PARIS — “It’s like a school reunion, no?” said Carine Roitfeld, the French fashion editor, flicking her veil of hair off her black-lined eyes and glancing around at the Dior show on Monday. The gang was back, in a specially constructed box, as always, in the gardens of the Musée Rodin, as attendees who had not seen each other in person in more than a year air-kissed and embraced in delight. Ms. Roitfeld looked bemused, and not entirely pleased.
It’s true, there’s something somewhat disconcerting about the fall headlong back into the familiar after 16 months of life suspended: the paparazzi clamoring for a shot of Jessica Chastain before the Dior show; the multicourse dinners hosted by brands every night to celebrate; the Paris traffic. The stilettos (yes, they are back).
So while the audience is no longer jammed so tightly together that each person on a bench seems to be half on top of a neighbor’s leg, and masks are still required in tents, it’s hard not to think the gravitational pull is to the norm. Or what was the norm. Where are the signs of what has happened this past year? Where is the suggestion that fashion has processed the trauma, and the experience?
Well, “process” might be the wrong word. But some theories are beginning to bubble up through the seams.
There is pandemic cause-and-effect, for example, in an Iris van Herpen video that took as its theme the earth from above; that pulled back, to offer a certain perspective so much greater and wider than the tiny islands of our individual lockdowns.
That was in part thanks to Domitille Kiger, a French
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