Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant are the brains behind the ultra-modern Parisian label Coperni. For the brand’s spring 2023 collection, the design duo – who tied the knot on a secluded Greek island last year – pushed the boundaries of fashion technology even further. “It’s our celebration of women’s silhouettes from centuries past,” Vaillant says in a preview over Zoom ahead of the show. “And we wanted to update our aesthetic in a more grown-up and scientific way, too,” adds Meyer.
Held in the Salle des Textiles at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, the show presented a smorgasbord of notable sartorial moments. The designers were serious about playing with historical proportions, from exaggerated hips by way of padding on tailored wool trousers, to the excessive draping of fabric on miniskirts, as well as leather jackets that can be cleverly tied around the waist to resemble the 19th-century bustle. Additionally, there were separates with squared and bulbous shoulders that nod to the present. “The squareness actually came from the characters you see in the online game Roblox,” laughs Meyer.
It’s also important to note the accessories. The popular Swipe bag received a golden makeover, quite literally: Gabriele Veneri, an Italian craftsman from the Semar SRL factory, crafted a version out of 18-carat gold (it’s estimated to cost up to $100,000, FYI). Among the new bags are the Vanit-E, a cube-shaped top-handle bag; the Lady bag, a wider, more demure piece; and a new glass bag, similar to the viral one from last season, which was decorated in flowers and had the glass treated to create an iridescent effect. There were also clip-on sunglasses, inspired by The Matrix, adding to the brand’s distinctive futuristic-chic aesthetic.
When it comes to technical fabrications on the clothes, Meyer and Vaillant continued to trailblaze, whether it’s with the holographic floral prints bonded onto neoprene dresses and jackets, or slinky slip dresses where vertical panels of fabric are held together with metallic ringlets not dissimilar to a traditional phone cord. But the ultimate futuristic flex for this season was the final look, which was made using Fabrican, a patented spray-on material from a can that hardens into wearable textile.
The finale saw a performance that centred around runway star Bella Hadid and Fabrican. Bella appeared on stage in nothing but nude underwear, while a team of specialists – led by Dr Manel Torres, managing director of Fabrican Ltd and inventor of the spray-on fabric – created the perfect minimalist Coperni slip dress directly onto her body. “We wanted to dedicate this moment to Dr Torres, because we respect what he does so much,” explains Vaillant. “We felt that it was absolutely necessary that he led the performance – to us, that makes the experience even more magical.”