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PFW SS19 Day 7: Thom Browne, Balenciaga and Givenchy

PFW SS19 Day 7: Thom Browne, Balenciaga and Givenchy

Mind-bending regalia

Text: Cai Mei Khoo , Wei Yeen Loh

Thom Browne went nautical (with a dash of nonsensical charm), Balenciaga traipsed to the future, while Givenchy gave us androgyny

Thom Browne

Where: The Tennis Club de Paris, where pre-Hedi Celine shows were held, made for the perfect location for Thom Browne’s beach boardwalk scene, thanks to the large skylights overhead that allowed sunlight to flood in (thankfully I wore sunscreen). The set was complete with striped beach cabins, sand, multicoloured palm tree and lifeguard chairs marking each corner.

The Low-down: Think The Little Mermaid but fashion. The show opened with a few main characters who walked around the entire show - a mermaid (wearing a mermaid-cut skirt, what else?), a jellyfish, starfish, shellfish, shark and a seagull. As per his usual showmanship, the outfits were outrageously fun, in exaggerated silhouettes in a mix of fabrics. On a skirt, cowry shells that every other influencer has been wearing as necklaces, appear along a scale-like pattern, worn with a jacket covered in Thom Browne labels. Fruit prints (another key print this season) also featured extensively in the collection, on the clothes and accessories, and in some cases, worn as masks or on top of the model’s heads. Subtle punk influences worked their way into the collection - models had their arms bound together by lacing on the jackets, and in some cases almost the whole body, looking like a cocoon. Lips on some full face masks were also sewn shut, worn with shoes so vertiginous, models hobbled past. A fun, amusing, if slightly sinister collection.

Buro Loves: The whale print and check hybrid coat, pinstriped blazer with lobster motif on the back, the starfish dress with couture-level detailing, and metallic blazer worn by the ‘shark’.

 

Balenciaga

Where: The one-of-a-kind interactive show space, designed by digital artist Jon Rafman, allowed audience to soak up an immersive experience with the help of LED projections and lulling sounds. Guests sat around in a visually eviscerating tunnel, coupled with backdrops that transform with every few looks.  

The Low-down: Quite like the futuristic ambience of the show space, Demna Gvasalia took a similar approach in crafting the clothes, steering clear from streetwear references that was present throughout the past seasons. Silhoeuttes underwent a voluminous treatment, with hefty shoulder pads in coat-dresses and biker jackets, while shirts were reconstructed in the usual fashion with super long sleeves and popped collars (pulled back by the neck) that almost conceal the face. His idea of creating gender-fluid clothes is termed properly this season: "neo-tailoring"—think shirts and trousers in the same print and cut, available for men and women respectively.

Buro Loves: Some outstanding looks worthy of a double take include a red draped dress with a train and an exposed shoulder—deftly tailored from merely a length of silk, along with an edgy black leather jacket-dress that looked like something out of a modern-day Trinity's closet.

 

Givenchy

Who: The front row was decked with a handful of Hollywood A-listers, from Givenchy regular Rooney Mara and Amanda Seyfried to Anne Hathaway and Liv Tyler.

The Low-down: Clare Waight Keller dedicated this collection to a new muse this season: Swiss reporter and photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach whose non-traditional life and travels cemented her status as a cultural icon and inspiration to fellow intrepid adventurers. Known for her gender-fluid style, Schwarzenbach spent the entirety of life repping androgynous silhoeuttes and even a cropped, boyish hairdo—not your average look given the societal conventions back in the '30s. A smattering of menswear looks aside, the bulwark of the lineup was mostly inspired by Schwarzenbach's wardrobe—Waight Keller translated that with sleek tuxedo jackets paired with army-style trousers and evening gowns designed to daze rather than dazzle—thanks to floral prints in varied sizes, speckled from the midriff outwards. 

Buro Loves: Chic, moto jackets tucked in belted high-waisted pants that evoke an air of self-possession, and a one-sleeved, colour-blocked gown that made us fall in love with accordion pleats all over again. 

 

PFW SS19 day 7 in 10 pictures:

For more updates on Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019, click here

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