Lights out for Paris with Miu Miu, Xuly.Bët and Ungaro
The marathon of women's ready-to-wear shows for spring-summer 2023 ended on Tuesday with many surprises. The designers once again gave their vision of the tragic times the world is going through, with true manifesto collections. From Miu Miu's call for simplicity to Xuly.Bët's ecological alert, via Ungaro's quest for positivity.
Miu Miu condenses in one collection the new ideal wardrobe, both easy and special, sporty and chic. Miuccia Prada starts with her most classic pieces - the jacket, the coat, the shirt, the pleated skirt and the knitwear - which she mixes and revisits with subtlety. The result is a very Prada Miu Miu collection. A collection that also seems to be strongly linked to the Milanese label's flagship line, presented last week in Milan in a spirit of new austerity.
Thus, the mini silhouette is constructed as simply as possible from a layering of white and grey T-shirts over ultra-fine beige or light grey knitwear. The men's jacket is slipped over a bra and, optionally, a pleated or wrap skirt in grey flannel and black wool.
This summer's dressing room cannot miss the house's emblematic nylon, which plays the starring role, in white shirts, skirts and little dresses with zips at the front or back, or in dresses with straps gathered at the neckline. This ultra-light fabric is also used, of course, as a windbreaker in collared shirts or in a khaki version worn inside out for a blouse effect.
Leather is used in this urban wardrobe, at first in small details, in overskirts with large patch pockets, a bit like a fanny pack. Good old worn leather, which the designer also uses to cut large sleeveless coats, waistcoats or jackets, all of which also have maxi pockets. Smooth, lighter leather is used to make shirts, skirts, trousers and shorts in different colours. In another variation, the same pieces are cut from faded denim to give them the same leather wear.
In the evening, the Miu Miu girl has fun with transparencies. A simple layer of impalpable fabric is all that is needed to compose a top and a skirt, placed directly on the body, which is sometimes illuminated with stones and crystals.
A change of scenery with Xuly.Bët, who closed fashion week on Tuesday evening with a memorable and energetic public show in the heart of Paris, just behind the town hall. An environmentalist before his time, the designer Lamine Badian Kouyaté, originally from Mali, chose the Place Baudoyer, where the Climate Academy is located, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his brand. The idea was for the runway to be in the building, but this was refused. He had nevertheless been granted permission to hold his show in the square, but was turned away at the last minute.
He therefore retreated to the neighbouring François Miron street, bringing with him a large and friendly audience. As the sound system was also forbidden, the models went out without music, accompanied only by a small speaker in their hands, encouraged by the "ouh ouh" and applause of the public.
Perched on transparent high-heeled sandals with gaiters and split skirts, or in shimmering dresses and tops and white Catwoman suits, they made their way down the catwalk to the cheers of the audience.
"Bravo!" from the fans. Some of the girls responded by improvising a dance step in front of a few bewildered passers-by, while buses and taxis continued to pass by in the street.
A joyful atmosphere, from which the name of the brand seems to have taken all its meaning. Xuly.Bët means "open your eyes" in Wolof. "For 30 years, we have been alerting everyone to the damage our profession is doing to the planet. Today, the world is burning, but nothing is happening. We have to shout," said Kouyaté backstage at the fashion show. Self-taught, he switched to fashion after studying architecture, and from the outset the designer seduced people with his approach, recycling clothes salvaged from second-hand stores to make unique pieces. Transferred to New York in 2015, he made his big return to the Parisian catwalks in 2020.
Make way for lightness and colour at Ungaro. "With fashion, we have the power to make people smile and bring them joy. I wanted to inject a little beauty into a world that is not really beautiful at the moment," says creative director Kobi Halperin, who was inspired by Gauguin's trip to Haiti for next summer. "Paradise is not only there, it can also be here and in our heads. That's why I wanted to create something special and exotic.
The designer drew from the archives while reflecting on the evolution of today's woman, for whom he designed an effortless and airy wardrobe, emphasising movement with "sexy and elegant" fringed dresses. Vapid yellow or turquoise dresses feature the iconic Diva pleat, light blouses are embellished with embroidered flowers, and vestal draped outfits are printed with lush carnation flower motifs.
White cotton lace jackets let the air flow. Stretch silk tops are paired with fringed cropped trousers. Everything is light and fluid.
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