“As a designer, what guides you is the world. What happens after 10 months of lockdown? You want freedom, people, seduction — and a party,” said Alexandre Vauthier as he presented his spring couture collection — the fourth designed under varying degrees of restrictions — in his Paris showroom.

And a party it was. Filmed in the legendary club “Le Palace,” the season’s film brought together a Parisian crowd dressed to the nines and more than ready to cut loose. “This enforced period of isolation showed that we need others to live. Mixing people together is the key to social harmony, and you don’t have to adapt to codes. Just looking or being different doesn’t mean we can’t get along,” he said.

That come-as-you-are approach translated into a lineup that looked like a cross-section of feminine archetypes. Mingling on the dance floor were the professional woman glamming up her well-cut cropped trouser suit with gold pointed boots; glam rockers in a pair of glittering body suits; a tomboy, looking sharp in a vest, white T-shirt and leather trousers. A cascade of silver fringes worn with matching boots felt just as showstopping as a minimal look topped with a pristine cocoon coat.

References were diffuse, blending into a unified vision of high-octane glamour with a late 1980s tinge. “Fashion is a reflection of its time, and a vocabulary. What I wanted to spell out was a message of optimism by presenting an idealized moment of freedom, joy, beauty and sharing,” Vauthier said.

In the light of day, the work of the specialty ateliers took center stage. Minidresses that looked like sharp puffs of ruffles were crafted from delicate pleats painstakingly assembled into shape. Flared trousers were embroidered in multicolored sprays of beads and crystals, edged in marabou feathers. A vinyl-effect coat revealed its fabric to be a liquid-feeling silk. “I like to twist codes that are culturally inscribed in couture,” he said. “It’s never about making a literal copy of the past with nostalgic regrets. You have to use the past to move forward.”

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