June 24, 2013 Milan
Overall, the collection felt younger, with a more distinct point of view. Or maybe that should be more distinct points of view. There were some literal hat tips to heritage, like the equine print inspired by Vionnet's famous 1929 horse dress, but they rang of box-checking more than anything else. There were looks seemingly designed for editorial consumption—and the front-row, street-style brigade that is now a key demographic for designers—like the series of see-through tulle dresses. Covered with twisted thread appliqués and then rubberized, these were intended to be worn over Ashkenazi's new knit bra-and-panty sets. But the best of the bunch were the more wearable cocktail options that combined the label's legacy with a light, modern touch. The draped, bias-cut jersey dress, which fastens with a hidden leather belt, felt like a meeting of Vionnet minds, past and present. So did new experiments with fabric. These included the introduction of stretch—which Ashkenazi noted was actually first an innovation of Madeleine Vionnet—and a lacquered cady, which gave the look of leather but the drape of silk.