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Published
Sep 29, 2020
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Paris Fashion Week opens virtually with calendar debuts

Published
Sep 29, 2020

Paris Fashion Week opened, with an entirely digital Monday, as a half dozen designers, many of them making their French debuts, kicked off the runway season here in the capital.
 

Mame Kurogouchi - Spring/Summer 2021 - Paris


Mame Kurogouchi
Japanese designer Mame (pronounced Mamé) Kurogouchi ignited the action on the calendar with a touching video of a single model captured through a window built within a translucent shoji wall in her hometown of Nagano.
 
Kurogouchi specializes in truly sensitive and feminine avant-garde fashion. This season that meant pleated skirts with see-through tops, visible bras, big hoop earrings and cloche hats all in matching soft white. Or statuesque Roman empress dresses made in caramel canvas and superb dentelle schoolmarm looks. The lone model then spray-painted the entire windowpane, bringing the action to a close.

Wales Bonner
One of the most talented names to have emerged from British menswear in the past half decade is Grace Wales Bonner, whose work is about ennobling the experience of her ancestors from the Caribbean and Africa in a meeting of their cultural references with sophisticated Western tailoring.
 
There wasn’t a huge amount of fashion in this 5.25-minute clip, but what there was looked great – from the bravura assemblage of band leader tuxedo and baseball jacket to perfect revamps of jockey shirts and dandy knit bombers. All loosely inspired by that classic film, The Harder They Come, and all the better for that.
 
Entitled "Thinkin Home," and directed by artist Jeano Edwards, this was a first-rate fashion clip and an earthy and honest expression of the Bonner aesthetic. All mixed up with some great looks from her collab, Adidas Originals for Wales Bonner, seen on the opening youth who marched a fine bay mare steed along an oceanic beach.
 
Shot in and around Fort Clarence Beach, Jamaica, and in the lush vegetation above the strand, this marked the latest step in Bonner’s ascent from talented novice to genuine star.
 

Wales Bonner - Spring/Summer 2021 - Paris - Photo: Wales Bonner

 
Kimhekim
Though based in Paris, and Korean born, this designer actually shot his show-reel video in London and then edited it in Seoul.
 
And though he is known as something of a conceptualist, this was a collection of tailored merchandise, and the video clip was a fun-loving moment in a Victorian Hall in Middle England.

Kiminte Kimhekim is a competent tailor, a decent draper and has a smart sense of proportion. The models clearly enjoyed the shoot and a lot of gals will appreciate his arty mesh dresses in exotic bird and large leaf prints, as well as his mega button 19th-century military apparel. But, we’re afraid, this was not exactly an earth-shattering fashion experience.
 
Situationist
Greetings from sunny Georgia, where Situationist shot its online contribution in streets, markets and thrift shops, before a bemused assemblage of civilians. Featuring deep lilac satin pantsuits for gals and sinful red rock-poet suits for guys from Situationist designer Irakli Rusadze’s sixth appearance in Paris.
 
Cut with retro futurist chutzpah, attention seeking darts, 45-degree hemlines and quirky lapels and collars, this was certainly an inventive display of fashion by the most off-beat talent from the Black Sea to have made it all the way to Paris. Think Mary Quant meets Thom Browne.
 

Situationist - Spring/Summer 2021 - Paris


Cecilie Bahnsen
Pelle the Conqueror terrain – and why not? – to display the modern romanticism of Danish hopeful  
Cecilie Bahnsen. Giant dunes, remote beachside grass and lots of wind as the cast stomp across an unforgiving landscape.
 
Before suddenly making it into a giant urban studio, once again in Bahnsen Scandi-chic style, where everyone wants to look like a gallery owner, but comes across as a gallerina. Even if they are marching before a bluesy Baltic seascape at sunset in a video for some reason named "The Summit."
 
S.R. Studio. LA. CA.
S.R. Studio. LA. CA. is the fashion label of cult artist Sterling Ruby, whose friendship wit Raf Simons led him to found his own fashion business. 
 
"No sovereignty. No empathy... Tread on me... Soak me in bleach and blood… End the tyranny of the president’s grand dragon," intoned two narrators in the video presentation by the brand.
 
One solitary figure hunkered down in a courtyard, or prison yard, who rises to still hide behind a single sheet of denim canvas. 
 
Made in support of the ACLU, this was a meditation on Black Lives Matter, and a splendidly lit video, even if the political point was a tad obscure. Not much fashion but at least a stand for justice.
 

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