Les Echos – September 21st, 2018

Fashion Week printemps-été 2019 : l’opération séduction de Prada

Astrid Faguer

Ce qu’il fallait retenir du défilé Prada en 5 points.

01 . UN CONTEXTE DE RELANCE
La maison italienne qui a essuyé quelques difficultés financières ces dernières saisons est en phase de relance. Relance qui passe – entre autres – par le réveil de sa ligne Linea Rossa à vocation plus sportive, jeune et accessible (une série d’évènements dédiés à cette renaissance est prévue de New-York à Hong-Kong au mois de septembre), ou via la mise en place d’une stratégie digitale.

02. L’ALLURE PRADA EN QUESTION

La traduction stylistique de cette stratégie de relance est moins frontale. Et comme toujours, les références chez Prada sont multiples : entre fulgurances d’un jour nouveau (les bottines de sport, les tee-shirts traités en robes, les volumes version hanches extra-larges) et clins d’oeil plus rétros (le serre tête bourgeois, la robe trapèze ou le bermuda). Le tout télescopé et fusionné : Miuccia Prada crée une nouvelle allure, qui n’est ni tout à fait la même, ni tout à fait une autre, capable ainsi de séduire à la fois la jeune génération et les précédentes. Sur fond de libération du corps des femmes (ici tout semble confort) : la collection malmène tous les clichés vestimentaires conservateurs – du serre-tête en satin tellement oversize et clouté qu’il se change en must-have, à la robe baby-doll qui se réinvente ultra-moderne grâce à un jeu de découpes et de nouveaux volumes.

03. UN NOUVEAU GLAMOUR
C’est la première fois qu’on parle autant de glamour chez Prada – et ce n’est pas seulement du à la présence de Kaïa Gerber sur le podium. Ici la notion de glamour n’est pas un gros mot tant cette dernière apparaît contrebalancée par des références plus strictes et plus riches. Ainsi, les filles qui s’avancent dans des bodys aux décolletés en V ultra profond, s’affichent également les cheveux impeccablement tirés, coiffées de serre-têtes, habillées de satin remasterisé et les jupes arrivant aux genoux. Miuccia Prada invente un nouveau glamour.

04. LE NYLON, FIL CONDUCTEUR
Par ailleurs, Miuccia Prada réinterroge ses codes. Ainsi le nylon – matière signature lancée dans les années 70 qui a préfiguré du succès de la griffe – s’énonce en nuisette du soir aux nouvelles proportions, en robe sanglée confortable mais très soir ou encore en sac triples étage, aussi pragmatique que conceptuel.

05. LA MUSIQUE DE FRÉDÉRIC SANCHEZ
C’est tout l’art de Miuccia Prada : digérer des références et des styles venus de toutes parts pour les faire siennes. Une vision qui s’applique aussi à la bande son : sur fond de musique électro on croit reconnaitre quelques standards – tel le titre « Je t’aime, Moi non plus » de Serge Gainsbourg.

Business Of Fashion – September 20th, 2018

Prada’s Fetishistic Resistance

Miuccia turned her show into an intricate confrontation between liberation and conservatism, resulting in the most intense collection of the season to date.

BY TIM BLANKS

MILAN, Italy — Miuccia Prada is angry. The woman has props in political activism, after all, and right now we’re gazing into the maw of a resurgence of political populism that is enough to chill her blood. “What worries me is the simplification,” she said after her hard-hitting show on Thursday night. “Even politics is run by slogans.”

The obvious antidote to simplicity is complexity. Miuccia turned her show into an intricate confrontation between liberation and conservatism. If conflict is truly the essence of drama, then this was the most intense collection of the season to date. The setting — a massive concrete bunker at the base of the Torre, the final piece in the puzzle that is the Fondazione Prada — was appropriately harsh.

So was Frédéric Sanchez’s gigantic, pounding techno soundtrack, with a particular emphasis on Terence Fixmer’s revisit of the machine-age classic “Warm Leatherette”. A reminder here that such sounds once scored expressions of exuberant youthful dissidence like the Love Parade in Berlin and Trade in London.

It was tempting to see this show as some kind of Trojan horse. The subtext was subversion: buttoned-up propriety subtly undone. Or not so subtly, in the case of the naked bodies decorously covered with paillettes in some of the prints. Every model had a church-ready turbanette and prim bangs. But for everyone in a princess coat with a handbag slung over her arm, there was someone else in a black leather a-line suspended on tiny straps.

Miuccia’s appreciation of fashion fetishism was shaped by the master Yves Saint Laurent, and she exercised it to the max here: sheer knee-highs, straps, peepholes, revelatory tulles, sinister scales of black paillettes. It may simply be my fantasy that Miuccia was reanimating the notion of sex as a weapon — an idea as old as “Lysistrata” — but the freedoms she endorses are so threatened by the resurgent right that it maybe wasn’t such a fantasy after all.

Her militant mood was inescapable. Look closely and some of the models were featuring a pale simulation of Alex the Droog’s eye makeup from “A Clockwork Orange”. Girl droogs? Now there’s a message to send to men. Resistance comes in strange, unpredictable forms.

SHOWstudio – September 22nd, 2018

Georgina Evans reports on the Prada show

‘The whole thing for me was to discuss what was happening in the world now…’ said Mrs.Prada backstage. ‘To discuss a wish of freedom and liberation and fantasy, and, on the other side, the extreme conservatism that is coming.’
Outstanding, just outstanding. One can’t even begin to describe the energy and joy that followed the S/S 19 Prada show. A peer was literally high – as in eyes wide, jittering, cursing with excitement high – after the show. And can you blame them? This was a Prada resurge, everything you want from a Prada collection was there: nostalgia, sex appeal, trade-mark signatures of old and new, and the unexpected.

The show was set in the grand, dense hall of the Fondazione Prada and the Vernon Panton inflatable cubes were back from the Menswear S/S 19 show, much to everyone’s delight. Frederic Sanchez’s intense techno was just as fantastic as the space and the clothes, with the odd jolting remix of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg’s Je t’aime,…moi non plus providing an eerie darkness. This slightly queer ambience could be seen in the looks too, as models emerged with mini-fringes, their doe-eyed extra-long lashes and satin swing dresses with collar detailing – all reminded one of Mia Farrow in Roman Polanski’s horror Rosemary’s Baby.

‘The whole thing for me was to discuss what was happening in the world now…’ said Mrs.Prada backstage. ‘To discuss a wish of freedom and liberation and fantasy, and, on the other side, the extreme conservatism that is coming.’ This push and pull, as with most Prada shows, was explicit throughout. Conservatism took form in the sweet satin dresses, the bow collars, the jumper layers, knee high-socks and the revival of thick satin headbands. In true Prada style, these elements were liberated with cut-outs on the chest, deep V necks that plunged through each look sheer socks that were given sex appeal with the addition of a logo, and t-shirt dresses that literally started in a prim, conservative white and ended at the hem with a pang of neon and typically magical Prada embroidery.

Peepholes on elbows and brightly coloured sock sandals were welcome weird and wonderful additions, as too were the new classic Sidonie bags – here larger and in typically conservative browns or white. Satin pedal-pushers seemed to be an extended version of the short-shorts we had seen prior at the menswear show, but here amongst the tie-dye (yes tie-dye!) and nylon, they took on a gloriously bourgeois aesthetic.

A few of the nylon looks here were reinvented by female architects, Cini Boeri, Elizabeth Diller and Kazuyo Sejima: created by women for women. One a functional handbag, one a bag that transforms with ease into a belted jacket/dress and one perfectly unorthodox chain of bags, each lined with squiggles of Prada pastels. With the resurge of Linea Rossa and Prada Nylon, everyone is seemingly obsessively nostalgic about Prada right now. You had only to look at the audience to see how much this year of Prada has affected fashion. Customers are creating fanfare over old-school Prada, and Mrs. Prada just created a collection that had sublimely subtle nods to her archive. Genius!

Youthful, cute, nostalgic, twisted, effeminately laced with sex appeal, this collection was a truly brilliant multifaceted representation of femininity.

Dazed – September 21st, 2018

Miuccia Prada just sent out a totally sexy, subversive collection

The iconic Italian designer dialled the sexy up for SS19

Following hot on the heels of the Fendi show, which took place in Milan earlier this afternoon, comes the one we’ve all be waiting for: Prada. Taking place in the newest building within the Fondazione Prada, Miuccia has well and truly sexed things up for SS19. Here’s everything you need to know.

THE INFLATABLE STOOLS FROM THE MENSWEAR SHOW WERE BACK

Guests including Violet Chachki, Amandla Stenberg, Sofia Coppola, and Spike Jonze sat on the same inflatable stools that appeared as part of the SS19 menswear show. The stools, originally designed by Verner Panton back in the 60s, sat on a grid that was mapped out on the floor which made everyone feel as if they were suspended in a computer system.

THERE WAS A POUNDING TECHNO SOUNDTRACK

…and not just any techno, but hard, industrial techno which reverberated throughout the space. The work of Frédéric Sanchez, it was punctuated with familiar songs – Terence Hixner’s cover of The Normal’s “Warm Leatherette”, and a version of “Je T’aime Moi Non Plus” by Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin – which was apt, seeing as though the famous lovers’ heavy breathing and moans are not dissimilar to those made by people seeing a new Prada collection make its way down the catwalk for the first time. Eventually the track made way for dark and jarring techno again.

THE SEXIEST PRADA SHOW EVER?

Or at least in recent memory. The first models appeared wearing satin school shorts, boxy satin shirts, and quilted, studded alice bands, before others came down the runway in low, leotard-style tops with cut-out detailing. Next came subversive, schoolgirl-esque leather trapeze dresses and ladylike coats with prim collars – although because they were paired with knee-high nylon stockings and fetish-y pointed Mary Jane heels, the look was anything but demure. The whole collection brought to mind Belle du Jour, clashed it with Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby, and threw in some Secretary for good measure.

IT WAS ABOUT TWISTING THE BOURGEOIS

The collection took familiar good taste tropes of dressing and subverted them – neat jumpers had holes cut at the elbows and on the chest, while sensible, knee-length wrap skirts flashed the models’ legs as they walked. Backstage, Mrs Prada said it was a rebuff of conservative values. “It was all about what’s happening in the world now,” she explained after the show. “On one hand you wish for freedom, for liberation, for fantasy, and on the other you have this extreme conservatism. I wanted to demonstrate the clash between those two opposites.”

THE ALICE BAND IS BACK FOR SS19

Only, in Mrs. P’s hands, they’re less mid-90s Sloaney Pony and more actually v cool. Do not adjust your sets: yes, we really did just say that. Presented in jewel-coloured satin, with many embellished with crystals and studs, the style finished off basically every look. Other accessories included ladylike, structured handbags which models carried in the crook of their arm, sheer knee-highs, and black leather court shoes that bordered on the fetishistic.

Reuters – September 21st, 2018

Prada plays with classic clothing cliches to create contemporary looks

MILAN (Reuters) – Italian designer Miuccia Prada played with classic elements to conjure up a clash of “extreme conservatism and a dream of freedom” in her spring-summer 2019 womenswear collection showcased on Thursday.

Prada mixed cashmere, polka-dots, chiffon and gold buttons for the outfits as well as reinventing satin headbands to “turn them into something different and fun”.

“I played the rules of classic, with all the conservative cliches you can have …,” Prada told reporters at the end of her catwalk show on the second day of Milan’s fashion week.

The show, paraded to the beat of electronic music, was held in a industrial area dedicated to performances in a part of the group’s contemporary art exhibition space Fondazione Prada.

The show opened with a look pairing knee-length brown satin shorts with a black blouse and flat bright pink sandals. The shorts and wrap skirts gave way to A-lined dresses with deep plunge necklines worn with T-shirts. The show ended with two black dresses, one with flapping black beads.

One model wore a white and lime green oversize shirt dress embellished with big plastic sequins, paired with flat black college shoes and knee-high sheer stockings. Prada said it was her favorite look of the evening.

The show was full of whites, browns and beiges and was only temporarily interrupted with touches of acid colors and tie-dye prints representing cities and landscapes on long coats and skirts.

The models carried big leather bags as well as practical smaller bags in the company’s iconic black nylon.

The Milan-based but Hong-Kong listed luxury group, jointly run by husband and wife team Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, is Italy’s largest fashion company with over 3 billion euros in sales.

In the first half of the year the company reported rising sales, profit and income.

The group just relaunched its Linea Rossa – or Red Line – collection, first introduced in 1997.

Reporting by Giulia Segreti; Editing by Alison Williams

The Guardian – September 21st, 2018

Prada fights project fear with colourful ‘clash of opposites’

The influential house’s Milan fashion week show was heady blend of conservatism and liberalism

Morwenna Ferrier

Extreme colour, fluoros and tie-dye represented the liberated Prada woman. Photograph: Swan Gallet/WWD/REX/Shutterstock
The hype surrounding a Prada show is second to none, partly because it’s impossible to predict what will happen. And yet the label remains so influential that deciphering what could happen, and what the clothes say about the here and now, has become something of a ritual.

No one expected it to be about fear, though. “I struggle to see that the world is becoming conservative. And I’m very afraid,” were the ominous last words of Miuccia Prada, the label’s head designer, speaking after the show. If even Prada fears conservatism, then what hope is there for fashion?

The show began with elements borrowed from the menswear collection in June. We sat on the same blow-up square seating, and the first few models also wore shorts, although here they went down to the knee (the men’s were micro length) and came in dirty jewel tones of duchesse satin.

Then “the clash between two opposites”, as she put it, went into full swing. Mixing masculine and feminine is a de facto Prada move, but this season that went out of the window. Any conflict was internalised by women and women alone.

If conservatism was one theme in Thursday night’s show in Milan, it was played off against another, rooted in “fantasy, freedom and liberation” said the designer. On the catwalk that meant we saw two Prada women. One was prim and ready for mass, with girls in collars and cashmere jumpers in various shades of black and grey. Black trapeze dresses were voluminous and heavy. Peacoats were buttoned up to the neck. And then there was the liberated Prada woman in extreme colour, fluoros and tie-dye. Tennis skirts fluttered in bright pink. Mustard was paired with lime green. The colour schemes were brazen and reassuringly awkward.

If her intention was to “break down” the divide, Prada did this by messing with the order. Instead of the two looks flowing into one another, one interrupted the other, a moment helpfully demarcated by the music, which jumped from grindcore to Jane Birkin and back again.

Like the menswear show, sexiness was a theme of sorts. A pair of white bloomers peeked cheekily through a white gauzy dress, and a handful of models wore swimsuits slashed navel deep as tops, but sex was the last thing on anyone’s mind.

The undulating fortune of Prada is a hot topic in fashion. In past years, it has lost ground to both new and old rivals in an industry dominated by cash-rich conglomerates such as LVMH and Kering. Revenues in the first six months of the year were up 9.4% at constant exchange rates year-on-year but there are still concerns. Prada has two gameplans. One is to extend use of the Rem Koolhaas-designed Prada foundation to other artists such as Spike Lee and Sofia Coppola (both were in attendance) and the other involves the merch – or gateway drugs – those affordable tidbits that get you hooked on a brand and have sent Gucci well into the billions. Here that meant wrinkled pop socks with a black or silver logo on almost every model, and a padded headband reminiscent of Tudor times worn by almost every model. And the famous Prada nylon handbags on which she had collaborated with a group of female architects.

There were still questions – were some colourful loafers a pop at Gucci? Were the golden headbands a comment on the halo effect of selling accessories? Who knows.

If Prada tends to handle femininity with a certain level of irony and wit, then here she gave it a sense of foreboding. Gender didn’t seem to be relevant but female identity was.

Le Temps – September 19th, 2018

Frédéric Sanchez, l’habilleur sonore de la mode

L’illustrateur sonore des défilés de Prada, Comme des garçons, Craig Green ou encore Mary Katrantzou raconte comment son travail a évolué et s’est adapté aux nouveaux rythmes de l’industrie de la mode

Le hasard des rencontres fait parfois bien les choses. Rien ne prédestinait le Français Frédéric Sanchez à travailler dans la mode jusqu’au jour où, à 20 ans, il fait la connaissance de la créatrice Martine Sitbon. Passionné de musique, il fabrique alors la bande-son de l’un de ses défilés. «C’était très artisanal. Je faisais des collages de bandes magnétiques, à la manière d’un montage de film. Je ne dis pas «mixer» car je ne me suis jamais considéré comme un DJ.» A l’époque, il découvre la mode en s’intéressant au design des pochettes de disques. «C’est comme cela que j’ai commencé à construire ma culture de l’image. Par exemple, le graphiste Peter Saville, qui signait aussi les catalogues de Yohji Yamamoto, imaginait les pochettes d’albums de groupes comme Joy Division ou New Order».

A ce sujet: La nouvelle symphonie de la mode

Montrer l’invisible
En 1988, une amie mannequin le présente à Martin Margiela. Pour le premier défilé du designer organisé au Café de la gare, le théâtre parisien situé à deux pas du Centre Pompidou, Frédéric Sanchez installe des micros qui relient les backstages à la salle. Au moment où les invités s’installent, le son des coulisses se diffuse. «Je voulais montrer ce qu’on ne peut pas voir. Le son, c’est ça: c’est l’idée de suggérer.»

Une première, un coup de génie. Il va alors collaborer avec les créateurs les plus en vogue: Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Helmut Lang ou encore Miuccia Prada. Il invente son métier, celui de mettre en sons des vêtements, des images, qu’il baptise «illustrateur sonore». «J’ai trouvé ce nom que personne n’utilisait à l’époque, en référence aux feuilletons radiophoniques accompagnés de bruitages. J’ai toujours aimé l’idée d’un monde que l’on crée avec le son.» Les défilés, spectacles vivants, allient ses deux passions: la musique et le théâtre. «Enfant, à la fin des années 1970, j’assistais à de nombreux spectacles. Je me souviens d’une représentation au Théâtre des Bouffes-du-Nord: L’opéra de quat’sous mis en scène par Hans Peter Cloos. La musique de Kurt Weill, qui se situe entre le cabaret berlinois et la comédie musicale américaine, était tout d’un coup jouée par des musiciens de la scène allemande électronique. Ce rapport entre le présent et le passé a toujours été très important pour moi.»

Un morceau par défilé
Au début des années 1990, il signe les bandes-sons des défilés de Calvin Klein et de Jil Sander, les deux apôtres du minimalisme. «J’ai contacté Calvin Klein, je voulais absolument travailler avec lui car pour moi, c’était le Mapplethorpe de la mode. On était en plein minimalisme, une mode sans référence, j’utilisais alors beaucoup de musiques électroniques, assez froides, dépouillées.» Il invente ensuite le concept du morceau unique qu’il étire sur toute la longueur du défilé, notamment avec Marc Jacobs. «C’était une chose qui ne se faisait pas beaucoup à l’époque. La première fois que j’ai utilisé ce concept c’était pour Costume National: j’avais étiré Girls and Boys de Blur pendant vingt minutes. J’avais eu cette idée car j’avais vu, en backstage d’un défilé Prada, Kate Moss et Shalom Harlow qui se repassaient en boucle le même morceau sur un magnétocassette. J’aimais l’euphorie qui accompagnait ce moment.»

Les défilés ont commencé à se raccourcir, pour ne plus durer qu’une dizaine de minutes. «Au début des années 2000, on est sorti du minimalisme, on a vu le retour des silhouettes accessoirisées et j’ai recommencé à mélanger des morceaux. J’ai créé le mash-up en quittant les bandes magnétiques pour travailler sur ordinateur. J’ai pu aller encore plus loin, créer des morceaux hybrides, insérer des couches et des sous-couches de musique comme un millefeuille. Par exemple, je mélangeais de façon assez improbable du Beyoncé avec du Metallica.»

Mettre des images et des mots en résonance
L’illustrateur sonore ne s’interdit rien, puise dans tous les sons. En mars 2018, pour le second défilé Carven de Serge Ruffieux, il glisse un vers de Baudelaire pour ouvrir le show. «J’utilise tout: des bruits, des mots, des dialogues de films. Une fois, pour un défilé Miu Miu centré sur l’idée de bourgeoisie, je n’ai utilisé que des dialogues de films, de Fassbinder à Antonioni. Avec le son, on crée un second décor. Je me souviens de mon grand-père qui n’a pas pu se rendre en Espagne avant la mort de Franco. Son seul lien avec le pays était la radio. Avec le son, il y a cette idée qu’on peut être dans deux endroits à la fois.»

Pour créer une bande-son, Frédéric Sanchez a besoin en moyenne d’une quarantaine d’heures de travail. Les vêtements des défilés ne sont pas toujours prêts quand il s’installe dans son studio. «Je ne les vois pas souvent pendant ma phase de travail, sauf avec Rei Kawakubo [la créatrice de Comme des garçons avec qui il collabore]. Elle tient vraiment à ce que je m’imprègne des pièces. Mais ce qui est le plus important pour moi, c’est de connaître le lieu du défilé, ça m’influence beaucoup.» Il échange énormément avec les créateurs: ensemble, ils posent des mots et des images sur des idées. «Les mots sont aussi importants que les images pour moi; les mots, c’est comme toucher quelqu’un. Le créateur britannique Craig Green, avec qui je collabore depuis trois ans, m’envoie beaucoup de photos de choses auxquelles il pense, des textes. C’est important pour que je comprenne où il veut aller. C’est la même chose avec Miuccia Prada. C’est en mettant des mots sur les choses qu’on les fait évoluer.»

Transformer la perception visuelle
Quand la musique fusionne parfaitement avec les vêtements, le pari est réussi. «Je me souviens d’une collection Prada de 1995, des looks aux couleurs très criardes avec des matières synthétiques. J’avais utilisé la musique de Stereolab, cela créait un vrai miroir avec les vêtements.» Longtemps travailleur solitaire, Frédéric Sanchez collabore désormais avec deux assistants. «J’ai ressenti le besoin de transmettre.» Son travail s’est adapté aux nouveaux rythmes de l’industrie de la mode et à l’arrivée d’une nouvelle génération de designers.

«Les jeunes créateurs sont très conscients de la coloration que peut donner le son à une image. Certains, comme Mary Katrantzou, analysent parfaitement la musique. Ils savent que certaines notes peuvent changer la perception visuelle de leur collection, comme une musique de film est capable de modifier le sens des images projetées à l’écran.» Face à la profusion d’images et de sons qui caractérise notre époque, il redouble d’exigence. «Aujourd’hui, on a accès à tout: il y a tellement de sons, d’images disponibles qu’on se retrouve seul face à soi-même. Dans les années 1990, je recherchais la nouveauté; aujourd’hui, je me demande ce que j’aime vraiment. C’est une question de positionnement.» Et si le côté éphémère de ses créations le séduit toujours autant («la mode est une question d’apparition et de disparition»), il éprouve de plus en plus le besoin de composer sa propre musique, pour lui ou pour les autres, pour des films ou des expositions.

Photo par Christophe Coënon

Capital – September 20th, 2018

MODE À MILAN: AMAZONES CHEZ FENDI ET CLASH CHEZ PRADA

Fendi a présenté jeudi des collections pour Lara Croft chic tandis que Prada a joué sur le clash provoqué par les fêlures des femmes fortes, au deuxième jour de la semaine de la mode milanaise.

Dans les locaux de la fondation Prada, l’illustre maison a mis la musique techno à plein volume: les looks en apparence classiques et propres sur eux dévoilent rapidement leurs fêlures, déchirures et ouvertures voulues par Miuccia Prada pour représenter ce clash.

“J’ai voulu jouer avec tous les clichés classiques du vestiaire féminin, la jupe tennis, le petit manteau paletot, les serres-têtes de dames, la chemise en chiffon… et les déchirer aux coudes, dans le dos pour montrer le contraste de la femme forte que Prada a toujours souhaité inspirer et représenter”, a déclaré a l’AFP la créatrice en marge du défilé.

Comme toujours la portée politique et féministe est le fil conducteur de la maison “contre le conservatisme galopant de la mode”, a conclu la créatrice.

La réalisatrice Sofia Coppola a elle aussi commenté pour l’AFP “la force de ces femmes aux looks de dames qui sont en fait des Bad Girls”.

Sur le podium on pouvait aussi remarquer les créations des trois femmes architectes invitées par la griffe à travailler sur le nylon, matériau emblématique de la griffe.

L’Américaine Elizabeth Diller a ainsi présenté un sac-housse destiné à protéger les manteaux mais pouvant aussi devenir à son tour, une fois déplié, un manteau imperméable.

Chez Fendi, le duo Karl Lagerfeld-Silvia Venturini Fendi a pour sa part pensé à une femme guerrière habillée pour affronter la jungle urbaine, avec un vestiaire où le pragmatisme se mêle à l’exotisme.

– “Performante, pratique et sensuelle” –

Les vestes comme les ceintures ont des poches, des pochettes, zippées et pratiques autant qu’esthétiques. Les tissus sont micro-perforés pour respirer et les formes, aux épaules, en plastron, sont masculines.

La silhouette est graphique avec l’utilisation de corsets, en cuir ou popeline.

La maison lorgne encore vers des influences sportswear avec des brassières techniques ou des cuissards de cyclistes, à porter avec une longue chemise.

Des manteaux bombers fluides courts ou longs, des jupes plissées ou gaufrées du logo FF, du PVC et une palette minérale sauge, cognac, mandarine ou sable finissent de composer la collection.

“J’aime le mélange entre rigidité, structure et fluidité de la collection, pensée pour une femme performante, pratique et en même temps sensuelle”, a expliqué à l’AFP Delfina Delettrez-Fendi, fille de Silvia Fendi, elle-même créatrice de sa propre ligne de bijoux.

Comme à l’accoutumée, le parterre était composé d'”influencers”, dont l’indétrônable Italienne Chiara Ferragni aux 15 millions d’abonnés, ou la star du hip-hop Niki Minaj, sous le regard du nouveau patron venu de France, Serge Brunschwig.

Dans la matinée, Max Mara avait aussi présenté une collection pour une femme amazone, prête à traverser le désert ou la savane: stratification pour se couvrir comme les bédouins, couleurs ton sur ton, sable, ocre, vert, gris.

Certains modèles ont la tête couverte d’un voile, évoquant le hijab. Les sacs sont portés en bandoulières, sur le corps, pratiques, décidément.

La journée devait se terminer avec le très attendu Emporio Armani, qui défile à l’aéroport de Milan-Linate.

Business Of Fashion – July 2nd, 2018

The Seductive Conviction of Sonia Rykiel

Julie de Libran celebrated the brand’s 50th anniversary by glossing its essence with something grander.

BY TIM BLANKS

PARIS, France — Every so often, God smiles on fashion. On Sunday morning, Julie de Libran showed her L’Atelier collection for Sonia Rykiel in the courtyard of the Ecole des Beaux Arts. The weather complied. Frederic Sanchez chose the Velvet Underground’s “Sunday Morning” for the soundtrack, and the song’s strange, stinging sweetness was so perfect in context that you could feel critical faculties dissolving in the heat.

Which ultimately was neither here nor there, because de Libran mounted a fabulous display of classic Rykielisms, ticking box after box: sailor stripes, bias-cut jersey, pea coat, trench, mutant tuxedo, slinky lingerie and, always, the signature louche knitwear that defined a few generations of free-thinking Left Bankers. When the Chambre Syndicale, the governing body of French fashion, invited de Libran to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rykiel brand, she was at first a little intimidated. Then she realized that what she was being offered was time, a real luxury in fashion. So she took it. She called the result L’Atelier because it was, after all, the expertise of the design studio that helped her gloss the brand’s essence with something a little grander.

So that’s what happened. Sonia launched her business in May 1968. Paris was in an activist uproar, and she rode that wave. It’s the nature of historical cycles that last century’s radical becomes this century’s pillar of society, but de Libran managed to expertly embody Rykiel’s transition. The multicoloured knit that dissolved into a chaos of threads would be ’68. The hyper-restraint of a floor-length tuxedo dress with coq-trimmed sleeves could, for the enfeebled purposes of my then and now comparison, stand for the kind of look that might entrance a modern client. But there was so much more: the slouch of a sequined sweatshirt, the scaled-up man’s suit, the classic Sonia sweater given some added SHAZAM! And the clichéd couture closer, the wedding dress, shown as a corseted extravagance over jeans.

De Libran was supported by a wonderful model casting: Kirsten Owen, Malgosia Bela, Elise Crombez, Aymeline Valade. Faces! The seductive conviction of the whole presentation made you wish the designer could reinvent this situation for her tepid ready-to-wear shows.

Business Of Fashion – July 1st, 2018

Playing with the Double Side at Miu Miu

Miuccia translated the rootless intrigue of travellers adrift, into a collection that had two faces, the everyday and the mysterious night.

BY TIM BLANKS

PARIS, France — Miuccia Prada had a significant cross-generational selection of actresses in the cruise collection she showed for Miumiu on Saturday, from Uma Thurman and Gwendoline Christie to Rowan Blanchard and Sadie Sink.

Then there were the models-turned actresses, Naomi Campbell, Jamie King, Audrey Marnay. Their presence made it clear the presentation was a performance. As it has been for the other fashion houses who’ve made a palaver out of cruise, everything distilled down to experience! Miumiu aimed for something immersive.

The setting was the Hotel Regina, an Art Nouveau gem adjacent to the Louvre. The story was essentially everything that goes on in hotels. Late nights, long corridors, lust cut loose from home and hearth. Cast your mind back to the video for Madonna’s “Justify My Love”. Or even “Lost in Translation”, with Bill Murray crooning “More than This” in a jet-lagged karaoke fog (both tracks were on Frederic Sanchez’s soundtrack of “hotel music”).

Miuccia translated the rootless intrigue of travellers adrift, the way people often are in hotels, into a collection that had two faces, the everyday, the mysterious night. Day featured sporty short shorts and cableknit cardigans, but also a galumphy teenbeat acid-washed denim element that was disconcerting enough to make you wonder if its presence was purely to emphasise the slinky adulthood of the rest of the collection, where columns of duchesse satin and swathes of leopard-patterned lamé. Much of it trimmed with feathers or generously strewn with crystals, conjured up Hollywood visions of stars lounging seductively in boudoirs, or slinking down hallways for assignations in other rooms. One enraptured onlooker was drawn to comparisons with Fellini’s “Juliet of the Spirits” and its rococo sensuality.

At the same time Miuccia couldn’t help herself. She had to undercut the obvious. So there were naïve jacquards – pussycats and flowers — and denim wrapped in a sheer peignoir that injected an element of sour/sweet, and a haunting undertow of “Rosemary’s Baby” in a model with Mia Farrow’s pixie cut from that film. (Or maybe it was Roman Polanski’s presence in the audience that sparked that association.)

Miuccia felt the duality was intrinsic. “In my life, I like to play with the double side,” she admitted. If, in the provocative anonymity of a huge old hotel, at least one facet of her split personality took on a racy life all its own, there was also the other grounded side of her personality to pose critical questions like What’s it all about? and Are we really having fun?

Fashion Network – June 22nd, 2018

Ann Demeulemeester’s symbolist romance

By Godfrey Deeny

Nothing very gender specific in a notably romantic co-ed show by the house of Ann Demeulemeester, an nostalgic collection that captured the contemporary yearning for a little more poetry in our lives.

The clothes were almost interchangeable between the guys and the gals in this collection, very much in keeping with the poetic rocker DNA of this Belgian house.

The gents appeared in lace shirts and gloves; cut-off petticoats; ladylike woven leather sandals; girly white cotton blouses and bloomers; the ladies wearing similar gear. Half the cast sported battered leather and straw hats worthy of a peasant in a Van Gogh oil painting. Above all, some superbly cut linen planters coats and dusters in dusty pink jacquards and ecru. Plenty of good merchandise in other words; and all inspired by the late 19th century symbolist painter Odilon Redon, whose paintings phantasmagorical dream-like qualities were echoed in the clothes.

“Odilon came from moment a when people were beginning to doubt the need for constant progress. When people wanted to pause and dream more. That’s what I wanted to suggest,” said the house’s creative director Sébastien Meunier, who took over the design helm after founder Ann retired in 2013.

That need for dreams also apparent in an inspired soundtrack by Frederic Sanchez: four versions by, respectively, Marianne Faithful, Loreena McKennitt, Elizabeth Fraser and Joan Baez, of that great Irish romantic lament, She Moved Through the Fair. A moment of grace among an intensely busy day of traffic jams, multiple events and parties.

Fashion Network – June 17th, 2018

Prada ou la nouvelle élégance décontractée

Par Godfrey Deeny  –  17 juin 2018

A la manière des équipes qui se révèlent toujours brillantes en compétition, Miuccia Prada est de la trempe des créateurs compétiteurs, ces designers qui sortent les meilleures idées à chaque saison, qui savent avec précision à quel moment changer de direction ou quand un concept artistique ou stratégique a fait son temps.

Au moment précis où tout le monde à Milan se résigne à suivre le courant en injectant des coupes, des finitions et des matériaux inspirés du sportswear tout en les associant avec des motifs et couleurs tirés de l’univers du skateboard, Miuccia Prada met le holà. Et décide, pour le printemps-été 2019, de présenter une silhouette décontractée, vaguement technique, à la coupe impeccable – une allure qui allait très, très bien à ses mannequins particulièrement juvéniles et ébouriffés.
  
« Je déteste le fait que les Millennials soient réduits à une simple catégorie marketing. Ils sont notre jeunesse, la prochaine génération. Les voir comme une proposition commerciale, c’est stupide », explique la créatrice italienne devant un buffet parsemé de vodka-citron et de sandwiches aux anchois juste après le défilé.

Des pantalons à la coupe élancée, sans pinces ; des manteaux et des blazers minimalistes, en veau velours, et du denim légèrement délavé du meilleur effet – d’ailleurs, notez-le bien : le denim clair, utilisé sur des pièces tailleur, est à nouveau officiellement autorisé. Également très réussie, une série de sneakers en toile élastique. Rien de trop appuyé : branché et actuel, mais mûrement réfléchi. La plupart des mannequins portaient des chapkas en nylon matelassé, tantôt couleur tabac, noir, rose, puis imprimé d’incroyables motifs.
 
« Je suis à la recherche d’une nouvelle élégance. Je la ressens chez la nouvelle génération. Les jeunes en ont assez du street style, des logos et du skateboard. Ce sont leurs parents qui ont lancé cette tendance ! » rappelle Miuccia Prada.

Elle n’a pas oublié d’ajouter un soupçon psychédélique : des mélanges de motifs surréalistes, avec des visages de jeunes filles sensuelles aux lèvres écarlates ; des parterres entiers de fleurs ; des cimes de montagnes acidulées et des gratte-ciel au parfum vintage. Ambiance Jimi Hendrix du 21e siècle, des tenues parfaites pour aller faire la fête.
 
Cette saison, Miuccia Prada a renoué avec la tradition, en présentant son défilé à la Fondazione Prada. Et, avec son équipe de compétition, elle a créé un nouveau décor magnifique : de confortables sièges gonflables en plastique transparent réalisés à partir d’un design original de Verner Panton qui n’avait jamais vu le jour.

Au rythme d’une bande-son géniale assemblée par Frédéric Sanchez, qui s’ouvrait sur le titre « Windowlicker » d’Aphex Twin, les mannequins jeunes, frais et plein d’assurance, défilaient dans une ambiance calme et mise en scène avec intelligence.

Bizarrement, au même moment, la meilleure équipe de tournoi du monde – l’Allemagne – a perdu son premier match à la Coupe du monde, face au Mexique… Personne n’est parfait.
Par Godfrey Deeny
Traduit par Paul Kaplan

Vogue – June 17th, 2018

by LUKE LEITCH

A Prada show sometimes feels like an especially fiendish crossword puzzle that’s designed never to be solved. To get to something even approaching a suitable answer you need to navigate a whole tranche of clues, misdirections, and visual entendres.

But that’s the game. The unknowability of Prada is one of the elements that so entrances its devotees. As Timothy Leary once said, “The universe is an intelligence test.” In Miuccia Prada’s universe, the test is to find the intelligence—the information—that leads you to a vaguely acceptable explanation.

Tonight the trail of clues began with the setup. Prada’s double-vaulted industrial shell was stripped back and redolent with the fresh-rubber smell of a newly bought pool toy, thanks to the translucent sheeting that coated its walls and floor. The seating was reproductions of the inflatable footstool first produced in 1960 by Danish designer Verner Panton, whose “total environment” interiors look like Austin Powers sets today, but were in their time powerfully psychedelic spaces.

This nod to the 1960s (sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll!) prefaced the most urgent-to-the-eye decorations in this show: the powerfully ’60s florals near the end, the hand-drawn head-scape of flowers, clouds, and girls on a sweater towards the beginning, and the three printed and filtered collage looks—with short-shorts—in the middle. The music was Aphex Twin and Brian Eno, culminating with Air’s “Sexy Boy.” Okay . . . so was this Prada taking a trip to Sexytown? Backstage Mrs. Prada said she was hoping this season’s iteration of Prada man would be “elegant but in a young, new way.” Almost coyly, she did not disagree with the suggestion that sexiness was on the Prada palette. “You know I’m a bit contrarian. You know I never pronounce this word in my life: I never wanted to pronounce the word sexy. But now, sexy. . . .”

Aha! Maybe that was it! Prada loves to play with the ugly, and today—as Versace touched on, too—sexy is an ugly notion. Which makes it ripe for Prada-fication. So was Prada dosing us, taking us on a trip and urging us to turn on, tune in, drop out, and assess the subject afresh?

Sexiness is subjective, of course, but there was a trad-masculine authority (if that’s what you’re into) in the cleanly cut single-vented colored blazers and seamed, washed jeans with a break. There was also plenty of thigh (if that’s what you’re into) in the Daisy Duke denims (Davey Dukes?) and printed, striped, or plain short shorts which Prada might just have described as “miniskirts for men” (it was hard to hear in the backstage crush). There was a touch of femme (if that’s what you’re into) in the rubber-sheened ruffle-fronted shirts that were delivered towards the end.

There was a gentle return to the logo-fication we’ve seen here in recent seasons, but with none of the heavy emphasis on sportswear. Instead there were sturdily unreconstructed rib-knit and leather half-zips, boat shoes, ushankas in house nylon or a weave in red and blue that translated to sneakers and a sweater, and a tailored silhouette that was ostentatiously un-emphasized. Every look—every single one of them—came with a bag slung across the right shoulder.

Prada collections are drawn-out acts of fashion titillation, obfuscation, and veiled intent. As propositions go, tonight’s was almost bracingly direct: sexy boys in elusive clothes. And, like, wearable.

Business Of Fashion – June 17th, 2018

A New Elegance at Prada

Miuccia Prada built her collection on blazers and coats and then frosted the familiar with a layer of excitement — including a psychedelic subtext, a bit of flower power and a sensational mélange of found imagery.

BY TIM BLANKS

MILAN, Italy — After her show on Sunday night, Miuccia Prada insisted she prefers the most basic, banal words to describe what she does. No fancy-schmancy intellectualising. Just words like “simple” or “sexy” or “raw.” The Prada twist is, of course, that nothing is ever really simple.

For Miuccia’s dream of “normal that looks exciting” to come true, you have to have normal to begin with. Maybe that’s why she built her new collection on blazers and coats, classic in camel and grey flannel, less so in suede and chambray. Then she was able to frost the familiar with a layer of what could pass for excitement. It was most obvious in a psychedelic subtext, a bit of flower power, a sensational mélange of found imagery on Paul Hameline’s turtleneck (rumour had it that Miuccia herself had mixed up this psych stew).

But there were also frisson-ish echoes of the “ugly” prints that made Prada’s name a few decades ago, the same ones Miuccia resuscitated in the cruise collection she presented in New York in May. And she said she imagined the belted and buckled short shorts that ruled the show as the male equivalents of May’s miniskirts, though they were also ultimate twink attire, stirring up long-buried memories of a prelapsarian era in gay porn.

So there was actually SEX in the show. Frederic Sanchez’s soundtrack played Air’s “Sexy Boy” as the models made their final march. It illuminated the curious challenge in this strange brew. Miuccia claimed that she was ultimately after “a new elegance”, something that honoured sport and street (so many grabby, sporty bits and pieces in the collection, anchored by fabulous footwear) while also transcending them.

Reflect on the way she’s covered menswear in the past and you’ll get a pretty clear idea of how she feels about the male of the species. She does like to deball him, emphasise the vulnerability rather than the masculinity. And why on earth not? Toxic testosterone is paving the ghastly cul-de-sac into which human civilisation is veering. So Miuccia’s response — not for the first time — was to play up a man’s feminine side: a ruffle, a purse, and always those “sexy” shorts.

It was also tantalising to imagine the huge trapper hats that accessorised almost every look as some sly acknowledgement of the creeping Putin effect on the West. Miuccia’s political sensibility was, after all, shaped in the crucible of Communist activism in 1970’s Milan. Unfortunately for that theory, those hats had already dressed up the New York show, where they were inspired by an image of a Galliano look once sported by Kate Moss. In this latest incarnation, Miuccia said she liked the impression the trapper hat created of a huge head tottering on a skinny male body. (OK, that’s vulnerable-ish.)

And so to the set: raw concrete walls draped in sheets of translucent plastic, seating made up of inflatable plastic cubes, originally designed by Verner Panton in the early 1960s but only now produced for sale. An intangible environment, scarcely helped by the geographic coordinates printed on the floor. Apparently, they were for “remote places.” We were not to know where we were. And I’m not sure that Miuccia knew either.

Business Of Fashion – June 17th, 2018

Marni Presents a Surreal Sporting Exhibition

Francesco Risso exhumed vintage uniforms and twisted them into new guises. But the show’s presentation pointed to layers deeper and darker than catwalk hijinks.

BY TIM BLANKS

MILAN, Italy — Francesco Risso likes to challenge his audience with the seating arrangements for his Marni shows. On Saturday afternoon, the chosen few hundred perched uncertainly on Swiss exercise balls. All in keeping with Risso’s theme: L’Olympiade Imaginaria, a surreal sporting competition in which imperfection was allowed and everyone – plump, skinny, old, young – was welcome. “We’re used to the narcissistic pursuit of the perfect body,” Risso explained, “but it’s most important to bring tenderness. That’s more powerful than strength.”

We’re quite familiar by now with the way in which sportswear has transformed men’s fashion, injecting a casual physicality into rule-bound tradition. Risso doubled down, stepped back in time, exhumed vintage uniforms for cricket, tennis, baseball, golf, minced and twisted them and fired them back in new guises. Imagine ballers in big caps and plus fours, like the Duke of Windsor joined a street gang. Or players in boiled mohair two-pieces striped in lilac and pistachio. Team sports in Alice’s Wonderland.

The sportiness was indisputable, from terry robes that were ringside-ready, to swathes of racing stripes and checks, to the big, bifurcated puffas and the doubled t’s and sweats that will likely be the pieces that dress fashion editorials. But in the show setting – a rundown carpark underneath the Torre Velasca, one of Milan’s very first skyscrapers – it was more interesting to chase Risso’s rationale down the rabbit hole. “A ping-pong Olympics in Andy Warhol’s Factory,” he rhapsodised. “Innocence with a bit of corruption.”

There were photoprints of male body parts – homoerotic, I guess – by Berlin-based artist Florian Herz, followed by Matisse-naïve graphics borrowed from the painter Betsy Podlach, their contributions pointing to layers deeper and darker than the catwalk hijinks. Frédéric Sanchez’s soundtrack – John Foxx intoning “I Want to be a Machine” – compounded that impression. And don’t get me started on the invitation. Was it a gingerbread man made from bubblegum? It melted in the car.

Document Magazine – May 9th, 2018

How Prada’s music producer Frédéric Sanchez landed on 90s classics for their 2019 Resort show

Text by
Megan Wray Schertler

How Prada’s music producer Frédéric Sanchez landed on 90s classics for their 2019 Resort show
Prada Resort 2019 Show at Piano Factory, NYC. Photograph by Griffin Lipson/BFA.com. Copyright BFA.
The music producer crafted a show soundtrack inspired by timelessness and Daft Punk for Prada’s 2019 Resort show.

As one of the biggest show music producers in fashion, Frédéric Sanchez has created show music pieces for the biggest names in the fashion industry since his first live show gig for Maison Martin Margiela show in 1988. Ahead of the first Prada’s 2019 Cruise show in New York—its first in the city after a 20-year absence—Miuccia Prada tapped Sanchez, a long-time collaborator with the designer to provide a soundscape for the show that was unquestionably 90s—think lots of Daft Punk and R.E.M. Document spoke with Sanchez backstage at the designer’s headquarters, a former piano factory on West 52nd Street, following the show’s noisy melange of technical fabrics, loud prints, and graphic logos placed front and center.

Document—How did you land on this particular musical direction for the show?

Frederic—When Mrs. Prada and I started talking about the collection, we were feeling nostalgic for certain things that we did in the 90s. There was also a hint of the psychedelic. This season the word we kept returning to was “timeless” and the idea of being without any references, which is kind of completely the opposite of what I was saying five minutes ago. That’s why we used a few pieces of music that felt very iconic from that time, like the first record from the French band Daft Punk that came out around that time. We both said, “This is so iconic that it does not feel old.”

Document—What was the specific mix?

Frederic—I used two specific songs from that record [1997’s Homework], but I kept only the rhythm, and we remixed in a way that makes it even more contemporary. Then, we had three songs mixed with this a track from the film Donnie Darko, Gary Jules’s ‘Mad World’, and then the song ‘Wake Up’ from a band called Mad Season. It’s two musicians, one from a band called Alice in Chains from the grunge era, and another one from Pearl Jam. Then, we used an R.E.M. song.

“I think it’s very difficult to look at what is happening in the current moment because there’s so too much of everything. I think the only way to create something that resonates is to go deeply into yourself.”

Document—What was the R.E.M. song that you used?

Frederic—The R.E.M. song is The One I Love. It’s from an unplugged record.

Document—A total classic.

Frederic—Yes! So very classic songs and very romantic in a way. The obvious thing would have been to use the electronic sounds from Daft Punk to open the show, but we used the song from Donnie Darko, which is a very, very romantic thing. Then, suddenly, you have that clash with the very strong electronic beat coming in. So, it’s really these two things that are clashing through the whole show.

Document—It’s impossible to tell whether something will stand the test time without substantial distance. R.E.M. is a really great example of that. I feel like they hit the peak of their pop-stardom in the 90s then kind of fell out of favor as the decade came to a close. But, I think a lot of their music sounds really fresh now when you revisit it.

Frederic—Yes, yes. And also because the personality of the person that made them, you know? When you think about Michael Stipe or Kurt Cobain, they have become icons. Icons don’t die. [Laughs]

Document—I think they start to mean different things to different generations.

Frederic—I think it’s very difficult to look at what is happening in the current moment because there’s so too much of everything. I think the only way to create something that resonates is to go deeply into yourself.

Document—To let intuition guide you.

Frederic—Exactly, yes. It makes it personal and sensitive.

Document—Mrs. Prada must be a fantastic person to collaborate with in that case. I feel like intuition is very much a tool she uses to navigate each season.

Frederic—Completely. It’s fantastic because she pushes you to go deeply into what you want to create and what you think.

Document—How early do you start working on the soundtracks for the shows?

Frederic—I work for Prada all year long, so I am researching all the time for them, but I called them maybe two weeks ago to discuss music for this show. The process really starts the moment when they put the clothes together and do the fittings, so like a week before the show. I arrived in New York on the Monday before the show and was there everyday. When making the soundtrack for the live event, I always like to use existing music because it’s almost like the effect of perfume. I can transfer emotion through references. There’s a sort of romanticism and poetry to the songs. The rhythm tells you something about modern things, architecture—the modern world as we know it.

Business Of Fashion – May 7th, 2018

Miuccia Prada’s Mad World

For Prada’s first cruise show in New York, its filter was turned up to the max. The designer proposed new silhouettes and details that moved far away from today’s overwrought trends, providing an urgent, necessary relief from tired fashion.

BY LAUREN SHERMAN

NEW YORK, United States — Years ago, Prada bought an old piano factory here in Manhattan, far, far in the West 1950s. It was a dead zone back then. Now, the neighbourhood is filling up with luxury apartment buildings and vaguely chic restaurants, populated with New Yorkers thrilled to have escaped cramped quarters in denser parts of the city.

Prada, too, has settled in to what it is now its US corporate headquarters, with enough room to accommodate a runway: an entire empty, brutal, concrete floor. On Friday evening, the architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron lined the windows of the space, where Miuccia Prada showed her Cruise 2019 collection, with red plexiglass, offering a new lens on those west side views. New York through the Prada filter. This is only the second time the house has made the resort season an event — the first was last year at home in Milan — and the choice to show here was a statement, albeit a quieter one than many destination shows. It was about the significance of the US to its commercial business, which it says is picking up after years of lag, but also to its identity.

The show’s soundtrack opened with Michael Andrews and Gary Jules’ wrenching cover of “Mad World.” With a song as dark as that, the models instantly felt like real, actual teenagers, wearing narrow slip dresses and ruffle-edged minis. After the show, Prada described the collection as “contemporary,” although much of its relevance came from referencing her own work from the 1990s. She also roped in other ideas from the era: In particular, the iconic photograph of Kate Moss in a Jean Paul Gaultier fur trapper hat taken by Steven Klein for Harper’s Bazaar.

“It’s my vision of what’s real and what you want to wear today,” she said. “But it’s always a fantasy.”

Perhaps that’s why she said she can’t resist returning time and again to her famous upholstery florals and geometric patterns in saturated hues so specific to her palette. And with good reason: few designers’ archives transcend eras so successfully. But this wasn’t a nostalgic collection. Instead, Prada proposed ideas that will, thankfully, move the fashion conversation forward: a belt slung low, skirts that falls far above the knee, spaghetti-strap tanks, an empire waist. Certain details — a mullet ruffle on a pair of elongated floral brocade trousers, an engineered knit fuzzy like static on an old television, a reinterpretation of the logo fit for the cover of a graphic novel — were tiny but impactful. What a relief to know something new is coming.

But Prada has never lacked relevance on the runway. The staggering number of thinking-person celebrities — including Ava Duvernay, Lena Waithe, Sarah Paulson and David O. Russell, as well as designer fanboys Raf Simons and Marc Jacobs — sitting front row indicates that her work holds important place in the broader culture. They wanted to be there. Will company itself finally be able to take that good will, that admiration, that adoration, and sell in a way that is as contemporary as the work? There’s certainly plenty of material.

Le Monde – March 7th, 2018

Paris Fashion Week, c’est fini !

En clôture de la fashion week parisienne, trois grandes maisons, Chanel, Miu Miu et Louis Vuitton, ont tonifié une saison de défilés un peu terne.

Le marathon des fashion weeks vient de prendre fin à Paris, dernière étape d’une saison qui ressemble davantage à un moment de transition qu’à un grand cru. Mardi 6 mars, pour la dernière journée, trois des plus grands noms de l’industrie se sont partagé la conclusion de débats vestimentaires. Ceux-ci ont beaucoup tourné autour de la féminité, du féminisme et du droit des femmes. Ces trois shows sont les trois derniers points de vue sur le sujet de la saison.

Chanel.
Chez Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld fait peu de discours. Sa collection parle pour lui, célèbre un raffinement moderne, une idée de la féminité sophistiquée et libre dans un décor atmosphérique qui rappelle un roman d’Ivan Tourgueniev. L’odeur des feuilles mortes accueille les invités dans une forêt légèrement brumeuse où ne manquent que les croassements des corneilles. Les longs manteaux droits en tweed aux épaules ajustées, les vestes à la taille appuyée et à basques qui se terminent en pointes, les cols montants « à la Karl » (le couturier porte les mêmes), les grands pantalons en cuir matelassé sous des vestes amples à quatre poches signent une allure souple, confortable et fidèle aux codes Chanel.

Du manteau à capuche et imprimé feuilles aux longues jupes or éteint, tout est enveloppant mais sans lourdeur. Les effets de volume, millionième variation sur les lignes des tailleurs Chanel traditionnels, sont particulièrement réussis et servent d’ossature à toute la collection. Longue jupe corolle, maxi-veste trapèze, petites épaules légèrement aiguës, tout est millimétré sans jamais être contraignant. Ces femmes qui avancent d’un bon pas dans ce bois clair incarnent une vision positive et décidée de la féminité. Leur vestiaire très luxe et facile à porter est un vecteur de liberté d’expression subtile et pas un exercice de mode qui les contraindrait à rentrer dans un moule.

Miu Miu.
Miuccia Prada a formé chez Miu Miu un club de « bad girls » réjouissantes. Entre les murs du Conseil économique et social, l’austérité architecturale est contrebalancée par de grands panneaux suspendus comme des fanions, imprimés de dessins mi-lettrines mi-portraits de femmes. Celles qui arrivent sur le podium sur une bande-son rock parfaitement calibrée par Frédéric Sanchez évoquent à la fois la vamp rockabilly Wanda Woodward du film Cry-Baby et les princesses punk rock à la Poison Ivy, la guitariste des Cramps. Ajoutez un peu d’Amy Winehouse et de style années 1980, et c’est parti pour une parade de filles piquantes mais sympathiques en chaussettes mohair et talons vernis.

Des pantalons et blousons en jean neige aux imperméables froncés de cuir de couleur en passant par les tweeds « sixties » et les robes à fleurs près du corps, tout est porté par des mannequins aux cheveux crêpés et aux silhouettes globalement plus pulpeuses que la moyenne des podiums. On a retrouvé la femme Miu Miu fraîche et fun, nourrie de culture pop, qui avait disparu la saison dernière.

Louis Vuitton.
Louis Vuitton présentait sa collection dans la cour Lefuel du Louvre, habituellement inaccessible au public et recouverte pour l’occasion d’un sol façon vaisseau spatial. Le lieu a certes du cachet, mais présente aussi des inconvénients : il est très exigu, les trop nombreux invités ont du mal à trouver leur place, surtout que le parterre de célébrités (Michelle Williams, Noomi Rapace, etc.) en prend beaucoup.

La collection, elle, marque un retour de Nicolas Ghesquière à des formes plus simples, un glissement stylistique vers une silhouette de néobourgeoise qui pourrait beaucoup plaire à Brigitte Macron, très souvent habillée par le designer. Ses vestes brodées de métallerie or, ses gilets bicolores boutonnés sur une robe et ses effets monochromes évoquent un classicisme auquel on n’était guère habitué. Les blouses façon sweat-shirts en patchworks de matières et les hauts corsetés qui mêlent motifs sixties et soie argent renvoient aux goûts plus expérimentaux du créateur, ceux qui l’ont fait connaître quand il officiait chez Balenciaga. La prochaine saison en dira plus sur cette nouvelle femme Vuitton.

M le magazine du Monde – March 2018

Business Of Fashion – March 4th, 2018

Comme des Garçons’ Celebration of Artificiality

Rei Kawakubo sticks her finger in the wind and nails the moment, demonstrating the enduring outsider status of camp.

BY TIM BLANKS

PARIS, France — Something felt very different at the Comme des Garçons show on Saturday.​ ​Before we’d even slipped through the red curtains that swathed the entrance, Adrian Joffe, Rei Kawakubo’s husband, had said the key word of the new collection was CAMP. As in the joyous celebration of artificiality that Susan Sontag nailed in her sensational 1964 essay “Notes on ‘Camp’”. Joffe added that Kawakubo wanted a theatre as the venue for her new show. Curtains, too. Inside, there was more red velvet, with two huge theatrical klieg lights suspended above the catwalk.

So that was before the show. Afterwards, Kawakubo greeted guests with a warm handshake and a “Thank you for coming.” No longer the inscrutable sphinx. Instead, she said, “I wanted people to be happy.” They were. Deliriously so.

What happened in between was one of those intermittently prescient situations where Rei Kawakubo sticks her finger in the wind and nails the moment. Going back to Sontag for an instant, she wrote in 1964, “Camp is the consistently aesthetic experience of the world. It incarnates the victory of ‘style’ over ‘content’, ‘aesthetics’ over ‘morality’, of irony over tragedy.” What Kawakubo extracted from Sontag’s words was a feeling that camp could embody an enduringly rebellious spirit, in defiance of hidebound orthodoxy. So her collection was exactly the joyous celebration of artificiality that Sontag wrote of.

The music was Nino Rota’s soundtrack for Federico Fellini’s film La Strada, detailing the tragic travails of a travelling circus. Then it was the operatic drama of Profokiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Emotional, big, in other words. And the bigness carried over into the clothes: massed petticoats, polka-dotted lumps and bumps, rolls of fabric making huge rosettes, a glittering red showgirl outfit dissected and mounted like a trophy on a red tulle foundation, a big fairytale STAR, and a huge mille-feuille of fabric which brought to mind the fairytale of the princess and the pea. Articulated pieces moved like tectonic plates as the models walked. Theatrical sumptuousness prevailed.

At the end of the show, the models held hands as they lined up along the stage, like a cast taking a bow while the audience clapped themselves senseless. That reaction vindicated Kawakubo in her conviction that Sontag was right about camp. If, as Rei believes, the original rebel yell of punk has lost its guts, camp prevails with its enduring outsider status. “It can express something deeper and can give birth to progress,” she said. Maybe that’s what we were looking at. There is no doubt that a spirit of aesthetic excess seems like an inspirational response to the dark, goatish machinations of male power-mongers.

Vogue UK – March 1st, 2018

Carven women’s fall winter 2018 19

by ANDERS CHRISTIAN MADSEN

You could recap the Carven show in its soundtrack. Mixed by Frédéric Sanchez, whose love of a mainstream pop song in a fashion show can be a rare gift on day 23 of the gruelling show season, it had all the louche beats of a high-fashion score. But here and there, almost like she was bursting through a barrier, Rihanna’s voice came through loud and clear, in “Love the Way You Lie”. At Carven, Serge Ruffieux, who came from the hallowed haute couture halls of Christian Dior, is posed with the challenge of bringing those values to a mid-market customer. In his sophomore collection, much like that soundtrack, he created a silhouette that borrowed from artisanal codes but constructed it in humble materials. “When I start a collection I always start on the body. I try to find a new proportion; a new silhouette,” he said. “It’s grounded, versatile, uplifting. Versatile, because it’s important to me to mix raw fabrics with something refined.”

It was expressed most palpably in garments hybridising two familiar pieces, like a jacket half quilted and half plaid, structured to kick out at the back in a couture-like gesture. Or how about a mid-market tweed suit so sculpted it looked like it had been statuesquely cast on the body? This is a designer, who knows what he’s doing. Ruffieux understands the social media era’s peculiar balance between mainstream commerciality and the desire for one-of-a-kind things that bear the touch of a real human hand. It’s reflected in the limited edition streetwear kids queue up for outside cult brand stores, in personalised phone covers, or the countless videos from haute couture shows that make the rounds online. Beautifully made fashion is no longer the privilege of the few, and in his interpretation of an accessible and attainable brand like Carven, Ruffieux captures that mentality pretty effortlessly. “The message is real clothes for real women,” he said. “That’s very important to me.”

Business Of Fashion – February 26th, 2018

Marni

A Plurality of Women at Marni

There is a fundamental naiveté in Francesco Risso’s approach, as well as an effort to impose order on chaos, like a kid making sense of the world.

BY TIM BLANKS

MILAN, Italy — “Elementary, my dear Watson,” said Sherlock Holmes as he unpicked a web of clues to solve another case. Francesco Risso loved the notion of building a collection the same way: clues, codes, signs, a solution. And, like Sherlock, he also described the process as elementary.

But that is the fundamental naiveté of Risso’s approach to Marni. On the one hand, there were the raw hems, the dangling threads and primitive top-stitching, the exaggerated proportions, the flagrant colour scheme (“women screaming with colour,” he said). Elementary. On the other, there was the effort to impose order on chaos, like a kid making sense of the world. We sat on tightly wrapped bales of bedding and clothes. “After the men’s show, I liked the idea of controlling the waste of stuff,” said Risso. Instead of the fur that Marni’s business was founded on, there was an impressive topcoat cut from the felt blankets removal men use for packing. Recycling, connecting with the natural world…he liked that idea too. “Nature brings us into primitivism,” he added. His models wore peacock feathers trailing dramatically from their ears.

It was the second time this week that Victor Frankenstein — the literary inspiration for anyone engaged in the act of roughly stitching new life together – reared his head. Alessandro Michele is engaged on a similar project at Gucci. Risso talked about a “Siamese union,” as in twins conjoined. The essence of the collection was that half-and-half: a coat that was half green python, half black leather, another that was industrial felting and hot pink wool. There were schizophrenic dresses that felt sophisticated on this side, turned inside out to lining on that. In one of those naïve leaps of inspiration that seem to be characteristic of Risso, he extended the idea of the Siamese into a whiskery cat motif for coats and jackets. Soundtrackist Frederic Sanchez complemented it with a recording of opera singers’ warm-up exercises. They apparently “miaow” over and over again. Weird and wonderful.

“If this was a movie, it would be called ‘The I, the We, The Army of Me,'” said Risso. We rocked back on our heels and thought about that for a moment. Fortunately, there were shownotes to clarify. “The individual and the collective. Being one and safety in numbers. A plurality of women…”

There was joy and fun in Risso’s Marni, but there was a message too.

Business Of Fashion- February 25th, 2018

Jil Sander

Quiet Optimism at Jil Sander

In their second show for Jil Sander, Lucie and Luke Meier projected this season’s running themes of protection and safety into the future, to a life beyond all this chaos.

MILAN, Italy — Running themes throughout this season have been protection and safety, logical responses to the climate of crisis that is wracking the present. But, in their second show for Jil Sander, Lucie and Luke Meier projected those ideas into the future, to a life beyond all this chaos. Or at least a future as it was imagined by the past, particularly in the sci-fi classic “2001: A Space Odyssey,” where a spiritual rebirth was achieved by transcendence over technology. Luke admitted to a nostalgia for that future. “It’s possible again,” he said optimistically.

So maybe the serene beauty of the collection could be construed as quiet optimism. The models were cocooned in monochrome, white, black, grey, but also head-to-toe cerulean, tomato and celadon. Some of them carried baby duvets. Others were swaddled in them. Softness reigned supreme. “The fabrics cocoon on their own,” said Luke. Even a corset detail came in felt, softening the idea of restriction.

The other decorative element was a wallpaper-y print which, woven in purple lurex, had a rococo edge. I thought of the room where the astronaut David Bowman ends up in “2001,” surrounded by relics of human civilisation. That may sound like an Ingrid-it’s-only-a-movie stretch, but it wasn’t so far off what the Meiers were thinking too. As much as there was a spirit of optimism, there was inevitably the melancholy that attaches itself to nostalgia. You scarcely needed Leonard Cohen croaking “Bird on a Wire” on the soundtrack to remind you of that. Equally melancholic: the square of white plastic that accompanied the invitation. As a reminder of environmental crisis, it unwittingly amplified the point the Meiers were making about the need for a new consciousness.

Sidebar: like Missoni earlier in the day, the Jil Sander show was maximally enhanced by showing the men’s and women’s collections together. Compatibility to the power of 2!

Feb 262018

Business Of Fashion- February 24th, 2018

Prada On the Edge
Miuccia Prada showed a collection founded on oppositions, extreme power and extreme femininity — where sweetness read as a disguise, a distraction and a dare.

BY TIM BLANKS

MILAN, Italy — The exhibition that currently takes up most of the space at the Fondazione Prada covers the years when Mussolini was in power in Italy. It has an aching timeliness with its detailing of the impact that an autocratic popinjay can have on popular culture. “My thoughts are influencing the Fondazione,” Miuccia Prada declared after her show on Thursday night. It made sense to assume some connection between what she is showing in her galleries, and what she showed on her catwalk.

It was a sensational idea, if not particularly elevating. What it makes clear is how much creativity suffered under Fascism. “When things are getting bad, even art disappears,” Miuccia acknowledged. “And what worries me for the art, worries me for the fashion.” But that has sparked a quiet fury in her. “We have to be ready to identify and respond,” she added. So what she showed were clothes for women who were ready to resist. It made for a collection founded on oppositions: extreme power and extreme femininity. Paillettes, tulle petticoats and bows in the same outfit as padded tech pieces. “My excuse for the show was the freedom of a woman in the night, super-sexy without being bothered.” I believe I heard Miuccia say that. “How to be powerful and still be feminine.”

Laudable. It reminded me of “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” a movie a whole lot more people should see, if only because it couches the #TimesUp debate — and its partner #MeToo — in such primal, incontrovertible terms. “#MeToo? I think about it since so many years,” said Miuccia. “It’s time to really make it happen.”

Maybe this collection was her contribution to facilitation. There was a lot of sweet prom dress girliness balanced on ankle socks and heels — there was even a manga flapper, sheathed in electric filaments — but it was matched to bulky tweeds and sporty nylons, hyper-protective. There was even a variation of the sanitation worker that Raf Simons offered at Calvin Klein. Defensive, vaguely apocalyptic. In that context, the sweetness, in embroidered tulle veils, read as a disguise, a distraction, a dare. You hardly needed Bill Murray and Wes Anderson in the front row to underline the depth of irony in such a notion. And the discombobulating layering of Frederic Sanchez’s soundtrack — Blondie, Bryan Ferry, Tom Waits — only added to the dislocated mood.

The show took place in the top floors of a recently completed tower in the Fondazione Prada compound. In the arid industrial space below were mounted neons of Prada iconography: The bananas! The monkey! It’s the art of Prada to make you feel on the edge of something. She did it again.

Vogue UK – February 22nd, 2018

11 Epic Prada Sets We Loved

by ELISA CARASSAI

MILAN Fashion Week rolls round again, and anticipation is mounting for the Prada show. But it’s not just about the clothes – we’re just as eager to see the sets. A long-standing collaborator with Rem Koolhaas’ design studio, AMO (it also designed Fondazione Prada in Milan), Miuccia Prada has, since 2007, been welcoming her guests with scenographic theatres of all types at Prada HQ on Via Fogazzaro, minus a couple of exceptions. Her most recent pre-fall show, for instance, was held in the warehouse that holds pending artworks for Fondazione Prada, causing fashion insiders to speculate on this season’s location. Here, we relive 11 spectacular sets that still pack a visual punch.

Autumn/winter 2013 menswear: “The Ideal House”
This was the season that AMO studio collaborated with American-German company Knoll on a series of design objects for the ‘ideal home’, with an interior populated with geometric furniture, objects and manifestations of everyday life, with screens that featured interior and exterior views onto a cityscape.

Spring/summer 2014 menswear: “Menacing Paradise”
Conceived by AMO studio as an abstract representation of a small town, the spring menswear set was lined with murals of tropical palm trees, sunsets, helicopters and “menacing” shapes. Helicopters whirled on the soundtrack to add to the threatening mood.

Spring/summer 2014: “In the Heart of the Multitude”
Artists came together to collaborate with Prada on a series of murals and illustrations that mused on themes of femininity, representation, power and multiplicity. Inspired by the politically-charged murals of Diego Rivera, muralists including Gabriel Specter and Stinkfish and illustrators Jeanne Detallante and Pierre Mornet saw their work almost enveloping the audience – and making its way onto clothes. The main surprise? Britney Spears was on the soundtrack.

Spring/summer 2015: “Outdoor / Indoor / Outdoor, 2″
For the previous menswear show, AMO had transformed the show space into a swimming pool. They reversed the impulse for the womenswear show, erecting purple dunes which were a stunning and unexpected backdrop, with models pacing through the desert on a brown carpet that lined the edges of the set.

Autumn/winter 2015: “The Infinite Palace”
Blue and black “fake” marble lined the walls of the men’s show, which sported metal ceilings and metal floors; Frédéric Sanchez put Front 242 on the soundtrack.

Autumn/winter 2015 womenswear: “The Infinite Palace”
A Wes Anderson-like palette of pale greens and sugary pinks covered the walls of the womenswear show space, punctuated by aluminium inserts on doors and floors to create a hyper-intimate environment. “Sweet…” said Miuccia Prada, of the sugar-spun saturation of colour on the clothes and the set, “but violent. I wanted impact. How can you be strong with pastels?”

Spring/summer 2016: “Indefinite Hangar”
Billed as an investigation of “the perception of continuous space through an invasion of the ceiling”, the spring set featured fibreglass and polycarbonate “stalactites” hanging from the ceiling, illuminated by an orange glow.

Spring/summer 2017: “Total Space”
This was the show where AMO Studio built a mesh ramp on the remnants of the previous season’s set. Defined as “layers of different architectures”, the ramp was illuminated by lights, and was conceived by American director David O. Russell as a surreal dreamscape, and featured a preview of his collaborative short film with Prada, Past Forward.

Resort 2018: “Suspended Ensemble”
For the first time, Prada showcased its resort show in its newly renovated Osservatorio, a top-floor exhibition space for contemporary photography in the Prada store in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. Millennial pink and mirrors combined with benches oriented towards a rooftop view of the Galleria’s dome.

Autumn/winter 2017: “Teen Dream”
Inspired by the “bare simplicity of everyday life”, AMO studio constructed a series of domestic set-ups lined by an extending wooden ‘boiserie’, a partition between the private, Seventies-inspired teenage bedrooms and an urban front covered in posters.

Spring/summer 2018: “A Story Within a Story”
Designed by AMO studio in collaboration with NYC-based design studio 2×4, the spring set featured the work of eight visionary artists – including Brigid Elva, Giuliana Maldini, Trina Robbins and Fiona Staples – whose artistic aim was to illustrate women in a “uniquely empowering way”. The graphic panels also included archival work of Tarpé Mills, creator of the first female action hero – which popped up again in the collection.