Jack Moss rounds up the best new collections unveiled as part of Paris Digital Fashion Week – from Miu Miu’s snowy offering streamed from the Dolomite Alps, to Dries Van Noten’s glamorous photo story from Antwerp
An optimistic outing from Virginie Viard saw this season’s Chanel girl wandering streets of Paris before stepping into legendary Saint-Germain-des-Prés nightspot Castel, a favourite of Françoise Sagan, Amanda Lear and Salvador Dalí (as if to show the bar’s legendary appeal, it was at this point the film lit up into colour). The collection mined this nightclubbing mood: tweed overcoats were worn with delicate chiffon dresses beneath, with a final golden trench coat a glamorous endnote. “It is a mix of two influences,” Viard told Alexander Fury. “The ambiance of ski holidays, which I adore, and a certain idea of cool Parisian chic, from the 1970s to now.”
Miu Miu meanwhile transported viewers to Cortina d’Ampezzo ski resort in the Italian Dolomites for its latest collection – a nod, no doubt, to our collective desire for escapism. Miuccia Prada would ski in the mountains as a teenager; sometimes, when it was warm, she remembered seeing women doing so in just a bikini. The collection thus mined tropes of skiwear and lingerie: camisole dresses, knit bikini tops and hefty fur gloves and boots were combined to playful effect.
Maria Grazia Chiuri might have no mirrors in her own house, but the idea of reflection was at the heart of her latest Dior collection, filmed in Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors. Mirror-based artworks by Silvia Giambrone lined the runway – here made from resin and covered in thorny spikes – nodding to the collection’s title, Disturbing Beauty. It spoke of a fairytale mood: girlish broderie anglaise dresses, rose-covered gowns and hooded capes recalled the women at the tales’ centres. “Many of the fairytales that we know today come from women who wrote them, in the 17th century, in Versailles,” Chiuri explained to Alexander Fury.
Grainy sunlit footage captured the intimate feel of Lucie and Luke Meier’s latest Jil Sander collection. As has become the pair’s signature, a pure, unrestrained silhouette was combined with more seductive details: a striking opening look saw an elegant lapelless blazer left open to reveal a waterfall of pearls beneath. Their leather pieces remain their most desirable, whether softly gathered opera gloves, in various warm shades, or a gorgeous butter-soft saffron jacket.
An urge to dress up again has become one of the season’s defining moods, illuminating a joyful and eclectic outing by Julien Dossena at Paco Rabanne. Enjoying the proposition of designing for six months ahead – when nights on the town might be how we spend our evenings once more – there were draped chainmail dresses and blouses dripping in jewelled embellishments, lace-trimmed silk camisoles and Dossena’s play on Le Tuxedo, cropped in the jacket and wide-legged.
Played out on the bare stage of a theatre in his home city of Antwerp, Dries Van Noten’s latest collection saw a gathering of dancers and models occupying the space through exaggerated movement, captured by the photographer and filmmaker Casper Sejersen. The dishevelled glamour and intense emotion of Pina Bausch was evident – noted by the designer as a perennial inspiration – through sturdy, thrown-on outerwear worn with sensual beaded and sequin dresses beneath.
“A constant tension between two worlds,” was how Matthew Williams described his latest Givenchy collection, which balanced a resolute glamour with his industrial, utilitarian signature. Set to a soundtrack by Robert Hood, an early pioneer of minimal techno, models strode into the partially flooded set – chunky rubber boots on feet – in layers of club-tinged clothing, from furry and quilted cropped jackets to spidery braided dresses and barely-there bra tops. “Like music you can wear,” he said.
In an impressive undertaking, Hermès’ latest collection was revealed live in three acts and across three continents, with choreographed performances in New York and Shanghai sandwiching a more traditional – albeit audienceless – runway show in Paris. Creative director Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski said this season “was a time for rebuilding”, offering a comprehensive wardrobe for the Hermès woman, whether nipped denim tailoring, cashmere blanket-style overcoats, or fringed leather dresses, made to transport their wearer from day to evening.
Venice was once again the setting for Rick Owens’ new collection, the city in which the designer has a home and creates his work. This time, it took place on a concrete pier jutting into the Lido, the stark drama of the scene compounded with plumes of grey smoke. A continuation of his men’s collection, Gethsemane, earlier this month – which he described as “almost biblical in its drama” – monastic caped puffa jackets met sequin bodysuits and twisted gowns, created with a couture flourish.
Captured at the Louvre, Nicolas Ghesquière’s latest collection for Louis Vuitton once again demonstrated the unique time-travelling magic of the French designer’s work – this season, evoking ancient Greece via the work of Piero Fornasetti, using the Italian mid-century designer’s prints of classical statues across the collection. Wanting to “evoke the past, present and future simultaneously” the rest was a mash-up of time and space, whether cocooning parka jackets, shimmering Renaissance-inflected mini dresses, or colourful ruffles of tulle.
The currently shuttered streets of Mayfair, London, provided the backdrop for Andreas Kronthaler’s latest outing, captured via a short film set in and around the brand’s store on Davies Street. A riff on My Fair Lady, Kronthaler, musician Caroline Polachek, dancer Malik Sharpe and Vivienne Westwood herself recited lines from the musical to surreal effect. The collection itself was typically – and joyfully – eclectic, from mutton-sleeved corset dresses to flower-decorated bodysuits, and mini tartan kilts, modelled in the lookbook by Kronthaler.
A playful vérité-style film from Ami recalled 90s fashion documentaries like Unzipped or Catwalk, the same era from which designer Alexandre Mattiussi took inspiration from this season, wanting to echo the “colours, joy and high energy” of the runway shows he watched growing up. An oversized silhouette was the collection’s calling card: wide-shouldered overcoats and amplified tailoring in muted tones were distinctly 90s, while jolts of orange, green and blue gave Mattiussi’s latest outing an undeniable energy.