Ami: Homage to the City of Light
It was extraordinarily difficult for guests in Paris to see any clothes at the Ami show on the Seine on Saturday night yet, counterintuitively, the event felt like a triumph for the brand.
The house’s founder and majority owner Alexandre Mattiussi invited the Gotha of hipster French fashion players on to a river boat to witness this Spring-Summer 2021 collection – Elle and Marie Claire editors-in-chiefs, self-satisfied Right and Left Bank influencers. Then he sailed them a few hundreds yards and anchored, creating a boatside front-row about 50 meters away from the cast. Who marched along the historic Quai Henri IV, where despite multiple arc and spot lights, most every model – seen from the vantage of the boat – was in the dark. Ami also projected the show in Times Square and almost certainly New Yorkers got a better look at the collection 3,625 miles away than any Parisians did.
And yet this show was a clever celebration of la mode parisienne. Precisely because it was a gutsy effort to celebrate life in the midst of the gloomiest year experienced by many people on our planet. So there was fist pumping and full-throated cheers when Mattiussi took his bow amid a line of 45 models along the river bank at 9.15 PM.
Partly also because the backdrop shouted "Belief in the Future!" Two towering cranes above the soon-to-open David-Chipperfield-designed, 56-meter-high hotel, whose rooftop club will offer exceptional views. A formerly drab bureaucratic building being converted into a hip new space in City Hall’s Reinventing Paris project.
Thankfully, inside the péniche – that’s French for river boat – Alex had installed screens so one could actually see the collection. A mega-check array of polished but never uptight Parisian style, seen by hundreds of fans standing on bridge and riverbank.
"Paris belongs to everyone who loves it, so the idea of inclusion was at the heart of this show," explained the designer.
For next summer’s parties, Ami would like gals to dress in fluid crepe halter-neck dresses, spruce blazers worn with below-the-knee skirts, voluminous ruffled shirt-dresses, military safari jacket dresses, or mega-polka-dot shorts.
For guys – micro leather bomber jackets over tablecloth check shirts, Pacific blue calico pants with matching raincoats, and some attention-grabbing check dusters and linen suits.
Mattiussi rarely takes that many risks with his clothes; but generally does with his shows, staging them under bridges or in unexpected locations. And this season, with most people unable to see his collection, he managed to pull off, in the midst of another looming lockdown, a real fashion moment.
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