Last Looks: Yesterday’s Runways at Mugler, Haider Ackermann, Junya Watanabe and Elie Saab
Mugler’s David Koma focused on transitions Saturday in Paris, combining moody and wintery tones with a sunset backdrop and a sandy ochre catwalk for a trans-seasonal collection.
Koma balanced contrast, opening the show with tough-girl leathers crafted into corseted gladiator skirts and minidresses, with the heavy use of embossed patent croc as texture on otherwise simple designs—think oversized statement lapels on a boxy jacket, a waist-cinching bodice on an LBD or cut into panels and layered on top of red jersey skirts and off-the-shoulder minidresses. And just like that, the leathers were replaced by satin ivory frocks with asymmetrical hemlines, sporty angular cutouts and color blocking to balance out the hardness.
Haider Ackermann took metallics and velvets out from their throwback niche, opting instead for a military luxe vibe for his fall showcase.
The Saturday show was reminiscent of his spring collection, subdued by fall tones, controlled tailoring and a darkly lit, ornate setting. Normally known for skin-bearing slouch, Ackermann opted instead for strict cuts, second-skin trousers and slim column dresses. Woolen dusters—quilted, shimmering or textured—acted as cloaking jackets over otherwise bare torsos. Velvet pantsuits in deep greens and reds varied from square and slouchy to long and lean, depending on the jacket cut, while red carpet-worthy column gowns gave a new take on showing leg, with hems curving over the left hip and above the thigh.
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Junya Watanabe has made a name for himself designing formulaic pieces, reminding us on Saturday of his penchant for math and geometry with his honed origami-esque structures.
The theme of morphing fabrics into 3D cuts was prominent this season, but not in a softly draped and sensual way. Instead, Watanabe created structural pieces, with industrial fabrics crafted into origami folds that combined with stiff pleats, creating boxy skirts or linking into allover standout angles reminiscent of triangular soundproofing foam. For the most part, the looks featured a single statement piece worn over black leggings and long-sleeved shirts, leaving the focus on the geometric cutouts and space-age headwear.
Known for his quintessentially feminine frocks, Elie Saab has been inching towards a different aesthetic these past few seasons, landing with his most moody collection yet on Saturday.
It seemed this season that Saab was targeting a younger crowd less prone to dressing up, enlisting Danish electro-dance artist Mø to bring the mentality full circle. But try as he might to channel the new crowd of cool kids, Saab’s use of floral lace in reds, purples and baby blues hinted that he might not be willing to go all the way. Polka dot, thigh-split silk gowns and floral lace-embroidered, raw-hem minis still exuded his feminine flare, while lace-up necks on gypsy-inspired lace maxis and his floral or fringe embellished black motos hit the mark of ’70s rock ‘n’ roll.