PARIS, France — There was a change in the air at Schiaparelli this morning: a new venue (the Palais Garnier), a new stylist (Love magazine’s Katie Grand), and food artist Daniel De La Falaise’s Surrealist dinner cocktail ‘between friends’ to follow the show at Schiap HQ on the Place Vendome. All that buzz, yet the collection designed by Bertrand Guyon felt less new and more nostalgic, delving ever-deeper into Elsa’s whimsical storytelling – her very likeness staring out from the intarsia silk kaftan that floated down the runway obscuring model Erin O’Connor’s lithe silhouette with its voluminous sway.
Guyon told the season’s story through a cornucopia of animalia motifs that played as literally as a feathered dog’s head mask, a golden-winged cheetah, or a flamingo headdress – veritable flights of fancy compared to a simply chic crystal-slashed velvet bustier gown, or the subtlety of butterfly lace that vibrated all over a tableau of near-period gowns towards show’s end.
In velvet and grain de poudre wools, a liberal smattering of nip-waisted jackets positioned the show squarely in Schiaparelli territory – there was no mistaking the rolled shoulder and paneled Lesage embroideries that adorned these Thirties updates – and made a better case for cocktail wear than the gaudy satin draping that, headpieces or not, confused numerous looks with costume.
What's more, a handful of Guyon’s gowns were cut either so long or so tight that even Grand's pro casting had serious trouble working the room. Despite all the painstaking hours of exquisite craftsmanship that went into these designs, wardrobe mishaps like these stretched the show to breaking point.