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In Paris, the anthem of joy by Dries Van Noten, Anrealage and Rochas

Translated by
Sep 29, 2022

Between war, climate emergencies, nuclear threats and crises of all kinds, fashion designers still have hope. Thus a resilient fashion is taking shape in Paris on the third day of the women's ready-to-wear shows. After Undercover's calls for love and gentleness, Dries Van Noten sang a veritable hymn to life on Wednesday, while Anrealage highlighted the beauty of craftsmanship and Rochas a certain lightness.

Dries Van Noten

After the night, life takes over. This is how you could sum up Dries Van Noten's beautiful collection for spring-summer 2023, which crescendoes from absolute black to a quiver of colorful and airy sensations. The show was held in a deserted office building with a concrete car park feel. It opened with 20 or so all black looks. Revamped suits, classy coats, simple or draped dresses, openwork knit skirts. A few rare brass buttons and golden jewels let in a ray of light.

Suddenly midnight-blue sequins sparkled under a harsh black blouse. Color made its appearance in this austere wardrobe through a skirt catching the light. It then takes over all the clothes, cutting into light wrinkled viscose. At first in a pastel palette, almost reminiscent of colors from a past life. The monochrome outfits have an almost sporty look with large, wrap-around men's jackets, wide trousers and minimalist coats. But these stripped-down outfits, as if washed out by the rain, gradually revealed a touch of frivolity, in the pleats of a skirt or the frills that border it, in the fabric roses applied to a bodice, or the drapes and gathers that sculpted a dress.
Then the catwalk was invaded with an explosion of colors and floral prints, layers of muslin, organza and other silky fabrics and a mix and match of joyful bouquets. Pleated garlands lay on the shoulders of a chaste shirt, delicate flowers took over transparent trousers and blouses, tunics in coloured macramé let their long fringes swing, while boa scarves made of a multitude of feathers in impalpable fabrics were wrapped around the neck and waist.

"It's a celebration of optimism. For this first physical women's show in two years, I wanted a very festive collection. Starting from nothing with black, where I explored fabrics, shapes and textures to then let color and flowers explode," explained the Flemish designer backstage, still overcome with emotion from his show.

A SS23 look by - Anrealage

The meticulous craftsmanship of patchwork was also the focus of the Anrealage show. For the brand's 20th anniversary, Kunihiko Morinaga returned to his roots with a stunning collection. It used the handcrafted technique of assembling tiny pieces of fabric that made his house a success from its launch in 2003, and still forms an important part of his identity today.

With this collection, the Japanese designer seems to want to push his art and his passion for detail to the extreme, composing true impressionist paintings. Flared mosaic dresses with ruffled sleeves, harlequin coats, skirts and shirts entirely recomposed from pieces of fabric of the same color: Morinaga carried out this extremely masterful work by using 200 old garments, and went so far as to use 4,000 pieces of fabric to make some of the most sophisticated pieces.

For each garment, the game is the same - to assemble small triangles or squares of fabric from dead stocks or from the designer's old collections - but the result is different each time. Thus, the trouser ensembles in beige or gray tones were reminiscent of marquetry, while the puzzle dress made of faded denim squares seemed to be cut from a new, more consistent material with a tapestry effect. Other compositions evoked these fragmented landscapes seen from the sky, or managed to create shades of different tones in the same garment.

At the end of the show, which concluded with five all-black looks, Morinaga amused himself by having the models parade again, but this time wearing their clothes backwards. In the video shared on the web, the back and front of each model are displayed simultaneously for a hypnotic effect.

At Rochas, Charles de Vilmorin also played the color and volume card, choosing the Folies Bergère theater to unveil the Parisian house's next summer collection. The young designer played with a series of pieces composed of ruffles.

Cotton ruffles were bubbly and sculptural, wrapping models in cloud dresses. With a frilly effect, layers of ruffles also swell the sleeves of a large checked suit or the edges of ball skirts. Seen in chiffon in delicate shades, they transform certain shirts into floating capes. The last two silhouettes of baroque-style basket dresses, and audacious satin thigh-high boots laced up at the front, promised a carefree summer.

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