The Spring/Summer 2023 Haute Couture show presented by Alexandre Vauthier in a disused industrial building in the 15th arrondissement of Paris was nothing short of mesmerizing. The designer was inspired by the nightlife of the 1980s, and it was evident in the oversized shoulders, over-the-top colours, and dizzying stilettos that were showcased on the runway.
The collection was designed for the “inexhaustible party girl” – a woman who is not only powerful and assertive, but also has a wild side that comes out at night. The decrepit walls, soft cream-coloured carpeting, and shivering neon lights in the showroom set the tone for a collection that was both edgy and luxurious.
The models walked to the truculent rhythms of a song by American drag queen Violet Chachki in collaboration with French producer Lecomte de Brégeot, as the first look composed of a short hooded faux fur combined with a flowing dress made its way down the runway. About thirty silhouettes embodied the ultra glamorous power-dressing ideal of the designer, who has been sublimating women such as superstars Beyoncé and Rihanna since 2009.
The collection consisted mostly of dark colors such as carbon black and khaki, but the designer also added a pop of acidulous hues such as a bright orange, neon pink, and a gaudy apple green. The XXL suits with impeccable tailoring, draped or sequined full suits, and strategically cut dresses that reveal the belly, perfectly encapsulate the codes of French couture.
One can’t help but wonder if this collection is a sign of the return of neon colors to the wardrobe. Alexandre Vauthier seems to be leading the charge, and with the way the audience reacted to the show, it seems that the fashion world is ready for it.