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SHOWtime: Paris S/S 23

published on 4 July 2022

What happened when SHOWstudio invited a selection of panellists to an abrasively-honest debate-style panel?

In a discussion moderated by SHOWstudio's fashion critic M-C Hill, panellists Rian Phin, Alexandra Hildreth, Ryan Yip and acting panellist M-C Hill touch on a selection of wide-ranging arguments rooted in Paris' S/S 23 menswear shows. From thinking Matthew Williams just isn't up to the Givenchy benchmark to disagreeing over Dries Van Noten's almighty eclectic return, watch the varying debates below.

What happened when SHOWstudio invited a selection of panellists to an abrasively-honest debate-style panel?

'Why are designers obsessed with commercialising counter culture'. - Rian Phin

Is it ever okay for designers to borrow from subcultures and twist the narrative to include them, despite excluding the very community that initially harnessed those aesthetics? Hildreth may side with Phin, believing fashion should never 'co-opt' a subculture but as Yip fairly points out, isn't it up to the critic - and ultimately, the buyer - to determine the designer's overall point of reference? Who says every subculture borrowed is a subculture stolen?

Rian Phin

‘Why Matthew Williams needs to do both less and more at Givenchy’. - Alexandra Hildreth

Is Matthew Williams to Givenchy what Virginie Viard is to Chanel? Hildreth gets why Givenchy poached Williams in the first place but doesn't think he's up to the mark, going as far to say he's 'lost his Alyx touch' - referencing his first co-ed debut collection as a celebrity playground. However, Phin seems to think he had no choice but to hype up his first Givenchy collection with fashion-approved celebs due to the unfortunate fact of it being in lockdown. What do you think?

Alexandra Hildreth

‘Dries Van Noten has been quiet for a long time and I am glad to see the Belgian designer back in his prime.’ - Ryan Yip

Under the impression that Dries van Noten collections 'haven't been very Dries, post-2017', Yip believes the designer's S/S 23 comeback has injected some oomph back into the Antwerp-based brand through colour, fabric manipulation and a masc-meets-fem aesthetic. Phin, however, thinks fashion is all about its 'hills and valleys' and that because the designer's S/S 15 show was so stellar, naturally, cue a few 'valleys'.

Ryan Yip

‘Walter Van Beirendonck and Rick Owens were best in show for interrogating our own destructive narcissisms’. - M-C Hill

'Fashion is often conflated with art' Hill admits, thinking both Walter Van Beirendonck and Rick Owens excelled under this umbrella with their S/S 23 statements. But did the other panellists agree? There's only one way to find out...

M-C Hill
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