If all brands return to the idea of a wardrobe composed of basic, all do not do it with the same storytelling. The time spent and its destruction are elements thought and put in narrative: they make it possible to distinguish oneself. For who? And how?
Calm and voluptuousness: this men’s week all is lightness, except the concept of lightness itself. In the form of a soft white cotton, the remedy is exploited from all sides. If so long hoped, has it become a simple surface varnish? White is bright, everything is clean: has the steel layer of problems surrounding the luxury industry evaporated? Transition from dystopian fashion to basic fashion. Between white and black cotton, ocean blue breezes and breezes blow on a shore that has been devastated. From everywhere the outfits are corseted with cord tightenings, and feet are shod with rangers or shoes dedicated to hiking. The storm learned to protect oneself with hoods at Yoshio Kubo or Jil Sanders, or with suit jackets with large pockets at Dior.
In his study with Yvette Delsaut on Haute Couture, Pierre Bourdieu represented the composite field of fashion using different circles. Some, more important than others, designate the major brands: those having been in place for a long time. They are, according to the authors the ones determining the values and rules that act as laws in the field of fashion. Facing them, small circles: new entrants, carrying new values, new futures. Today seniority is paradoxical for luxury homes: it does not mean that the order and the interior actors have remained the same. What remains of old: these are often the names and the romanticized memories of a story. At Berluti, an old Italian house known for its craftsmanship, Kris Van Ashe is responsible for reviving the male silhouette of the house. For Berluti, the old Art Director of Dior dares using feathers and superfluous. Gigi Hadid, and her ancestor Natasha Poly are on the podium: a woman would be the most beautiful stooge of a man … A show that is not made of white cotton: on the contrary, the opulence is there. Kris Van Ashe is new at Berluti but already old in the luxury industry.
If in Bourdieu’s study, the designer’s mark is central to understanding the DNA of a brand, the current configuration means that few designers officiate on their own behalf.
In that respect, which label are we talking about? Van Ashe’s? The same question arises for Lucie and Luke Meier who took the creative direction of the emblematic brand of the 1990s this season: Jil Sander. At the announcement of this resumption, Madame Figaro headlined “A couple at the bedside of Jil Sander”. Time is cruel? Trench, Japanese cotton, tailoring voluntarily too wide: no disruption around Jil Sander codes, garments to “last”.
Clarification is also necessary when the Balmain brand is mentioned. Rousteing has made Balmain his avatar. He dispossessed Pierre Balmain, while quoting him as inspiration. A reversal of the cleverest. Then the show, organized as part of the French annual festival of music, presented smocking tail tails, multicolored biker jackets, metal pajamas pants. A Rousteing branded army.
All ADs at large fashion houses do not have this power. Faced with this hodgepodge that easily pushes to confusion, it was necessary to develop tactics of distinction.
Introducing linearity, be it factitious or real, using myths and history: a tactic signed Dior. To think of the future you have to think about the past. Kim Jones says it precisely: his collections are imagined to become the “Relics of the past (…) When I make these collections, I always think about what can be the subject of an exhibition for Dior… in 50 years . It’s important to have creative elements that will serve as heritage for the brand over time”. In view of the many retrospectives around the major fashion houses, the dominants of the field are indeed building a heritage in terms of the configurational value of the field, which could be a barrier.
The clock is spinning, but no one is equal in the face of this speed. “One of the benefits of LVMH is that you can work with the bests,” said Kim Jones.
The past becomes an image that can materialize the instant to Instagram for the stealthy present. As an entrance to the Dior show, Daniel Arsham imagined a staging of the elements from the Dior heritage in a marquee mounted in front of the Institute of the Arab World.
Further along the banks of the Seine, the Yoshio Kubo label, new entrant in the field of fashion, retains the substrate “Bord de Seine” to take on other shores. To see the silhouettes of the show, it was necessary to wear virtual reality headsets, where images previously filmed by the designer were projected. Silk and cotton at the edge of a beach. A break with the Parisian decor while staying on the banks of the Seine. A reconfiguration of the spaces and classic codes of shows at its finest.
Time flies. Labels come out and come in. Dominants still dictate laws, and the reflection on time is indeed a major part to define the rules of the game. The past: the distinctive capital of the present, rather than of the future?