Photography by Artemis Pyrpilis / at Espace Commines, Paris. 26.09.2012.
Rain pouring outside. Clean, polished, white space inside. Men all over the room dragging cables, fixing them with black scotch on the corners of the walls, pushing equipment cases across the floor, installing the sound system, climbing on ladders to place the lights. Cases of champagne piled near the bar, mannequins being brushed with make-up on the inside balcony, production team running around with lists giving directions. Black benches aligned for the audience, photographers near the staircase, a wet crowd rushes in. White, strong lights shining upon a rectangular emptiness with two openings on the back wall.
Voices die away, minimal electronic music gives the pace in patterned beats, occasionally interrupted by mumbling. The models come through one door, make a quadratic walk around the room, and disappear through the other. Robotically moving on their leather strapped stilettos, in an air of decisive comfort, jewellery spurting on their faces. Hair is split in the middle of the head, pulled to the back forming long tails, facial characteristics eliminated by paleness.
Sleek, elongated silhouettes of soft tailoring blend with fluid drapes and casual cuts. A skeleton rib in thick leather, strapped on a chest, breaks through worn over a top with an elongated tail divided in two halves, and slim glazed trousers. Monochromatic pieces in black, tones of ivory, blue and grey in natural fibres of silk and cotton in various densities and textures. Fabrics often meet together on a single piece; a lace skirt buttons up on the waist of a coat, a rectangular panel of silk drapes on the front of a tailored jacket, embroidered tops and dresses bear leather as their upper panels. Often the seams run diagonally on the body to enhance moulding. Prints of exotic leaves on tunics with exaggerated angled cuts on the sides and bottom and ultra long dresses. The extra volume provides for gestural drapery and optional transformation.
same black, metal and silvery purple jewellery that cover their faces,
continue on waistcoats and tops, mixed with sequins, beads and stones in
traces of landscaping. The back of a waistcoat bears fringes made up of
beads waggling in each step. Long black straps of silk with lasered
ends on a high-necked top and an asymmetrical multi-panelled dress
submit an aerial movement to the collection. Dresses and tops integrate
with an extra half blouse draped diagonally as a loose tunic.
and long dresses lingering on the floor inject an ecclesiastic visual
element. Flowery-patterned lace dresses and wrapped-around skirts in
black or white outfits, draped instantly. Leather appears numerous times
in the forms of coats, waistcoats, trousers and square quilts; it even
serves as an embellishment technique: cut in squares and applied on silk
dresses. This concept continues as embroidered squares of plastic,
elliptically shaped sequins on a long silk dress with side high slits.
last bunch of girls spread themselves across the room in a military
alignment, facing the audience. Before the end a heavily embroidered
tunic with ripped ends, result of an assemblage of embellished pieces of
silk, gives the sense of elegance rescued from within a wreck. The last
one comes out with a black embellished long apron and an assorted
waistcoat worn over shaped trousers. She makes a circle around the
space, then walks amongst the rows, giving a silent command to the rest
of them to follow her exit march.
What was left was the evoked attraction of contrasting features; clean shapes blended with condensed textures, refined femininity in a raw attitude, pictorial and fluid visual elements mixed together. The sense of control in the somehow austere, female appearances, coming together with a the primitiveness from the suggested gestures of drapery, layering and detachable elements. No references; the aesthetics had the aura of something mystic in a contemporary context.