I might not be a Balmain kind of person, but I can definitely appreciate it, when Olivier Rousteing does something intriguing with it. A lot happened on the spring-summer 2023 runway, from a haute couture capsule offering to Cher closing the event. Over-saturated with prints featuring (very naked) Renaissance painting and a heavy dose of leather weaving and jersey draping, it was clear that Rousteing was still high on his Jean Paul Gaultier collaboration we’ve seen this summer (by the way, I can’t wait to see what Haider Ackermann will cook up for the brand in a couple of months!). But what truly sparked my attention in this Balmain outing was the melancholic, even dystopian mood behind it – and also it’s sustainability aspect. “We all saw climate change this summer. We all saw fires around the world. And coming back with a show in September, thinking about whether our pants are going to be high-waisted or low-waisted – it seems a bit futile to me.” Dressed like a samurai messiah, Rousteing told the press backstage that while he could not claim this collection was 100 per cent sustainable, he’d used fabrics made of paper, of banana, and of wicker (in the couture) to be as much so as possible. He added: “I have friends who tell me they don’t want to have kids, because what will our world be tomorrow? And at the end of the day it’s not about taste. It’s not about aesthetics.” When faced with the hardest proposition – that all fashion is essentially unsustainable for its inherent ephemerality – he convincingly riposted that his ongoing project is to radicalize his supply chain for the better. So props to him.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki. Don’t forget to follow Design & Culture by Ed on Instagram!
I am an Instagram maniac and I openly confess that I spend too much time on filtering my feed. But it’s irresistible, when you have so many great accounts to follow! If you’re ready for a dose of beautifully curated walls, inspiring photos and delightful shots – see my July recommendations!
@juliendys / For a reason, Julien D’Ys (or ‘Juju’, as Linda Evangelista likes to say) is called the hair-magician. The legendary coiffeur is known for his incredible hairstyles and colossal wigs seen at Comme Des Garçons, and lately has been on everybody’s lips after Azzedine Alaïa presented his haute couture collection with statuesque Nefertiti head-sculptures (as seen on Naomi Campbell). Once you follow Julien, you will become obsessed with his impressively emotional paintings and blurry photos of people on the streets.
@vanravenstein / Van Ravenstein is Amsterdam’s go-to store for Ann Demeulemeester, Vetements, Junya Watanabe and Dries Van Noten – in other words, fashion’s real pearls. Moody showroom snaps and styling tricks quaranteed.
@paloma_powers / An endless mood-board of ‘new type art agency’. Bold throwbacks of Cher on stage or lounging Charlotte Rampling on a red sofa. Must-follow!
AND, if you want to follow one more account on Instagram… why don’t you follow, ta-da, @designandculturebyed?
Just after reviewing Koché, Y / Project is the next clear prove that Paris looks forward to labels found by new-gen talents, and those who made the cut in the LVMH Prize Awards. Ideas proposed by Glenn Martens blur between the terms feminine and masculine, but also, reflect on the generations’ love for Scream Queens pastel-pink trashiness, Cher’s good, old looks and this neo-goth, neo-grunge mood (which appears repeatedly this season). To an extend, the collection reminds me of Vetements, with its focus on denim (here, it’s all about the slouchy, elongated length of pants as seen above) and a kind of anti-fashion attitude. But you can’t compare Glenn Martens’ label to the fashion collective lead by Demna Gvasalia – the philosophies of these two brands are totally different, just like the approach. At Y / Project, drama plays a role – bishop sleeves worn loosely with pencil skirts; sheer robes with ruff-like collars ooze with ethereal elegance, but with a modern-day twist. The list of must-haves keeps adding up, and curiosity of what’s to come at Y / Project makes me wonder.