Paris Fashion Week blurs the line between runway and performance

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PARIS – Blurring the line between fashion and performance, Japanese house Issey Miyake for Homme Plisse used a group of acrobats who squirmed, danced and seemingly courted death for the spectacular Paris Fashion Week men’s show.

Here are some of the most interesting events on Thursday at the spring-summer 2023 shows in Paris.

In brilliant shades inspired by flowers and vases, the models mingled with the performers inside the recently renovated La Poste du Louvre for this unusual and delicate exhibition of fashion design through dance.

From a hidden platform high above the courtyard runway, the dance troupe suddenly stood up in the middle of the show and gasped from the audience. In pastel colors, loose-fitting pleated garments, the performers then descended a ladder, before performing jumps, falls and overturns that defied death. The performers were thrown into the air like missiles, to be caught by dancers across the courtyard. There was no safety net over the hard stone floor.

The show was directed by Rachid Ouramdane of the Théâtre National de Chaillot, with a team of acrobats, Compagnie XY.

Fashion itself was soft in comparison. Gradual curves on the neck and midsole mimicked the shapes of vases with beautiful weight that created a dynamic silhouette. The pleated pastel red tunic was paired with a short jacket, with panels on the chest reminiscent of an Asian warrior. Elsewhere, a colorful dandelion vest carried pockets with nails that unfolded like a flower opening.

Color blocking was also a strong theme – with pastel purple in contrast to blush and black on one look, and pastel yellow and midnight blue on the other. It was a strong comeback on the runway for Homme Plisse in Issey Miyake.

OLD EGYPT RICK OWENS

American designer Rick Owens dived into the ancient world for inspiration, returning after a stay in Egypt and a visit to the Edfu Temple on the Nile.

Often a philosopher, Owens said that his “personal worries … were petty confronted with this kind of timelessness.” In recent seasons, he has commented on the impact of the pandemic on fashion and beyond – and has accepted closure as a time for introspection.

Owens has always had an aesthetic riff on the clothes of ancient Egypt, with togas, curtains and high priestess styles adorning his runways. But on Thursday’s show, he picked up a dial for a very personal look at such silhouettes.

“Lying in the dust with the Valley of the Kings in sight was a perspective I liked,” he said.

Like the long stone carvings on the ancient temple, the silhouettes were elongated with layered garments to lower the lower part of the head. The dark wide pants were so long that the fabric ran along the stone steps as the models walked through the Palais de Tokyo. This created a funky surreal effect.

“Extreme shoulders” – huge and rounded – created this atmosphere of an Egyptian priest, tailored by an American fashion master from silk chiffon, sharp cotton and glittering plaid.

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