Outside the Coperni show venue near the Pompidou Center in Paris, the night air was pierced with the shrieks of fans greeting the arrival of guests such as Emily Ratajkowski, Maisie Williams and Cole Sprouse.
Not a sound filtered down to the basement bunker where Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer were preparing to unveil their spring collection. No wonder: the state-of-the-art space belongs to the Institute for Research and Co‑ordination in Acoustics and Music, better known as IRCAM, which uses the isolated chamber for acoustic experiments.
During a six-month residency there, French DJ and musician u.r.trax composed the soundtrack of the show using the sound of materials, from the organza of a crinkled lace-trimmed slip to the zips used as frills on slim black matador pants.
“We wanted a collection focused on silence and sound. We absorb more and more images every day and I thought it would be good to return to our primary senses,” Meyer said backstage. “Whenever I have a fabric appointment, I love to listen to the fabric because clothes have a soul, and it’s good to remind yourself of that, especially when your job is to make clothes.”
With their ASMR symphony, the duo wisely returned the focus to the product after going viral with shows featuring Bella Hadid being spray-painted into a dress, and Rianne Van Rompaey facing off against a robot dog. As exciting as those were, there’s no denying they distracted from the clothes.
Coperni’s low-cut tank tops and blouses with overlong sleeves were the sort of elevated basics that give quiet luxury a good name.
Having said that, technology is never far from their minds: Naomi Campbell wore a gray pin-striped suit and lime green blouse with a prototype of a Humane Ai Pin, a computing device from tech start-up Humane that is set to launch on Nov. 9.
Campbell was also sporting square-toed sneakers from Coperni’s upcoming collaboration with Puma, described as a dress shoe that is engineered to the specifications of a performance football boot. Items from the capsule line, including bodysuits with a circular cutout at the chest, were mixed with office-friendly tailored pieces.
Other references to music included triangles inset into an apple green tracksuit top, speakers embedded in a black leather jacket, and fluted bustiers inspired by trumpets. Coperni’s signature Swipe bag, meanwhile, was reinterpreted as a Walkman.
“The idea is that your clothes are a bit like an instrument that you play,” Meyer said.