Couture shows are going down in Paree right now and so far, with a couple of exceptions—Iris!!! The Only Good Designer—they’re mostly a snooze of finery and chiffon (albeit, you know, couture-crafted). Alexandre Vauthier, though, the man who dresses the most interesting people on the red carpet, has gone further into the k-hole that is 1982 and trotted out his Grace Jones obsession for vampy inspiration. We’re all obsessed with Grace Jones, no?
While the silhouettes and leathers struck a note that landed somewhere between Max’s Kansas City and Dynasty, the ‘80s inspo wasn’t entirely literal, and moreso just embodied the spirit of sexuality that pervaded this type of New Wave, rich-bitch power dressing. He recast the runway as a nightclub complete with dancing cage and played a melange of dramatically synth-heavy pop songs as 4 a.m. killas stomped through in slouchy boots and wow, that horse-sized tartan bow-top. Tiny cateye sunglasses are dead, the new eyewear is a Nagel veil or shades that explicitly say “I am a virtuoso at the keytar.”
What’s the point of bringing back this kind of excess now? Maybe we’re just yearning for some untainted escapism—and a time when what was defined as cool wasn’t so wack. All I’m saying is, no one wore Lululemon to restaurants in the ’80s! What you wore in Jazzercize STAYED in Jazzercize!
Bella Hadid: she thinks she slick.
Bella, do you even Flock of Seagulls? Additionally, Vauthier fully nailed the period’s textile choices; I swear to you my mother had a bedroom set in that exact reflective taffeta, but in maroon rather than deep turquoise. As it stands, that jacket is effectively voluminous for going from club to boudoir.
This look—a gathering of tulle that is both precise and messy—says to me “fuck off, I’m in art school.” I love it!
There’s a touch of the icon Michelle Harper in here too—the wackiness, the androgyny, the adventurousness—which is partly why it feels so modern. Royal purple and tiny hats, come through! Vauthier is reminding us that couture doesn’t have to be such a somber, bullshit affair of self-seriousness.