Paris Fashion Week SS18: Sacai and Hermès
SACAI: AUGMENTED REALITY
The collection: What makes a jacket a jacket? What makes a dress a dress? What makes a blouse a blouse? Designer Chitose Abe beseeched her audience to ditch conventional definitions in order to welcome a new world of infinite permutations during her spring/summer 2018 show. Her silk dress bore a pussy-bow collar and a chest knot which turned out to be a Siamese twin of sleeves from a buttoned blouse and elastic-hemmed plaid jacket, secured by thick nylon straps along each shoulder. A few looks down, Abe sewed on mismatched bomber jacket pockets to a pinstripe-plaid-camo vest which flowed into a final look as an asymmetrical, heavily patchworked A-line dress. The outer layer of another loop look shaped to a sweetheart neckline featured a slither of flouncy skirting. We had to squint our eyes to observe all the detailing, but Abe is well worth the headache. It's hard to say if the Japanese designer's techniques were organic or sketched to death prior to initial construction on muslin; in the spirit of her collection, it was likely a combination both. All we know is that whatever she was doing, it worked.
Buro loves: The mixed fabric maxi skirt worn with fur slides, an equally energetic patchwork bag, and a mesh tank top with the "Beware (It's) Everywhere" messaging. Our interest is piqued.
The soundtrack: A club-ready remix of James Brown's 'Sex Machine'. The people who say you can't be gamine and seductive at the same time know nothing.
HERMÈS: LEADER OF THE RESISTANCE
The inspiration: Rarely do show notes come in booklets — if they're offered at all — but designer Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski is committed to telling her story. For spring/summer 2018, her tale begins with intimate descriptions of six colours. It's all very poetic. Here's an excerpt from the colour pink: "Hard to the touch. Soft on the eye. Music to my ears. If a rose had breath, it would surely be this colour."
The collection: First things first. Whether the Hermès aesthetic is for you or not, you have to give it to Vanhee-Cybulski. So precise, so disciplined and so clear is her vision for the brand, she has stayed true to the house codes during a time when fashion houses are being pulled at every direction to stay current. Cartoons! Charms! Logos! The third-year Hermès womenswear designer hums a different song. That is to say, she is a believer in the timeless. But her version of classic — pregnant with heritage and godlike craftsmanship — deserves further elaboration. Make note of the long coral pink coat and buttery trouser ensemble. The former has detachable panels and the latter is actually denim, finished with contrast graphic overstitching. Detachable too, are the panels (currently secured with orange zips) on the ultraviolet nubuck calfskin two-piece. It's easy to be fooled by the simplicity of Hermès, calling it old-fashioned. Those who truly understand the clothes on our backs will agree that your $500 statement T-shirts will get a lot of wear now, but a madras wool suit, a jumper with braided cords, a cotton gabardine wrap culotte, and a good strong cape are forever.
Buro loves: Look 30 for the double-belt illusion. Let this inspire your own styling henceforth.
Catch up on all coverage from Paris Fashion Week spring/summer 2018.