Creative wunderkind Charles de Vilmorin’s vivid imagination continued to provide rich inspiration. Showing off calendar, he created a world that was part Tim Burton-esque science fiction, part commedia dell’arte, peopled with distorted, otherworldly creatures that seemed to have been snatched from the tortured pages of a comic book.
“I wanted to do something a bit crazy this time, and I thought of a story, like a planet that is destroyed and rebuilt by aliens,” he explained. “There are a lot of pieces that play with the dimensions of the body to make them inhuman, and these aliens come and re-people the planet with color and joy.”
Like abstract artworks, his elaborate pieces, painted largely by hand on patternmaking canvas, encouraged introspection. One dress with a pleated taffeta skirt had a bodice that looked like a beaked creature, with leg-of-mutton sleeves as its wings. Other designs had protective elements — a taffeta dress could be seen to evoke a tent, a painted hooded number a space suit essential for protection in a post-apocalyptic world.
De Vilmorin said that while it had been a privilege to be one of very few young designers on the couture calendar for three seasons, going off-schedule this time had allowed him more creative freedom and the possibility to center on a selection of looks. “It was fantastic but you need to be up to scratch,” he said. “I feel freer, too; I was really honored, but I wanted to look at things a little differently.”