Guests did not know what to expect when they saw the maze of hemp growing in tall spindly stalks on the makeshift, sand-covered show space at the Paris Event Center. Happily, it wasn’t a reference to Stephen King’s 1980s horror film “Children of the Corn,” but rather a nod to the Coperni designers’ eco-ambitions — and to the sensuality of summer.
Designers Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer, who married over the summer on the Greek island of Hydra, were still feeling the heat — and breathing the salt air — for this fun, boho-glam collection. They referred to it as “Spring Summer 2033,” because “it’s about our hopes and dreams for the future — the last few months have been very difficult,” Meyer said ahead of the show.
They’re certainly dreaming big. The collection had just the right dose of whimsy, from the delicate layers of white shells that covered tiny skirts and bikini tops to the iridescent sequins sprinkled over crop tops, to the spiraling ruffles on featherlight chiffon minidresses.
There was a mermaid angle, too. Models in silver-encrusted bodysuits and long skirts shimmered like exotic sea creatures, while black minis and trousers shone with glittering swirls or starburst patterns.
The designers cleverly offset all that shine and flutter with smart tailoring: They paired chic little cape tops with trousers, and even put a fresh spin on the jacket, lopping of the top and adding a tortoise link chain around the neck. Models could wear the jackets like halter tops, or sling them sideways across their backs “like a surfboard,” Vaillant said.
So where did the hemp fit in? The duo said they’re working with Italy’s Limonta Group on developing hemp-based fabrics. “It’s a plant for the future — it absorbs tons of carbon dioxide, and can be used to make oil, gin and cotton-like fibers,” Meyer said.
Despite the brand’s green intentions, the set was confusing, at first.
“Emily in Paris” star Camille Razat, dressed in a pretty A-line from the label, looked around dubiously before the show. She blamed her latest role, as a psychiatrist with bad luck, for getting lost in the hemp.