From Dior to Coperni, Heres All the Need to Know Moments from Paris Fashion Week, Day Two
Day two of Paris Fashion Week bought us the chance for French Fashion houses to present their SS21 collections through digital and virtual shows. From Dior to Coperni, we were treated to iconic craftsmanship and exposed to creativity like no other. In case you missed out on the shows as they happened, here is all the highlights from the day...
Marine Serre SS21
Daring, dystopian, disturbing - on Tuesday morning of Paris Fashion Week, Marine Serre debuted a film which blurred the boundaries between fashion as art and fashion as practicality. The 13-minute production followed a circular narrative, beginning and ending with a model (Serre’s friend Juliet Merie) lying naked in a white space. Figures approach, carrying surgical instruments, before placing a chunky necklace around her neck.
From there, the visuals only become more striking and unexpected. Androgynous figures in skintight bodysuits, patterned with the leitmotif of a crescent moon (a recurrent symbol throughout the collection), walk through a misty white space. Dancers in balaclavas strike poses as if they’re ninjas. The Iranian-Dutch singer-songwriter Sevdaliza appears, shielded by a plastic veil (a nod to the PPE of the pandemic?), before turning to reveal its tapestry-like pattern trailing down her back.
Marine Serre SS21
We see ritual dances taking place around a skeletal tree, and bodies moving in unison - are they clashing or clasping? Models stand like mannequins in a dark blue space, wearing cobalt blue jackets and cargo trousers. There’s an unsettling scene where a woman lies between columns of pouring water, while her eyeball is pierced by a spiky tentacle emerging from someone’s finger. If this all sounds hard to keep track of, that’s because it is - watching the film felt like viewing a sci-fi epic which had been condensed into a fraction of its original length.
The conceptual element is made somewhat clearer through Serre’s description, which explains that in the film, “Two cryptic individuals navigate between parallel existences, living an astral projection...Sterile and hostile at first sight, each environment is populated by a series of tightly knit clans that will witness their rites of passage”.
The clothes do indeed feel like costume designs for a cutting-edge fantasy on the big screen: utilitarian dungarees complete with multiple pockets, buckles and chains, a white and navy structured hourglass dress with cut-out panels, red dresses fringed with tassels at the hem (the native dress of a “clan” on a distant planet?). It’s exciting to see a brand show such commitment to an abstract, imagined world - and when the clothes are as bold and space-age as these, what choice did they have but to invent their own narrative and characters to depict the collection?
At this year’s Paris Fashion Week, Coperni’s show was staged on the roof of the city’s Montparnasse Tower, in the neighbourhood famous for hosting many of the leading intellectuals and artists of the 20th century (Pablo Picasso, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre). Founded in 2013 by Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant (and relaunched in 2018), the choice of location suggests that Coperni seeks to follow in those esteemed footsteps. The label held a physical runway show which was live-streamed on Instagram. Paris was overcast, and the sound of the rain accompanied a soundtrack of sparse drumming.
The clothes were a continuation of Coperni’s focus on “linear sensibility”: architectural black dresses with undulating necklines, asymmetrical cuts, and mini dresses with long trails in white and mint which were textured with a scalloped pattern. Elsewhere, the looks demonstrated the label’s preference for a “‘sportif’ silhouette”, including cycling shorts and leggings with contrast stitching.
The most interesting pieces were the ones that pushed at the boundary of a conventional silhouette - in particular, a set of wide bandeau tops stood out as a bold and original design. Made in block colours, they were worn as a top layer pinning the arms to the side of the body, forming a kind of exaggerated, sporty bardot. Coperni prides itself on an origami-like technique, and this design certainly echoed the simple, clean lines of sculpture (whether in paper or in clothes).
Tokyo-born Kunihiko Morinaga, the designer behind the Anrealage label, has made a name for himself creating brightly-coloured patchwork pieces only loosely tethered to the human body. This season’s looks continue that tradition; Anrealage debuted a short film at Paris Fashion Week which featured dresses that parachuted outwards, too light for the pull of gravity.
In the film, a collection of lanterns were laid out on a grassy hill, made up in different shapes and colours (a maroon sphere, a yellow triangle). Models emerged from these lanterns as if they were tents, with each look matching the pod from which it came - a lime green square producing a lime green dress, and so on. There were striking colour combinations to match the floating, voluminous silhouettes; fuschia pink alongside navy blue, or pink and orange stripes trailing behind a sleeveless coat.
As day turned into night, there was a sudden mood change to match the fading light; the lanterns lit up in the dark, so that both the shapes and the clothes glowed in neon colours. It was a simple trick, but instantly effective - a beautiful way to bring out the broad stripes and blocks of vibrant colour in this joyful, fun collection.
Dior SS21 Collection
Dior is embracing modernity in more ways than one. Not only was this show live-streamed on TikTok and on the Dior website, but Maria Grazia Chiuri has revamped the classic Dior silhouette for a post-pandemic world. The runway was flanked by the artworks of Italian artist Lucia Marcucci (famous for her collages, which incorporate mass-media images and slogans), which were lit up so that they resembled stained glass. A reverent atmosphere was intensified by an acapella performance by the choral group Roseblood, who performed a 19th-century song about female liberation.
Dior SS21 Collection
The collection showcased a relaxed reimagining of the Dior hallmarks: there were cinched-in waists, but they were used to structure oversized cocoon jackets instead of the sharper tailoring familiar from the label’s history. A more traditional femininity was conjured through translucent, pastel-coloured dresses in pink and green, cut in a deep V-neck, and falling to the floor in delicate pleats.
Chiuri has said that her aim with this collection was to “realize the new Dior silhouette: the jacket with the shirt and the pants” - and this combination did form the majority of the looks, with loose trousers, large shirts and comfortably sized jackets seen in a variety of paisley and floral patterns. Even tie-dye - that most casual of prints - made an appearance, decorating an anorak in yellow, green and blue. Again, this was a deliberate reaction to the events of the past few months. As Chiuri says, “the shape is not constricting, it’s a shape in which you feel good, you feel at home. We are living in a different way”. Lockdown-friendly Dior? We’ll take it.
The Dior Spring-Summer 2021 Show via Dior Youtube Channel
Words by Jaleh Brazell