Hong Kong stylist, Declan Chan, is in the City of Lights during one of its most fashionable times of the year. He checks out Sacai, Thom Browne, and Lanvin
My second to last day of fashion week started with a trip into the world of Chitose Abe for Sacai. This season much of the collection acted as an exploration into pleating – a discipline that Abe expressed through her voluminous flowing garments. Elegant formal suiting that flared at the waist piqued my curiosity, while skirts with extensive folding in a myriad of directions and lengths kept my eyes on the minute details of the collection.
Typical of Sacai collections, there was a feeling that the garments were teetering on the edge of casual and formal. An example of this unique dichotomy could be seen in the dress supermodel Bella Hadid wore on the runway. Her pleated white mini dress with black buttons reminded me of a sophisticated clown’s uniform, oversized pockets and a ruffed bust. The look was paired with shiny pleated silver pants that fit snuggly until parachuting at the mid-calf. From billowing shirt sleeves to the plethora of various pockets, this Sacai show delivered a powerful contemporary wardrobe that showcased the skilful tailoring Sacai is capable of.
My second show of the day was Thom Browne. The highly anticipated défilé took place inside the grandiose Palais Garnier opera house – a fitting location for the American designer known for his strong storytelling and theatrical approach. To say a Thom Browne show is a spectacle is practically an understatement. This season I was captivated by the punk rock extravaganza that ensued on the runway.
As the show commenced, look one appeared featuring a lavish silk baroque gown with gold stitched embroidery, boldly signifying that the escapade was about to start. Next was a parade of graceful coat dresses in royal shades of pastels and metallic tones. After this army of nearly twenty similar looks passed, a more punk aesthetic started to appear. Models could be seen with obscure angled mohawk haircuts and large polka dots painted on their faces.
Midway through the show, tailoring became more prominent. Corsets paired with pleated skirt ensembles mixed with more oversized and polka-dotted tailoring. Accessories added to the fantasy and included dog bags, saucer-shaped hats, and plenty of scarves attached to handbags. Thom Browne is a master of storytelling, and this collection is strong proof of his exceptional ability to transform a fanciful story into an extraordinary collection.
The final show I attended was Lanvin. As the presentation began, digital projections of a shimmering seascape filled the venue walls. Mystical upbeat music added to a relaxed atmosphere. The collection was full of well-fitted coats in various pastel colours and deep shades of black. Radiant dresses with intricate embroidery flowed down the catwalk, one of which featured elongated hip extensions that jutted out, creating a cute and sensual silhouette. The collection’s overall tone was subdued and expressed a gentle grace that calmed like sea waves on a distant beach.