Coperni RTW Fall 2021

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Forget drive-in political rallies: French brand Coperni on Thursday staged what is believed to be Paris’ first drive-in fashion show.

Guests were picked up in a fleet of 36 Citroën DS cars and taken to the AccorHotels Arena, a venue more used to hosting concerts by the likes of Celine Dion and Harry Styles, to watch Coperni’s fall collection from the comfort of their back seats. (The designers had equipped the rides with Champagne-flavored e-cigarettes, Haribo sweets and pink Ruinart Champagne.)

Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer said it took weeks to obtain the permits for the event, classified as a film shoot and held after France’s 6 p.m. curfew, which was implemented in mid-January in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Drivers were all tested for COVID-19 and wore special anti-bacterial masks.

Coperni RTW Fall 2021

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“We live in an ultra-digital world where there’s not much humanity left. We wanted to create a real experience, so the idea of cars came naturally,” Meyer said. “This period is a little sad, so it’s up to us to be even more creative and to make people dream,” Vaillant added.

As some guests popped their heads out of the vehicles’ sunroofs, car radios were hooked into the techno soundtrack via Bluetooth and models were literally caught in the headlights in their shiny, reflective club gear. Think sheer sparkly slips, PVC pants and crystal-studded thigh-high boots.

Vaillant and Meyer said they were inspired by fond memories of going out in the 2000s, and they clearly loosened up, playing around with clingy, draped Lycra minidresses and tops, and a palette ranging from black and white to pale pink, fluorescent yellow and electric blue.

The duo didn’t completely turn their backs on their signature sharp tailoring. Standouts included an ivory pantsuit with shield-like, raised shoulder panels. They even managed to inject some structure into a huge, white faux fur coat, dramatically sliced away at the shoulders for a cool take on comfort dressing.

With its taste of forbidden fruit, the show provided a fun — and safe — respite from the tedium of rushing home early. Let’s hope that by the time the outfits go on sale, they make it out of the car park onto a dance floor.

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