Le Figaro – 3 octobre 2018

Que la force soit avec elles

La Fashion Week de Paris s’est achevée mardi sur deux défilés Louis Vuitton et Miu Miu au message puissant sur la féminité et le pouvoir, à travers une esthétique radicale pas vue depuis longtemps.

La démonstration du pouvoir est l’une des marques de fabrique de Louis Vuitton. Qui d’autre que le fleuron de LVMH pour défiler au Musée du Louvre, symbole de la grandeur française, dans les pas d’Emmanuel ­Macron ? Qui d’autre pour habiller la première dame ? Qui d’autre pour réunir, sur le même banc, Isabelle Huppert, Léa ­Seydoux, Alicia Vikander et Cate ­Blanchett habillées régulièrement par Nicolas ­Ghesquière, le directeur artistique du malletier ? « Depuis mes débuts – il y a de longues années ! -, on dit de mes vêtements qu’ils donnent du pouvoir aux femmes, rapportait ce dernier à l’issue du défilé après avoir embrassé un bataillon de célébrités comme vu nulle part ailleurs. J’ai voulu creuser ce thème récurrent de mon travail et, pour une fois, ne pas prétendre raconter une histoire. Chacune des pièces de ce printemps-été répond à un seul critère : tenter de procurer la force et la confiance en soi. » L’absence de fil narratif explique en partie l’impression très perturbante de ce défilé sis dans un tunnel en Plexi transparent, encadrant la fontaine historique de la cour Carrée du Louvre. C’est bien du Ghesquière mais explosé dans ses obsessions. Parfois extrêmement efficace – les vestes à basques sont d’une perfection rare, comme celles en double gomme soudée aux lignes épurées, très proches de son style époque Balenciaga. Parfois déconcertant, à l’instar des combinaisons à épaules cercle entre Star Trek et Cardin. L’architecture, fondement de la silhouette du Français, est une réponse assez évidente à la question de l’empowerment. Mais le designer propose aussi des robes tee-shirts aux lignes molles, des blouses cocon en matière technique gaufrée, des tops aux manches bouffantes dix-neuviémistes, des jeans roses motifs ­Kuramata et des robes bustiers aux imprimés Memphis… Il envoie soudain trois mannequins aux forts airs de garçon, un troisième genre, en tailleur-pantalon. Le podium est-il un territoire de revendication ? C’est ce que pensent les médias anglo-saxons, qui n’ont cessé, durant cette Fashion Week, d’interpréter les longueurs d’ourlet et les carrures des vestes à l’aune des scandales trumpiens. Le point de vue français est, nous semble-t-il, plus subtil. « Si ­Chanel a donné la liberté aux femmes, disait Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent leur a donné le pouvoir. » Marguerite Duras écrivait au même sujet : « Les femmes de Saint Laurent sont sorties des harems, des châteaux et même des banlieues, elles courent les rues, les métros, les Prisunic, la Bourse. » Et cinquante ans après, la mode court toujours après « elles »… Cette collection LV n’est pas la plus simple à aimer, elle déroute à dessein, Ghesquière estimant que, si sa mode est puissante, c’est parce que sa radicalité exige de la personne qui la porte de l’assumer, de faire des choix. H. G.

La féminité version Miuccia Prada déroute, elle aussi. Depuis 1988 chez ­Prada (avec du Nylon sur les podiums, des robes épurées à l’extrême et des sacs à dos en guise de sac à main), depuis 1993 avec Miu Miu (ses strass gros comme des cailloux collés sur des serre-tête de gamines pas sages, ses souliers œuvres d’art, sa palette acide), l’Italienne se délecte de casser les codes du bon goût. Pensée, à l’origine, comme la ligne « petite sœur », Miu Miu s’est affranchie, au fil du temps, de son statut de benjamine – c’est une marque en soi. Quelques heures avant la clôture de la Fashion Week au Louvre par Louis Vuitton, la signora Prada investit comme à son habitude le Palais d’Iéna. Elle raconte l’histoire d’une bande de filles aux longs cheveux hirsutes et à la frange mal coupée, en robes du soir de taffetas froissé, effiloché, qui sortent en fond de jupe transparent, leurs cannes de serin dans des chaussures trop grandes. Les jupes à godets sont taillées dans du denim proprement sali, les cardigans noués dans un esprit couture. Une série de vestes de bureau en toile de laine grise, à simple ou double boutonnage portées sur… rien, démontre qu’une belle pièce fait la silhouette. Pour parfaire le tableau, la musique. Les Miu Miu girls serpentent dans l’assemblée au son du piano – les titres 17 Days et Purple Rain de l’album posthume de Prince, Piano & A Microphone 1983 sorti il y a une dizaine de jours. Un bijou !

Chez Leonard, Christine Phung articule son printemps-été 2019 de la façon suivante : les premiers looks « tailleur » sont architecturés, épaulés, cousus de poche pour se déconstruire au fil des passages, se débarrasser des détails, jusqu’à devenir de simples carrés de jersey de soie imprimés à nouer. Inspirée par la réserve du Masaï Mara au Kenya, la styliste a sélectionné parmi les riches archives de la maison des imprimés savane, des fleurs sauvages, dont elle délave les teintes pour leur donner l’aspect d’une nature brûlée par le soleil. En parallèle, la griffe célèbre ses soixante ans avec une collection capsule en jersey de soie signature. Six silhouettes (combinaison, robe d’hôtesse, pantalon ample) imprimées d’orchidées aux couleurs poudrées, de lotus sur fond de fuchsia et de noir, revues et corrigées par la directrice artistique, disponibles en boutique en novembre. É. F.

Fashion Network – 3 octobre 2018

Miu Miu : une beauté subversive, à grands coups de ciseaux

Par Godfrey Deeny

Il vaut toujours la peine d’assister à un show Miu Miu le dernier jour de la Semaine de la mode à Paris. La vision de Miuccia Prada offre un contrepoint saisissant à toutes les marques françaises inscrites au calendrier.

Mise en scène avec habileté sous d’énormes logos Miu Miu en polystyrène expansé, il s’agissait de l’une des collections les plus subversives de sa créatrice, Miuccia Prada, qui reprenait des éléments classiques de la maison italienne – élégance, glamour, tailleur – pour mieux découper les vêtements, leur donner une finition plus brute, plus concrète.

Du point de vue de la qualité de la proposition, on était au niveau d’un défilé haute couture, avec des robes aux coupes impeccables, des robes-chemises drapées astucieusement et terminées par d’impressionnantes fleurs de tissu et des robes ajustées en taffetas, parfaites, à nouveau agrémentées de fleurs de tissu pleines d’audace.

Pour les jeunes femmes ambitieuses, Miuccia a combiné de larges manteaux droits, des trench-coats et des cabans à double boutonnage – tous en cuir lisse, mais associés à des jupes et des blouses imprimées d’iris aux couleurs vives, aux coupes anguleuses originales. Pour un résultat inattendu, artistique et très chic.

« C’était un peu comme cette émission, quel est son nom déjà ? Project Runway. Chaque créateur a un temps limité pour travailler. On a sorti les ciseaux hier soir. Mon équipe n’arrêtait pas de dire : « Pouvons-nous en laisser au moins un seul intact, ne pas tous les détruire ? Et je sais que les acheteurs voudront qu’on change les proportions. Mais je suis contre le cliché de la beauté évidente », rit Madame Prada, en gesticulant comme si elle avait encore une paire de ciseaux entre les doigts.

« Je suis en colère. Tout le monde parle d’avenir et de révolution, mais la vérité, c’est que tout revient en arrière. Et pas seulement en politique, mais aussi dans l’art et le cinéma », affirme-t-elle.

Et juste au moment où l’on oubliait l’énorme retour du denim sur de nombreux podiums, à l’exception de ceux de Paris, Miuccia nous a épatés avec une série de jupes et de robes courtes en denim, finies en ourlet-mouchoir, complétées par des bottes en velours satiné à plateforme et talons biseautés.

« Tout est délavé : le jean, le taffetas et même le gazar », explique Miuccia avec des étoiles dans les yeux.

Après le spectacle, elle était entourée d’une douzaine de mannequins et de stars de cinéma, dont Juliette Lewis, Dree Hemingway, Poppy Delevingne et Élodie Bouchez. Mais Miuccia Prada préfère généralement parler de sa collection plutôt que de poser pour les paparazzi…

Difficile de se souvenir d’une bande-son en meilleure adéquation avec une collection… en l’occurrence une sélection tirée du nouvel album de Prince. Des enregistrements privés du chanteur dans son propre studio, intitulé Prince & a Microphone, dont certains de ses morceaux les plus célèbres.

Financial Times – 30 septembre 2018

Comme des Garçons SS19 show report

Rei Kawakubo was ‘fumbling around in the dark’ this season. And the result was incredibly moving

How do designers approach the challenge of coming up with something new each season? In many cases they don’t — doing nothing with your design style is certainly a method that’s working well for Celine’s new creative director Hedi Slimane. But, for those designers really looking to challenge the parameters of fashion, and even clothes themselves, the quest to find a new trouser cut, or fabrication, can bring with it a high degree of angst.

Shortly before the Comme des Garçons SS19 show, the brand sent out a statement in which the designer Rei Kawakubo described her frustration with a process that must always seek the “next”. For the past 10 collections she has shown huge abstracted shapes on her catwalk, like sculptures, which have then inspired the commercial collection that goes in store. But Kawakubo, who was the subject of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in 2017 and is one of only a few designers whose work could be described as art, is finished with that cycle.

For SS19 she wanted to do something new, but had found herself “fumbling around the dark”. The result of that fumble was a “mini show” which she described as “quiet, serene and internal”. It was small, staged before only 100 or so guests, and curiously affecting. The 30 looks, featuring deconstructed men’s tailoring and richly embellished outerwear, tattoo-print stocking mesh and chained Nike trainers, looked pretty normal from the front, but from the side revealed strange lumps and tumours. The first look, a beaded evening suit, was severed across the stomach to reveal a pregnant swell. Further looks were similarly “feminine”, although the slashed stomachs became more vicious and jagged as the show went on. Then things were tied up, quilted, or worn with chains. The tumours became more unnatural also, great padded details that protruded from the hips and ribs.

It was a real heartbreaker. With its Tom Waits soundtrack, exposed and swollen stomachs and white-haired girls (as though the women had prematurely aged), Kawakubo conjured quite the mood. Do I know that this “internal” show was about the griefs of childlessness? Or the sacrifices of a professional woman, now in her seventies, who has dedicated her life to building a €200m brand? Or that those brand responsibilities have near devoured her — like a cancer? I have no idea. But that was what it looked like. Kawakubo’s fumble made me painfully sad.

WWD – 30 septembre 2018

Comme des Garçons RTW Spring 2019

In an emotional collection, Rei Kawakubo looked inward and found herself « fumbling around in the dark. »

There’s a place for her. But where?

Rei Kawakubo is at a creative crossroads. The designer told us so herself in a statement, a manifesto of sorts, e-mailed before her show on Saturday. It was a remarkable correspondence from a woman who typically lets her runways do the talking, and whom most of us view as unwavering in her confidence, her work, her art.

Kawakubo wrote that 10 seasons ago, she changed the direction of her Comme des Garçons show to see how far she could “take making powerful clothes, even to the point where the clothes become abstract.” She has decided that that approach is no longer new: “I looked for what is next, what is next, but I couldn’t find it.”

This show was about Kawakubo’s search, both as a creative and as a woman. As such, it felt deeply personal. With “Somewhere” from “West Side Story” on the soundtrack, the first model appeared, her abdomen padded to look pregnant, her black tinsel jumpsuit slashed with a horizontal zigzag to show her belly. She and all the models had white hair worn in messy, workaday ponytails, signaling that the burdens of being a woman and a creator are lifelong and grueling. You must create constantly, and find your place, somewhere.

The pregnancy theme continued until the baby bump morphed into bulbous protrusions at the hips and backside, in clear reference to Kawakubo’s seminal lumpy-bumpy collection of spring 1997, only now, the padding broke through the clothes exposing the “skin” underneath — bodysuits featuring logos, floral “tattoos” and newsprint. In context, the logos, also on Kawakubo’s spiffy Nike sneakers, registered not as merch-mongering but as statement of self, Kawakubo asserting, “my creations are who I am.”

It was all jarringly emotional, with some particular points of impact. Midway through, two models came out in chains — the shackles of womanhood? Of creative expression? Of expectations? Imposed by the self or externally? And near the end, when, on the soundtrack, Tom Waits’ “Tom Traubert’s Blues (Waltzing Matilda),” stopped abruptly on, “I begged you to stab me…You buried the dagger.”

Lighthearted it wasn’t. “Advancing ahead while fumbling around in the dark” is a risk, Kawakubo wrote in her e-mail. And yet she chose to show at the École des Beaux-Arts’ Palais des Études, on a bright white runway installed under the expansive skylight. It happened to be a beautiful, blue-sky day. There is hope.

Washington Post – 30 septembre 2018

On the Comme des Garçons runway, pregnancy as metaphor

By Robin Givhan

PARIS — For many years, Rei Kawakubo has used runway presentations for her Comme des Garçons collection as a place for experimentation. What she shows aren’t so much clothes as theories about dress, representation and beauty. Her gaze is once again shifting, and this time, she is looking inward.

Her spring 2019 show was roiling with emotion. The central questions seemed to be: How does fashion make you feel? How does fashion express your mood, your worries, your fears? How do we internalize outside pressures to look and be a certain way?

To explore those questions, Kawakubo walled off a tiny area within the expansive central hall at the École des Beaux-Arts — creating a small space within a larger space. The models walked along a runway raised only a few inches off the ground. They were close enough to touch. There was no real distance between the observed and the observer.

And when the first models appeared, they were unnerving — not because they looked terribly odd or otherworldly but because they looked so normal. They wore wigs of long white hair, and they were dressed in black, in clothes with a masculine sensibility. But in front, just below the waist, the garment had been slashed open and their belly protruded: an allusion to pregnancy, an allusion to an inconvenient body type bursting the seams.

Below the dark menswear were bodystockings covered in newsprint, the Comme des Garçon logo and various words. The slashing seemed almost violent, highlighting the tension between masculine constraints and the power of the female body, between the primacy of men and the voices of women.

Culturally, we set rules about how the body is supposed to look, about how it should be shaped. The shapes of these bodies break all those rules. This collection asks: Who is in control of the female body? The woman who inhabits it or the society that surrounds it?

Kawakubo’s models encouraged the audience to meditate on these concerns, each adding a new point of contention, each focusing on a different pressure point.

There were women wearing newsprint leggings and bodysuits with exaggerated arms. Kawakubo returned to the use of padding to distort the shape of the body. She exaggerated the hips, created protrusions on the back, enhanced the derriere. Yes, the distortions make the eye reconsider our set definitions of beauty, but there’s something else at work here, something more emotional. These bodies have been under pressure. It’s almost as if exterior burdens, frustrations and worries have weighed so heavily on them that they have shifted under the weight. But they have not broken.

One model appears in a dress with elongated sleeves. Underneath the dress, she’s draped in chains, which drag along the floor as she walks. The audience can hear them clanking along the wooden walkway over the gravelly voice of Tom Waits on the soundtrack:

Wasted and wounded, it ain’t what the moon did
Got what I paid for now
See ya tomorrow, hey, Frank can I borrow
A couple of bucks from you?
To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda
You’ll go a-waltzing Mathilda with me

As the song rumbled in the background, a soundtrack filled with anguish, one considered what this woman has broken free from. Social norms, expectations or rules? And how long will the scars of her fight remain with her? She’s free, but she’s not unburdened.

In watching the models walk slowly and meditatively in the room, with their white wigs and padding, one wondered why the artifice? Why not use models whose hair has naturally gone white with age? Or whose bodies don’t require extra padding to add bulk? The answer may be that all appearance is artifice. The exterior is just costume. Beauty is an external construct.

The truth lies within. But fashion can shine a light on it.

Les Echos – 21 septembre 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 – 20 septembre 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 – 22 septembre 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 – 21 septembre 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 – 21 septembre 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 – 21 septembre 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

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 – 19 septembre 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».

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 – 20 septembre 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 – 2 juillet 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 – 1 juillet 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 – 22 juin 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 – 17 juin 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

juin 192018

Vogue – 17 juin 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 – 17 juin 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 – 17 juin 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.