Chanel and Armani: Playing for Keeps in a Barbie World


PARIS — Lately it’s laborious to see any shiny pink merchandise of clothes and never suppose: “Barbie!”

Photos from the Greta Gerwig film, at the moment filming with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling (amongst others), have grow to be the social media dopamine hit of summer season — rife with plastic-y postmodern perfection and a possible revisionist narrative for the doll that codified gender stereotypes in a quazillion childhoods. In spite of everything, if ever a film was ripe to form trend, it could be this one, particularly now, when all that’s out there are a number of photos of the neon-clothed stars that look principally like loopy good enjoyable.

However that’s in all probability not what was going by way of Giorgio Armani’s head when he put a sequence of about 10 bubble gum pink appears in the midst of his Privé runway — although if there are development roundups (and you’ll guess there shall be), these will seemingly get swept up within the web. Mr. Armani’s Hollywood reference guide is much less popular culture and extra olde silver display glamour; again to the times of Champagne toasts and starry starry nights, a reminder of a distinct custom. One the place Kay Thompson shrieked “Think pink!” in “Funny Face,” fairly than Mattel.

That’s what Mr. Armani offered, anyway, in his first couture present in two years, which was successfully a tour by way of his personal biggest hits — those that reworked the pink carpet method again when — with liquid suiting in black velvet and silver, his Chinoiserie jacquards and a whole nightclub’s price of twinkling beaded clothes (he really known as the gathering Pétillant, French for glowing). He even constructed a duplicate of the theater in his Milan headquarters for the night in the midst of the Salle Pleyel live performance corridor on the Rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré, full with white-cushioned stadium seating.

After the pink interval, which included a loofah-like night cape and a slithery sequined pantsuit, got here some moody blues, all draped in fringe, swathed in satin peplums, bristling with frills and glimmering beneath the lights. On the finish, a single white look appeared within the type of a beaded T-shirt with matching vest atop some swishy silk trousers, like a punctuation mark for an period.

It was stuffed with gravitas and glitter, however lacking a way of enjoyable. Even on the couture, which might really feel heavy with cash and the accountability of preserving a practice of savoir-faire, that’s a mandatory ingredient.

See, for instance, the soft-sculpture constructivist creations that the artist Xavier Veilhan dreamed up for the doorway to the Chanel present: a sequence of huge child pink blocks, arches and spinning tops that reworked the equestrian heart within the Bois de Boulogne into one thing of an enormous’s sandbox and set the scene for what turned out to be one of many designer Virginie Viard’s lightest collections. One which dipped into home traditions with out making an attempt too laborious.

Gone have been the wannabe cool ’80s references she has favored since taking up the home; as a substitute, Ms. Viard was merely at play within the fields of Chanel, providing up slouchy, long-line silhouettes from slender little shoulder to mid-calf skirt in variations of the model’s signature bouclé, typically paired with boots and hats that had simply the trace of the cowboy about them. Combined up with metallic floral-print tea frocks (together with one in, sure, pink) and tulle trapeze clothes, they regarded low-key stylish with out being stiff.

Or see the last word plastic-fantastic imaginative and prescient of Julien Dossena at Paco Rabanne, one of many cluster of manufacturers (together with Alaïa and Patou — the latter of which additionally occurred to characteristic a whole lot of LPDs, or little pink clothes) that acted as kind of opening acts for the couture.

Utilizing latex, chain mail, PVC and lace, Mr. Dossena filtered the futuristic imaginative and prescient of the model’s founder by way of a dystopian lens to create a fetishy parade of slipdresses and grunge grounded by heavy fight boots and topped by babushka scarves. Some clothes regarded like armored tutus, others as if they’d been molded from melted Play-Doh. The materiality of the clothes was key, however so was the propulsive vitality.

If Barbie have been competing in “The Hunger Games,” that is what she may put on.


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