FALL-WINTER 2011/2012 HAUTE COUTURE
BY JUNYA ISHIGAMI
Grand Palais, Paris, July 5th
Needless to explain, Place Vendôme forms a beautiful octagonal shape when viewed from above. And, this square connects the ends of two streets that face each other.
The set for the show was a very abstract reconstruction of Place Vendôme within the Grand Palais, where the show took place. The abstracted square itself formed the runway, and the models walked around the central monumental column, which was abstracted in the same style.
The audience entered the square from one of the streets, and walked through the square to reach their respective seats. When the show started, the models then entered from the opposite street. The audience and the models thus walked in the same runway space separated only by a short time. It suddenly occurred to me that we audience members might be actors playing some part in the set ourselves. That strange feeling came upon me, and I started to imagine that I was actually watching this show in the real city streets. For example, like this:
“I finished a slightly early dinner, and am enjoying a pleasant walk through the streets of Paris under a sky tinged a soft, tender red. All of a sudden, I walk out into a large city square. Mesmerized by the well balanced proportions of this space (it seems it wants to be called a “space” more than a “city square”) and the sheer beauty of the facade that forms its shape, I stop and stand for a while. The octagonal piece of evening sky visible above is very beautiful. Then, from the street on the other side, people clad in clothes I have never seen before flow into the city square one after another in a line. A pageant of clothing that seems to be from another world flows right past my very eyes. Taken by surprise, I do not know if this scene is real or a dream, and I ponder it from many different angles. While caught up in this musing, the strange procession disappears and a magical party begins in the very same spot. People gather as if from out of nowhere. And I find myself participating in the party as well. In Paris at dusk, in a beautiful space where everything is possible and provided, it all happened in the blink of an eye.”
Visualizing the imagery of the actual Place Vendôme, I enjoyed just such a fantasy during the show.
Photos: Olivier Saillant