If Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble were modern-day ravers, they would look fierce rocking Knwls’ frisky spring collection, which telegraphed a raw dimension via rugged leathers, mottled prints and primal, clinging shapes.
Design duo Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault also demonstrated a knack for spiking sultry with sweetness, slashing and then lacing up a pretty yellow prairie dress with the same zeal as the shredded, barely there top and flared pants that opened their brisk display in a raw industrial space.
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Wet-look hair and glistening limbs heightened the steaminess of their skimpy, spider-web tops, tiny miniskirts and spare slipdresses.
“We wanted it to be more lighthearted than last season, which was more combative,” Arsenault said backstage. “This time we were trying to find positiveness.”
That tough-tender tightrope reached a zenith in a glossy biker jacket festooned with piercings, a swishy miniskirt, high heels and handbag — all in candy-floss pink.
There was a perfume of early John Galliano in some of the fluttery dresses, and a soupçon of Jean Paul Gaultier in the corsetry references and the busy prints on mesh jersey.
Rumor has it the French fashion house has held discussions with Knowles and Arsenault about designing a capsule, part of Gaultier’s new business model of serial collaborations.
Backstage, the designers sidestepped the question, while acknowledging that Gaultier has long been an icon and idol for them as a pioneer of provocative, liberating fashions, for which Knwls continues to carry the torch.
Launch Gallery: KNWLS RTW Spring 2023