Haute Couture Covers a Curiously Broad Waterfront

Paris — Maria Grazia Chiuri’s celebration of women for Christian Dior is most often spun around the work of women artists whose inspiration is inevitably more abstract. With Baker, it was even stronger. Chiuri’s starting point was a pile of old photographs of Baker wearing Dior and she performed in New York in the 1950s, but the designer said Baker was the first to arrive in Paris and caused a sensation with her Nagle. The story is set in her 1920s. , and later the Folies Bergère. Supple metal sheaths and crystal-rimmed flappers in his dress were reminiscent of jazz in his age, and velvet robe-wrapped undergarments were reminiscent of backstage loungewear. Shimmering satin and a crash of decadent tones Her velvet stunningly simple columnar evening The clutch of her gown sang to his one spotlight of cabaret her star.

A good half of the collection consisted of tailored suits, coats, dresses and daywear in Monsieur Dior’s preferred men’s fabrics. The length is subdued mid-calf, and the hair, makeup, and footwear (embroidered velvet shoes with hanky mid-heels) add to the vintage feel. But it was a really nice effect. Chiuri, like another famous Dior client, Marlene Dietrich, said she was drawn to Baker because she understood the power of dresses to challenge racial stereotypes and disrupt expectations of gender roles. Those women resonated with her, and Chiuri chose a tuxedo coat from her new collection as a personal favorite. (Baker and Dietrich made men’s tuxedos almost as much as Fred Astaire and Cary Grant. And it may have been that intimate personal resonance that gave this collection its subtle kick.) It had no soul.

Of course, this was also a Christian Dior show, so extravagant contextualization was needed. American artist Mikalen Thomas has created 13 photo-based collages in her signature style, featuring Baker, filmmaker Dorothy Dandridge, music by Nina Simone and Lena Horne, and modeler Donyar Luna. And so on, celebrating her 12 other Black women who paved the way in the world. They were reproduced in a huge embroidered wall piece performed by her Chanakya School of Craft in Mumbai. “Women, and great female artists, don’t celebrate themselves enough,” Chiuri said emphatically. “I’m obsessed with pushing women.” As usual, I was wondering where these remarkable pieces of contemporary art go when the music stops.

Tuesday morning’s Chanel show featured contemporary art in the form of sculptural animals made of cardboard, wood and paper by Xavier Veillant and described by show designer Virginie Viard as a “spontaneous village.” I imagined that it was a festival of MidsummerAlso wicker man, Maybe? The gigantic abstract creature had something of a cult classic transported into a strangely shadowy show space. spinal tap Perhaps it was emphasized more when elephants stamped their feet across the stage at the end of the show. Appeared.

It was like a Trojan crossed with a child’s horse, cruzzy, cultish and, oddly enough, a perfect distillation of the collection itself. As much as haute couture is embodied in the prodigious art of making clothes, they are basically like shimmering, bubbly fairy tales that seem strangely at odds with the couture expression of adult sophistication. In fact, the same artistic sophistication that shaped the original animal paintings in Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment on Rue Cambon is the coco ur zone, which Viard introduced to Veillant at the beginning of the collaboration. .

So let’s go back to clothes. Viard liked Majorette’s idea. It was like leading a small-town parade of Americana, with her skirts flared or her shorts shorts, laced booties, or her coat abbreviated swing. He has a top hat and a bowtie, and looks like the ringmaster of a circus of abstract animals that awkwardly fills the arena. It took on the Girls of Guns N’ Roses edge when that hat-and-tie combination was accompanied by the black group’s transparent, layered form towards the end of the show.Virginie Viard The Rock of The Rock has always argued that her chic heart ultimately determined her tenure at Chanel. Such a whisper of the future was here. Watch out for her, she covered her base with a pearl-picked corgi in classic Chanel tweed, perhaps playing in a palace?

Ultimately, at a house the size of Dior or Chanel, designers are constrained by their ability to sell at street level. If they do, haute couture is allowed to become a quirky Everest idiosyncrasy.Giorgio Armani’s new Privé invitation to his show is a harlequin that inspires fear and curiosity at the same time. The diamond featured his pattern. The fright was instantly completed at the entrance to the Garde Republicaine venue, where French cavalry horses usually prance. A clown’s catwalk! It instantly reverberates with the diamond-patterned look that took you down that catwalk.

But then fear was taken over by curiosity. Armani never goes halfway with a theme.If he’s into Harlequin, he all at Harlequin. So what does that mean?The Harlequin House was in the grand Italian tradition art comedy Carnival originated in Venice. Armani’s palette—aqua blues and greens with the pinks of a wintery sunrise showing through—was that of Venice at a particular time of the year. The sinuous flow of the glittering floor-length sheath recreated the effect of light on water.

But there was something fundamentally surreal about Armani’s presentation that made me think about what Harlequin means to Picasso, De Chirico, and their peers: romantic, prankster. There are still some tricks in

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