Whose idea was it to stage a public fashion show during evening rush hour in one of the busiest Metro stations in Paris?
Christelle Kocher has made a habit of these inclusive street happenings, which add to the hip aura of her Koché line. But with the French capital on edge from repeated terrorist attacks, the plan — or lack thereof — was ill-advised, not to mention potentially dangerous.
The show was held under the brand-new canopy of the Forum des Halles shopping center, on a concourse that also serves as an exit from the underground mall and Châtelet-Les Halles station, through which 750,000 people pass daily.
Security guards stopped commuters at the top of an escalator to let models pass, but bottlenecks quickly formed and they were forced to release the crowd onto the improvised runway — blocking the view of invited guests and members of the public, who had sat on steps for 40 minutes waiting for the display to start.
The set-up made it virtually impossible to take in the clothes, even though many of the outfits whizzed by several times. It was a shame, because a backstage perusal before the show revealed a wealth of ornate creations in Kocher’s signature blend of streetwear and couture.
For the most part, she stuck to trusty staples: raver-inspired dress-over-pant combos, sheer lace-embroidered blouses and a chubby feathered cape embroidered by Maison Lemarié, the Chanel-owned specialty atelier where she has been artistic director since 2010.
Her gender-fluid cast wore baggy jeans or track pants, paired with work boots from her recent collaboration with Adieu. An oversize T-shirt, a short-sleeved shirt and a pretty blush-pink camisole were lavishly embroidered with feathers, sequins and Swarovski crystals.
Yet despite the exquisite craftsmanship, there was a sense of déjà vu to the event. It’s time for Kocher to graduate to a new format — one that preserves her label’s naïve energy while doing justice to her work.