Aelis Couture Spring 2024

Deepening her collaboration with the Paris Opera Ballet, Aelis creative director Sofia Crociani was given access to the costume archives and came away with new shapes and textiles to work with for her largely upcycled and eco-friendly collection.

She worked the vintage items, mostly cotton crinolines and petticoats, that she used to create a more structured shape than past collections. One skirt had pannier hips for enormous Rococo proportions, which was offset by a see-through pink top that added a modern, more confrontational touch.

Elsewhere she used a corset over a black minidress as a statement on how women move and protect their bodies.

Much of the collection was classic Crociani with her deconstructed gowns, sheer silk draped across the body or wisps of tulle cinched together with ribbon or vintage jewels. One light-as-air pink confection was embellished with a heavy chain and jewels to good effect, while other looks worked with the ballet core she often explores.

“I tried to have a dialogue with that history,” said Crociani of counterbalancing period garments with contemporary mores.

However, a denim bikini top paired with layered skirts and a leggings-and-blazer look undermined her statement.

The show was held on the top floor of the Opera Bastille, with its expansive views over the city. The backdrop added gravitas to the collection, but a solo cello player added a solemn air. The barefoot models moving at a glacial pace didn’t help matters.

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