Body-bag couture – in raw silk no less – was on show at Vionnet SS16.
True to Form
Madeleine Vionnet invented the bias cut dress, and that is what the ‘updated’ brand’s collection focused on this SS16. Indeed, it would be an odd occurrence to remove this defining feature from a brand which is famed for such, but with its array of long, flesh-tone gowns which flowed over bodies like a Grecian breeze, it felt as though the only option left open was to pair each look with a kind of nude calf-laced platform-ish sneaker – perhaps clutching at straws. In luxurious silks, bodices were woven in large form, while a kind of raw silk body bag in matching pastel earth tones enrobed the whole look, as if the dresses were too delicate to be exposed to oxygen. The creative team – which now includes the genius Hussein Chalayan – seemed to understand the ethos of the house in more depth this season however, and it would be difficult to put a 2015 spin on a brand that was so ahead of its time at its inception.
Although delicate in garment composition, the attitude proffered by the stoic clan of models added a refreshing edge to a brand centred upon ‘femininity’ in its expected form. The leader of this fierce clan was the jaw dropping Anna Cleveland, who looked like an Alabaster sculpture swooping through the old nunnery, in Paris’ iconic Saint-Germain to the sound of a live miniature orchestra. Beneath the layers of attitude, and swathing silks, were beautiful plissé trousers, which clung to the leg and kicked out over the sneakers – these were sensational, and a true ready to wear moment. Stones were sewn into the hems of some of the dresses – the weight of beauty perhaps? Bags were T-shaped and super sellable, while huge gold swirling accessories sat in the hair, the ear, and the bust – more Greece, more glamour. Overall the collection was expected, but – of course – stunning.
Photography: Thurstan Redding
Words: Tom Rasmussen