Worried that AI is coming for you? So is Alphonse Maitrepierre.
For his “Time To Listen” fall collection, the Parisian designer’s starting point was a desire to materialize the divide between humans and nature, by the way of the Shishigami forest spirit from the Shinto religion and popularized by cult animation film “Princess Mononoke.”
And then, in a bid to remove the human element from the equation, Maitrepierre started to play around with generated prints, although the prospect of AI “terrifies him,” he said.
But the initial renderings didn’t quite hit the spot. “So we tried to trick the matrix by adding feelings — a bit cheesy but [words like] love, poetry, nostalgia. It made a huge impact,” he said.
This yielded prints that hit the right note between uncanny and realistic, but also a handful of opening looks that looked like the body had been wrapped in pink-tinged petals, in what he deemed a generative collaboration between nature and technology.
“It really tells us that we shouldn’t be afraid and just need to use technology wisely,” he said, name-checking the utopian solarpunk movement Studio Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki helped establish.
But the standouts of this lineup executed in a palette inspired by the light throughout the day — from morning whites to sun-saturated oranges and nighttime hues — were the looks in which Maitrepierre mixed his human-tried and tested tailoring with organic flourishes.
These included a cropped denim jacket with a collar blooming into a sculptural flurry; petal-sleeved coats that skimmed the body; and a beige blazer with lapels unfurling around the neck like a nascent leaf, with trousers wrapping around the hips and legs.
Paired with jewelry by Paris-based designer Colombe d’Humières, who dips flowers and plants in metal, they showed a fresh direction that could see Maitrepierre find his place in the sun.