God bless Isabel Marant. It was the Thursday night of the Paris shows, and ennui had definitely started to set in. Yet here was Marant, throwing us a party as show in the shadow of the Palais Royal, complete with screaming kids, a mosh pit, a sound system doing mega decibels, and a performance from singer Rebecca Baby from Lulu Van Trapp, who belted out a club tune whose lyrics consisted almost solely of repeating “desire” and “disorder” over and over again, to the point that you were mouthing them yourself. (Still am, actually.) At the finale of the show, Baby threw herself into the writhing crowd and glorious chaos ensued.
Meanwhile, some of the world’s greatest runway strutters stepped forward: Natasha Poly, Liya Kebede, Anna Ewers, Caroline Trentini, Liu Wen, Jessica Stam, Malgosia Bela, Kasia Struss, Anna Selezneva, Delfine Bafort—yep, and there’s more—Suvi Riggs, Aymeline Valade, Karmen Pedaru, Sasha Pivovarova, Julia Stegner and Imaan Hammam worked the runway in Marant’s knockout fall collection. That consisted of swaggering square shouldered blazers (fall 2023 will be forever known as The Season of The Jacket), oversized parkas, boyish sweaters, ’80s cocoon coats, uber conical heeled boots, slinky dresses—some zippered, some crystal embellished, many with footless hose—and a killer new jean shape with a contrast yoke and straight yet slouchy legs.
But back to desire and disorder. No, not the sad state of my dating life, but the two states that Marant was thinking about for fall. The desire doesn’t need much explaining. Marant has long championed female empowerment in everything her label stands for, and that includes making the kind of louche, sexy but always spiritedly casual look that focuses on allowing the woman wearing her clothes to express herself and her physicality. There was plenty of that here, and good it looked, too—especially on the starry cast of ‘older’ models, with plenty of blouson-y biker leathers and leggy boots. (Though if one wish could have been granted here, some curvier models would have been nice to have in the mix.) As for the disorder, that was all about the poppers haphazardly fastening a fuzzy mini sweater dress, or the graphic slashes that appeared here and there throughout the collection.
In a season where the everyday and the real are being celebrated and elevated, where good clothes can matter and not be disposable, Marant cannily underscored how much she’s been doing that for years now. That, plus the casting of models who are her stalwarts, women who’ve been around a bit but still look utterly fab, not to mention the celebratory atmosphere of her show, was all a smart reminder that when it comes to wearing Isabel Marant, looking good and feeling good are always the same thing.