Breaking Down Codes at Anais Jourden

Somewhere between a tutu and petticoat, a midi-length skirt in ruffled tulle opened the show at Anais Jourden — and was to run like a golden thread throughout the collection. First paired with a crushed candy-coloured lamé blouson, followed by a lurex-threaded twinset and a silver moiré blazer, the garment somehow managed to evoke a modernized take on Degas’s ballerina painting. True to her signature aesthetic, Jourden peppered the collection with signifiers of traditional, prim-and-proper femininity, that she turned on their heads. Victorian-era floor-length dresses came in tears of sheer lace, both puritanical — and totally see-through. Bows were made XXL, black and almost punk-like, matching the often visible panties. Breaking down codes associated with girlhood, Jourden also successfully provided a fresh take on romanticism.

Flipped and exaggeratedly large lapels on a mismatching trench-coat set the tone for the Beautiful People’s collection, one that offered a new take on classics, providing a wardrobe for the modern working woman — with an edge. A monastic tunic was paired with a matching blazer and followed by a bias-cut knit dress in mottled blue — somewhere between home-wear and outerwear — and a balloon-cut overcoat. That included a more adventurous cape-and-skirt suit, a deconstructed and extra-large vest-coat worn as a dress, a frayed black jumper or an explorer’s jacket made luxe. Nightwear silhouettes moved just as fluidly, with a silk ensemble composed of a pussy-bow blouse with graphic prints, worn with a matching asymmetrical skirt. Top this with recurring long gloves in everything from rubber to silk —  quoting Hollywood glamour just as much as early Margiela. Both ageless and timeless, the collection further highlighted the current return to tailoring in women’s wear.

From pinstriped pants tucked into combat boots to a jumpsuit-gone-jockstrap, Each x Other worked its way around visual and referential clashes. This included a bourgeois, sheer Lavalière blouse layered with a military overcoat, or a hybrid suit, sharply tailored but given sportswear detailing. Turquoise sweat pants were worn with a structured dinner jacket, 1960s-like miniskirts were paired with cropped puffer bombers. Zebra and leopard prints appeared frequently, quoting both bling and glam rock. Leather was worn as a total look, resulting in, say, an olive hoodie and neon orange overalls — seemingly searching to elevate the streetwear and workwear. Bodycon dresses with a high split appeared as signs of empowerment rather than objectification. A mix and match of codes, histories and wardrobes that reflected, one may assume, the way we consume, deconstruct and re-assemble information today.

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