Coperni Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant delivered one of the fashion moments of the season tonight: almost certainly it’s already going viral. The whole process lasted around seven minutes and came at the end of a show that had already given plenty of great runway. Highlights had included dresses made in a thousand pieces of embroidered glass that tinkled uproariously, like a recycling truck driven by an amphetamine-addled getaway driver. There was a solid gold version of the designers’ Swipe bag which—all 1kg of it—will be melted down after the show. It was created by an artisan goldsmith named Gabriele Veneri in Italy, and was accompanied by a considerable security retinue.

Especially lovable were the dresses in panels connected by a sort of brutal metal suture. Then there were the new, specially-developed Roblox-inspired shoulders that looked sometimes like the models were wearing cereal boxes but also seemed a valid shot at a silhouette-shifting development. Other pieces saw bra cups reinterpreted as shoulder pads. These were just a few of the ideas in a collection that boasted a cornucopia of them. One less spectacular touch, nicely illustrative of their frame of reference, was the red dress designed to reflect Fiona Johnson’s sexy glitch gown in The Matrix.

The collection was named Coperni Femme, after their very first collection back in 2015: it was an ode to a reconfigured paradigm of femininity. The opening references to crinoline, replacing its constricting hoops with a Trinity-esque biker jacket slung at the back of a tailored jacket, implied the flavor of radical upgrade the designers were after.

That closing look laid it out in full. Bella Hadid came out in her underwear, arm across her bosom, and stood on an underlit platform. What followed was down, Vaillant said, to “our little geek” Meyer’s specific obsession with cutting edge technology. A scientist Meyer had befriended named Dr. Manel Torres came out with a colleague and proceeded to spray the near-naked Hadid from neckline to mid-calf with a white substance that looked a bit like spray snow. When it hit her skin it had the sheen of liquid, but in the few minutes of its application it became matte. The smell, strong and synthetic, filled the Musée des Arts et Métiers’ Salle des Textiles. Hadid kept her poise during the spray-down, before one of Meyer and Vaillant’s colleagues came out and spent a minute cutting at the hem and tugging at the shoulder of the layer of who-knows-what that covered the model.

And then Hadid walked the runway in a pure white dress—perfectly fitted—that until five minutes ago had been liquid in a bottle: fashion alchemy, conjured by Coperni.

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