Yesterday in Paris, adidas Originals put on a runway show that wasn’t exactly like your typical fashion show. For instance, the catwalk featured not one designer, but three – selected by adidas Originals and David Beckham (acting in his role as an ambassador to the British Fashion Council) were Nicholas Daley, Paolina Russo, and Priya Ahluwalia, each presenting their own collections. “I am so proud that together we can celebrate emerging British Fashion Talent at key global moments throughout the year,” says Beckham.
There was also the fact that the event was part of a brand new initiative, the latest venture from the footwear brand’s MakerLab project, which focusses on workshops and innovation. Called ‘Here to Create’, the program is all about spotlighting emerging talent. “As a brand that supports young creatives it’s such a privilege to be able to provide our resources and global platform to inspire creativity,” says Nick Galway, senior VP of design at adias.
Jonah Hill – the Mid90s director, style god, and soon-to-be adidas collaborator – was in attendance, sporting slicked back blonde hair and a vintage Dr. Octagon tee. He chatted it up in the frow with model and tech entrepreneur Karlie Kloss, as well as catching a few words with Becks. Pharrell – the man who made adidas x Chanel trainers a thing – also put in an appearance, arriving post-show to check out the collections.
THE DESIGNERS GOT TO WORK WITH COUTURE ATELIERS
Well, there’s something to be said about learning from the best. As well as taking tips from adidas’s own experts, the designers were able to pair with some of Paris’s most prestigious ateliers to create their own custom kicks. Learning beading, gilding and leatherworking from couture masters, the techniques were applied to the adidas Originals franchise SC Premiere silhouettes, which each reworked and dressed their models in for the show.
THE COLLECTIONS REFLECTED EACH DESIGNER’S POV
From Nicholas Daley’s distinctively British mix of styles, influences, and eras, to Priya Ahluwalia’s retro, culture-clash sportswear, each designer’s collection felt true to their own identity. Paolina Russo (who created the corset worn by Solange on the cover of Dazed last year) took the idea of sport and sprinted with it; models carried bags made of deconstructed footballs, while one sported a sculptural dress created by stitching the hexagonal patches together with colourful thread.
BUT ALSO REFERENCED ADIDAS’ DESIGN HISTORY
Whether it was Daley’s mod-style badges and panelled baker boy hats made up of patchworked fabric bearing the three stripes, or Ahluwalia’s trackies under trench coats, each designer took the codes of adidas and imagined them their way. It was Russo who pushed things furthest; her opening look featured a bodice created from deconstructed trainers, worn with neon pink tights and with the model carrying a badminton racket. Why not?
THE SHOW VENUE IS AN ADIDAS CREATIVE HUB
As well as serving as a studio for the designers to work on their collections this week, the Garage Amelot venue will act as a central hub for adidas during fashion week. There’ll be an educational MakerLab workshop with David Beckham and the BFC for local design students, as well as the Y-3 runway show and a showroom displaying the latest adidas designs.