VIONNET AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
To research this Vionnet collection, Goga Ashkenazi and her five-person design team flew low by chopper over an erupting Icelandic volcano. She based the prodding golden tusks of the show’s earrings and other hardware on her latest piercing. “It’s on my nipple,” she added (after prompting). That’s commitment. Ashkenazi is an energy gazillionaire whose Vionnet project is fueled by her fever for fashion: Rather than the professional aesthetics of Parsons or Saint Martins, the frame of reference is personal, rooted in the extravagance of opportunity and disintegration of post-glasnost Kazakhstan and Russia. We’re not in Kansas anymore—as evidenced, perhaps, by the odd de trop crotch-window on a tartan closer and an abundance of borderline medical leg-strapping. Fundamentally, though, this collection took a classic theme and ran stolidly with it. Along with the drooping, time-for-the-trash wilted flowers that hung above the runway, the most explicit expressions of her Fall ’15 appetite for destruction were lava-splatter jacquard, spore-spotted knit furs, and cracked-mud-effect painted leather separates. “It’s the beauty of rotting processes and decay,” Ashkenazi said.
Sprinkled in were many mysterious-heroine cowls-cum-capes (some in a less-mysterious golden netting), backless facade dresses, and a challenging section of pants with built-in shoes—how do you get them on? The silkily quivering, aglow blue dress at the end was inspired by a Greenlandic iceberg, and the trolley-fied Mosaic handbag was inspired by the fact that Ashkenazi often finds herself lugging handbags through airports. Vionnet is a reflection of its owner; therefore, it is highly individual. And why not?