Samurai Swingers Isabel Marant, the French cool girl poster gal, shows the female urban warrior’s soft side.
The applause and post-show backstage exuberance at an Isabel Marant show are infectious. This is one beloved designer whose fans stand four-deep to catch a glimpse of her show. And clearly Marant knows them too as she has honed a look for her woman with several codes. Namely cinch waist cocktail dresses cut high with a drape; Victorian-cum-Bobo blouses, chunky ribbed sweaters and sassy jackets all of which have demonstrative shoulders and are usually paired with high-waisted paper bag waist pants tucked into scrunchy 80s-style boots.
Post-show she told The Impression this show however unintentional really focused on the shoulder, which has a Samurai-effect. “I didn’t plan it but yesterday when I looked at the pictures after the fittings, I thought ‘wow I really did these urban warrior women.’ But as much as she was in search of a warrior woman – one who is nobody’s fool or victim – she was also thinking about her wardrobe. Amber Valetta in a grey flannel boxy shoulder pantsuit or Gigi Hadid in a bulging bicep ribbed sweater and layered chiffon shirt or even Carolyn Murphy in printed top and matching silk evening jacket paired with leather pants, showed each as a force of their own.
“I didn’t think about a special theme or story which is quite rare. It was more about trying to make very precise, cozy and comfortable clothes,” she said adding, “These are things that won’t bore you and will stay in your closet for years.” Beyond the reassurance of longevity, a popular idea today in any case, it was also a comforting one. “I think it’s a stressful time and I think if you can be reassured with what your wearing, that’s important.”
Her intention was evident in this collection which veered towards classic versus trendy pieces. It was more neutral and monochromatic that usual, “My palette is moodier in winter whereas summer its colorful and printed,” alas the cream, tan and grey color ways. It also translated to the men’s which this season adopted the Isabel Marant women’s codes more into the designs than ever yet didn’t look feminine at all. “I’ve always created clothes that you feel like wearing every day and not just for a fantasy life.” Maybe but sure looks pretty fantastic to live like Isabel Marant.