Paris, France – “Dries, now there is a real designer,” sighed my AirBnB landlord, after expressing his frustration about working for a major, and majorly uninspiring Parisian house. Indeed, he is and he proved it yet again with another sublime show. Each seat had a red rose on it with handwritten “DVN” X some other initials, which I only understood were that of Christian Lacroix, the legendary Parisian designer whose label has been defunct for some time and whom Van Noten brought on to collaborate for this collection. This was a “collab” in the Van Noten vein – a sign of mutual respect that did not stink of a money grab like many collaborations do. It was soulful, not cynical. And the clothes were sublime, with faint military influences on some pieces and with couture-like shapes on others that had Lacroix’s signature on them. Of course there were explosion of flowers, color, and couture-like embroidery. When Dries Van Noten brought Lacroix for the final bow it was a fashion moment fo sure. This was a longing for an idealized past of the kind I can get behind – bringing out people to refresh our collective fashion amnesia. Which made me think that we are not exactly forgetful – we do remember the greats… when we are reminded of their existence.
If you find yourself in Tokyo in the next month and don’t go to the expansive exhibit of Chiharu Shiota at the Mori Museum you will have no one to blame but yourself.
In a wide-ranging interview the designer talks to us about his two new books, his body of work, the role of irony and politics in it, his fanbase, and the current generation of fashion.
“I believe that if you make something beautiful, sooner or later it has a way of presenting itself to the world.” The Belgian designer talks to us about her new houseware project.
It’s August, the lull before the storm of the fashion month that will start in early September in New York and will end in early October in Paris.
Back in 2014, in an Op-Ed for the Business of Fashion, I rang the alarm about fashion stores losing their edge as tastemakers. I was mainly looking at Barneys, the iconic New York department store, as one that was losing its cache with the fashion-forward customer by becoming too commoditized. Fast-forward to 2019 and Barneys is now exploring bankruptcy. Theories abound as to what went wrong with the store, and there is not one single reason for Barneys possible demise – there is the crazy rent hike on its flagship, increased competition online, changing consumer tastes. But out of all commentators Lauren Sherman, of BoF nailed a big one, “Instead of owning cool, Barneys began chasing it.”
Nothing in fashion is constant, but knowing that Chitose Abe at Sacai will present a great collection comes pretty close.
Wednesday morning I stopped by the Visvim showroom, where Hiroki Nakamura presented his new collection.
The theme of the first two days in Paris was this – some great designers are sick of what’s going on in menswear these days
Perhaps it is a sign of the times that it has taken an artist to tell the fashion world that ideas – as opposed to product – in fashion, particularly in menswear, still matter.