Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
We’re continuing our look at Paris Fashion Week, focused on new Spring/Summer 2019 collections from brands like Givenchy, Celine, and Akris.
Givenchy’s “I Am Your Mirror” collection, presented on a dimly-lit concrete runway, proved to be an ode to reflecting the Givenchy Couple. The brand’s Artistic Director, Clare Waight Keller, was inspired by the mirroring of men and women in each other—the sharing of gender characteristics and aesthetic preferences. This evolved mentality translated into many looks with reference points. The handsome writer, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, who famously identified as female but wore menswear in the 1930s, provided inspiration, as did Lou Reed and Christa Päffgen (known as “Nico”) from The Velvet Underground. The collection pushed forward with strong tailoring and petite proportion. Sculptural waists added to the feminine allure of creases down the fronts of sleeves; high-waisted trousers were seen with structure; military-esque tops were seen buttoned to the top, adorned with shoulder passants; and accessories, like clear sunglasses with crystalized trim, cross-shoulder and belt bags (and a boxy new one called WHIP), and large, mix-match earrings stood out. Dresses, suits, trenches, blazers, and leather vests also drew attention in cotton, jersey, and crepon, as did the patterns that looked back on its theme—symmetrical circles made up of dots and florals, and reflective silver resin that shimmered dramatically.
Designer Hedi Slimane’s inaugural collection for Celine came with 96 powerful looks, presented on a set derived from the idea of a windup ballerina in a mirror-lined music box. As a drummer from the Republican Guard tapped a rhythm at the end of a dark runway, men and women walked in the show (with all unisex men’s looks). To start, the collection blasted the once-minimalistic Celine dress code to an array of youth culture bits. Those bits, in Slimane’s signature style, were loaned back to indie rock and adolescence, and a new type of Celine appeal full of dancing dresses, lacquered python shoes, and slim ties and suits with structure shoulders inspired by the Jeunes Gens Modernes movement. There were two-pleat trousers, mini-crino dresses worn under men’s suit jackets, collared shirts, veil crowns, tiered ruffles making up an off-the-shoulder top, a leather jumpsuit with zips and a big waist tie, baby doll-cut dresses with sequins; and wrap-around eyewear. The collection also included pieces in collaboration with Swiss-American artist Christian Marclay. Inspired by respective subcultures centered around music and sound, the onomatopoeic paintings and comic book collages, sourced from the 1970s and ‘80s, were reimagined on several pieces in embroideries, prints, and patches. If one could imagine a Slimane-designed collection for Celine—both outlandish and refined, black-based but clean—this premiere onslaught was it.
The new Akris collection by designer Albert Kriemler had the theme of “bring joy to your life,” in collaboration with the late artist Geta Brătescu. After first seeing her work last year at documenta 14, Kriemler was amazed by the artist’s use of color, collage, and humor. And so began a collaborative venture, with Brătescu’s wish that Kriemler worked with her “Magnets” series, a study on human attraction. Just a few days shy of the show, Brătescu passed away at age 92, so for the house, the new collection was both an homage to her and to the playfulness of fashion and art. Seen on a wood floor set, complemented by drawings and collages on backdrops and concrete staging props, the collection flowed with ease. First on a base of taupe, grey, white, and light blue, looks incorporated photographs of buildings, and then child-like drawings of lips and eyes. Pleated dresses and skirts were paired with architectural accessories like bold silver necklaces, small purses around the front of the neck, and one-slit boots; a sheer trench was seen worn over a top and trouser—all in the same pattern; and color-blocking served as the baseline for and breakup between many other fun and colorful prints.