Photochromic coat, hoop dress, braided skirt: three designers are reinventing clothing


Marie Adam-Leenaerdt.

Parading in the shelter of big names capable of attracting international fashion circles in Paris, various independent designers launched the fashion week festivities in the capital, scheduled to last until March 7. With, for some, the same approach: the desire to invent a singular wardrobe starting from trivial inspirations.

For her very first fashion show, Marie Adam-Leenaerdt brings her guests to her in a soulless meeting room at the Crowne Plaza hotel. It is precisely this banality that interests this Belgian graduate of the La Cambre school and who is celebrating her 27th birthday the same day. “I try to build a wardrobe by diverting classics or drawing inspiration from everyday objects”she announces.

Thus, in addition to XXL bags, coats with stiffened or slanted tails, there are evening dresses with bows fitted with a hoop at shoulder level, suggesting “stand-up” tables; a short dress made of stiff folds like an origami napkin; a cotton top with a conical neck reminiscent of a lampshade… Controlled twists, the execution of which evokes an aesthetic à la Balenciaga, the studio through which the designer worked, and shot through with a surrealist spirit, Magritte style.

Mama Kurogouchi.

At Mame Kurogouchi, woven bamboo baskets feed the collection. “Like the previous seasonexplains the Japanese, I continued to observe these adored objects, in the street or at Iizuka Rokansai’s, size of Japanese basketry (1890-1958). The texture of leaves is translated back into crinkled silk skirts; their color, in marbled prints or ocher dyes on wool; their intertwining, reproduced on braided jersey dresses or on the relief of night blue knit ensembles. As always, with this sensitive designer, the artisanal approach goes hand in hand with the evidence of clothes that immediately make you want to touch, even try: reversible cashmere coats, sober jackets with rounded shoulders, long skirts including a lunge lets out a leg…

Clothing revealed by UV rays

The daily elements that surround us remain a source of inspiration for another Japanese, Kunihiko Morinaga, the talented founder of Anrealage. After wooden toys for children or an animated film, it is from his fascination for light that he draws his new score. On the stage of the Théâtre de la Madeleine, a captivating ballet is repeated. Models appear in pairs, with wigs, tights and heels, wearing an entirely white panoply, made up of velvet or faux fur coats, lace jumpsuits, dresses with flounced sleeves, pleated skirts or crochet capes.


Then, when a neon of UV light descends from the ceiling to scan them slowly from top to bottom, these clothes turn out to be photochromic: now they light up, as if kids were coloring them. They become blue, magenta, green, lilac, pale yellow, covered with polka dots, logos, stripes, tartans… “I try to destroy the preconceptions that one can have of a garment”, pleads Morinaga, whose innovations are always at the service of candor and not of a futuristic discourse. And to specify that “this advanced technology works in both UV light and sunlight”. Mutants, they will therefore change their appearance in the open air, depending on whether night, dawn or zenith triumphs.

Read also: At Paris Fashion Week, Dior and Saint Laurent open the ball in majesty


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