Make very short memories at Givenchy and Lanvin
PARIS – In one of the most unexpected catwalk trends around, the middle-aged model is all the rage. (Also the border towards the middle-aged model in terms of the model.)
It all started with the return of models to Milan: Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Amber Valletta, Shalom Harlow. Sometimes they seemed to do more news than clothes. Now the trend has picked up in Paris, moving beyond celebrity billing to becoming more of the insider names who strutted along the catwalks earlier in the millennium, dotted among the current Bambi-like culture: Carmen Kass, Caroline Trentini, Natasha Poly, Mariacarla Boscono – women whose bodies and faces appear adult, and sometimes even inhabited.
It’s a welcome and long-awaited change, which gives more substance to the idea of inclusiveness, even if it is partly about the youth of the designers who reserve them, for whom these women represent a formative story. .
After all, at a time when fame may last 15 seconds rather than Andy Warhol’s 15 minutes, “vintage” means last season and having been a big deal 15 (or even 10) years ago counts as part of. the legacy of the past.
To some extent, this has allowed designers to shed some of the burdens of heritage homes, which once weighed heavily on those who inherited their wreaths. But it also created a kind of disconnect.
During a preview of the Givenchy show, for example, the house’s creative director, Matthew Williams, spoke of his collaboration with American artist Josh Smith, known for his vivid colors and pictographic symbols. The collaboration was cool, but when asked what Mr. Smith had to do with Givenchy, a couture brand once steeped in Audrey Hepburn elegance, Mr. Williams looked baffled.
“It’s really personal to me,” he finally said. The implication being, since he was Givenchy for the time being, that should be enough.
And it may be true. The problem is that a year after the start of Mr Williams’ tenure, it is still not clear what his Givenchy is.
In her first live parade (which, incidentally, featured Ms Poly and Ms Trentini, among others), which took place on Sunday night in a stadium-sized arena that appeared to be another blast of In the recent past, there were few structured basque jackets over mini skirts, the square neckline edged with tiny ruffles, worn with hammer-soled leather thigh-high boots like a sci-fi Victorian maid outfit.
Also bra tops and stiff lace bloomers (really: bloomers) under tailored tweed jackets, and smooth black pants with some sort of skirt flap hanging down in front and twisting between the legs of the girls. models as they walked, paired with sheer corseted camisoles. Intricately crafted boleros made of tiny tulle and organza ruffles over lacy tap-off pants that exposed the straps of a chiffon thong. Men’s clothing was heavy on the seam, with a military feel, and a few shorts over matching tights.
In the middle of it all was the Josh Smith section, complete with faded vulcanized jeans, multi-colored jackets treated as wearable webs, and multi-colored knits, each with their own contemporary totem pole: a clown face, traffic cone. Also very Instagrammable accessories (a pumpkin candy bag, a milk jug), and a very pretty dress dotted with pointillist sequins under a black tuxedo jacket.
There were, in other words, a lot of ingredients in the mix, some of them interesting, some misguided, but not enough, other than the padlock and chain hardware Mr. Williams favors, to tie it all together.
Bruno Sialelli has the same problem at Lanvin, which this time included pastel baby doll pleated dresses, bouncy floral mini skirts with matching headbands, pals and silver yeti shorts (men and women again in the same clothes) and – Batman! Thanks to a collaboration with DC Comics. Everything from chain mail dresses to sneaker tongues. Because the Caped Crusader and the oldest French fashion house in existence, one founded by a woman, have so much in common?
Well, Ms Campbell closed the show in a tuxedo suit – and a big black cape.