tied back with chic headscarves. The collection has its key reference – Ousmane Sembène’s Black Girl, a masterpiece of 1960s cinema that earned the pioneering Senegalese filmmaker international renown. Mbissine Thérèse Diop plays the young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white family. Her stirring performance is amplified by a wardrobe of impeccable black and white shift dresses. Punctuated with touches of tangerine and soft beige, the collection’s mostly monochromatic palette nodded to Diop’s scene-stealing performance. Glemaud introduced a new, more pliant yarn to his brand this season, and the resulting cut and sew jersey dresses were attention grabbing and flattering on a variety of body types. The most compelling examples were cut with athletic attitude, including clingy hooded racerback maxi dresses, ruched asymmetric LBDs, and stirrup leggings. As a partner to those bodycon looks, Glemaud showed a series of fur coats, perhaps the most unexpected aspect of the collection. With so many brands going fur-free, these days it’s rare to see so much as a fur trim on the runway. Still, for Glemaud the choice made sense. “Fur has a rich history in Black culture and it’s something I don’t think we should be ashamed about,” he said backstage. “I also don’t believe we should live in fear of being canceled.” It was a lovely surprise to discover in the show notes that he had dedicated the collection to “the countless women who left their homelands for the American Dream,” including his elegantly dressed mother and her twin sister, originally from Haiti, who sat in the front row. “I wanted this collection to be a celebration of body and shape, but most of all a celebration of Black women,” said Glemaud. Easily the most powerful statement of the show was the casting of all Black dark-skinned beauties.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.