NEHERA | THE AFTERMATH OF PARIS FASHION WEEK by Linda Loppa
LINDA LOPPA: ON BEAUTY, INSTINCTS AND THE LVMH PRIZE
What softly began two weeks ago with the Nehera show, ended on Friday in a day of strong feelings of admiration and disappointment, love and hate. Fashion weeks are never the same.
They are always challenging us because we have to remain receptive; to think, to judge, to analyse every aspect of a particular show; the before, during and after; discussing, watching and congratulating. This all has to be translated and understood as a package that’s pointing to the now, and also to the future. Reflecting on certain failures or rumours is just the beginning of understanding fashion. The rest is up to instinct, the sixth sense.
Let’s start with the LVMH Prize and my journey meeting the designers, some of whom are only just at the beginning of their careers. From the 19-year-old Canadian designer Vejas Kruszewski who has only made two collections to date, to the 35-year-old Japanese designer Hiromichi Ochiai from the brand Facetasm that has worldwide distribution.
As a judge of this Prize, I see that a critical attitude must be based on recognising talent and therefore creativity, along with a good concept, a strong statement and – in my opinion – excellent tailoring combined with a stable production capacity. My conversations with the designers were profound and in the end, I am quite happy with my selection because five of the finalists were in my short list. These are the eight designers selected in the final round of the LVMH Prize: Aalto, Alyx, Brandon Maxwell, Facetasm, Koché, Vejas, Wales Bonner, Y/Project. The winner will be announced on June 16th, at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
I mentioned instincts earlier, and during the last two weeks my sixth sense was at its peak during the presentation of Hedi Slimane’s 23th Collection as a couture celebration of the house of Saint Laurent.
Even though I only witnessed the show on-line, I experienced very strong emotions, initially of hatred when seeing Slimane’s silhouettes, and then eventually I fell in love with the last look whilst listening to the voice Bénédicte de Ginestous announcing each outfit. The vulgarity of the silhouettes was transformed into a vision of luxury with the help of fabrics, models and very high-heels, creating a tension now rarely felt at fashion week.
Another lovely moment was the beauty and kindness from Demna Gvasalia, when he personally invited me to his first show for Balenciaga. Along with Slimane, Gvasalia is part of the rebel crew of today’s fashion system. They have a voice, talent and manage to surprise press, buyers, fashion lovers, and us dreamers every season. I must add to this list of rebels Alessandro De Michele, who when sitting next to a satisfied Pinault at the Balenciaga show, played his role well as the enfant terrible of Italian Fashion.
To conclude these months in the aftermath Raf Simons’ Dior exit, the discussions of cancelling preview collections, and the Direct-to-Consumer model launched by Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger and other brands, the beauty of Paris Fashion Week completely silenced all other issues at hand. Personally, I can easily wait until September to buy my Balenciaga coat, my Dries Van Noten tuxedo jacket and my long Nehera layers. This is the reason why luxury garments exist! Beauty takes time.