Boys Exit Courrèges

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Parisian fashion houses don’t stop playing musical chairs. While Clare Waight Keller and Natasha Ramsay-Levi are presenting their debut collections at Givenchy and Chloé respectively this September, Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant exit Courrèges after just two years of creative direction. The couple was hired in 2015 by French advertising executives Jacques Bungert and Frédéric Torloting, who acquired Courrèges in 2011 from the brand’s namesake founder André Courrèges. Although Courrèges was the 20th century synonym of fashion modernism in Europe, the maison‘s name appears to be not as well-known as Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel or Balenciaga today. Actually, reviving Courrèges seemed to be complicated since the very beginnings. First, other old French brands like Paco Rabanne and Vionnet where being revitalised at approximately the same time, evidently with greater funds and patience. Second, Sébastien’s and Arnaud’s sophistication and desire to keep Courrèges a rather quiet, celebrity-free brand is hardly possible in today’s industry – unfortunately. And that’s quite a pity, as their collections intriguingly redefined Courrèges codes in a truly modern way – no big venues or fuss, but  pure focus on the clothing.

According to the official statement, François Le Ménahèze, who was named president of Courrèges in April 2017, will announce the brand’s new designer when the time comes. But what does the future hold for the extremely talented Meyer and Vaillant? It’s worth remembering that the duo set aside their well-received by editors and retailers label Coperni Femme to focus on Courrèges. Will they return to their roots? Or are they planning a new venture into another fashion house? For now, lets look back at the boys’ achievements at Courrèges.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Ghesquière’s Blade Runner Girl

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Some collections are just unforgettable. And some do both: remain in your mind for seasons to come and stay ahead of time in their remarkable authenticity. Nicolas Ghesquière‘s autumn-winter 2012 collection for Balenciaga happens to fall into the latter camp. Bonded leather coats with over-sized shoulders, voluminous sweaters over cosmic A-line skirts, memorable sweatshirts with Join a Weird Trip signs. Too much of goodness.

I think this one specific line-up of the visionary designer wasn’t as well understood in 2012 as it would have been today – its singularity, sharp modernism and wearability feel so today, but also so 2020, 2030 and who knows – 2040? After seeing the new trailer of Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, I just couldn’t hold myself from writing this short post as it made me think of Ghesquière’s brilliance right away. Blade Runner‘s neo-noir sci-fi sequel, coming later this year, is highly anticipated – and the designers can’t wait too, as Raf Simons did an entire menswear collection dedicated to the cult film. By the way, while designing at Louis Vuitton, Nicolas tends to frequently refer to Blade Runner while describing his futuristic collections.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Rare and Exquisite. Alaïa AW17 Couture

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The haute couture week in Paris couldn’t end in a better way. In accordance with his manner of doing ‘everything at your own pace’ and after a six-year long break, Azzedine Alaïa‘s couture collection was like the sweetest, priciest dessert in the menu of a gourmet chef. Naomi Campbell, Alaïa’s ultimate muse, opened and closed the show wearing a delightful fur coat and incredibly pleated velvet gown respectively. The models were transformed into modern-day Nefertiti queens, thank to Julien d’Ys magical coiffeur skills. Also, what got everyone talking wasn’t a far-fetched venue or another celebrity in the f-row – most of all, the focus was on the garments. From a python coat in red and a hand-crafted leather maxi-skirt to floral motifs on a jacket and high-boots covered in leopard print, Azzedine’s rare fashion universe is as exquisite as it was when he started out few decades ago. Marvellous!

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

A Russian Tale. Ulyana Sergeenko AW17

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A beautiful, Russian tale was told at Ulyana Sergeenko‘s autumn-winter 2017 haute couture show. The brand is known for its ultra-focus on traditional, slowly dying craftsmanship coming straight from Russia – take the Yelets and Vologda lace techniques, which make Sergeenko’s lady-like dresses look truly one-of-a-kind. The collection orbited around two themes. One was especially intimate for the designer herself –  it was a photo of Ulyana Sergeenko’s grandmother taken 64 years ago in eastern Kazakhstan, wearing a black dress with white-collar. Ulyana dedicated the collection to her beloved grandmothers – Sonya, Nina and Zina – making her lucky clients feel the love embedded in these intricate embroideries. The other, darker side of this collection was inspired by Old Holywood’s elegance and Soviet crime stories feauturing spies and gangsters – the all-black looks had something sexy badass about them (for a reason). Fancy, very femme fatale fur coats are here, too.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki (backdrop: a still from Renata Litvinova’s ‘Rita’s Last Fairy-Tale’).