Following a few seasons of making optimistic excuses for Vionnet, it was a pleasure to see a collection in which many of the looks proved positive affirmations of the passion behind this unfashionable fashion house. Goga Ashkenazi put the staff of her atelier on the runway for the finale and highlighted the depth of their work—and the shallowness of others—by stitching slogans into the back of certain looks. So on a fishtailed cloak with a quintuple-tiered hem worn above raw-edged denim bermudas was written This piece took 194 hours to make. In a world where Zara makes fabulous jackets and only real experts can tell the difference between bespoke and off-the-rack, maybe you just have to spell it out.
The schtick of this collection was loose—“urban odyssey”—but the pieces it inspired were often sharply defined. Fantastically light chiffon blurs, paneled pleat dresses gathered with rope, separates in beach photo prints, and assertive denim interjections were the order of the day here. Neutral chiffon dresses and suits with nets of burnt-in rubber circlets were particularly interesting, and a dress of angularly set fringe-meets-coralesque tufting was just pretty. While not without flaw, this was a vastly improved Vionnet.