Isabel Marant: Post -pandemic, pre-Olympics
This season, Marant collaborated with dance troupe (La)Horde, a spunky gymnastic dance corps, letting them rip in metallic sportswear gear on a wooden floor built inside the city’s uniquely beautiful apartment and garden complex, the 17th-century Palais Royal.
It is probably the most famous square in the city, where the likes of Dennis Hopper, Bono, Jack Nicholson and multiple designers have been awarded the Légion d’honneur, where Danton plotted the French Revolution, where Colette penned her best works.
Guests arriving in a mist of dry ice witnessed a handsome couple on roller blades, the guy lifting the lady into the air in front of the office of the Minister of Culture inside the garden.
Marant opened the show with the Horde running, summersaulting and back-flipping as the first models appeared in rose-silver cargo pants, pink micro minis worn with breastplate-tunic ensembles, and voluminous fencing shirts worn with her signature cowboy boots. When on a date they varied from micro, crotch-high flamenco cocktails to dusty pink gowns, worthy of Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story. Lots of lithe limbs on display.
Even the guys in this mixed collection wore lilac metallic second-skin leather shirts, red poet’s blouses and carpenters pants with their tops tied around the waist.
The Horde, however, worked their stuff in boxing shorts, gym tanks and stretch jogging pants – getting into lots of steamy routines. Before a finale where dancers marched up onto a forest of hands, before acting like they had fainted, almost ecstatically falling into the waiting arms.
All of this earned a huge shout of approval when the designer took her bow. In a season where designers are grappling with how to respond to the pandemic, principally with clothing that underlines protection, it was good to see Marant emphasize physical wellbeing and the sheer joy of dance and sport.
"(La)Horde are a metaphor of a shifting world," said Marant, who received guests backstage wearing a plastic visor.
Before posing for photos with a colleague, Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, who sportingly turned up in a sweatshirt bearing the brand name Marant.
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