Goga Ashkenazi's big ambitions were writ large all over the Espace Ephémère Tuileries. Tulips on the runway and on every seat, paper origami hanging from the rafters, a video installation on the walls, a smoke machine—all of it competing for attention with the clothes. Ashkenazi's Vionnet is still in its nascent stage; it's very much a work in progress. After experimenting with cotton poplin shirts wrapped in tulle plissé last season, she and her team ventured further afield from Vionnet's fluid signatures for Fall, using valenki felt, a material used for traditional boots in Russia, for dresses, coats, and backless bustier tops. Even from a couple of yards away, the itch factor was palpable. Beyond the felt, there were an inordinate number of knit onesies.
There are no rules for brand revivals anymore. Honor the archives or don't—it doesn't matter as long as the clothes are desirable. You just couldn't say that about enough of the pieces here. It didn't help that a difficult shade of lime green was the show's dominant color. The looks that did conjure desire were the ones closest to Madeleine Vionnet's own work. A pair of evening dresses in color-blocked jersey and lightweight suede, sashed around the waist, looked graphic and strong. They pointed a way forward for this label.