I watched the show. I’ve looked over the photographs several times. I’m still not sure how to describe this Vionnet collection to you other than mysterious.
Goga Ashkenazi has a thing for the dramatic. Last season, she put tulips on every seat and the runway set was infused with the flowers. If she would do that for a fall/winter collection, surely she would top it for spring, perhaps with roses?
No. Instead, what we got was hot, humid, and sweaty. I don’t think it was necessarily intentional, either. The day had been on the pleasant side, but then one of those little showers popped up, the kind that doesn’t really do anything but make the planet steamy. There was no air conditioning. Egg-shaped invitations came in handy as fans. Jackets were off. Hair was wilting and with each minute that passed more people were wondering whether they might just slip out and skip this one, except that Goga was almost certainly going to do something inspired.
At least models had the benefit of wearing largely sheer, light weight fabrics, though, given they were under very bright spot lights I rather doubt that helped any. Those who are fans of DC Comics will understand when I say the scene looked rather like a parade from Paradise Island, the birthplace of Wonder Woman. With their hair pulled severely back in high pony tails and sheer gowns that were like a cross between Greek goddesses and Amazon warriors, one might easily imagine a tribe of beautiful women preparing to defend their homeland.
Or maybe I was just dreaming.
There are more gowns here than dresses, and more sheer chiffon than any other fabric. Visible under many of the gowns were elaborate garters, which were quite attractive and made for an interesting look. Then, there were the leather straps across the shoulders and chests that were sort of like harnesses of some sort, but with no indication as to exactly why. Belts with large plates on them seemed battle ready and sandals with straps coming up the legs were just reminiscent enough of Roman gladiators to cement that battle like image. The looks were long, flowing, beautifully draped, extremely elegant …
… And about as impractical as anything I’ve seen Goga produce. Beautiful, by all means, but this is special event costuming and outside ComiCon I’m not sure where else one might wear these ensembles.
Then came the finale walk, where shadows danced on the wall behind the models as the models walked in white gowns that seemed to be composed of giant spider webs. We weren’t sure if the heat was making everyone delirious, or if this were some fantastic fantasy Ashkenazi created.
Goga Ashkenazi is one of the most creative people on the planet and this collection, inspired she says by the ballet of Piero Manzoni, was easily the most ethereal and fantastic of any I’ve seen. And if I’m dreaming, don’t bother waking me; I can use the sleep.
Photo credit: Guillame Roujas