Paris celebrates the night with Sacai, Y/Project and Valli
Many collections have been returning to a certain sophistication at this season's Paris Fashion Week, with models wearing elongated silhouettes, elevated with sparkling earrings and necklaces. And the trend was especially pronounced on Monday, as Sacai, Y/Project and Giambattista Valli hosted glamorous runway shows for refined ladies.
With their high-heeled boots, long leather gloves, statement earrings, pearl necklaces and golden chain chokers, the women on Sacai's catwalk strode through the night under continuously sweeping spotlights. For next winter, Chitose Abe opted for an ultra-chic wardrobe, where, for the first time, eveningwear played a starring role.
Most notably, evening pieces were fused with outerwear to make unique hybrid looks, a mix which gave formal outfits an everyday feel and vice-versa. Satin sheath dresses incorporated long coats or took on the guise of elegant suits, some of which were blended into sumptuous white cable-knit jumpers. Bombers were extended to the ground, where they meshed with organza to become original parachute dresses.
The collar and placket of a white shirt appeared on flowing ensembles tailored in classic menswear fabrics, and creative director Chitose Abe also opened trousers out, laying them flat and applying the two large legs to the front or back of a dress for a trompe l’œil effect. Black trousers were attached like a loincloth to a t-shirt dress, as well as to white shirt dresses.
This season the construction was built around a kind of long, loose tunic, to which different pieces of fabric were grafted, revealing another facet of the garments as they moved to create a kind of two-in-one look – "a fourth dimension silhouette," as the Japanese designer put it.
Weighty gold chain necklaces and large white pearls also put in an appearance at Y/Project, although the latter were used to decorate black pumps, along with finer gold chains, which were wrapped around shoes, but also around a spider's web bustier. Sexy striped stockings were reimagined as sheaths that were split at the front and back and worn with a simple pant or a bodysuit and top.
Shiny, undulating ribbons were used to create an improvised evening gown beneath a tunic in black organza, while part of a puffy golden dress was tucked into a boot. An imposing black velvet cape dress with a turned-up collar leant a queenly air of haughtiness to the model wearing it as she closed the show majestically.
As he does every season, creative director Glenn Martens had fun blurring the boundaries of couture, exploring all kinds of new construction techniques. For Fall/Winter 2020-21, he concentrated on the pelvis, which appeared to be clasped by the two halves of a mussel shell formed by a high-riding pant cut into a V at the waist.
These trousers were split at the crotch into two ogive-shaped petals which rose up the models' hips, a balance-defying shape that the designer repeated in a wide range of pieces, ranging from tops to bodices and jackets which plunged into funnel-like skirts. The highlights among these looks were a set of incredible suits with bodysuit-blazers, while elsewhere these V-cut trousers revealed an integrated thong.
In the remainder of the collection, the fabric of tops, trousers and skirts was wrapped around models' waists for increased volume, while shirts that had been folded lengthwise were fastened to the straps of tops, like scarves. Jersey dresses were corkscrewed at the waist and scarfs were wrapped around models' wrists like XXL bracelets or around their arms to serve as original pouches.
Pearls were back with a vengeance at Giambattista Valli, where the models wrapped themselves up in multiple long strings of them. The Italian couturier made this collection with the classic Parisienne in mind, sending out young girls who appeared to be on the cusp of womanhood and walked in flat mocassins or boots, donning opera gloves and pastel pink outfits exuding delicate lightness. Some topped their looks off with a black velvet hair bow or a little crystal-encrusted veil.
The wardrobe's palette focused on contrasting shades, such as pink and black, revealing the ambivalent nature of Valli's Parisienne, who was both romantic and seductive, and had a strong personality. The models alternated mini-dresses and little coats and skirt suits with flouncier floor-length dresses in silk, tulle and satin, while ostrich feathers adding an airy edge to proceedings.
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