Waiters are cruising the still-empty catwalk bearing trays of champagne, chocolate lollipops, and little notepads that say Lanvin, and the song playing on the loudspeaker before the show begins is a souped up disco version of Don’t Make Me Over, which is pretty funny when you think about, because isn’t the whole point of these hundreds of runway shows, these endless fashion weeks, to make us over into something more fabulous, something more fascinating, something more astonishing to the eye?
I am so excited to be in Paris that I manage to swallow my disappointment that this particular Lanvin show does not feature the drapy, droopy Grecian formula Lanvin of my dreams. Instead, there are stiff dresses with curiously distended shoulders; some more of that fake monkey fur which has glutted all three fashion capitals (actually, though I wasn’t in Milan I suspect Mr. Monkey was, so make that four); and models wearing black wigs with scissor-cut bangs in an unwitting homage to Morticia Addams.
At the Martin Margiela show, the ushers are cloaked in those white lab coats members of his elusive enterprise always sport. Though it’s difficult to know who, in fact, is asking you to take this particular brand of medicine: the designer himself no longer has a hand in his namesake collection. (Even when he was at the helm, he was infuriatingly Wizard of Oz-like, forcing journalists to interview him by fax and answering with unilluminating Zen koan-like pronouncements issued anonymously by the house.)
That said, this particular show flaunts numerous Margiela touches: not just the magical quartet of white stitches anchoring the label that proves to your friends that, no this isn’t just any black sweater, but trousers that at first blush appear to have a tan stripe up the back which turns out on closer inspection to be bare flesh. If you are curious as to what happens when a backless pants leg ascends to the, ahem, heinie area—well so am I, especially since the first few examples are obscured by jackets. But it is soon revealed that a little half-embarrassed skirt is employed to restore modesty. In other news, there are wide-waisted skirts that make the top half of your body look like a plant emerging from a flowerpot, and a vast trapper hat with a full veil, as if Sarah Palin had decided to don a chador while still sporting the national headgear of Alaska.
At first I think that the models at Junya Watanabe are wearing super-wide chapeaux like the one Sally Fields sports in The Flying Nun (or, for you more literary types, like the soeurs wear in Ludwig Bemelmans’s Madeline) but it turns out it’s their hair, extended and teased to cartoonishly vast proportions. I am besotted with the infinite variety of army green coats and long pleated skirts here; even if you are not a fan of camo mixed with ballet tulle, I dare you to resist the nylon air force jacket, shrunken and rendered as tiny as a bolero, but with every detail reproduced in exquisite detail, as painstakingly as a miniature cathedral.
Thirteen years ago, Rei Kawakubo launched her notorious bump collection at Comme des Garçons, wherein the garments were distended with tumescent-like growths. Though almost universally reviled, Kawakubo hasn’t given up on the idea—this season she offers more padded bulges, some in that glistening polyester you can see gleaming from the last row. (I can personally vouch for this.) At first I think, enough with these yucky protuberances, these deconstructed bustles and swollen pinstripes. But then it dawns on me—at this point don’t most of us spend the winter in puffy coats anyway? Maybe we should stop trying to slim down these horrible down-stuffed monstrosities—a losing battle in any case—and just give in and make them even pouffier.
Most Viewed Stories
How Angelina Jolie Won the First Big Battle in Her Divorce
25 Famous Women on Being Alone
It’s Time to Get Over Your White Feelings and Start Taking Action for Black Lives
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Everything We Know About Brad Pitt’s Plane Incident
Jaden Smith on the Many Subtle Flavors of Water
Taylor Swift’s Squad Begged Kim Kardashian for Mercy
The National Nightmare Is Over: Kim Kardashian Will Vote for Hillary
Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo Unveiled Their Baby on Instagram
The 6 Best Denim Shops on Etsy
From Our Partners
The Zoe Report
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Fashion FeaturesCiara's Wedding Dress Was Too Big for the Chapel
To be fair, it was a 13 foot-long dress.You and Rihanna Will Both Want to Invest in Dior’s New Bag
It's got something for everyone.Polo Shirts Have Turned Their Back on Ryan Lochte
Along with his other major sponsors.Ryan Lochte Will No Longer Be Paid to Wear Tiny Bathing Suits
Speedo remains committed to transparency.Laura Brown Is the New Editor-in-Chief of InStyle
After 11 years at Harper’s Bazaar.Tyra Banks Is Going to Teach a Class on Smizing at Stanford
"If I see somebody not paying attention, I’m gonna call on them."This Floating Pier Is the Most Zen Installation Ever
Walking on water in Italy.Nation Is Appalled by Matt Lauer’s Nude Ankles During Ryan Lochte Interview
What’s the opposite of “Jeah”?8 People at the Life of Pablo Pop-up Explain Why Kanye West Is a God
"I mean, Kanye West is just Kanye West. There's not more or less you can say about Kanye West. He's just Mr. West!"A T-shirt Is Enough
Simplicity, versatility, and cool. What more could you want?
She took a perfect pencil dive off a 30-foot yacht.American Apparel Is Being Sued by Former Workers
As the company considers putting itself up for sale.A Gendered History of the Tailored Suit
From Marlon Brando to Coco Chanel.How Zendaya Developed Such Great Style at the Young Age of 19
The star's best looks from Disney to now.Proof That If You’re Chic Enough, a Little Federal Investigation Doesn’t Matter
Is this the best they could do?5,300-Year-Old Mummified Iceman Probably Would’ve Been a Street-Style Star
He had several different looks and was “pretty picky.”J.Crew Has Identified 226 Shades of Pink
Even more than there are shades of gray.Gigi and Bella Hadid Merch Is Now Somehow a Thing That Is Happening
Today in Hadidiana.Gird Your Loins for the Return of Yeezy to New York Fashion Week
The season approaches.This Indie Brand Had a Great Response to Ivanka Trump
When she bought one of their cuffs, they donated the proceeds to the Clinton campaign.