Fashion houses are now more comfortable showcasing their latest designs online, even after almost a year’s worth of turmoil due to the coronavirus pandemic. They also know that creativity is essential if they are to attract the attention of home viewers (it has been a while since editors and buyers were the only ones looking),
It is not easy to create excitement about shopping and dressing up in a time where many people have little reason to. Designers proved that they are more than capable of meeting the challenge at last week’s virtual Paris Fashion Week.
These are the top menswear moments this season that generated conversation
Virgil Abloh goes political. With the global pandemic slowing down the travel industry, Virgil Abloh decided to film his video in a temporary airport lounge. This was a great throwback for those who are watching from their living rooms.
Virgil Abloh gets political. With the global pandemic slowing down the travel industry, Virgil Abloh’s decision to film his video in a makeshift airport lounge was a great throwback for viewers watching from their living rooms. He reflected on his experiences as a Black man visiting the Swiss Alps as well as the history of American racism. Saul Williams and Mos Def wore Louis Vuitton head-to-toe, while Mos Def wore different looks.
Kai-Isaiah Jamal, a British poet and activist, said in voiceover: “I think that as black people and trans people and marginalized people, it is here for us to take, for it takes so many from us.”
Uncharacteristic of the designer, the theme of the show was a surprise. He has been criticised in the past for not being involved with Black issues. He was widely criticized on social media last summer for comments he made about looting in protests following the murder of George Floyd.
Jonathan Anderson at JW Anderson and Loewe puts it down on paper
Jonathan Anderson, founder of JW Anderson and creative director of Loewe, returned to tactile after mailing boxes of cut-outs, photos, and other ephemera for his collections last year. He complemented his digital video offerings by adding physical swag to his autumn-winter women’s collection.
Anderson collaborated with Juergen Teller, a photographer, to create a series of hilarious posters for his own brand. British actress Sophie Okonedo is one of the models who took silly poses while grasping vegetables, fruits, and houseplants. Some phrases are absurd, such as “Two strings” and “a twisted ankle,” and are written over top as inside jokes. Anderson also gifted insiders a show in a book with cardboard boxes containing a tshirt with photos of the collection and a coffee table book that was dedicated to Joe Brainard, a queer writer and artist who died in 1994 from AIDS-related causes.
Anderson explained the collection in a prerecorded video. Anderson mentioned that Brainard’s collage aesthetic was the inspiration for the season’s collections. Some of Brainards graphic works and motifs are featured on the season’s clothing and accessories. Once the collection is sold, the book will be available to purchase. All proceeds will go to Visual AIDS charity.
Kim Jones and Peter Doig team up at Dior
Kim Jones, Dior’s artistic director, is not a stranger to collaboration. He has partnered with many artists since he took over at Dior menswear, including Raymond Pettibon, KAWS and rising star Amoako boafo, who collaborated on their collections.
This season Jones teamed up with Peter Doig, the cottish artist, to continue that tradition. Doig is known for creating atmospheric landscapes with a magical realism. The fall-winter collections were shown in a simple runway video. Models walked alongside fake giant wooden speakers, and Doig’s hand was evident throughout the collection, from the intricate swirling prints on jackets and overcoats to bright mohair jumpers with warped creatures. Doig was inspired by his practice and designed the wool hats featuring Stephen Jones, a milliner.
Wales Bonner completes her Caribbean triptych
Grace Wales Bonner was inspired by the 1970 London Lovers Rock scene for autumn-winter and 1980s Kingston, Jamaica for spring-summer. She then traveled to Oxford and Cambridge for her latest collection.
The garments were presented in a short film called “Black Sunlight”, a collaboration between Jeano Edwards and Jeano Edwards. They were inspired by postcolonial intellectuals of the Caribbean, Africa and India who immigrated to England during the 1980s. The nostalgic footage shows models walking through stone buildings wearing wide-legged trousers, slim-fitted knits and perfectly tailored blazers.
Designer Kamau Brathwaite, Bajan scholar and poet, is one of her key references. She also cites Derek Walcott (Nobel Prize-winning Saint Lucian poet), whose poems are the basis for the short film.
Thom Browne is a child-focused thinker
Thom Browne’s last week was an exciting one. Vice President Kamala Harris’ fashionable step-daughter Ella Emhoff, wore one his red-white and blue ensembles as she posed in front of the Washington Monument on Tuesday. Katy Perry, dressed in a custom coat, corset, and skirt by the designer, performed at the “Celebrating American” concert in President Joe Biden’s honor the next day.
Browne’s most shocking reveal was on Sunday when he launched a line for children’s wear, for precocious kids with a flair for tailoring or, let’s face it, their fawning parents, instead of a menswear line during his scheduled slot.