Ballet Dancers in Space: Vionnet S/S 2015 Collection Paris Fashion Week
Parisian haute couture brand Vionnet boasts a heritage stretching back over a century, through founder (1912) Madeleine Vionnet to current-day creative director Goga Ashkenazi. Both women’s influences are powerful in their own right but dramatically different, and the founder’s principles and creative director’s tastes vied for attention in the Spring/Summer 2015 collection presented at Paris Fashion Week this September.
Madeleine Vionnet’s still-present influence could be discerned through sweeping, Greek goddess-inspired dresses and skirts to suit a woman with classic tastes. Ashkenazi’s sense, on the other hand, was manifested through statement belts, leathers and show-stopping shoes. If Vionnet predicated her brand on classic femininity, Ashkenazi brought this woman into the 21st century—or indeed beyond it. The overall effect was a clash of historic and futuristic, as elegant ballet-derived garments met gaudy, space-age shoes and accessories—as if Neptune, getting dressed one morning, was beamed across millennia to a future where goddesses wore transparent high heels, featuring brightly-colored suspended spheres.
If it wasn’t outer space that the models channelled, it was the rainforest; long, regal dresses were teamed with fierce, oversized belts and sandals with utilitarian, over-the-shoulder knapsacks. Exposed garter belts and stockings added to the half-graceful, half-wild aesthetic.
Tying together the various elements was a spectral color scheme, white predominating across the collection and highlighted in places by splashes of metallic, camel and black. The ensemble had a touch of the ethereal, which could not have been made clearer than through the choice of Björk’s haunting 1998 track “Hunter” to round off the show.