the youthful energy of paris shines through
From Hedi's Saint Laurent Kinderwhore's to the younger Moss sister taking the runway and a new era of Hermès.
As Paris gears up for the giants - Chanel, McQueen, Vuitton - on the last days of fashion week, Monday hailed something as foreign to this embellished brocade season as - wait for it - youth. Gasp, you say. Were there no upholstery fabrics or elaborate beadig? Nope. Not even a holster accessory in sight. At Sonia Rykiel, Julie de Libran continued her girly reinvention of the house with a string of it-models including Lottie Moss, who - according to sources on the inside - is, like, so about to happen. If you ask the twenty and thirty-something women on the front row, as is the new Sonia Rykiel, packed with a chic but almost teenage-y sense of fun that was communicated amazingly in metallic silver pieces, patchwork fur coats, and pink shearling. With three boys in stripy Sonia jumpers, the Rykiel girls had something to bat their eyelashes at, too.
Over at Camp Hedi, the girl was just as young, if not younger, but rather than bat her eyelashes at him, this Saint Laurent sweet sixteener would probably get him drunk and steal his car. There was a young Courtney Love vibe about the collection, shown on an elevated runway. Kinderwhore, they called this look in the 90s. Siouxsie Sioux, they called it in the 80s. A girl in heavy black make-up and a tulle-y pink prom dress opened the show and set the mood for a collection that only got tougher in a slightly twisted way that prevented things from getting too elegant and Parisian, the latter's music scene being the current obsession of Hedi Slimane.
At 50, Chitose Abe's work is much more mature than her Sacai collections, but the designer hasn't lost her girly, giggly charm—or her knack for the kind of fresh, unpredictable and intensely covetable fashion that made some female editors describe her show as a 'personal shopping experience'.
If they loved the mannish hybrids of this collection - ageless, perhaps, rather than young - they have no idea what awaits them when Sacai's collaboration with Nike hits stores later this month. Picture any girl's gym class dream wardrobe, add a little Sacai plissé, some clever hybrid action, and a few electric pastels and you get the idea. Maybe that collaboration was the reason Abe went darker and less young with her own collection. Youth is something she can do with her eyes closed, and all those superfans of hers know it. (To say there are a lot of Sacai jackets making the show rounds would be understating it.)
Hermès may not be a purveyor of prom dresses and little sisters of supermodels, but youth was nonetheless in the air at the old saddle maker's show in the sense of change. Taking over the reins from Christopher Lemaire, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski tackled the equestrian archives of the maison with fresh eyes, working saddle details into outerwear and proposing a more casual, outdoorsy sense of luxury for Hermes, which excited young - and old. Age is but a number.
Text Anders Christian Madsen
Photography Mitchell Sams