“Architecture versus nature,” Goga Ashkenazi said backstage, showing off long leather skirts pleated to mimic the fractal roof of the Yokohama airport, and the tulip appliqués fronting bustier dresses and tops.
Vionnet’s owner and creative director went all out for her production: a tent in the Tuileries, 20,000 fresh tulips and TV static projected onto the crinkled paper walls, meant to evoke the patternmaking at the heart of this heritage house.
The opening looks in felt — a wink to typical Russian winter boots and Ashkenazi’s roots in Kazakhstan — had a cozy, if quirky allure, the stiff bodices yielding to knife-pleated skirts tinted on the edges to resemble pinstripes. In a similar vein were oversize and ever-so-slightly grunge-y Aran sweaters in mohair, mink tops streaked with neon stripes and fuzzy, socklike shoes.
Unfortunately, the collection became more and more faux-eccentric and not in a good way, culminating with lime-green scarf pants, waffle-knit boiler suits and clothes pretending to be cardboard. Before it went completely off the rails, Ashkenazi steered back onto firmer terra and closed with a few color-blocked bias-cut gowns.