At Paris Fashion Week, modernity meets old fashion codes

What happens when characters of different backgrounds, historical eras or cultures meet with each other? Alongside Art in a broader sense, Fashion is undoubtedly one of the mediums through which hybrid, multicultural encounters manifest into physical evidence. And, spoiler alert: at times, the final outcomes may be really astonishing.

Alphonse Maitrepierre is one of those designers who are eager to delight in the process of marrying opposite worlds together. For his namesake label, the Spring Summer 2023 collection is all about anachronisms: inspired by the 1970s film “Donkey Skin” – a cult classic in France –, he takes what used to be the 18th-century fashion codes and embeds them into modern-cut street & sportswear pieces.

Hence, a sporty jacket with flap pockets sprouts from an inner structure made of corsetry ribs that cinch the waist of the model, leaving the shoulders a sloucher volume. A satin minidress reminds the Empire dresses in the high-waisted cut, just below the bust, and the fitted bodice; while a bodysuit blends with a deep V-shaped miniskirt, morphing it into a bell-silhouette dress. In the same way, cut at the waistline, the denim jacket is conferred an unexpected burst of volume vaguely reminiscent of a Versailles court’s dame dress.

It is a matter of sartorial, hands-on experimentation, taken forward with no pomp or past opulence ambition, yet it has not the pretention of a sterile fashion revival either. Quite the opposite: within an innovative and constructive approach, it examines lines, volumes and cuts, with the purpose of making them relevant for the present times.
For however hard it is to confer modern attire to past references, consider the experiment well done, in what turned out to be a super contemporary and captivating collection.

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