It's hard to go terribly wrong when Françoise Hardy is your reference. But Lydia Maurer went a lot further than channeling the French star's soigné style. She delivered a sharp, tightly edited collection that connected the early years of Paco Rabanne with the present, while departing from the sexpots of her debut collection last season.
Another theme that Maurer explored was aviation; the opening look, a trim suit in inky blue, upgraded a pilot uniform with a pleasing sleekness. Then she brought back chain mail, but turned it into the type of collared shift better suited to a mod ingenue than a disco queen. A closer inspection backstage revealed that the metal mesh had been flocked on the inside; mostly, Maurer explained, she did that to add comfort. But flocking also appeared on the outside whenever she sought to cast a matte shadow atop the metal grid. "Flocking is something technical and not found in luxury so much," she said. "It just kind of clicked."
The clicking continued—particularly well in the case of a long-sleeve chain-mail
jumpsuit—as Maurer alternated between looks that were principally solid or shiny. Eventually, they mingled on leather skirts that featured chain-mail inserts and tunics that relegated the shiny bits into a larger grid pattern. And then, just when the show seemed to reach its cruising altitude, Maurer unbuckled and gave us three black and blue chain-mail dresses that melted into lace. They veered a little too close to negligees, but they also showed a softer side that closed the collection on an unexpected boudoir note.
"When you start in a house like this, there are so many things you can do. Last time, I was very effervescent, very new, and I wasn't able to put my point across as much as I wanted," said Maurer after the show. "This time, I decided to make the collection much smaller and precise so it would read better." It hasn't taken long for Maurer to find her wings.