PARIS, France — Fashion as performance has become par for the course at many fashion labels. It’s a way of pushing the narrative of a collection, whether or not the clothes it contains hold new ideas or interest themselves. Fortunately for Stephane Ashpool, his label Pigalle proffers moments of both, which is why they made sense when shown in a Paris dance studio (Merce
Cunningham’s, to be precise) on models and dancers whose very demeanor seemed to be lifted by the joyful, jazzy pieces he dressed them in (not to mention their plastic helmet wigs and pearl-studded jawlines!).
Ashpool’s collection was paraded in three themed sequences, all rich with fancy techniques applied to predominantly easy sportswear shapes. They ran from devoré shirting to fil coupé or tie-dye trousers and the reflective sheen of plastic paneling on teddy jackets and slashed coats. Joining glittery denim and splotchy cowhide pieces, the latter erred on the side of costume — some with a whiff of Oskar Schlemmer’s 1922 Bauhaus ballet — though that was more than likely on purpose. Their counterpoint came in a lineup of supplementary models in hoodies and sweatshirts who appeared during the designer’s ‘family portrait’ show finale, showcasing what is no doubt the commercial bread and butter of this quirky Parisian streetwear phenomenon.