Ever since Chanel and Dior put sneakers on the couture runway, athletic influences have sprinted through fashion almost as fast as Usain Bolt. They seemed forced in an otherwise serene Vionnet show, executed almost entirely in white and cream.
Models paraded a long, gently arching runway, their shadows projected on a wall beside them, occasionally leaping into a pirouette. “Her spirit is dancing,” creative director Goga Ashkenazi explained backstage, standing near a mood board plastered with gorgeous photos of Isadora Duncan suspended in midair amid swirls of chiffon and jersey. “It’s all about the movement of the clothes.”
Strip off the leather backpacks, the acrylic wrestling belts and the sporty gladiator boots and there were some fine jersey gowns with Grecian draping. A lingerie subtheme proved another hazardous detour, with poorly placed sheer portholes on some frothy numbers that revealed more than garter belts.
Yet you have to admire Ashkenazi’s enthusiasm for the storied brand, famed for the bias cut. She said she secured a “spectacular” location on the Rue Francois 1er for her first Paris store, with space enough to accommodate a couture atelier upstairs. She noted that Vionnet might take a pause from the high-fashion calendar in the transition but did not rule out future collaborations with Hussein Chalayan, who designed two demi-couture collections.