The scene at the Koché show was the mother of all mash-ups. Fashion editors stood shoulder-to-shoulder with local residents in a covered passageway in central Paris known for its ethnic restaurants and barber shops offering 7 euro haircuts. In the back of the crowd, a bearded slacker smoked a joint.
It was a fitting setup for a brand known for blending streetwear with couture craftsmanship, and indeed, the atmosphere was electric. The models — a mix of friends of designer Christelle Kocher and professionals like Soo Joo Park — exuded a mix of girl-next-door approachability and cooler-than-thou attitude.
To a throbbing soundtrack, they flew by at warp speed in the label’s signature high-low combinations: Bouffant-sleeve silk blouses encrusted with patches of lace; shredded sweaters dense with surface decoration and baggy jeans with patchwork tops, many incorporating blown-up photos of motocross riders.
While the pace of the display gave it a sense of urgency, it did nothing to spotlight the extraordinary craftsmanship that went into the outfits.
Kocher tapped Maison Lemarié, the Chanel-owned specialty atelier where she has been artistic director since 2010, for outfits including a sequined vest top trimmed with ostrich feathers and paired with extra-large jogging pants.
Lesage, another house in the Chanel stable, was behind the 3-D embroidery on a mesh turtleneck, worn with black velvet and jersey track pants. “This is my nod to Marlene Dietrich,” Kocher said in the backstage area, a neighboring photo studio.
“Rather than having a single theme running through the collection, I wanted the outfits to be like characters to highlight the individuality of each girl,” she added. Mission accomplished: The show had a raw energy that left its audience stoked. Here’s hoping there’s a resee.