Guests walked into the first of the Paris Fashion Week shows with a weary tread. Many editors, having seen shows earlier that day in Milan — or who flew in overnight from New York — were clearly fogged arriving at Anthony Vaccarrello's show on Tuesday afternoon; many others won't arrive until later in the week. Perhaps knowing this, designers who presented collections on Tuesday upped the performance element of their shows. Here's what caught our attention.
1. Jacquemus's horse-and-ball performance art
Simon Porte of Jacquemus is no stranger to the effects a bit of theater can add to a collection's buzz; last season, the self-taught LVMH "Special Prize" winner drew some wagging fingers for showing excessive nudity on the runway. On Tuesday evening, the designer brought industry members to a large tent space, where a ring of seats was arranged around a single spotlight. The show opened not with a model, but with a young girl — his cousin — in an oversized oxford shirt pushing an enormous ball of red cloth; she appeared again later, stumbling as she pulled a giant red necktie across the space. In another interlude, the designer, barefoot, led out a magnificent white horse. In between were the clothes: deconstructed suiting cut into quarters or halves and reassembled asymmetrically in a palette of navy, red, black, white and grey. We liked the flattening effect of a short white dress folded like paper, and Jacquemus's signature bright circles pinned to coat lapels and shirt sleeves. Still, it was the performance bits that had people talking.
2. Anthony Vaccarello's adventurous slits
Anthony Vaccarello is known for his sexy designs — that, and his superb tailoring were among the reasons Donatella Versace tapped him to head up the Versus Versace line, shown in London less than two weeks ago. The military-inspired spring 2016 collection he showed for his own label on Tuesday showed a lot of leg, taking the conventional thigh-high slit and moving it further up the hip, widening it and showing much more skin (and no, the models were not wearing underwear). All 0f that exposure made a white and porcelain blue oxford paired with jeans the most surprising look.
3. Anrealage's illusory reflections
Jacquemus wasn't the only one to invest in show theatrics this season. Arriving at Anrealage's show on Tuesday, guests were instructed to don a pair of headphones, turn on the flash of their mobile phones and take pictures as the clothes moved around the square-shaped runway inside the Palais de Tokyo. The theme was "reflect," and when the flash of hundreds of phones went off, the kaleidoscopic patterns on Anrealage's mostly white clothes were revealed. The shapes were kaleidoscopic too: dresses were cut in half so that the skirt was a perfect mirror of the top, and shirt fronts were arranged into fourths to form wide, squarish dresses. The theme was carried to the shoes, which had double soles that made the models look like were walking on a reflective surface, and to the handbags and the earrings, which hung in doubles. Between these more conceptual offerings were real clothes: feminine shirtdresses in white and grey, and dressy rompers and jumpsuits with cape sleeves. During the finale, the lights went off, showing that the clothes were not only reflective, but glowed in the dark. It was gimmicky, maybe, but it held our attention the whole way through.