The great thing about writing a blog rather than writing for a publication backed by a corporation is… you can say what you like and don’t have to cover what you hate. That means any collection that smacks of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ is out.
So there are no pictures of Vetements on Trendwalk for now. Instead, this report is (almost) all about Chloé, Carven, Rochas and Dries Van Noten.
But first I’ll backtrack with a few words about Vetements. I’m not completely anti-V and I’ll probably have to eat my words one day. Even now, I have to admit that many labels are testing out a wider silhouette that’s completely Vetements-influenced. But I’ve been there decades ago and don’t intend to dress like an American footballer ever gain.
I also have to admit that, beneath the extreme styling, it’s getting undeniably more commercial. Yet it’s just not to my taste. As someone who’s been through almost every mad look since my Punk days in 1976/7, I’ve reached the point where I like it if someone says “I love your coat” and don’t like it any more when I hear raucous laughter behind me as I pass! So, as nobody is paying me to write this, I can ignore the Vetements “subversive hoodies” that we’re told are the last word in future fashion… for now anyway.
Cue Chloé. I loved that collection. Clare Waight-Keller continued to mix the frothy with the functional and turn it all into a style statement. The influence was Anne-France Dautheville biking through the Middle east in the 1970s.
We got lots of leather and motocross pieces, mixed with many updates on the label’s delicious silks for blouses and dresses. There were kaftans, knit tunics, lots of leather, calf-length boots, fabulous shearlings, flowing tiered silk dresses, intricate blouses, fuzzy coats, some great knit pieces and much more. These were clothes I’d love to wear.
There was a similar feel over at Carven where Adrien Caillaudaud and Alexis Martial also mixed biker style with shearling, fluid silks and knitwear. Key items included the PVC pants, the coatigan, the shorter coat, the detailed blouse, the puffa and the lace-up ankle boot in a collection that felt youthful but very wearable.
And I can’t ignore two from the day before (I ran out of time to cover them yesterday). So special mentions for Rochas and Dries Van Noten.
Rochas was a succession of beautifully crafted key items that can go from day to after-dark without much adjustment. Alessandro Dell’Acqua gave us a collection that felt restrained (in a good way) but every piece was also unmissable. The top/pant combos look like must-haves, the use of chartreuse as a colour statement felt inspired, the gold brocades and the velvets justified a sky-high price tag without ever being blingy, and the floral dresses were pretty without being girly.
And finally, Dries Van Noten. Like Vetements, this is a label that’s done its fair share of shaking things up and it’s one that fashion critics feel they have to love. But that view is justified (in my opinion). There was a checklist of items to covet: The leopard and cheetah pieces, the chunky cable knit sleeveless sweater, the crisp white shirts, the wider vintage-influence trousers, the heritage crest motif, the pearl trimmed knits (and pearl print jackets), the impeccably tailored coats with giant lapels, the silver potato print-style decoration on a blue ground, the slip dresses, the sequin mesh. I could go on…
All in all it’s been a few days at Paris Fashion Week where we’ve had some real visions of clothes that plenty of (wealthy) women will want to buy and that the wider industry will take as inspiration, so the rest of us can maybe wear them too at some point.
Subversive hoodies? Give me Chloé, Carven, Rochas or Dries any day!
All pictures courtesy Vogue Runway