A seductive title, a powerful yet probably false theory. At least not entirely true: it all depends on how the definition of the term fashion is considered. Taking the axis of temporality that defines fashion as a change in its industrial dimension, Haute Couture seems to be a foreign land. Historically and culturally it must fulfill the ideal of a production where clothes are unique, rare pieces – the opposite of industrial, all packaged in the ideal of “know-how” which imposes the idea of time.
During the last Haute Couture week, Yuima Nakazato presented his “new” – Birth collection where the question of the temporality of the garment was central. Whether it is the elaboration time, the production time or the lifetime of the garment. An essential point while the theme of “sustainability” has caught up with all areas of our lives. The survival of Haute Couture? Modular clothing made with new technologies. “Unique clothes, capable of being different” as the designer tells us behind the scenes. But especially clothes that depict in a clear and luminous way, the future shape of what will be called Haute Couture. Because this is a “birth”; as the title of the show indicates.
In the back of the Descartes University where the show was taking place, a shower of gold symbolized this “new” birth that must be defined. But is it really a new birth? The installation of Studio Eugène, which made up the show’s landscape, was a clue to try to answer. This fine shower of gold particles reminds us that luxury is often associated with its shiny surface, and that the rest of these values often remain in the shadows. Beyond brilliance, luxury is said to be a work of art, where each member of the team collaborates: the artists of Studio Eugène and the artists / scientists of Spiber mingle like the particles that make up the drops of gold. Yuima Nakazato evokes “a great mutual respect” which is the condition for working around this common theme – “The Creation of the Earth”, when fine particles of C02 reached their peak in the French capital. So respect and knowledge of the images that make up our museum memory of Haute Couture are essential to work the future. The shower of gold particles washes the forecourt of the University.
“The real ‘sustainable development’ is the whole question we have to answer. Yuima Nakazato is a brand, a collaboration that aims to imagine what could be a “sustainable fashion”, the designer tells us behind the scenes. Fashionable and durable: an oxymoron? “You have to combine two concepts: ‘unique’ and ‘different’. That is to say create a unique garment that can be metamorphosed. This is possible by exploring technical innovations. Here, thanks to the “TYPE-1 production system we have developed clothes that can adapt to body curves, lifestyle… For a long time, the idea in fashion was to manufacture a design for all customers, but that does not work. Each person is unique. In addition each person changes throughout time. The goal of Haute Couture today is to understand these particular identities. The real inculsivity, that of the future, will be born if everyone is free to repair and personalize their clothes. What is luxury? Constantly adapting the garment to what we are. In addition, it helps to keep the garment – to change our relationship to consumption and thereby change the speeds that regulate the world of fashion. “
How can one write the history of Haute Couture to come? In Yuima Nakazato’s case, it is a question of taking into account both its historical dimensions (its past), the importance of an aesthetics prone to dream and the quality of the materials, their capacity to subsist. In short, a work that must last, that must be composed of materials of the highest quality and with an aesthetics capable of metamorphosing – because the temporality of tastes and objects does not survive. To never tire, and to respect slower life cycles, mutation is at the heart of this luxury. Combination of a moral ethic and an aesthetic: luxury is a dream, but also a practice. So at Yuima Nakazato’s, the aesthetics of the show, the choice of the venue, as its staging transports us out of the world, while offering clothes with functions that meet our daily and practical uses.
So Haute Couture, like any other area of society, has to respond to the idea of fashion – the idea of change. Raised up in the pyramid of dreams, it must become an indicator, a role-model that will inspire “fashion” and the ready-to-wear system of tomorrow. From here comes the change and “the writing of a new future, a future for the long term”, as Yuima Nakazato concludes.