Aelis Fall 2024 Couture: Shining a Spotlight on Sustainability

Creative director Sofia Crociani created a new opalescent finish for her fabrics in partnership with Hong Kong University, for a collection that alternated between her signature delicate, diaphanous gowns and a more mysterious dark academia aesthetic.

The collection was a further study in her sustainability work. The black velvet was sourced via her ongoing partnership with the Paris Opera Ballet, while the collaboration with Hong Kong University yielded a new method of spraying gold and silver nanoparticles on vegan BioSilk to create a pearlescent finish that recalls butterfly wings. The process is chemical and water free, with biodegradable bonafides.

Crociani maintained the house codes with her signature undone gowns with raw hems, visible stitching and accents of upcycled jewelry. Those featured more layers this season for added volume.

She also maintained the house ethics using only found feathers for her avian accoutrements to make it a cruelty-free collection, and the European BioSilk was sent to Hong Kong for the treatment, to ensure it met the GOTS-certification standard.

Many of the velvet looks were made from upcycled costumes from the opera, with Victorian puff sleeves, bustled skirts and sashes that draped across the body for a dark academia aesthetic. The use of the heavier material this season gave the collection an added dimension of richness.

Crociani leaves the performers’ tags inside the upcycled garments. “Those kinds of dresses have a special story,” she said, and she wants to retain their history. “They have an incredible background, and they can tell us something new.”

The collection also featured looks on men, including a velvet wrap and a gown, a juxtaposition that Crociani compared to a modern woman casually wearing a blazer. The interchangeable use of garments is a “free exchange, as we evolve in another dimension” on gender neutrality.

Models walked among the Roman antiquities and midcentury modern furniture of the Pierre Augustin Rose gallery. The contrasting shapes and textiles created a cohesive dialogue, plus a little bit of time-warp tension that fit the setting to good effect.

SOURCE: Women’s Wear Daily

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