A black-clad Kaia Gerber opened the 1017 Alyx 9SM show, held on the seventh floor of the former headquarters of French newspaper Libération, to a crowd of enthusiasts including Blood Orange front man Dev Hynes.
The collection was somber — half of the silhouettes were fully black looks — but that only forced the eye to linger on the well-crafted details of Matthew Williams’ second Paris show.
“I don’t really design in themes, so it’s more an evolution of the aesthetic of Alyx and the different fabrics and materials that we’ve done in the past,” the designer said backstage, wearing a cross-body bag featuring the signature buckle he designed for Kim Jones’ Dior Men.
The ubiquitous buckle was developed this season into its first molded nylon version, which is lighter than the metal one and allowed for different applications. Women wore them around their necks, either on bare skin or over a high-collared knit.
Williams, who is part of Kanye West’s posse, continued to push the boundaries of garment crafting in this highly technical collection. (Williams and West go way back: The designer was art director of Donda, West’s creative agency, and cofounded the DJ and art collective Been Trill with Heron Preston and Virgil Abloh.)
Transparent jackets were sonic-welded, meaning the seams were done using sound waves and vibrations merging the layers together. “I got the idea from the packaging industry,” explained Williams explained. “We developed our own wheel that applies it to clothing, but it only really works in straight lines.”
Sleeveless leather jackets with large zip-up front pouches were both practical and desirable. Denim came heavily distressed, while puffer jackets were pleasantly voluminous — a liquid-looking black down jacket was particularly eye-catching. Roll-dyed camouflage prints, streaked with bleach, were created in partnership with Italian fabric specialists Majocchi.
The looks were piled on with accessories. The models wore baseball caps or chain headbands, and held an array of different bags: sleek leather totes, mini satchels, cross-body pouches and voluminous duffle bags. Some shoes came with detachable soles.
Sustainability is still a major concern for the brand. Recycled fishing line from Scandinavia was transformed into Econyl fabric used to craft some of the technical pieces. Jersey tops were created from textile waste and plastic bottles. “As we get new information and meet new suppliers, we always try to work on things differently,” Williams said. “We’re constantly trying to figure how to do business responsibly.”