“We started looking at Chinese pottery, which is something that I’ve always loved,” the Antwerp-based designer told The AP backstage. “The colors started quite bright, so then we started to bleach them away.”
The result were nightgown dresses in navy silk, with a hothouse of oversized flowers in fuchsia that faded to white at the hemline. A boyfriend-cut jacket in canary yellow drained into a bleached-out white at the shoulders.
At once in saturated colors and bone white, in sumptuous metallics and industrial cottons, the collection had it all.
The Paris-based house proved you can dress like your grandma and still be at the very apex of fashion.
Long-sleeve button-down blouses in naive prints depicting Swedish villages were paired with matching skirts that hit at mid-calf. Plain-fronted dresses in navy were cut wide and left nearly everything to the imagination. Printed doo-rags and black knee socks topped off the show’s “un-sexy is the new sexy” spirit.
Still, hidden beneath that modest facade, there was a hint of Baroque decadence that lent the collection a subtle kinkiness.
Designer Marco Zanini said he’d looked to Scandinavia’s rigorous aesthetic for inspiration.
“I find the modesty of certain Swedish people the key to elegance,” he told The AP. He added that the collection was conceived as a sort of antidote to today’s frenetic pace.
“These are very chaotic times, we need calm down and reflect on things,” said Zanini, a towering blond with oversized mutton-chop sideburns. “We’re trying to take it one step at a time, the proper way.”
His slow but steady approach seemed to be working. The show elicited hoots of approval from the A-list audience, which included Anna Wintour of U.S. Vogue, taking it all in from behind her trademark dark shades.
ANNE VALERIE HASH
Anne Valerie Hash presented clothes for the kind of girl who loves her clothes to be simple but sexy too.
Shorn of buttons, zippers and bothersome closures, the French designer’s collection had the ease of a sweatsuit but the sexy draping and sensuous fabrics befitting of a sophisticated, in-demand Parisienne who wouldn’t be caught dead in standard-issue sweatpants.
Hash has made relaxed but worldly dressing her trademark, and Wednesday’s collection ratcheted it up a notch, giving the look a more polished finish.