In fashion, the figure of the circle encompasses numerous metaphors. It is flying at full speed. To slow down, designers like Boris Bidjan Saberi leave the circle to try to stimulate new dynamics where complexity finds a time to be explored and appreciated. Others prefer going back to the fields, and make themselves kings in the game of “disruptive” conventions. To celebrate his 10th birthday, it’s not a circle, but an endless line of lavender, in which Simon Porte Jacquemus plunged the fashion clique, one day after the official end of the fashion week.
Rupture or continuity ? In a circle, there’s no end, no debut. But a center: what remains after the passage of the compass’ needle. The hour hands of a clock go from there, and sometimes stop.
« Time isn’t the same (…) bodies synchronize on new temporalities » according to Karen Barad, who takes the basics of metaphysics to understand diverses cultural representations and practices that we incorporate and perform. Of which type of synchronisation the latest menswear week was the illustration?
Cliques, media times, trends, inspirations, rounds of designers: all of this materialised. In the clocks at Dior, or in the brilliantly decomposed garment at Loewe. Scenography took a breath of fresh air. Enjoyed the height on the roofs of Pigalle for Pigalle Paris, those of the opera Bastille for Sies Marjan or in Beaubourg for Ludovic de Saint Sernin. Thus, in the middle of the circles, vertical lines were drawn. Between the volcanic rocks located in the basement of the earth at PHIPPS, the dug swimming pools at Lanvin: the visual landscapes flicker between heaven and earth, they merge in the azure point where the sea eats the sky. This “infinite” blue is declined in the outfits throughout the week. The duo between the found / respected nature is reflected in the return of basics, collections between black and white and the lightness of textures. Paul Smith, Lanvin, or Humberto Léon and Carol Lim for their last show at Kenzo worked in this same line. Sunburn, full sun, straw hat. The ingredients of the upcoming media round?
In the rounds, some wish to remain squares. Not to stop Time, but in a sort of demonstration. The only master of his style, autonomous in the face of trends, it is a dive in the France of the 70s that gets dressed for the youthquake of the British sixties that proposed Slimane, the “square”. Telescoping rock stars in denim and fine stripes. White boots and tennis shoes, white or black smockings… Style rather than fashion. Slimane has risen to the forefront of men’s fashion by always staying in his own style line. A daring reminder that if trends change, it is essential to create a style.
Out of the circles, presentations are more and more common, questioning an order that results in hasty presentations, where present time is lived in fear of the coming time: posting on Instagram, going to the next show, finding one’s AA1*seat; whilst spreading a few « darling » on the way… In fact, for menswear, these behavioral stereotypes are not entirely true. Male fashion is self-evident, like the circle out of the field. The disruptive place. So it is not surprising that these values are ordered from lavender fields far from Paris. Jacquemus invents the male equivalent of the Parisian woman in the middle of Provence. A romantic memory à la Pagnol: a myth shaped for the fantasies of foreigners. All staged by Alexander de Betak – called “the Felini of fashion”. A proposal, or rather the configuration, of a system of menswear that is made from Paris.
Here, fashion invents itself. Paris wants to be this laboratory.
Big houses, just like the new ones, are taking in the game of this mensweek. The number of shows increased. The models are just as masculine as feminine, the parades are as much parties as experiences and the time is diluted in multiple ways. They are superimposed Instagram threads, stories where the imagination of youth takes control. Gender no longer matters: even Berluti puts women on its catwalk to put the man forward.
If the model of Fashion Week as it was established at the end of the 19th century for the women’s Haute-Couture, continues to incarnate itself according to different timeframes in many countries, Paris in order to keep its prestige, configures men’s fashion like a laboratory.
The lab of museography: the big luxury brands from LOEWE to Dior take the opportunity to capitalize on the DNA of their house and build the retrospectives to come.
The lab of masculinity: genders do not really matter anymore. What counts seems to be the youth, where different members are becoming standardized.
The Staging Lab: the models are no longer simple coat racks, but “gueules“, performers who dance, run, live.
Many laboratories were animated: a complete geopolitical fashion in a week, in the small Parisian space
And as reminds Karen Barad « The strands of a story are entangled. The earth and the heavens are connected, oh, in so many ways ».
Circles in scenographies, in imaginaries, in the broadcast of images: an infinity… Substance and form are the wheels that must be granted to renew the circle.