PARIS – Blurring the line between fashion and performance, the Japanese house of Issey Miyake for Homme Plisse used a troupe of acrobats who contorted, danced and seemingly courted death for a spectacular Paris Fashion Week men’s show.
Here are some highlights of Thursday’s spring-summer 2023 shows in Paris.
In eye-popping hues inspired by flowers and vases, models mingled with performers inside the newly renovated La Poste du Louvre for this unusual and sensitive showcase of fashion designs through dance.
From a hidden ledge high above the courtyard runway, a dancing troupe suddenly stood up mid-show to gasps from the audience. In pastel colored, loosely-fitting pleated garments the performers then climbed down ladders, before performing death-defying leaps, falls and tumbles. Performers were tossed through the air like missiles, to be caught by dancers across the courtyard. There was no safety net above the hard stone floor.
The show was directed by Rachid Ouramdane of the Théâtre National de Chaillot, featuring a collective of acrobats, Compagnie XY.
The fashion itself was soft in comparison. Gradual curves at the neck and midriff emulated the shapes of vases with a nice weight that produced a dynamic silhouette. A pleated tunic in pastel red was twinned with a short jacket, with breast panels that resembled an Asian warrior. Elsewhere, a waistcoat in vivid dandelion sported studded pockets that unfurled like an opening flower.
Color-blocking was also a strong theme — with pastel purple contrasting with blush and raisin black on one look, and on another pastel yellow and midnight blue. It was a strong return to the runway for Homme Plisse at Issey Miyake.
RICK OWENS’ ANCIENT EGYPT
American designer Rick Owens delved into the ancient world for inspiration, returning from a stay in Egypt and a visit to the Temple of Edfu on the Nile.
Often the philosopher, Owens said that his “personal concerns … felt petty in the face of that kind of timelessness.” He has in recent seasons commented on the impact the pandemic has had on fashion and beyond — and embraced the lockdown as a time for introspection.
Owens has always had an aesthetic riffing on the garb of Ancient Egypt, with togas, drapes and high priestess styles gracing his runways. But on Thursday’s show he turned up the dial for a very personal take on such silhouettes.
“Lying down in the dirt with the Valley of Kings within view was a perspective I liked,” he said.
Like the long stone carvings on the ancient temple, silhouettes were elongated by layering garments to drop the midriff low. Dark flared pants were so long the fabric grazed along the stone steps as the models walked down the Palais de Tokyo venue. It created a funky surreal effect.
“Extreme shoulders” — giant and rounded — created this Egyptian priest vibe, tailored by the American fashion master in silk chiffon, crisp cotton, and garish plaid.