The hemlines were mostly short; the headlines, uniformly grim. As the fashion world breezed from show to show, the tumbling global economy sent winds of unease and whispers of budget cuts through the industry. During Milan, there were still signs of fashion’s confident global march, with Bloomingdale’s confirming its expansion into the Middle East and the Dubai International Financial Center taking a majority stake in Kuwaiti retailer Villa Moda. But by the time Paris rolled around, the dark clouds had truly settled in. “The economy is going to affect everyone,” groused Carine Roitfeld, editor in chief of French Vogue.
While Yohji Yamamoto paraded simple, funeral-like black designs with an occasional glimmer of white thrown in, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its single biggest point decline on record. The next day, Comme des Garçons unveiled a collection titled Tomorrow’s Black, featuring dresses resembling deflated footballs under towering Marie Antoinette wigs. Jeremy Scott took the Antoinette metaphor further, twisting the French queen’s infamous quote into “Let Them Eat Gas.” “At the time of the French revolution, it was le pain (bread) that the people wanted, now it is le pétrole,” said the designer, who hammered his message home with a smattering of gas pump prints.
By midweek, as France’s intellectual daily, Le Monde, proposed “Crisis: What Europe Can Do,” the fashion industry sent out strong shoulders and overt sexuality. “It’s a sense of feeling empowered and in control at a time when the world economy is in such turmoil,” explained Lane Crawford’s fashion director, Sarah Rutson.
When the International Herald Tribune asked “Who do you trust now?,” Chanel answered by delivering a collection inspired by postrecession romanticism with a giant backdrop of the Rue Cambon facade, perhaps to reassure the industry that Chanel’s house, for one, is in order. And, in a not-so-subtle signal to keep spending, models swung 31 Rue Cambon–emblazoned leather shopping bags down the runway.
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s sparkling, sequined Visa Card dress presciently marked “Société Nationale” was ironically the best-selling piece from his collection. “Maybe because, in a time of crisis, people want to be close to their credit card,” the designer mused.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia