Paris Women’s Fashion Week S/S 2020 Part 4
This is the end, beautiful friends. The Spring/Summer 2020 collections are about to draw to an end. After all, we are talking about clothes for a new decade. 2020 is near and PFW is reaching its end with really strong shows chasing one another. And an unexpected highlight from newcomers Kwaidan Editions.
Kwaidan Editions S/S 2020
The last day of Paris Fashion Week is always devoted to the biggies — Chanel, Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton — the can’t-miss headliner heritage brands that have the history, marquis design talent and corporate megabucks with which it’s all but impossible for a fledgling brand to compete. So it was rather impressive that relative newcomer Kwaidan Editions managed in the span of six short seasons to build enough intrigue to draw a substantial crowd of industry insiders who’ve been run ragged over the past month to its spring show, held Tuesday between Chanel and Miu Miu. The collection was worth skipping your second or third coffee of the day for.
Designers Léa Dickely and Hung La have presented a clarity of vision from the beginning, and they make it more direct with each collection. The look is strikingly stripped down with obvious influences from Nineties minimalism, sci-fi and electronic music, as well as Dickely and La’s former employers, which include Céline, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen between them. The combination of the designers’ resumes, their forthright point of view and the fact that nothing remotely interesting stays underground for long in fashion these days garnered Kwaidan Editions major industry attention from Day One — it was shortlisted for the 2018 LVMH Prize.
For spring, Dickely and La treated the sophisticated but slightly strange signatures they’ve quickly established — oversized shirts with exaggerated collars, suiting and trenches with tweaked shoulders — with a new softness.
Conceived as an “Epilogue” to last season’s rave-inspired Nocturnal collection, La noted that spring was “about stepping into the light in the metaphorical sense and in terms of the colors.”
Pastel blue and pink, stone-colored khaki and ivory were derived from Belgian painter Luc Tuymans’ palette. Silhouettes were more fluid, including an ivory suit with an accentuated waist and slinky pants. Fabric treatments skewed shiny on red and black trenches. And for the first time, the lineup included dresses — Nineties satin pastel apron dresses, slinky sheer styles and a very nice house dress in a Seventies floral print. There were shoes, bags and jewelry too.
Dickely and La’s strength is their ability to transform pieces to the left of basic, rendering them a bit off yet elegant. The clothes sit on the periphery of street wear with their edge and elevation of the everyday, yet the look is distilled beyond street. That’s what makes it interesting. “It was really a process of letting go of the narrative,” said La. “It turned out quite fresh and modern.” Agreed, and we’ll keep watching to see where it goes.