TOGETHER COLLABORATIONS IN FASHION HAVE BECOME COMMONPLACE , BANAL EVEN, IN TODAY’S ONSLAUGHT OF MARKETING SPIELS (SOCIAL MEDIA BEING ITS PINNAC LE). NOW HERE’S HOW YOU DO A PROPER COLLAB THOUGH: FOR SPRING/SUMMER 2020, DRIES VAN NOTEN ENLISTED FORMER COUTURIER CHRISTIAN LACROIX FOR A 68-LOOK COLLECTION THAT SEAMLESSLY FUSED THE FORMER’S ARTFUL ELEGANCE AND THE LATTER’S UNMATCHED EYE FOR EXUBERANCE AND COLOUR. TH E SUBLIME, SURPRISINGLY HARMONIOUS RESULTS (A COSY SWEATSHIRT PAIRED WITH HOT PINK FLAMENCO PANTS BECAUSE WHY NOT?) FELT MORE LIKE A TRUE MEETING OF GREAT MINDS AND LESS SUPERFICIAL DRIVEL DESIGNED TO DRIVE SHORT-TERM SALES. FOR THE BORED AND WEARY INDUSTRY INSIDER, IT WAS PURE ECSTASY AND FOR THE CONSUMER , CLOTHES THAT ARE AS WILD AS THEY ARE WEARABLE – WHICH ONLY BEGETS TWO QUESTIONS: WHAT TOOK SO LONG FOR THESE MAESTROS TO WORK TOGETHER AND WHAT NEXT WILL DRIES VAN NOTEN HAVE UP HIS GLORIOUS, POLKA-DOTTED BUBBLE SLEEVES?
THE LIGHTNESS OF BEING
AND THE AWARD FOR THE MOST BOUYANT COLLECTION OF THE SEASON GOES TO... ISSEY MIYAKE WITH THE DEBUT OF ITS NEW CREATIVE DIRECTOR SATOSHI KONDO
They descended like futuristic haloes from the ceiling of the light-soaked Le Centquatre warehouse in Paris: three transparent hoops bestowing colour-block dresses and sculptural hats onto the models who stood beneath each of them, sheathing them in a single swoop. It certainly made for prime Instagram fodder, especially when the girls – joined by more in similar outfits – started to do a little jig; their frocks flouncing along as they bopped merrily.
Such was just one of the many moments during Issey Miyake’s Spring/Summer 2020 show in the French capital last September that put a smile on the face of even the most seasoned fashion watcher. The Japanese label is known to surprise with its runway presentations and that this marked the debut of its latest creative director Satoshi Kondo was enough to elicit anticipation. Yet no one expected just how gleeful things would turn out.
There were nylon parachute- esque jumpsuits – demonstrated to full effect when the models came zooming in on electric skateboards; the excess fabric billowing out like sails. A series of monochromatic maxi tank dresses mushroomed like tent tops as the girls twirled, powered not by indecipherable algorithms a la Hussein Chalayan or Iris van Herpen, but by the sheer lightness of the fabric and cut. Throughout, models not so much walked but jived, pirouetted and moved in all manner of ease and ebullience (helps that they largely wore plimsolls or rubbery sandals) in garments that showed off Kondo’s masterful eye for colour and, more importantly, sensitivity towards how the next generation of consumers want to dress: fuss-free, yet also fun and with absolute freedom.
Kondo (no relation to Marie Kondo, that other bellwether of sparking joy) hasn’t turned the Issey Miyake DNA inside out – after all, he’s spent 13 years at the brand’s Pleats Please and Homme Plisse lines. The vivid celebration of movement however was all him. Be it in his diverse casting, innovative showsmanship or fluidity of design, the effect was quite simply uplifting. As he sums it up to Document Journal: “I hope that when people wear the clothes, they genuinely feel joy.”