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KidSuper and Cirque du Soleil join forces at its Paris fashion show

KidSuper and Cirque du Soleil join forces at its Paris fashion show
KidSuper and Cirque du Soleil join forces at its Paris fashion show


Tucked away on a side street behind Pré-Lachaise, the largest cemetery in Paris and perhaps the most visited necropolis in the world, Colm Dillane, aka KidSuper, stood at the cyclonic center of a studio strewn with clothes, bags, shoes and accessories and filled with models, stylists, photographers, videographers, parent designers and rapper Lil Tjay. Mr. Dillane looked for all the world like a man whose fashion show was taking place far in the future, not the next evening.

What's new, what's good? Lil Tjay asked Mr. Dillane. The question was rhetorical. Lil Tjay, whose first name is Tione Jayden Merritt, knew the answer before Mr. Dillane opened his mouth.

Everything is cool, said the designer. Of course it was.

While some in fashion prefer to work in semi-clinical environments, surrounded by assistants in white coats, and others in solitude, delegating to remote teams, Mr. Dillane is the embodiment of participatory creativity.

If anyone around him, whether it's Wisdom Kaye, his stylist, or his assistant Clara West, 21, a recent graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, has a good idea, his ears are open. If a concept seems ready to fail, he will improvise. If, for example, the 6-foot-8 model destined to wear a headless costume in a fashion show designed in collaboration with entertainment megalith Cirque du Soleil has legs that are too long for the available samples, order a pair sewn overnight.

I'm not sure what we're going to do with the feet, Mr. Dillane said, referring to model Kaylann Baldes' size 12 shoes.

Don't worry, an associate said. Well, figure it out.

Improvisation is a default setting for Mr. Dillane. Coming out of nowhere as a Brooklyn Tech nerd who went from selling T-shirts out of his NYU dorm room to building a booming streetwear brand, he comes face to face with the biggest names in fashion on its most competitive stage. . The cliché has always been that the Moxie is a New York superpower, the ultimate flex.

Whether this is ever the case, the reality is that without formal training and only with his abundant reserve of ideas and motivations to propel him, Mr. Dillane has so far managed to organize 11 fashion shows, two off the official calendar in Paris, off schedule. in his hometown, four in the official line-up of Paris Fashion Week and four films, also presented in Paris during the Covid-19 confinement. One of them was a stop-motion Claymation-style film featuring miniature replicas of famous people.

It was most likely this film that brought him to the attention of the LVMH awards jury, who awarded him the prestigious Karl Lagerfeld Prize in 2021. This in turn brought him to the attention of LVMH, who awarded to Mr. Dillane the creative reins at Louis Vuitton for the second presentation of the brand after the death of designer Virgil Ablohs.

One thing I learned at LV was that they were just as unprepared as I was, Mr. Dillane said Friday, as models in a casting call that had assembled more than 400 prospects for 31 available slots gathered in the studio. Two days before the big LV show, there was no choreography. They were cold about it. The difference is that they had money. They can invest money and people in anything.

What KidSuper has is talent and vibe. That's why shows like the one scheduled for Saturday night tend to attract celebrities, dancers and hip-hop's elite. This is why models give up very lucrative jobs to work for him.

We have no problem finding models, said casting director Maxime Valentini. Everyone wants to work for Colm because of his energy. Models even try to break castings.

Fashion is like a Trojan horse for all these other concepts, said Mr. Dillane, who considers himself a multimedia artist and who has staged shows imitating a roast comedy and featuring real-life comic strips; a docuseries filmed on his life; a fake art auction; and a short clip of Wes Anderson-inspired vignettes. This one was titled If the plan doesn't work, you're crazy, if the plan works, you're a genius.

Whether his latest effort will be considered brilliant or crazy remains to be seen. Yet the pieces are coming together, he said. He had already built a pair of giant hands using 3D printers and choreographed a show with eight circus artists who will be manipulated on the stage of the Trianon theater as if they were puppets. Earlier in the week, he rehearsed the show's opening scene with a hair hanging artist.

She's a person with hanging hair, and hands lift her on stage as if she were on strings, Mr. Dillane said, abruptly removing his T-shirt and walking around half-dressed. I always loved this idea of ​​fashion and puppets.




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