Monday, August 10, 2020

Haute couture like a virtual dream

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Always royal, “the black panther”. This Monday morning, in a t-shirt flocked with a proud «Phenomenally black», the british diva Naomi Campbell, star of the 80s catwalks, kicked off the fall-winter 2020-2021 haute couture fashion shows after setting foot in the news. “The struggle for equality and diversity has long been underway in society and in fashion. Today, in 2020, there is still much to do. […] The Black Lives Matter movement recently demonstrated worldwide that there is an emergency. […] The time has come to build a fairer industry. It is also time to include everyone permanently, not by fashion. It is time to have discussions with the minorities of all countries and all cultures. ”

The atmosphere on the side of the creators who rubbed themselves for the first time with a 100% digital presentation, was much more quilted. The videos (visible online on the website of the Haute Couture and Fashion Federation) attest to the confinement suffered, the creation under a bell, the effort to escape the forced parenthesis. Twelve brands were in the running today: Schiaparelli, Ulyana Sergeenko, Iris van Herpen, Maurizio Galante, Christian Dior, Maison Rabih Kayrouz, Ralph & Russo, Azzaro Couture, Antonio Grimaldi, Xuan, Giambattista Valli and Georges Hobeika.

Technological research and crafts

There are three approaches. At Russian Ulyana Sergeenko’s, the video is about reporting, from embroidery workshops to a kaleidoscope of silhouettes which confirms its glamorous niche: a battalion of vamps in full empowerment, tribute to the stars of the 40s and 50s who appear in archive images – Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth…

Conversely, it is minimalism that prevails in Iris van Herpen: a short film, one piece, one model. But both are exceptional: the dress is a stunning white sculpture embroidered with white arabesques typical of the combination of technological research and craftsmanship that characterizes the work of the Dutch designer, and the model is Carice van Houten, aka Melisandre, aka ” the Red Priestess “in the series Games of Throne. The whole is conceptual, beautiful and mysterious, as always with Iris van Herpen, who announces that she is working these days on virtual reality for her next fashion show. She wants it physical because “In terms of emotion, nothing can compete”.

Photo Iris Van Herpen, editing Libération

Nymphs and mermaid

Dior invites for its part to a bucolic dream, via a fifteen-minute film directed by Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah, Dogman, Pinocchio), compatriot of Maria Grazia Chiuri, the patron of women’s collections since 2016. We start with a workshop, a tribute to the exceptional craftsmanship that prevails in haute couture to arrive in an enchanted garden (of Eden?) where nymphs, a mermaid, a fauna, a Narcissus, a seashell woman, a woman statue meet … The passage on the other side of the mirror takes place via a miniature cloakroom transported in a trunk-doll house carried by bellboys . Organza, gauze, satin, for peplum dresses, toga dresses, draped suits: it is a classic but charming ode to haute couture, reaffirmed as a dream back from the ambient nightmare.

Photo Iris Van Herpen, editing Libération

Sabrina Champenois

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