Back before social media ran the world, Alexandre Vauthier wanted to get into fashion because “I wanted to be part of this bubble, one that lets you dream, but it wasn’t necessarily so accessible,” he said. “You had to work for it.” It rings quaint now, but point well taken: In a time when everything gets served up on a digital silver platter, where does a designer go from there?

“If you leave nothing to the imagination, what happens to desire?” Vauthier mused during a showroom visit. Never one to shy away from body-con, he prefers a tad more mystique: “Desire and fantasy are so much more interesting than pornography.” Those twin notions keep him moving forward, he offered.

For spring, Vauthier plucked ideas from couture. A print with shots of primary color was lifted right from the sketches on his desk, he said. Sharp-hewn shoulders did all the work on an asymmetrical jersey top; a trench got sliced to crop length; a razor-cut jacket was paired with deep-cuffed denims. A bomber with generous curves channeled an ’80s vibe. Several iterations of jersey jumpsuits displayed a certain radicalness of line, most wearably in classic form but also in a highly photogenic, one-leg batwing number.

For evening, metallics ruled. A brocade developed for couture was reimagined in Lurex with a touch of silk; liquid mercury lamé was worked into a nearly weightless party dress; and gold lamé got pleated into a statuesque hourglass number. A bronze lamé top—cropped, pleated, and as sculptural as a shell—was a standout. Also strong were a smattering of pieces not shown here, among them beach-to-dinner sequined summer knits and a little black hourglass dress with a starry backstory: The designer made one like it for Emmanuelle Seigner to wear onstage in Bungalow 21, a play about Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller and Yves Montand and Simone Signoret in 1960s Hollywood, now running at Théâtre de la Madeleine in Paris. It had the kind of simple beauty Vauthier says he’s always after. That dress and a few other pieces here achieved just that.

This article was originally published on Vogue Runway.

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