PARIS, France — Lightness is on everybody's mind this season in Paris. No big news, honestly: the spring season calls for it, just as our times in general demand it. It makes for some uplifting energy, sometimes where you'd least expect it.
"I wanted to avoid any drama, and everything too overtly precious," said Alessandro Dell'Acqua backstage before the Rochas show. And so he did: bright colours, shiny materials — froissé velvet, crushed parachute silk, leather, satin — and little else. There was only one embroidered dress in the whole line-up, and draped pumps with a pearl clasp accessorising every look, but the rest of the story was about the juxtaposition of hues that were slightly acidic, like an El Greco painting, and truly entertained the eye.
Dell'Acqua's beloved billowy, tiered dresses, as well as his slightly more masculine field jackets and oversized bermudas were all there, but hollowed out from the inside, made weightless and free. The result was consistent and catchy. Not overtly innovative or particularly engaging, but certainly well made.
There are shows that put poor writers to the test, and Lemaire is certainly one. Give or take the stress on certain seasonal materials, or colours, everything is so pared down, so simple, so monotonous, you have the impression of always looking at the same show. Don't get me wrong: the product is wonderful, and greatly appealing. Seeing a woman in real life wearing it is a joy to behold. On the catwalk, however, it can all look a bit dull.
There was a tension between toughness and lightness. The first part of the show was an exploration of the colour black, in different textures and sharp lines, that looked incisive and focused. After that, it was lighter notes of grey, white and beige, for liquid dresses and elongated layers that felt familiarly Lemaire. All in all, this was a good outing. Again, nothing overtly exciting, but certainly light and well-made.