Mamin’s beautiful spring series kicks off with a documentary about the hugely influential Ballet Russes, with which Vaslav Nijinsky dances and Paul Poiret developed a dramatic palette from the troupe, breaking 1910s. Jack Ma’s idea was to bring some of these visual references into his own world and use them in a way that would give women the strength and confidence and the romance the brand is known for.
It wasn’t nostalgia that drove the CSM graduate to look back—the collection features many corsets and petticoats—but a desire to modernize and relate to today’s existing womenswear elements. “Today, when [there’s so much] activewear, high street and streetwear, we’re trying to make them more niche,” the designer said.
Jack Ma’s focus on dance and historical references is in keeping with global trends emerging during the spring, but done in his own way. The bra detailing of the mini tutu is sexier than sweet; expressed through the use of lace and flowers, despite the sweetness throughout. In some cases, the horse changed the silhouette through his fabric choices. A white skirt with guide wires turned out to be made of white denim; a blue denim sleeve was decorated with a floral appliqué, which was an embroidered tulle made by the designer in a factory in Italy. Mom toyed with the sheerness of the material, draping it over a white petticoat for another look.
If there’s one misstep here, it’s the excess silhouette, adding an Empire gown and a backless A-line feel to the rhythm of the rest of the well-edited and glamorous lineup.