At Paris Fashion Week, three designers go back to the origins

In which countries does a designer let his imagination mature? Three designers have chosen to evoke their native country in their scores, during Paris fashion week, which runs until March 7.

If Yang Li studied in Antwerp and London, it is in Beijing that he grew up, and it is towards there that he looks since he took over, in 2021, the artistic direction of Shang Xia , a label that aims to offer a luxurious wardrobe by claiming a Chinese identity. Yang Li also says to work so that “the younger generation becomes proud of this brand”. For his third and best vintage, he presents at the Pavillon Vendôme a collection inspired by the figure of the bird, “omnipresent in Chinese culture and representative of femininity, liberation”.

  Shang Xiao.

The idea seduced him when he discovered From Here to Ear, one of the works of the French visual artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, where seventy birds evolve on fourteen electric guitars, improvising a singular composition. Nothing first degree in her interpretation, but a floating spirit in very beautiful materials, with satin skirts with a train that fly in the wind, worn with graphic brushed sweaters, black dresses flecked with metal, aerodynamic coats sensually openwork or magically raised and beak-pointed mules.

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At Acne Studios, the decor, signed by the Englishwoman Shona Heath, reveals in the half-light gigantic trees and other climbing plants with fantastic outlines, under the monumental courtyard of the Lycée Carnot. “I had in mind the dark winters we have in Sweden, where there are only a few hours of light a dayexplains Jonny Johansson, the artistic director of the brand, born in Umea, in the north of the country. I wanted to capture the beauty of darkness, both in the collection and in the setting. Sweden is the kind of place where the city abruptly ends to give way to a pine forest. »

Acne Studios.

The clothes, dresses that appear alternately ragged or crumpled, cracked leather jackets, devoré velvet skirts and tops or even leather pants with laces along the leg, are a reflection of this. The color palette, dark green, brown or black, also evokes the disturbing atmosphere of the undergrowth at nightfall.

At the Tennis Club de Paris, in the 16e borough, Ibrahim Kamara had a giant sphere installed for Off-White like a meteorite which would have landed there, on the ground covered with ocher desert sand. Mars ? Rather the Moon, fascination of the one who succeeds Virgil Abloh at the creative head of the label. Coats, balaclava dresses and trousers with holes in metal eyelets, iridescent padded jackets and boots with world map prints, jackets harnessed with backpacks, shoes with ends surmounted by motorcycle taillights, or silver quilted jumpsuits draw in fact the silhouette of an explorer on a mop for the distance.

Off White.

“I watched some space travel movies, especially those of Christopher Nolansays Kamara. I wanted to go for a conquering wardrobe. » Underground, he also adds references to Sierra Leone, where he was born in 1990. Thus, the “rust ground textures” and the “tin roofs” that he has not forgotten can be read in orange tones, well balanced, sometimes mixed with the mossy green of the vegetation in pointillist prints. A re-exploration of the colors and textures of a country he had to leave as a kid, in the midst of civil war.

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