From the heady heights of the spray-on dress to AI robot dogs, rather than play the game of one-upmanship (even if it is only with themselves), Coperni’s Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant quit while they were well ahead of the theatrical spectacle game, and instead asked us to focus on the evolution of their brand DNA.
Set in the lower floors of the IRCAM, an institute dedicated to research and innovation in creating new technologies for music, the space had been closed for 8 years for renovation, but upon reopening Coperni became the first fashion show to host in the space. Partnering with their sound designer for a residency, she was tasked with creating the soundtrack to their summer 2024 collection, which included incorporating the use of the unique noises made by fabric.
The audience took their seats in a cavernous space deep in the bowels of the institute awaiting something fantastical to happen (after experiencing the aforementioned show productions), and it did but instead of the visual, we were treated to the audio, as speakers (like giant mechanical sails) in the walls and ceilings being to reverberate with sound. An experience akin to being in a cinema with 4K surround sound. The soundtrack started as a series of audible blasts followed by the first model. And not just any model, the boys had scored the icon that is Naomi Campbell to walk their show, and if any of the guests had previously been lagging (the show was the last of the day) they certainly stood to attention and became excited for what came next, which was justifiably a great show. One which let the clothes take the spotlight, so we could observe the ways in which Meyer and Vaillant had taken the time to work back into some of their key silhouettes, and cleverly use music as a source of inspiration which was not immediately obvious but once seen made complete sense. Speaking with The Impression backstage they revealed that music and being in tune – or attuned – was the main theme which drove the collection “The whole collection is about sound, symphony, and attunement. The triangle, the Walkman bag, and at the end [of the collection] you have this beautiful trumpet shape”, while a collaboration with Puma which they had been working on for 2 years was also weaved in with active sets and cut-out bodysuits worn back with a footwear offering, and as the team revealed “we didn’t work with the collaboration team, but with the innovation team at Puma so we created these shoes that are futuristic soccer shoes, but also like a loafer”.
Taking the idea of instruments on a journey, their use was applied in almost surrealist ways, as speakers were embedded into the construction of a boxy leather jacket, and while we presume, they are non-functional it would make an exciting design addition for customers to be able to buy it with a working pair. Old school foam headphones, last popular in the 1980s could also see a resurgence if the team has anything to say about it, as a models pair were plugged into her Coperni bag aka makeshift boom-box. Ruffles, which have been seen across the Paris runways looked reinvigorated, as 18 metres of zipper-trimmed fabric, as confirmed by the designers – meant to mimic the waves made by music – was curled into a playful trim for ultra-cropped trouser hems, a blouse’s collar, and to adorn the edge of sheer bardot dresses. And the exaggerated flare of a trumpet provided the ingenious influence for the finale looks, in a literal metal brass strapless style and bulbous gowns with voluminous ovoid skirts.
The humble triangle stood out as Meyer’s and Vaillant’s centrepiece detail, creating a directional element to humble tanks (the metal percussion instrument was placed at the centre as a cut-out), holding together the 3 sides of a black evening gown, or fed into the spaghetti straps at the back of another, it was very clever use of an unassuming musical tool.
The introduction of the super-long sleeve which trails close to the floor, as well the Chelsea collar – which hasn’t been utilised enough in fashion – are details that the designers should adopt as signatures, as these elements which some may not immediately get are always the best kind, leading where others are sure to follow.
THE BUZZWORDS Sound On. Undulated trims. Triangle Section.
Look # 40 Inspired by the flared opening of a trumpet Meyer and Vaillant’s finale gown is a bulbous silhouette which speaks to the avant-garde yet is sure to find itself on the red-carpet once events resume.
THE ON-BRAND FACTOR
THE BRAND EVOLUTION
A re-focus on the clothes pays off for the pair, as new details and sculptural silhouette had their moment to shine.
The whole collection is about sound, symphony, and attunement. The triangle, the Walkman bag, and at the end [of the collection] you have the beautiful trumpet shape.
THE WRAP UP
Celebrating 10 years since their launch in 2013, the brand is entering an exciting phase of evolution. As in the last few seasons more directional ideas have come into their work, and whether experimenting with sound, spray-on dresses, or ultra-long sleeves the team are showing that they are more than brilliant showmen, their clothes are starting to speak just as powerfully too.