The World’s First Drive-In Catwalk presentation took place at Paris Fashion Week for design duo Sébastien Mayer and Arnaud Vaillant of Coperni. With a ’99 percent’ digital format for the Fall Winter 2021 Paris Fashion Week, the ANDAM-winning prize designers staged the week’s only audience-attended runway show.
The pair managed to circumvent the restrictions on gathering by commandeering 36 DS Automobile chauffeured cars and Paris’ vast Accor Arena at Bercy. All 70 guests received a Justificatifde Déplacement Professionnel to break the 6 PM curfew currently in place in Paris and each car was limited to just two passengers plus chauffer, all guests were collected from their residence and driven through the streets of Paris before arriving in the great hall of the Accord Arena in Bercy, the 12th arrondissement of the City of Light. The cars were parked in neatly marked spots on the floor of the dark hall, helping to form the runway and ambiance along the way. The car radios turned on to announce the start of filming and each set of headlights were timed to light up as the first model passed by, thus allowing participants to view the collection through their car window. The vibe was both underground nightclub and Superbowl-worthy car commercial.
Coperni has always given priority to the sun, to daylight, to clear and distinct ideas. But with the sun cometh the night. She shows the world differently – guiding us as always but also urging in a new time, a time to welcome in the unpredictable. Whether it’s midnight or midday, the night is our window to see what is possible.
The Winter 21 collection is an exploration into the complexity and the mystery of nighttime as we know it: sometimes pitch-black, sometimes dotted with stars, sometimes illuminated by the moon. The night-time of celebration, of seduction and of plunging into the unknown is opposed to the nighttime of sleep, of resting our bodies and allowing dreams to take over our mind and our soul. Frank and dynamic cuts on classic silhouettes let us glimpse the skin lying beneath. The shoulders are raised, the arms are slender – ready to enter in to the darkness. Sensuality arises from a play on zipped draping. Second skin mesh opposes the moving fringes. Bags in the shape of a padlock suggest something locked away in darkness. Maximised forms lead us towards calmness, reconciliation and time for ourselves. Softness protects the body and light becomes therapy.