Franck Sorbier reached for the high-tech future of fashion to retell a dark 17th century French fairytale on Wednesday.
The French designer used gorgeous visual effects to recount Donkeyskin, a story of a widowed king set on marrying his own daughter, who escapes his clutches by demanding a series of impossible gowns, the colour of the sky, moon or sun.
For the avant-garde presentation, he had cut just two dresses – a low-cut white ball gown worn by the princess, and a sculptural black dress and pointed headdress of the sorceress.
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When his princess took to the stage, he beamed images onto her voluminous dress.
An open road signalled her desire to flee, while morning dew and underwater reeds evoked her fragile beauty.
For the happy ending, when she falls in love with a prince, a beating heart appears on a blood red gown, giving way to a white dress with butterflies fluttering up and away, into the then-blue sky and beyond.
“The collection is a bridge between the past, the present and what the future could be,” explained Franck, who had teamed up with the software giant Intel for the high-tech side of the project.
“It’s about how with a little imagination you can bring together two worlds that are diametrically opposed,” he said.
“And it is about how we can take haute couture into the future to ensure it survives.”
For the finale, the creative genius unveiled 19 looks from his past collections, a move meant to illustrate the timeless nature of couture.