Doja Cat’s Goldfinger moment in the front row at A.W.A.K.E caused a stir before the show even started, but it’s equally telling that just moments after Natalia Alaverdian’s first show on the official Paris calendar, a newsletter from Moda Operandi dropped naming the brand as an insider favorite. A sharply tailored black jacket not entirely unlike the one that opened the collection held the top spot.
Backstage before the show, the designer — whose mother is Ukrainian and husband is Russian — said that the studio and her team have been her refuge in anxious times. “Without them, it would be difficult to focus, but I push it. I think because I’m an introvert, I get more creative when I’m stressed,” she said.
Fusing inspirations like Vikings, Scandinavian fairy tales, and a space desert like the one in David Lynch’s Dune, the designer sent out nearly 60 looks that ranged from offbeat, like a pair of slippers as pseudo-breasts on a t-shirt, to the sculptural. Laser-cut circles trailed in tendrils from skirts and tops, rectangular tabs shimmied on a black knit sheath, and hourglass tops dipped from shoulder to just above the navel, bisected by a thin bandeau that at times slipped into wardrobe malfunction territory.
Alaverdian has a knack for giving fashion favorites — oversized bombers, deconstructed trenches, cut-out tops with hardstone embellishments, upcycled denim, and split flares — her own spin. While showing inside the Gothic revival-style American Cathedral gave the show extra sense of gravitas, the overall impression was of lightness and — with a handful of notable exceptions — wearability.