15 floors of Paris’ concrete jungle parking complex became the backdrop for Etudes’ Fall/Winter 2023 runway show. Blinking music contrasts against the gray backdrop, while projector lights fill the air. This is a rough texture for Etudes, which continues to explore urban life in his hometown of Paris during this period; And it is far from the brand that is known for its essentials.
Such brutality is certainly repeated throughout the collection. An industrial brutalist palette of rust, dusty rose, armata, beige, white, black and dark green clothes reflect the harsh realities of urban life, as does the setting.
A live performance by French musician Kudlam marked the start of the event, his crooning tunes being a perfect expression of the eerie atmosphere of Etudes. It’s been a while since we’ve had a glimpse of what’s to come, as the singer’s outfit looks just like a man in a suit – only now he’s letting out the emotion in his voice and revealing it in a frenzy of clothing.
Sewing is not perfect, being raw at the edges and useless. Denim is destroyed. Like the locks found showing love on a Paris bridge, they join other street finds like coins engraved with the brand’s logo, both turned into knitwear and tailoring into 3D artefacts, both as relaxed as one another. And in a true necklace for her country, adorned with iron-purple Eiffel Tower statues, we find them littering the streets near the national landmark.
But beyond the references to all that is near and dear, the Etudes serve brutality in a more direct way. From laser cut-and-paste building graphics on them to clothes and sweaters covered in graffiti symbolism, or zip-up roll-neck jumpers that look torn, distressed, burned, everything Etudes touches has a nod. To disrupt the system.
This is made more evident by formal outerwear, such as a contrastingly well-tailored coat, set over jersey track pants, hanging on the floor, being kicked and torn as the models descend the parking lot.
Bringing the set together was an indie sleaze aesthetic similar to what we recently saw on Our Legacy. Like its Swedish counterpart, the skirts were flimsy, the silhouettes on several pieces were cut in all the right places, and the jumpers were fuzzy.
Etudes’ FW23 collection can be seen in the gallery above, shot backstage exclusively by Hypebeast. Stay with Hypebeast for more Paris Fashion Week FW23 content as the days go by.
In other news, VTMNTS has served up new wardrobe essentials.