Marc Jacobs‘ phenomenal autumn-winter 2020 collection is probably one of my favourite moments of the entire season. The runway featured a dance performance choreographed by Karole Armitage, New York’s „punk ballerina”, with the catwalk staged like a bistro. At some point it was hard to tell who’s the model and who’s the dancer (everybody was dressed in Jacobs), and that was the intention: beauty in chaos, told through powerful movement. Infinitely inspired by his heroes of the past and present, it is style, in which different people dress at the various stages, ages and times in their lives, that provokes Marc’s love for fashion and possibilities of what it can be. The designer especially had the fading image of disappearing New York in his mind – forever mythical and chic, with its „beauty, promise, sparkle and grit”. The simple, yet unbelievably elegant look Sara Grace Wallerstedt wore – black bra worn underneath a cable-knit cardigan, black pencil skirt, kitten heels with socks and a head-band – is the style refinement level that equals to Holly Golightly’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s wardrobe. When I rewatched this film a few days ago, I just couldn’t not think about Jacobs’ recent line-up.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki featuring Steven Meisel‘s photo for Vogue Italia‘s April 1999 issue.
In times like this, it’s strange to write about fashion. But at the same time, oh how I want fashion… Don’t get me wrong: less collections a year is an initiative that needs praise and support. But when I hear such radical things as “no more fashion weeks” or “no more fashion shows”… then what’s the actual sense of it all, other than just clothes? Also, I fear that not only small and emerging labels might struggle and drown in financial problems, but as well independent, legendary houses that don’t have the deserved spotlight. One of them is Alaïa. After producing 10 collections without the house’s founder, Azzedine Alaïa‘s studio has pretty much found its stride, taking liberties while never straying too far from home base. It also found ample inspiration in two satellite events: the exhibition at the Galerie Azzedine Alaïa entitled Alaia and Balenciaga, Sculptors of Shape, and the book Taking Time, a selection of conversations compiled over the years around Alaïa’s imposing, eclectically populated dinner table. Among those featured are Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson, who speak of time as “the first ergonomic product.” For the autumn-winter 2020 line-up, the studio picks up on the late designer’s fascination with ergonomy, in particular through jersey knit. Starting with archival samples and a lifetime’s worth of research, it delved into origami-inspired pleating and came up with a new, openwork iteration that, while visibly true to house codes also pushed the story forward. For the first time, a cape coat ordinarily cut from cloth resurfaced in a dense knit, textured in ovoid reliefs. Knits also proved a foil for a leather corset belt with fringes that fell to mid-thigh. Impractical though it may be, in a season heavy with fringe, that would-be skirt was one of the most compelling pieces around. In that spirit, there were also a few fringed jackets extrapolated from one Mr. Alaïa had left unfinished on a mannequin in his studio. With Alaïa’s original, iconic zip dress headed to the Met exhibition, About Time (which has been indefinitely postponed due to coronavirus), the studio offered up a new, simpler take on that idea in a little black dress. His signature leopard print also appeared in various iterations, in a gathered and belted coat or a knit bodice on an evening gown. Other highlights included velvet dresses in black, deep burgundy (sublime!) or forest green, and an eye-catching jacket and skirt ensemble in laser-cut, embroidered leather that amped up the contrast of matte and shine. That’s why we will always need brands like Alaïa: it’s not just the history and the person, but a place, where you will find a perfectly timeless dress.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
A few days ago I asked you on my Instagram stories to pick one of your favourite collections ever and I would make a collage with it. Here’s @kalalastrzelbicka’s choice: Karl Lagerfeld‘s spring-summer 1996 collection for Chanel. Months after this collection was shown, Vogue published “Fear of Fridays,” an article that spoke about the tailspin caused by the spread of the casual-Friday concept in business, one that gave rise to a new, more comfortable work uniform built around chinos. Lagerfeld swapped out the preppiness for a laid-back look, added a cropped T-shirt (which was certainly not work appropriate at that time…) and a belt or two, et voilà! Casual chic the Chanel way.
More of your choices are coming in the following days! If you missed the game, you can still write me your favourite collection and I will do the work. Got plenty of time. Culture isn’t cancelled, fashion isn’t cancelled!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
The place where the Colette once used to be, now is the location for Saint Laurent Rive Droite. Thought up as a retail destination, it’s the concept store curated by Saint Laurent’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello. The Rive Droite name takes its inspiration from Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche, the line that introduced Yves’s unique way of combining prêt-à-porter and luxury fashion with the opening of his first boutique in Paris back in 1966. The store space is built around the idea of a cultural experience, showcased through different events such as exhibitions, performances and artistic exchanges. The products on sale are also exclusive to the space, offering rare books, vintage record players, condoms, skate-boards and toy cars. I went there to see what all the buzz is about. It’s a chic store, filled with French design classics and gorgeous clothes, that’s for sure. But then, it feels like another YSL store. So when I read that “it’s better than Colette”… well, it’s definitely not.
213 rue saint Honoré
All photos by Edward Kanarecki.
(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)
For autumn-winter 2020, Isabel Marant stayed in her comfort zone. Her signature, hourglass silhouette came in knitted dresses with over-sized shoulders and quilted varsity jackets with a sharp cut. Her trademark styling trick – in which a belt is used to cinch a voluminous jacket – was in full effect on shaggy camel-colored shearling and all-enveloping blanket coats. Mostly kept in layered neutrals, the collection pleases with its balance between minimalism and nomadic chic – something we all know Marant for. It’s one of those collections that comes nearly unnoticed, but when it hits the stores, everyone wants it.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.