In the middle of the last century, the idea that the feminine (bourgeois) wardrobe had to evolve over the course of the day was still well anchored: daytime suit, short dress for the cocktail party, long sheath after dark. Today, these subtleties have disappeared – except, perhaps, for influencers, who change their clothes several times a day. During the fall-winter 2023-2024 shows held in Paris from February 27 to March 7, the designers had fun mixing day and night codes in off-road outfits, in which pageantry meets everyday life. .
“Lanvin is historically a house for the evening, but I try to contextualize it also in broad daylight”, says Bruno Sialelli, who signs his best collection to date. Lanvin’s artistic director develops a range of proposals, sometimes disparate but well executed. Woman of the world in a long shearling coat, company boss in black shirt and trousers, daring in a low-cut dress embroidered with glass flowers or meshed with leather and pearls, explorer in a tight jumpsuit or a balaclava sweater… Hybrid and wearable, the pieces are enriched, such as these straight coats or shirts stitched with silver beads like a starry night, these glittering pumps with variegated crystals, these fluid dresses in vermilion sequin or in silk printed with a bouquet of arums and openwork with a metallic diamond on the shoulder. A search for balance between concrete and distinguished.
After making the heyday of Lanvin, between 2001 and 2015, Alber Elbaz (1961-2021) continued his search for sophistication for his personal label, AZ Factory, notably in cocktail dresses. This season, after Thebe Magugu or Lutz Huelle, it is Lucinda Chambers and Molly Molloy, from Colville, who have the task of interpreting the legacy of Alber Elbaz. “We never parade and we wondered if we had to make our proposal more radical and extreme to suit this format.recognizes the duo. But we gave up on forcing anything, everything had to be portable. » The result, dominated by olive green and a sharp red, tastefully interweaves draped dresses in sandblasted satin or tight knits, but mixed with wide trousers, nonchalantly tied leather jackets, neck warmers for icy days.
If there is one designer who knows how to combine day and night, it’s Stella McCartney: she offers a complete wardrobe that plays on paradoxes, where a camel blazer with a masculine build is associated with thigh high boots, where a a sober black jacket goes well with openwork and rhinestone trousers on the hips, where the cocktail dresses mix the embroidery of colored crystals with images of horses… The animal, precisely, is at the center of this collection presented at the carousel of the Military school.
The models parade – stoic in the slush – a few meters from six of them and Jean-François Pignon, a famous free-roaming horse trainer who works without a whip. In front of a dumbfounded audience, the Camargues form a circle, roll on the ground, stretch, caress each other. “There is so much fur, leather and feathers on the catwalks in the fall-winter collectionslaments the designer. I wanted to show the beauty of the living animal and to point out that it is not necessary to kill one to make a nice collection well done. » And, indeed, its small bags in vegetable mushroom leather or made from grape marc are just as gleaming as those of the competition.
Black tie on pink lace
At Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli declines his wardrobe around the black tie. “I wanted to turn a symbol of masculinity into something completely different, because once you strip a symbol of its meaning there is an opportunity to do something else with it. » The idea came to him from his teenage daughter, whom he found one evening at home dressed in an old Valentino dress, a white shirt and a black tie. “His attitude inspired me”explains the creator.
At first glance worn in a classic way, on white shirts accompanying suits, long black coats or associated with red ensembles, the Pierpaolo Piccioli version of the black tie is gradually gaining in sophistication. We find it nestled on a pink tulle and lace blouse mixed with a feathered miniskirt, or placed on large evening dresses entirely stitched with shiny sequins, or others, playing with transparency. On the feet, the solid black boots worn by almost all the models contrast with this chic look.
At Miu Miu, where Miuccia Prada likes to indulge in all sorts of experimentation, daytime and nighttime wardrobes collide, creating elegant but also slightly disturbing silhouettes. It’s a daytime suit which, instead of being made of wool, is cut in a muslin with polka dots revealing the underwear. A merino turtleneck worn with simple panties entirely embroidered with fancy stones and satin pumps. Offset silhouettes, with a very low-waisted skirt from which tights come out which, going up on the stomach, imprison the bottom of a cardigan. The small Madame bags are weighted with sets of keys that evoke everyday life rather than evening wear.
“This collection explores the idea of the gaze, how clothes can be perceived differently depending on who is looking at them and the degree of attention devoted to them. It is an invitation to reconsider”, says Miuccia Prada. To complete her game on appearances, she has the good idea of dressing men, relatively androgynous, with the same pencil skirts, pumps and handbags as women.
Karl Lagerfeld’s aura was so intense that even after his passing in February 2019, Chanel remained associated with him. And, initially, Virginie Viard, who assisted him for more than thirty years and succeeded him, chose to keep his way of doing things. From a clothing point of view but also in the format of the parades, whose decorations imitated real life (a station platform, the abbey of Aubazine, where Gabrielle Chanel grew up…). Virginie Viard’s signature becomes clearer with each collection, transforming the house in small touches. His vision of the parade is above all cinematographic: after having reinterpreted Last year in Marienbad (1961), in October 2022, she introduces her collection this season with short black and white films, signed Inez & Vinoodh, centered around the Japanese actress Nana Komatsu, who, in her geometric sweater and tweed skirt, looks like a New Wave heroine.
With Virginie Viard, the decor of the show is refined – a monumental white camellia occupies the space covered in black – and announces the theme of the collection. The designer feels comfortable playing with the codes of the house, without conceptualizing them or diluting them in other universes. With accuracy, she declines the flower, the two antagonistic colors, but also the double C logo, the pearls, the tweed, through a complete wardrobe designed for both day and night: all-terrain suits, coats with flowers like a dressing gown, men’s jackets, loose cardigans, dresses embroidered with ruffles or open backs… There is a dose of fantasy in the treatment of tweed with these bermuda suits or large asymmetrical skirts. Virginie Viard is also asserting herself in the choice of models: Chanel is one of the rare major brands to have shown fleshier bodies. And, in this fashion week when women are again excessively thin, it is not insignificant.