The Nouveau Luxe: Barbara Bui FW16
(Collage: Hannah Leverson)
Barbara Bui has always skewed more luxe than dangerous.
When we spoke with her last month, we were reminded that her inspiration draws from music and subculture, but that still didn’t prepare us for this collection: the parade (or maybe explosion) of punky tartan and vinyl, tartan and shearling, tartan and fringe, tartan and houndstooth, tartan and tartan, with East-meets-West, Beijing-by-way-of-Athens looks, and some military moto for good measure.
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It couldn’t have been any further removed from Bui’s strictly black and brown ready-to-wear collection for Spring 2016, and it demonstrates her relatively voracious appetite for exploration.
Le Monde recently questioned the idea of luxury, specifically “luxe” — a word used to such excess in Paris it’s basically become meaningless.
Le Monde recently questioned the idea of “luxe.”
Writer Carine Bizet looked to link true luxe with a kind of rebellon: “Le luxe n’est-il pas justement voué à défier le raisonnable ?”
(“What is ‘luxe’ if not something vowed to defy the reasonable?”)
Barbara Bui responds to that question with an impossible garment that is at the same time a cape and a dress, leather and silk, day and night, outdoor and indoor, old and new, filled with and void of color. Completely unreasonable. We also wondered how it was possible to even put on the tight shiny pants omnipresent in the collection.
Barbara Bui responds to that question with an impossible garment.
Surely there must be a little extra “luxe” in that.