Koché Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Paris Fashion Week

Koché Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Paris Fashion Week

Rethinking the fashion show format—from the venue to the bonus entertainment to the actual season of the merchandise being sold—has become one of Spring 2017’s big stories. Paris up-and-comer Christelle Kocher was at it a year ago with her debut in the catacombs of Les Halles, the market and public transport hub in the center of Paris. Today, she brought us back to a different part of the project, La Canopée. In an inversion of the typical arrangement, industry types stood in the rear and public guests sat. Sixty-one models walked at top speed around the perimeter of the indoor/outdoor shopping complex. It’s an enormous space, and the models circled it multiple times, so that by the end groups of them were walking in disorderly clusters just like actual commuters, only more interestingly dressed.

Kocher’s thing is streetwear with couture touches; she works at Maison Lemarié, a couture atelier specializing in feathers. So the opening parka was made from blue sweatshirt fabric with a frill of black lace at the shoulders and a beaded choker around the collar, track jackets were spliced together from dozens of pieces of differently colored silk or lace, and boxy polos came stitched with rhinestones and trailing ostrich plumes. With the elevation of streetwear on so many other runways, this didn’t have the shock of the new it possessed before she was nominated for two LVMH Prizes. That might be why she put an extra emphasis on silk slips and other dresses—the kinds of things that are not so uncanny to see treated to sequins, feathers, and the like.

In any case, Kocher’s democratic vision remains powerful. She printed a zine of famous quotes and had assistants hand out copies to the pros and the public alike. The Diane Arbus line read like the designer’s modus operandi: “If you scrutinize reality closely enough, if in some way you really, really get to it, it becomes fantastic.” Especially if you’ve got, say, Kocher’s crystal-strewn lace cape on your back.

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