After picking the show venue, Paris’ Hôtel de Ville, Andreas Kronthaler said his starting point had been “the idea that workers would look great taking over City Hall.” But instead of a revolution, it was a brand-typical assortment of drapey dresses, corseting and artfully lopsided tailoring. Business as usual, or as the musical artist No Bra, who performed the show’s soundtrack in trousers from the collection and her hair à la Lady Godiva, put it: “Newness is not progress, progress is not newness.”
Still, the lineup held up to scrutiny. Parkas and blousons balanced out the proportions and drama of flowing skirts. Layers of sweaters and streamlined blazers came together without bulk for elongated silhouettes. A handful of shamanic looks with frothy headpieces owed their presence to a book the designer had read on folkloric characters said to end winter and expel evil — in the Westwood pantheon, those would be the things they fight against, like climate change.
Kronthaler often asks himself if anyone needs what he designs. Perhaps not, but there will be those who desire it.