The air you breathe at Paris couture these days goes backwards. Contrary to the ecumenical tale that has now become common, to the inclusion so fervently preached everywhere, the most absolute privilege seems to be back in vogue: that somewhat unpleasant way that fashion has always had of ignoring what is happening in the world, going crazy stolidly in the wake of big spenders who are more and more spenders but also less and less, now that enormous fortunes are concentrated in the hands of very few while misery is rampant elsewhere. The notation is not meant to be moralistic: the market opportunity is real, not taking it would be criminal. And then it is how fashion has always operated, whatever the narrative it chooses to deceive those who follow it, those who aspire, those who are unlikely to be able. What is surprising now, rather, is the return of a way and an imaginary that have their roots in decades that have now passed. At best, it is the desire to dream, to escape, to suggest other scenarios far from ugliness and catastrophes, not an unpleasant exhibition.
The twenties according to Giorgio Armani
This is how Giorgio Armani thinks, who at Armani Privè looks to the twenties of the decò – a beloved and often cited decade – and to Tamara de Lempicka, an independent and strong-willed woman, unscrupulous and unconventional. Armani defines it petillating, that is, sparkling. But it is still Armani that we are talking about: the fizzing and bubbling are contained within a rigorous yet vibrant perimeter, made up of clear lines, graphic colors, pervasive glows. It is precisely the multiplication of volumes that captures the new escapist spirit, what Armani calls an «atmosphere of sweet joy; the subtle pleasure of being with life “. Absolute elegance, on the other hand, is the same as always, the show ends in a well-deserved standing ovation.
Tweed also becomes luxury for the few
At Chanel, Virginie Viard does not seem to follow a true collection narrative: from elongated tweeds to optical silk dresses passing through fluffy black and white, a lot happens on the catwalk, without great consistency other than the gaucho boots that are used as an accessory. There is no shortage of beautiful dresses, and the set conceived by the artist Xavier Vaillant – all an intertwining of movable arches and poised structures – is a feast for the eyes and a playful experience, but it is very little for such a glorious brand. Here too, as elsewhere, the ecumenical card is not played out. This is luxury for a few, as confirmed by the choice of location: riding stables a few meters away, patrician villas all around.