Aganovich Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Paris Fashion Week

Aganovich Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Paris Fashion Week

A reading of Sophie Calle’s stylized exercise in stalking, Suite Vénitienne, opened an Aganovich show that combined magisterial anguish with carefully corralled disarray. Our heroines began their pursuit in ghostly, raw calico: a slish-slashed double-hemmed dress trailed with threads and a second with extravagantly ruched and plucked waves of fabric on the arm. Each piece featured gathered, rib-cage-like panels of interwoven fold on the chest. The show went into black, then there was a fencing-esque look featuring a white jacket softly indented as if run over. Scarlet or black waves of paint were applied either to handsomely chaotic edging or painted flat on dresses that were then unfolded to break up the color. Every look was matched with flat monochrome leather winklepicker boots.

There were strong jolts of back-in-time historical cherry-picking from these designers, who tend to look backward, including a riot of rough-hewn white ruffle that emerged from a soft black linen suit toward the end—an outfit perfect for some Puritan 18th-century governor gone wild. There was also a subtly asymmetric frock coat in a series of three lovely, red, archive-pattern Vanners silk jacquard pieces.

The appeal of Aganovich is that they mine history through eyes fresh enough to make any implication of derivativeness redundant. Plus, while Paris is heavy on exquisitely pained moroseness (and for me Aganovich sits in this category), Nana Aganovich and Brooke Taylor are perhaps the most joyful participants in it. Very niche and very nice.

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