"I was thinking about the ballet Afternoon of a Faun, choreographed by Nijinsky. It basically all culminates with this faun masturbating on a nymph’s scarf, so everybody in the audience, with all their jewels, are just waiting for this guy to hump the scarf. I love that!," mused Rick Owens backstage after his SS15 show. Playing on the duality between the primitive and the futuristic, models covered in stark white and pastel body paints felt otherworldly as they stomped down the runway in a combination of silver moon boots and decontructed jackets, worn like togas.
"I was thinking about my early days when I was always clubbing," Raf Simons revealed backstage after his SS15 show. "I liked the fact that we were all standing. Everyone was on the same level and there was no hierarchy". In an era when people have become so obsessed with status, front rows and social media sharing, Simons’ call to arms – a disruption of the fashion hierarchy by abolishing seating altogether – felt both rare and monumental. A much needed statement to topple tradition, forcing people to pay attention to the reality of what's in front of them as opposed to what's on their screens.
As a designer, Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent shows are always more rock than runway, as his fascination with youth permeates throughout, season after season. For SS15, the designer combined cult casting – girls included – with California trip-outs, in a show that saw everyone from Natalie Westling to musicians from Froth – who were also part of last season's soundtrack – walking together.
Dazed photographer Harley Weir was given exclusive backstage access for Maison Martin Margiela'sSS15 show. A couture-like take for menswear meant nude bodysuits were embroidered with dazzling, intricate beading and set against a palette of natural-hued, minimalist pieces – staple items which had been deconstructed and stitched back together in a hybrid of jeans, fleece, leather and silk.
They say good things come to those who wait. Which is how Paris must have felt when Gosha Rubchinskiy stormed the French capital in an intimate, yet groundbreaking debut show. In a city where the shadow of Paris's major fashion players casts far and wide, Rubchinskiy's debut felt in similar vein to what the capital must have experienced when Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto took the city over 30 years ago. Here comes the revolution.
"I was thinking about a sensual man," explained Dries Van Noten backstage after the show, whose SS15 show centered around pushing the boundaries and traditional notions of masculinity to the edge. Scooped necks that exposed clavicles and embroidered harnesses exposing bare backs featured in an ode to the Soviet-born ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, who – throughout his milestone career – redefined the perception of male dancers.
"I'm always very obsessed with the casting. During the year I find men and women from around the world. Sometimes I think it's sad that an agency always presents the same girls to a designer," revealed Riccardo Tisci backstage after a show that meshed the designer's darkside ("I always come back to the dark side. It's what I'm most attracted to") of knee high lace-up boots and floral embellishments with cult castings like Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel and Irina Shayk.
Always full of surprises, Rei Kawakubo brought back Teddy boy quiffs – courtesy of hair alchemist Julien d'ys – and introduced a hybridisation of elephant tusked winklepicker shoes, which clung to model's feet like skis. A narrow, raised runway only added to Kawakubo's call of the wild, which forced models against the ceiling, backed up against each other like caged animals.
Politically charged, Walter Van Beirendonck's SS15 show delivered a love-letter to individuality, an inspiration drawn from some of the world's protected tribes. A match made in heaven, Van Beirendonck and longtime collaborator, make-up extraordinaire Inge Grognard, brought warped, two-faced masks to the forefront of Paris menswear – one side animal, one side nothing short of psychedelia.
Kim Jones threaded his love for travel into the fabric of his SS15 collection – literally – as the luxury house's reccuring mantra ‘Volez! Voguez! Voyagez!’, or ‘Fly! Sail! Travel!’ zig-zagged across brightly coloured safari shirts, belted jackets and bombers – a timewarped homage to 70s-style Jaipur.