Haute Couture Spring 2020: Paris between Past and Future
Of all haute couture spring 2020, one thing will remain well in our mind forever. And we are obviously talking about the great career-closure of Jean Paul Gaultier who, after 50 years in the fashion system, says goodbye to the catwalks. For his latest show, the designer did his best. It was to be expected.
It was a self-referential fashion show, of course: a catalog of beautifully made clothes, some of which come directly from the historical archives of the brand. Funny, exaggerated, kitsch to the extreme, they are so special that you almost forget that they are “dressed”, because they go directly under the label of art. And history.
With Jean Paul Gaultier, a chapter ends and surely some time will pass before the fashion system will be gifted with a new brilliant mind like his. It may seem a nostalgic closure, but it is not. Indeed, Gaultier himself invites us to greet him with a smile. Fashion is change, fashion is fun, fashion is, above all, breaking barriers: look beyond glass and try to imagine the unimaginable – that’s how we can create something special.
Need of change also at maison Valentino.
No more floating clothes and models immersed in clouds of feathers. The blurred borders of Piccioli’s dream become reality and acquired defined outlines. The woman also acquires a whole new – and decidedly real – physichity under the clothes. You can see the shapes, you can perceive the movements: a provocative atmosphere.
It is no coincidence that the dominant shape of the collection is the mermaid one, the symbol par excellence of sensuality. Apart from the soft shapes of the hips, however, clothes all take on a rigidity never seen before, which has a lot to do with architecture. Even rouches and pink feathers of Adut Akech’s final dress are stiff.
Changing course is always a bit more difficult when you have a long and important history behind you. Roseberry has always felt responsible for bringing out the figure of Elsa Schiaparelli as much as possible in all the collections he created for the maison so far. Schiaparelli’s visionary and over the top legacy is certainly something that is difficult to deal with. Especially when haute couture is involved.
This time the designer tried to move to unknown waters and put a good percentage of himself in the collection. Inspirations, myths of his youth and ideas, together with a knowledge perfected during the years spent by Thom Brownie, allowed him to achieve something absolutely personal.
After all, Roseberry himself is known for his exuberance, which made him the perfect candidate to take on the reins of the brand.
Perfectly made, soft and edgy suits alternate with draped dresses. The focus is however on the jewels, which are the indispensable detail that (for real this time) changes the entire meaning of the whole.
In Paris, however, the focus of haute couture was not so much the change as the homage to the past. And alongside designers who risked and set sail towards new horizons, there were also those who, like Galliano for Maison Margiela, Chanel and Dior, remained faithful to themselves. And to their own tradition.
Viard has once again retraced the history of Mademoiselle Chanel and focused on her younger years. The collection is a tribute to the time of the college, between knee-high white socks and black shiny loafers. If it has not left us breathless, the collection has certainly reassured attached customers that, even in a stormy sea, Maison Chanel is a stable reference point. And after all, when it rests on certain indestructible pillars, the chance to sink is minimal.
Maria Grazia Chiuri returns to Dior‘s office with her ultra feminist commitment and fills the catwalk with draped dresses and precious laminate suits. The collection seems to trace centuries of past history in which women have played a fundamental role in society. Especially when it comes to art, which this time has been more present than ever thank to the collaboration with the American artist Judy Chicago.
With this history of power behind them, women can only go towards a bright future of conquests. Thanks also to those who put all their art into the cause.
Givenchy as well gives us a collection that is the result of historical research and study, with the figure of Hubert de Givenchy at the center, the 50s and 60s of the last century, the timeless elegance of clothes made with passion and – above all – awareness. All against a background of an English garden, where flowers dominate the scene. The beauty of certain creations is timeless, but it is to the fragility that Waight Keller dedicates her creations.
As with these clothes, space and time must be left to the most precious things.
Giambattista Valli was inspired by nature, but in his garden there is the light and strength of flowers grown in the Mediterranean air. Just outside the precious Rome, where the designer thought about the collection. The show was held in a museum and, exceptionally, it was open to anyone interested in taking part.
Past is not on stage, but the future is. Everyone is free to take a piece.
Thus the collection takes on a vital energy that is difficult to explain and that can only be savored, looking at the proposed clothes. They are sculptures of inexplicable workmanship, which do not ask to be understood, just felt.
words by Giulia Greco
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