It was clear after Vionnet’s spring runway show that creative director Goga Ashkenazi was out of her depth. She enlisted Hussein Chalayan — who had recently designed two of Vionnet’s demi-couture collections — to join the ready-to-wear design team in an ongoing contributing capacity, beginning with spring.
Chalayan’s input made a clear difference for the better, as the house pleating and draping was handled with far more subtlety on powdery goddess gowns and tops cut with a floor-length pleated panel down the front and paired with pants to signal evening modernity.
There’s always room for improvement. Chalayan is known for his love of the conceptual. There’s no telling if the sheer, full-body capes that were pointlessly worn over many of the looks were his doing or a collaborative effort, but the netting effect added nothing. In fact, it vexed in the case of the floor-length encasements that didn’t have armholes, as if the model had walked off wearing the dress and its garment bag.