Emerging from the fog, the first model at Courrèges stared down at the phone in her hands, her face lit up by its LED screen. Nicolas di Felice has been thinking about all the time that we spend on our devices. The hoodie the model wore was hunched forward, its volume sort of flattened, and di Felice cut armhole slits into the front, for easier access. There was a leather motorcycle jacket, a tweed coat, and a vinyl caban cut the same way.
Di Felice is on his phone as much as the next guy, he admitted. But watching his friends text when they’re sitting at opposite ends of a bar on a night out, rather than walking over to each other for a chat, he realized that our pocket-sized computers are changing more than our postures, they’re changing our lives. “I don’t judge,” he said, “but I question it, and I wanted to try to reflect on it. To help him do so, a Siri-like AI voice on the soundtrack kept asking, “Is the sky blue? Is the sky blue?” If you open your weather app in the morning instead of looking out the window, she was talking to you.
There’s a lot of heat around Courrèges. Di Felice excels at the kind of body-baring clothes young women today respond to. Last season looked like the morning after a long night at Burning Man, the girls carrying their sandals in their hands; this season, they’re headed to the office on the metro, in shades of black and gray, and even pinstripes, although in nothing as conventional as your standard pantsuit. Tunics with huge circular pendants suspended from portholes on the chest replaced jackets. They were cut in the same general proportions as the ’60s-ish A-line shifts that followed them.
As the show progressed, the black and gray gave way to red and pink, and the straight lines to soft, sexy drapes suspended from wire necklaces, including one or two with the house logo, the collection’s single off note. The final series of dresses came in silver or iridescent sequins accessorized by those mirrored pendants, right over the solar plexus. With the help of a spotlight, it looked like they were emanating energy, the phone’s LED replaced in the end by inner light. “The sky is blue,” the AI voice finally concluded. “Do you see me? I see you.”