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Cubism was essentially a way of looking at things, rejecting the classical perspective: the single vanishing point was replaced by multiple ones, which led to the decomposition of the observed world and the multiplication of the guidelines through which to reproduce it. Interpreting the work of Japanese designers is never a linear process, but at the opening of the fifth day of Parisian fashion shows, Junya Watanabe’s show presents itself as a cubist undermining of the idea of clothing: prismatic, decomposed and recomposed until it becomes an object, with a possible life even if not worn. On the catwalk, inside a dilapidated cave as usual, because at this level of the fashion spectrum rough pauperism is a must, there is a succession of clothes that look like giant origami, with spines that protrude and push away, lines that intersect at an angle, taking up space around them. to the body. This is not pure abstraction: if the black opening is decidedly far from any idea of wearability, as we proceed the shapes become progressively possible, ending with a leather motard jacket and the bouclé ski jacket. The modeling work is appreciated, but Watanabe seems entangled in a formula, in a scheme that is certainly exciting, but still rigid.
The same goes for Noir: here Kei Nonomiya does the same thing every time, that is, he creates sculptural clothes with a clearly evident punk twist, in a rigorous black and white palette with sparkling metallic trinkets in abundance. Repetition is certainly an expressive choice, but lately distinguishing a Noir collection from the previous one is difficult, and it’s a shame. Rei Kawakubo, imperishable godmother of the avant-garde and empress of Comme des Garçons, is the most prolific and long-lived of all Japanese designers. Well over seventy years old, she continues to surprise. Of course, she too has long been stuck on bulbous silhouettes and an idea of the undressed, but the fluorescent colors and optimistic hints of this collection, accompanied by howling choirs, are an adrenaline rush.
If we exclude the Japanese, this is certainly not a season of exciting experimentation. Indeed, what prevails in Paris, perhaps more than in Milan, is a reassuring normality, but also a worrying normative nature. Everything is simple, therefore understandable and marketable, but also immemorial. At Hermès, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski fluidifies, lightens, lengthens, which is a good thing, even if the collection, essentially made up of soft duster coats, long skirts, tight-fitting dresses and small tops, is somewhat repetitive: exploration, essentially , of a color chart that revolves around red and burnt. All perfect, all highly inoffensive, as befits the current climate of luxurious quiescence.
Louise Trotter’s debut at the helm of Carven is characterized by pragmatism and simplicity: low heels, neutral colors and the firm desire to go unnoticed in a crowd, because elegance is a personal fact, not a medal to be flaunted. Of course, the echoes of certain Nineties minimalism, Jil Sander in particular, are evident in certain twists, in the balanced use of decorations, but the result is moderately personal.
Sarah Burton’s journey from Alexander McQueen ends with a standing ovation to the passionate notes of Heroes by David Bowie (We can be heroes, just for one day!): thirteen years alongside Lee McQueen, and thirteen at the creative helm. The proof is a summary of a language in which sharp tailoring, languid soft focus and the constant and skilful redesign of the body come together in a celebration of feminine beauty and strength. Perhaps Burton has always lacked Lee’s unpredictable flair, largely compensated, however, by his unique wisdom and feeling for doing. The end of her tenure officially closes an era, on a high and ineffable note.