If there is profundity to be found at Paris Fashion Week, it happened early with the Anrealage presentation.
Rimmed with LED lights, the constructed triangular arena made of chrome and concrete allowed models to be viewed from all sides as they came bounding from backstage like cyber-punk cowboys at a dystopian rodeo. Meticulously synchronized lights flashed and dimmed, from one hue to another revealing that each garment looked entirely different depending on the light cast.
Designer-philosopher Kunihiko Morinaga said that the collection, entitled “PRISM,” intends to convey the diversity of perception.
“As light comes through a prism and makes many colors,” Morinaga said through his translator, “this is how we see everything and these clothes.”
Morinaga has been having a conversation through his designs about aesthetic meaning in the digital age since 2011, when he started focusing on tech. His first collection in this vein entitled “LOW,” comprised of 8-bit motifs on traditional dresses and suits, was a blunt statement on the fusion of utilitarian art and technology.
Seven years later, his designs have become a more nuanced depiction of his thoughts on the changing nature of perception and knowledge in the digital age.
“PRISM” had a purposeful clash of cuts and styles spanning different eras. Large knit sweaters draped over plastic skirts and cinched-waist houndstooth coats were layered with, or woven from, reflective plastics responsive to light.
Morinaga offered a simple example to reporters clamoring around him after the light show. He held up a white sneaker and moved the light from his cell phone around it. “The shoe is always one color,” he said through his translator, “but you see how with light shining it is always different.” --Alex Brook Lynn
The beauty of diamonds lies not only in their brilliance but their ability to shift one’s perspective, playing a trompe-l'œil on the eye. Alexis Mabille employs such a trick with his ready to wear collection, drawing inspiration from the beloved gem and its versatility presenting whimsical yet polished moments.
In shades reminiscent of the pink, green and blue prisms of a diamond’s reflection in the light, Mabille achieves a cohesive vision while escaping the trappings of inspiration that becomes too literal.
“It’s all about being playful,” Mabille told The Daily Beast at his presentation, adding that the collection highlights “timeless pieces of men’s tailoring, mixed with lingerie details and volume.”
Mabille’s dresses, often in lightweight silks and cotton, synthesizes those elements with detachable portions pivoting between day to night looks. A knee-length dress? Well, maybe. After unhooking a few buttons it suddenly becomes a flirty baby doll, while Victorian-esque sleeves once attached to a 9-5 dress offer a hint of drama for date night.
The modern woman oscillates between many roles and Mabille’s collection asks the question, who do you want to be today or two hours from now? Whatever the answer, the transformation is both beautiful and effortless. --Tamara Best