SPACE Showroom Visit

Fashion Week SPACE

ACNE’s New World Vision of Paisley and Kaftans at Paris Fashion Week

The ACNE Studios showroom and its staff are renowned in the industry for the café-like atmosphere and comfortable, chic hospitality. They serve brilliant food to brilliant buyers and there’s so much airy, open space. It’s the perfect place to crunch numbers, but it couldn’t be less convenient in terms of the rest of the city.

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All images by Jessa Carter

Getting up to the 18th arrondissement takes considerable time and effort. When you’re there, however, a whole new side of Paris opens up. The area encompasses the smaller neighborhood of Goutte d’Or, or Little Africa, and on Wednesdays and Sundays the Marché Barbès makes an outdoor emporium of goods from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan and other places. The whole area, including the sights and sounds of the Rue Marx Dormoy’s grocery stores and restaurants, felt particularly relevant when we visited the showroom on Tuesday because of the inspiration behind creative director Jonny Johansson’s spring collection. 

CLICK IN TO SEE THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND THE COLLECTION UP CLOSE

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Fashion Week SPACE

SPACE Brand Undercover Does Great Gatsby at Paris Fashion Week

Undercover founder and creative head Jun Takahashi is good with a theme. Who can forget last year’s Rock and Roll Circus or the current season’s Snow White vibe? Spring 2017 has a musical note too—but this time there’s a ’60s-angled Jazz Age groove paired with distinct and playful throwbacks to the 1920s.

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All Images by Jessa Carter

At the show last Saturday, Miles Davis and the Bill Evans Trio poured out of the speakers and got splashed onto digital prints on long skirts, silk scarves and more. When Olivia and her team got into the showroom on Tuesday, however, they interpreted the pieces in such a way that these looks are now ready to go from a cocktail party screening of The Great Gatsby to a live, laid-back trip-hop recital with piano accompaniment.

Or they could, anyway, if that’s the kind of Sunday double feature you’d be into.

SEE NEXT SPRING’S SPACE LOOKS NOW

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SPACE Brand Koché: Feathers, Sequins and the Walk of Life at Paris Fashion Week

When Chloé alum and current CHANEL atelier artistic director Christelle Kocher debuted her own brand, Koché, one year ago, she did it in the subbasement of Forum des Halles, a shopping mall that “could not be more central to all of Paris.”

It was nighttime; everything was closed, and the mood was both egalitarian and individual. No air of privilege, no sense of the elite—but something sort of secret and utterly uncommon just the same. It set the perfect tone for the brand, creating just the right kind of buzz and energy.

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All images by Jessa Carter

Last season she took over an alleyway in an obscure neighborhood, expressing her mission to bring “poetry to the street” in a loud, gritty and thoroughly exhilarating way. And then earlier this week, during the first days of Fashion Week, she returned to Les Halles at the mall’s suggestion, this time setting up her version of a runway on the newly renovated, futuristic ground-floor level.

“The show, the brand, the story, the collection—these are all the same thing for me,” she told us a few days later when we met for tea near her studio. As a group they tell a story, and the story is about togetherness and hope despite the city’s recent traumas, and it’s about using the beauty of craft to uplift the ordinary. 

And it’s also about feathers, sequins, track jackets and a cool footwear collaboration with SPACE brand Adieu.

CLICK IN TO SEE SPORTY LACE AND EMBELLISHED WORKWEAR

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Giant Ruffles and Even Bigger Hats: Jacquemus at Paris Fashion Week

Walking into the Jacquemus show back on the first day of Paris Fashion Week, I had a sort of flashback to the designer’s presentation one year prior, in which a white horse and small children with giant balls of fabric figured prominently. It was the first day of shows, and his name was on everyone’s lips; the collection as well as its theatrical presentation just brought more buzz.

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All images by Jessa Carter

While last year’s show had a bold and exaggerated sense of play, what we saw Tuesday was far more refined and sophisticated—yet truly no less spirited.

In the space of 12 months, Simon Jacquemus has beautifully repackaged the youthful energy that fueled his earliest collections and turned it into a kind of timeless, well-humored poise.

“He’s growing up,” said Olivia Kim when we discussed it a few days after, “but not losing any of that levity.”

CLICK IN TO SEE HIS DESIGNS

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SPACE Brand Vejas: Making Waves at Paris Fashion Week

One of the best things about Fashion Week, no matter the city, is connecting with emerging brands on their way up. The first few collections of any one career become its foundation, after all. In the case of LVMH Prize-winning designer Vejas Kruszewski, it’s a matter of “building the values of the brand.”

That’s what he told W magazine in an interview titled, in part, “Meet the Five Young Designers Shaking Up Paris Fashion Week.”

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Vejas presentation and showroom detail; all images by Jessa Carter

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When we met up with the 19-year-old Toronto-based designer a few days after his Paris presentation, he told us that those values are futurism, abstraction and utility. 

CLICK IN TO FIND OUT WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE

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Paris Fashion Week VIDEO: Undercover with Cat Ladies and Bomber Jackets in Undercover’s Paris Showroom

If anyone in fashion can stage a show inclusive of Lou Reed, The Wizard of Oz and crazy cat women of a certain age, it’s Jun Takahashi of SPACE brand Undercover. On one hand, he was the subject of a recent immersive retrospective at a prestigious Tokyo art gallery and is a long-time friend and colleague of  Comme des Garçons Rei Kawakuboon and on the other, he’s a streetwear icon and an ex-punk. Not that those things are mutually exclusive, just that Jun is an artist who compromises a high/low mix of technical beauty, achingly enigmatic originality and clothes you want to make a hip-hop/skateboarding music video in.

Basically, he contains multitudes—all of which are so perfectly fine-tuned they end up relating even when it seems like they shouldn’t.

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A few days after a show that the New York Times described as “poetic,” we visited the showroom to get a look at the wonderfully disparate elements all together in one room.

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Fashion Week SPACE

Paris Fashion Week: Dressing on the Side with Jacquemus on the Runway and in the Showroom

Sometimes there’s one look that sums up a whole runway show, even a whole season. There’s probably too much going on in Paris this week to rest all of it on any one thing, but there is a single Jacquemus dress that definitely summarizes the entirety of Jacquemus for fall 2016.

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We—or SPACE buy planner Sarah Anderson at least—have a good/bad name for it (depends on whether you love or hate puns). On the runway and in the showroom, this slanted and shimmery baby blue number just epitomized the surreal, slightly absurd and totally covetable collection.

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SEE MORE PICTURES AND HEAR WHAT OLIVIA HAS TO SAY

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Paris Fashion Week: What Band Inspired this Acne Studios Runway Video and Informed Our Showroom Visit

I noticed after about half an hour inside the Acne Studios showroom with the SPACE buying team that they were playing a decent selection of songs from the ’70s-era legendary American garage band The Cramps. When I had the chance to ask the brand’s team what informed the fall 2016 collection, I was told matter-of-factly that the designers were indeed thinking about the band’s Poison Ivy and Lux Interior, and filtering what they called ‘Acne archetypes’ through the iconic lead couple’s often gilded and outré but always streetwise style.

 

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HERE’S MORE (INCLUDING THE OFFICIAL SHOW VIDEO) ON THE SEASON’S ROCK AND ROLL LOOK

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Paris Fashion Week: LVMH Nominee Koché Brings Couture to the Street (No, Really)

As with just about everything, the French say it so much better. What we in the States might call an alley is in Paris referred to as a “passage” (pronounce it softly, like a spa “massage”). Last Wednesday night, in one that dates back to the 18th Century and is filled these days with a world-sourced mix of importers, food markets and hair cutters, weavers, and braiders, recent LVMH nominee Christelle Kocher staged her third season of Koché.

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What’s important about the setting is what important about the brand: Central to Christelle’s work is the act of putting highly technical and exclusive craft into the mainstream—into the very lifeblood of humanity. At her day job, Christelle oversees specialized embellishments for, like, Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel; for Koché, she uses this fine, couture background to reimagine basketball shorts and jigsaw velvet and paillettes into easy dresses you can throw on over a pair of jeans.

You’ve heard before of designers who apply couture techniques to ready-to-wear, but very few do it so well, and with such extremes.

HERE’S WHAT IT WAS LIKE IN THAT MAGICAL ALLEYWAY

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Paris Fashion Week: Vetements Just Wants Everyone to Be Together—in Hoodies, Ruffles and Denim

The scene on Thursday night outside an Episcopal church on upscale Avenue George V was cinematic; artists and the proletariat, the extravagantly dressed and the elegantly gifted, all in the moonlight of Paris—just waiting to see what SPACE brand Vetements had to show them for Fall 2016.

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All Vetements street scene images by Nordstrom street style photographer Kristin Yamada

We need to put people back together,” Guram Gvasalia told us in the audio clip you’ll find later in this post. Guram’s brother is the celebrated designer Demna Gvasalia, the creative director at Vetements and also the newly appointed designer at Balenciaga (he shows his first collection for the house on Sunday, March 6). Together with an extended family of friends, the brothers created what is arguably the most important brand in fashion right now.

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We spent two hours in the Vetements showroom with SPACE curator Olivia Kim and her team a few days after the runway presentation, which was when Guram made the aforementioned remark—a reference to the immediacy of their runway presentations (keep reading for video), but also an allusion to their general approach. They want what’s now, what’s real, what’s tangible and knowable and honest—and they want that for you, too. 

The fact that a bonafide movement has sprung up around Vetements, and that their collections often sell out on pre-order, is evidence that they are bringing people into a sort of circle of believers—believers in the future and in fashion, and believers in an anti-future and an anti-fashion.

SEE OUR SPECIAL VETEMENTS STREET SCENE IMAGES AND GO BEHIND THE SCENES

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