Moncler Gamme Rouge was one of the last shows of the Fashion Month schedule, taking place on the final day of Paris Fashion Week. The final shows of Fashion Week are often overlooked as all the fashion juggernauts have already presented their collections, but this season Moncler’s event was one that rightly didn’t escape the public’s interest.
For Spring 2016, Moncler melded the art of fencing with the alluring Rococo châteaux to create a collection that reflected the discipline of the sport with a romantically delicate sense of femininity. Models, swathed in flared confections of guipure, silk, and embroidered tulle, strolled down a runway made up to look like a country meadow complete with wildflowers and tufts of grass. It sounds like it all radiated sweet innocence and delicacy, but there was a tougher edge to the display with fencing masks, swords and embellished sneakers providing enough contrast to create the perfect blend of sporty chic.
It was a good look: sleek leotards, wool sweatsuits, leggings, parkas, shorts, windbreakers and turtlenecks were covered in intricate couture-level adornment, while flirty dresses and coats were split by noticeable zips or fastened by drawstring closures. PVC plastic, wool, jacquard and technical mesh were backed with lace, embroidered with 3-D flowers or covered with intricate trompe-l’œil appliqués to create some of the most beautiful pieces of activewear that I’ve ever seen.
It was a lovely show with a definite veer toward the romance more than it did sports, with sleek body conscious shapes featured throughout the show among a majority of girly, almost baby-doll dress. Coats, dresses and blouses were all of super short fit-and-flare shapes with flirty skirts, voluminous flounces, petticoat ruffles, frilled sleeves and lacy collars- all obvious nods to 17th century rococo.
Show notes cited 17th century swordswoman Julie d’Aubigny, dancer Lola Montez, socialite C.Z. Guest (who loved flowers and was an avid gardener) and a number of iconic Bond Girls as the living inspirations behind the showing, and with them came a spunky gamine sensibility that made for a dramatic presentation.
“Versailles meets Abstraction,” is how creative director Giambattista Valli described the collection, and it’s a great theme. Apart from illustrating the clothing, this term can also be used to depict the technique behind Moncler’s Gamme Rouge line, which seeks to seamlessly combine haute couture with high performance sportswear.
The result is something that goes far beyond the realm of luxury sportswear… nor can it really be considered sporty couture as these garments are made to take more of a beating than traditional atelier fare. The pieces are meant to be beautiful, but also must be able to stand up to the beating that sportswear is designed for. This has never been more apparent than it was in this collection.
Technical dentelle lace, PVC, flannel and foiled leather were teamed with delicate rebrodé mesh, embroidered organza, tulle and elaborate baroque appliqués to create looks that perfectly toed the line between function and fabulousness. “Moncler gives me the technical fabrications and the support, and I do it in an atelier way,” Mr. Valli noted, “I love the idea that Gamme Rouge is sporty but you can get married in it.” Hence the fabulous results: a Gamme Rouge parka is not just outerwear, it’s a rococo creation in waterproof guipure. Put simply, its too damn fab.
Moncler Spring 2016 collection was through and through, perhaps the best Gamme Rouge offering that I’ve seen to date. It’s the perfect mix of femininity, romanticism, quirkiness, and opulence with functionality, durability and streamlined sportiness. Every aspect of the show- from the garment construction, ornamentation and shapes, to the accessories, runway styling and the setting itself- was perfectly executed. It was absolutely spot on and was a wonderful way to round off this year’s Spring Fashion Month.
Giambattista Valli, well done. I’m thoroughly in love!
Xx – Ana