VÉRONIQUE LEROY AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
When was the last time you were aware of considering the hierarchical structure of your wardrobe? Probably never. And yet you do this automatically anytime you build an outfit around a statement jacket or give little thought to a black turtleneck but prize a pair of shoes. The inverse notion—removing all sense of hierarchy—was what motivated Véronique Leroy when designing her Fall collection. She credited post-New Wave Belgian director Chantal Akerman for raising the idea in a 1986 documentary, in which Akerman said: “When you display things without hierarchy, it’s up to each and every one to realize and relate to what’s going on.”
It was a lot to process before even arriving at the first outfit, which directed the eye to a papery leather coat in azure blue before the other pieces (a wool crepe blouse with oversize eyelet closures and a pleated flared pant, both in shades of sand). Look 22, as a later example, emphasized a terry-textured mustard coat piped in black. With look 8, you’d likely register the oversize belt and highlighter-yellow Plexi cuff before the midnight blue dress.
Leroy can’t propose variety without accepting that people will assign importance to some pieces over others. How do all the fluted necks—ostensibly a styling device—matter as much as the embroidered clear plastic overcoat or pleated coral underskirt? Maybe she hopes we arrive at the conclusion that no single look matters more than any other; that they stand together as a complete collection. The more reasonable takeaway is that we can applaud Leroy’s soft layering, focused color scheme, and refined, Parisian-specific style without needing to know how she arrived at any of it.