“My fourth haute couture collection demonstrates a whirlwind of appearances,” Charles de Vilmorin says of his AW22 offering, entitled Alienic. Perhaps the young Parisian designer is being a little modest? Rather, the collection resembles a hurricane of colours and extra-terrestrial references, with a healthy dose of surrealism thrown in for good measure.
Showing amongst an intimate, mirrored salon that feels so indicative of traditional haute couture, the garments in question make no attempt to hide their creative subversion. Within the refined upper echelons of the industry, de Vilmorin belongs to an emerging generation of creatives seeking to distort – by means of preserving – fashion’s most sacred practice.
Vilmorin has never been one to play by convention. Launching his eponymous label directly on Instagram in April 2020, at a time when the rest of the industry was in retreat, the designer is a product of fashion’s growing democratisation.
Previous designs have seen Vilmorin utilise hand-painting and bold colour palettes, and Alienic shows the designer has no intention of scaling-back his experimentation. Featuring ‘70s platform boots, tulle collars and hooded taffeta dresses, each piece evokes a sense of the avant-garde. Models even are styled using the visual characteristics of filmmaker Tim Burton to whimsical, gothic effect.
The collection is pure fantasy and measured frivolity, in which celestial creatures parade through the apocalypse with joy and vibrancy. Reflecting a broader societal flux, Vilmorin seems to provide the idealised solution.
Photography courtesy of Charles de Vilmorin.