Au revoir fashion month! Fashion’s grand finale, Paris Fashion Week, wrapped up Tuesday, Oct. 4th and it was a full 9 days of back-to-back shows, parties, and events. The IRL runway shows were packed with guests and celebrities, and the week was back to pre-pandemic levels. The fashion was magnificent as the French have a flare for the theatrical, ranging from pannier looks (Panniers or side hoops are women’s undergarments worn in the 17th and 18th centuries to extend the width of the skirts at the side while leaving the front and back relatively flat), to asymmetrical hemlines, bra tops, and catsuits.
Paris Fashion Week was filled with just as much excitement on the runways and off.
At Loewe, guests were sent a red anthurium flower as the invitation as the bold flower appeared on dresses, modelled as bra cups and breastplates made from metal covered in ceramic paint.
Ester Manas celebrated ALL women. Her Spring 2023 show notes stated that ‘Everyone is welcome’, this was clear with the collection’s size-inclusive cast.
Stella McCartney is one of the biggest designers championing sustainable clothing and this season was her most sustainable collection to date, using 87% conscious materials.
Junya Watanabe returned to Paris with a bang. The models sported fantastic New Romantic wigs and strutted to a soundtrack of Duran Duran.
The set at Balenciaga was an immense dimly lit mud pit that stank of damp soil as the poor models trudged around the perimeter. The show opened with Ye dressed in a multi-pocketed security guard jacket. Demna Gvasalia, the creative director for the brand, described the set as a ‘metaphor for digging for truth’.
Inspired by Catherine de Medici, who is recognized for bringing high heels, corsets, and Burano lace to the French court, Maria Grazia Chiuri riffed on the wide-skirt silhouette from that era for Dior’s Spring 2023. At the center of the runway was a grotto set by French artist Eva Jospin and a performance by dancers and choreographers Marne and Imre Van Opstal and their troupe.
Cher made a cameo appearance at Balmain’s festival at Stade Jean-Bouin. She is the new face of Balmain’s handbag campaign, and the star joined creative director Olivier Rousteing for his bow.
A huge ‘monster flower’ installation designed by artist Philippe Parreno pulsated at the heart of the Louis Vuitton show, complete with lightbulb chandeliers whizzing about over ahead.
Victoria Beckham’s Paris runway debut brought a sexier edge to the brand, set against the backdrop of the cloisters of Val-de-Grâce. The Beckham family were all in attendance to cheer her on.
The first Issey Miyake show since the founder’s death in August, opened with a portrait of the late designer on big screens displaying one of his quotes, ‘I believe there is hope in design. Design evokes surprise and joy in people.’
Zendaya made a stunning appearance at the Valentino’s show during Paris Fashion Week and took a front seat to the runway. The actress wore a sheer bodysuit covered in tiny crystals covering a pair of black short-shorts, all from Valentino’s Spring 2022 collection.
K-Pop sensation Blackpink took over Paris Fashion Week as bandmembers made various appearances. Rosé attended Saint Laurent in a black minidress, Jisoo paired a black mini with fishnets at Dior and Jennie Kim looked absolutely delightful in a colorful, knit look at Chanel.
Kylie Jenner also made a splash at Paris Fashion Week as the reality star popped up in multiple front rows and events. She definitely went out of her comfort zone as she wore bold fashion looks.
Bella Hadid Closing Show at Coperni’s Spring 2023 Collection. Video Courtesy of YouTube The Front Row
In a runway moment that evoked the iconic Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 1999 show, in which Shalom Harlow’s white dress was live-painted on the runway by two robots as she stood on a rotating platform, Coperni designers Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant sprayed a dress onto Bella Hadid before the audience’s eyes. It was a moment very clearly engineered to go viral, but in that respect, it was a massive success: The brand gained hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers in the days after the show, and a post depicting the moment garnered over 2 million likes in just 48 hours, according to Nylon Magazine.
Doja Cat was a front row fixture all month long, sometimes putting the collections on the runways to shame. The entertainer is definitely having fun with fashion.
Spring 2023 marked Ib Kamara’s first, as the art and image director at Off-White in the wake of founder Virgil Abloh’s passing, and the show — complete with a live musical performance and a dancers — was a lovely celebration of the Abloh’s life, work, and legacy.
It doesn’t matter where Thom Browne shows, his runway extravaganzas are nothing short of magic. This season, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez shut down the runway by climbing into a pink Cadillac as Aretha Franklin song of the same name blasted from the speakers.
BIZZAREST MOMENT OF PARIS FASHION WEEK
Kanye West — who legally changed his name to Ye — sparked controversy in his black long-sleeve tee with its statement, “White Lives Matter” which is considered a “hate slogan” by the Anti-Defamation League, during his Yeezy Season 9 event at Paris Fashion Week on Monday, October 10th. His look was on full display as the designer gave a speech during the opening of the presentation. It was also featured in an image uploaded to Twitter by conservative commentator Candace Owens — who wore the same shirt in white to the show.
The fashion industry has collectively deemed Ye’s YZY show as dangerous and irresponsible, and they have also rallied around Vogue fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson after the artist bullied her in response to her critique on the show.
PARIS FASHION WEEK TRENDS
Aside from Ye’s disastrous show, there was plenty of great fashion in Paris and here are a few breakout trends:
Everything old is new again, even the pannier – an under-structure used in eighteenth-century fashion that created a shape wide at the sides and flat at the front and back – designers ranging from Dior to Loewe all created modernized versions of the hip-accentuating silhouette.
Hooded evening-looks were all over the runways in Milan, and in Paris the trend is going strong. But in France, the capuche (French for hood) looks more like a cowl or an already-attached headscarf than what you’d see on a sweatshirt. These hooded ensembles can be found on anything from a cropped top to a slinky gown.
This spring the French Runways were filled with the tiniest of shorts, so go ahead and show off your legs.
Bra tops have been going strong and for Spring 2023, the French Runways were filled with leather variations of the controversial top.
Designers are favoring the one-and-done style of the catsuit this Spring season. From Sheer and sparkling numbers to printed versions, one things for sure, none of these looks are a bore.
The moto-bike trend trickled up from the streets to the Paris Runways. For spring 2023, there were plenty of moto jackets that ranged from graphic motifs to minimalistic leather versions.
THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO
It was a disco inferno on the Paris runways as designers presented sparkling dresses that are perfect for dancing the night away.
THE CANADIAN TUXEDO
The Y2K trend is still going strong as designers are inspired by Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake matching denim looks from the 2001 American Music Awards. An update to the Canadian Tuxedo definitely made its mark on the Paris runways this season.
Another popular Y2K trend is back for Spring 2023, the asymmetrical hemline. In Paris, designers opted to shift mullet hems from to side-to-side for a modern version of the handkerchief dresses.
HIPS DON’T LIE
And the Y2K continues with low-rise bottoms. Designers in Paris presented low-rise everything: skirts, jeans, trousers, cargo pants and shorts. This trend is here to stay.
SO TELL US, AFTER NEW YORK, LONDON, MILAN, AND PARIS FASHION WEEKS, WHICH CITY DO YOU THINK HAS THE STRONGEST TRENDS?
Maria Grazia Chiuri’s ‘beauty & protection’ collection for Dior fall 2022 (Photo credit: The Economic Times)
As war rages in Ukraine (since February 24th) and the fashion industry unites by donating to relief orgs and closing retail stores in Russia, sometimes fantasy is what we all need to escape the harsh realities of the world around us. The month-long fall 2022 runway extravaganza is in its final stretch. Paris Fashion Week, which began on Monday, February 28th ends on Tuesday March 8th. At the risk of seeming insensitive to the tragedies that continue to unfold in real-time in Ukraine, we are looking forward to the end of the conflict with hope and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
At the start of Paris Fashion Week, Ukrainian fashion journalists, now refugees, and Ukrainian designers, used their social platforms to support and strengthen the Ukrainian people. French designer Olivier Rousteing wrote to his 7.6 million Instagram followers, “It’s hard to feel right about focusing on runways and clothes, as we listen with a heavy heart to the latest news.” He added, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainians. We are inspired by their dignity, resilience and devotion to freedom.” Rousteing’s collection consisted of looks that strongly resembled futuristic body armour, as did Maria Grazia Chiuri’s collection for Dior, which consisted of strong shoulder pads and airbag corsets. These designers conceived their collections long before the war in Ukraine began, so are they fashion’s soothsayers? Is protective clothing for a wartime atmosphere going to be fashion’s latest trend?
As volunteer Ukrainian hackers help their country by going after targets such as Russian state-owned bank Sberbank, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become an international icon and yes, an unlikely sex symbol, for his fierce resistance to Putin’s unprovoked war on his country.
Although fashion has always provided us with fantasy and an escape from reality, it also offers a socio-political reflection of the world around us. Giorgio Armani was one of the first designers to react to the war when on February 27th he chose to present his collection at Milan Fashion Week in total silence as a tribute to the suffering in Ukraine. In Paris, Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode released a statement advising people to “experience the shows of the coming days with solemnity, and in reflection of these dark hours.
Designers around the world are showing their support for Ukraine as they post images of the Ukrainian Flag on their social media pages and the CFDA has just created a list of charities and relief organizations to donate to https://cfda.com/news/how-cfda-members-help-ukraine.
At UoF we have chosen to help the children of Ukraine by donating to Unicef USA https://www.unicefusa.org and are consistently spreading the word on our social media channels.
UoF’s Children of Ukraine initiative on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn
As the old saying goes “the show must go on”, and yet Paris Fashion Week opened on a somber note with a tribute show to Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, who passed away of cancer on November 2021. Celebs walked the runway in his honor, Cindy Crawford, Kaia Gerber, Serena Williams and Bella Hadid and touchingly, a male model held a white flag reading ‘Question Everything’.
So, while Paris Fashion Week is still going strong at the writing of this post, here are a few of the breakout trends thus far:
Designers set their sights on the future, delivering on some pretty and provocative cosmically (and sometimes comically) chic looks, with nods to Sixties icons Paco Rabanne and Andre Courrèges.
Glamour took a turn toward the dark side in intricate lace dresses and delicate tulle frocks.
LADY IN RED
Make a grand entrance at your next soiree in eye-catching red gowns that will surely bring on the drama.
Designers turned a savage eye on fur (both real and faux) offering a playful and modern take on the lavish material.
Le Smoking is back as designers in Paris paid tribute to the tuxedo look that Yves Saint Laurent popularized for women in 1966. Here are some fresh takes on the classic tuxedo.
Designers wiped the slate clean this fall season with an all-white palette that offered plenty of alluring details.
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
Thanks to Kim Kardashian’s love of the unitard, the sexy, one-piece, body-con look was all over the runways in the fashion capital of the world.
The 2000’s trend is going strong, and for fall, designers brought back the confusing dress or skirt over pant look. Although today’s version is a study on layering to perfection.
AND THAT’S A WRAP! AS THE FALL 2022 RUNWAY SEASON COMES TO AN END, PLEASE JOIN US IN HOPING THAT BY NEXT FASHION SEASON THE RUSSIAN DICTATOR WILL COME TO HIS SENSES AND GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!
NOW THAT UOF COVERED THE SHOWS IN NEW YORK, LONDON, MILAN, AND PARIS, WHICH CITY DO YOU THINK HAD THE BEST FASHION?
Masks may be an au courant trend (not without controversy), but thanks to masks, social distancing and vax cards Paris Fashion Week roared back to life. The festivities that began on Monday, September 27th wind down on Tuesday, October 5th with major fashion houses opting for live shows such as Dior, Chanel, Hermes, and Vuitton.
“We are overjoyed at their return and the presence of the other big brands,” Pascal Morand, head of France’s Federation for Haute Couture and Fashion, told AFP, a news network in France. “We feel this appetite for the physical, for the show,” he added.
But we cannot forget that COVID-19 is not yet over and so just like in New York, London, and Milan, face coverings were compulsory at all the shows this week in the City of Lights.
Of the 97 fashion brands showing at PFW, about two-thirds are continuing with online presentations.
A look from Kenneth Ize’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)
Nigerian designer, Kenneth Ize, a favorite of supermodel Naomi Campbell, kicked off Paris Fashion Week with a show at the Palais de Tokyo.
Then on Sunday evening, Givenchy held its first IRL catwalk presentation by its new American artistic director Matthew Williams, who brought an element of street style to the historic French brand.
Saint Laurent was also back with a live show on Tuesday evening, despite being the first major house to quit the Paris Fashion official calendar when the deadly pandemic hit in 2020. Today it’s obvious that the brand and it’s creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, made the right choice. The historic French house has been protesting the chaotic pace of the fashion calendar, which has led several major brands to rethink their strategies even before the pandemic.
A video of Saint Laurent’s spring 2022 show. (Video courtesy of Saint Laurent on YouTube)
Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala Balanciaga Look rewrote the Red Carpet’s Rules. (Photo Credit: Elle)
On Saturday night the much-anticipated Balenciaga show took place. All eyes were on the brand’s creative director Demna Gvasalia, especially after making waves at the Met Gala when he dressed Kim Kardashian in a controversial all-black, head-to-toe covering (talk about the ultimate Covid mask!).
Balenciaga, which is under the umbrella of the French global luxury group Kering (Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Bottega Veneta to name a few) proved that they are totally committed to the future of fashion. Prior to Paris Fashion Week they announced at their brands would be going entirely fur-free. Balenciaga announced that they had teamed up with the hit cartoon comedy show The Simpsons, and they announced a partnership with Unreal Engine’s popular computer game Fortnite. Keep your eyes on this space and watch for our upcoming blog topic on how the fashion industry is entering the gaming space.
Video about Kering going fur-free. (Video Courtesy of France24 on YouTube)
Although there was plenty of excitement and so many live shows to attend, there were still a few who have opted out of showing during the Paris Fashion Week calendar. Most noteworthy absent brands were Celine, whose artistic director Hedi Slimane has argued that the traditional calendar was “obsolete” in the age of social media. Off-White, the brand of the popular streetwear designer Virgil Abloh, has not appeared for several seasons now, as well as Stella McCartney, although she has not given a reason for skipping out of the fashion calendar.
PFW will end with an homage to Israeli-American designer Alber Elbaz, who died from Covid-related complications in April 2020. The late Elbaz’s company, AZ Factory, planned a tribute show with 44 of the world’s most talented designers, each of whom have created a piece in Elber’s honor. Among the designers participating: Rei Kawakubo, Alessandro Michele, Donatella Versace, and Nicolas Ghesquière, and from the U.S., Ralph Lauren, Virgil Abloh and Daniel Roseberry of Schiaparelli. The company is calling the event, which will be live streamed on October 5 at 8 pm CET, “Love Brings Love.” I am sure the event will bring many to tears as Alber Elbaz was one of the most beloved and charismatic designers of our time.
While the final stretch of the Spring 2022 shows is still going strong, here are some key trends coming out of Paris so far:
This season, designers in Paris played mix masters with a mélange of luxe and alluring combinations.
Twisted halter tops take center stage this season as the sexy neckline can be found on everything from body-con dresses and jumpsuits to barely there tops.
No longer the sole domain for dancers and gymnasts, the jumpsuit takes on a racy twist in skintight versions that are oh-so-sexy.
Getting in shape never looked better. Designers are inspired by the sporty life with chic riffs on everything from cool basketball-style shorts to a full-on boxing looks.
THE BELT WAY
Cinch it in! Designers are opting for belting looks this season to accentuate the waist.
The French have a flare for sexiness and this spring designers are adding an extra dose of seduction with strategically placed cut-outs leaving very little to the imagination.
YOU’RE A GEM
The collections in Paris were filled with brilliant jewel tone colors – rich magentas, emeralds, and blues – enough to make you sparkle like a gem.
Metallic hues take a playful turn for spring 2022 as designers show an array of shiny looks from a gold fringe dress to a silver futuristic topper, one things for sure, it’s time to shine on.
NOW THAT WE’VE COVERED EACH OF THE MAJOR FASHION WEEK CAPITALS, WHICH CITY DO YOU BELIEVE HAS THE MOST CREATIVE TALENT?
Political unrest, devastating natural disasters, fear of war, the economy, racism, the #me too movement, every day we are all bombarded with negative news, not only from our own backyard, but around the globe. At times, it feels as if we live in a mad, mad world.
So, when friends who are not in the fashion industry ask: “How can you think about fashion during these volatile times?” the answer… it’s not easy. The fashion industry is a Goliath worldwide business. According to Statista, revenue of the U.S. Apparel Industry in 2018 was estimated at $102,820 million. Globally the retail value of luxury goods is estimated at $339.4 billion (according to Fashion United). But aside from the economic value of the fashion industry, there is also a psychological one – fashion is a great escape from the real world. And, this fashion season delivered!
Not only were the shows theatrical, but the craftsmanship and the use of bold, eye-popping color all contributed to an upbeat and happy escape from reality. Exactly what the doctor ordered.
Let’s take a look at what was happening at the Paris shows, which included debut and controversy at Celine, gender-diversity on the runway, avant-garde escapism and a space age look into a better future.
A NEW DAY AT CELINE
Hedi Slimane’s debut collection for Celine was filled with mixed reviews. Even before his show, Slimane caused controversy by rebranding the company’s logo, removing the accent aigu (Céline). As editors, influencers, buyers and celebrities eagerly awaited Slimane’s collection, many were disappointed that he replicated exactly what he did at Saint Laurent (2012-2016) and his past collections for Dior Homme (2000-2007). Slimane fired back, targeting the American press and charging them with ‘homophobia.’ I mean, really?
For many, the re-branding at the hands of Slimane was the complete and utter destruction of Celine’s house codes and Phoebe Philo’s legacy, whose fan base expects smart, chic, and intellectual collections. Some even called Simane’s debut collection, ‘Saint Celine.’
And here’s why. The collection had a glam-grunge, rock n’ roll sensibility. There was a nod to the Eighties, with big shoulder silhouettes, exaggerated pouf details, mini lengths and plenty of shine. Maybe perfect for dancing the night away at your favorite trendy hot spot but not what the house is generally known for. Just goes to show that taking over as creative director at a heritage house is no simple task!
Slimane also introduced menswear to Celine, showing perfectly tailored skinny pantsuits that have become his signature look. But, ladies don’t fret, these looks are unisex as well.
On the retail front it will be interesting to see, whether Celine’s customers take to the ‘new vision’ or will Slimane’s consumer be his old Saint Laurent clientele. Only time will tell.
THE AGE OF ANDROGYNY
As the cultural discussion on gender identity keeps moving forward, designers are embracing the shift in acceptance and are positioning their brands to be all inclusive by showing their menswear and womenswear collections together, casting transgender models, and even launching entire unisex collections.
At Givenchy, Clare Waight Keller took cues from 1930s gender-bending writer and adventurer Annemarie Schwarzenbach. Keller sent her models out with cropped boyish haircuts in leather Perfectos tucked into military pants – a direct homage to a photo of Schwarzenbach. For evening, she showed elegant bias cut asymmetrical gowns. But her daywear was what really stuck out. There were plenty of chic army trousers paired with fitted jackets, smart suit alternatives and plenty of crisp shirts – all perfect looks for the fashion-forward working girl.
Haider Ackermann has been showing androgynist looks for years now, with Tilda Swinton as his muse. This season the designer decided to show both his womenswear and menswear collections on the runway together. The collections were perfectly intertwined, sending out his models in pairs of three to clearly make his point that his collection is cross-gender.
Ackermann has mastered creative tailoring. For spring, there were plenty of sharp suits in bold colors, boxy shirts with intricate laser-cut details and pajama-inspired pieces. Although the unisex concept has been seen on a number of runways this season, Ackermann’s version was effortless and elegant.
There are a handful of designers who are truly creative geniuses. Season after season these avant-garde designers take us on a breathtaking journey, their collections are thought provoking, witty and intellectual. Here’s a mash-up of the best!
THE GREATEST SHOWMEN/WOMAN
Meanwhile, back to reality, well, almost. Karl Lagerfeld created a tropical beach for his Chanel spectacle. Yes, you heard me right. At the Paris Grand Palais, Lagerfeld recreated a beach that included an ocean with gentle waves, blue sky, wooden docks and lifeguards. He completed the scene with none other than former Baywatch actor Pamela Anderson seated in the front row.
Nicolas Ghesquière took us on a futuristic voyage for his Louis Vuitton collection. The perfect escape mechanism to avoid the reality of these times.
Modern dancers performed during Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Christian Dior Show. It was a nice break from traditional cat walking.
Anthony Vaccarello’s girls walked on water under the Eiffel Tower for his Saint Laurent show.
For Miuccia Prada’s Miu Miu collection, the concept of ‘deconstructing beauty’ continued by putting her spin on DIY, recycling, and upcycling under a backdrop modern art installations.
Fashion week season wouldn’t be complete without a ‘romance-inspired’ collection. Beautifully feminine looks, from whimsical tulle confections to vintage floral charm, these saccharine-savy looks had just the right dose of spice.
In a galaxy far, far away…..some designers looked ahead to the future, creating looks that were out of this world.
Ok, all these fantasy looks are spectacular, but sometimes we need to see some real clothes on the runway, right? But always with a twist!
THE NEW GUARD
Here at UoF, we love and support new, emerging designers. Here’s a fresh crop who are disrupting the establishment……
TELL US WHICH COLLECTION TOOK YOU OUT OF REALITY, EVEN IF ONLY FOR A MOMENT?
After a long fashion show season, fashionistas can breathe, we are now in the final stretch of the fall 2018 collections. As editors, models, buyers and fashion insiders arrived in the City of Light on Tuesday morning, they were greeted with extremely cold temperatures and a little snow, but everyone was happy because the shows were on fire!
While Paris Fashion Week is still going strong, here is a look at the excitement of the first half of the week:
Are you up for a protest? Well Maria Grazia Chiuri sure is, as her fall runway collection was inspired by France’s student protest of 1968. Chiuri has become French fashion’s voice of female empowerment and a champion for women everywhere. For her latest collection, Chiuri struck a chord! She filled her runway venue with protest art from the 60s, which seemed quite relevant given the ongoing protests against NRA-beholden politicians in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting and student-led anti-gun movement. Let’s give a shout-out to these young people who are making their voices heard and who are planning a nationwide ‘March For Our Lives’ gun-control rally scheduled for March 24th.
Inspired by the late Sixties, Chiuri played with crochets, embroideries and plenty of patchwork – but all with a refined hand; after all, this is the House Of Dior.
Sex sells, and no one does it sexy better than Anthony Vaccarello. The young designer’s Saint Laurent show was full of energy and excitement, as he built a stadium-size box, slap-bang opposite the Eiffel Tower. The venue was a spectacle with dazzling lights filling the space. The clothes were just as wonderful – a full-on Eighties spectacle with big-shouldered dresses and barely there shorts. The Saint Laurent girl better get her legs in shape this season!
Leave it to John Galliano to imagine the apocalypse and have his girls dressed for it in the coolest of ways. For his collection at Maison Margiela, the designer piled on layers of every type of protective device. Case in point, techy plastics and shields over just about everything. Is this his reaction (solution?) to North Korea and Russia’s ramp-up of weapons of mass destruction and sarin gas that was used on the Syrian people? Maybe.
DRIES VAN NOTEN
On a lighter note, Dries Van Noten, known for his beautiful and creative mix of prints and color, did not disappoint for his fall collection. While American designers were preoccupied with the 80s, Van Noten served up plenty of Seventies-inspired psychedelic references. Makes you want to contemplate the Bob Dylan song, My Back Pages (make famous by the Byrds in the late 60s) with the lyric: “Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”
It may only be her second season designing under the Chloé label, but Natacha Ramsay-Levi has already established a cult following. Inspired by the 1970’s and actresses of that time-period, such as Anjelica Huston, Sissy Spacek, Isabelle Huppert, and Stéphane Audran, Levi showed plenty of skin-baring openings, open V-neck blouses and sexy cut-out dresses, showing just the right amount of flesh.
HI AND BYE
In other news, Burberry has tapped Riccardo Tisci as Chief Creative Officer, replacing 17-year Burberry veteran Christopher Bailey , one of the founders of the ‘see-now-buy-now’ and ‘direct-to-consumer’ movements and the creator of the newly revised iconic Burberry plaid, adding rainbow stripes for LGBTQ. Congratulations to Tisci as he begins his new role on March 12th.
Tell us, which shows were your favs and why and what role you think designers should play (as have athletes and actors) in making the world a better place?
PARIS FASHION WEEK
The spring 2018 fashion shows have been a long haul, but there were so many inspiring moments from Ralph Lauren’s show in his exotic car garage in Bedford, N.Y. to Donatella Versace’s tribute to Gianni; who can ever forget the images all over Instagram with his supermodels (Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen and Carla Bruni) all on stage in golden gowns – it was an emotional moment for many in the industry. Now we reach the final stretch, Paris, the fashion capital of the world. Paris shows are not over yet, but here are some of the highlights of the week so far, from political messages to over-the-top glamour.
It’s clear that Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first female Creative Director for Christian Dior, is using the label as a platform to empower women. Who can forget her “We Should All Be Feminists” t-shirts. Every Instagram and street style star wore them. For spring, Chiuri uses the runway to let us ponder another thought “Why Have There Been No Great Woman Artists?” This question was emblazoned on a striped marinière sweater. The question is the title of art historian Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay that explores the topic of feminist art history; historically, woman have had a difficult time achieving success in the arts. Chiuri’s Dior is a new Dior. Gone are the pastel colored, ladies-who-lunch suits. It’s clear that Chiuri is focusing on the millennials with looks that ranged from 70’s patchwork jeans to leather jumpsuits. For evening, she showed an assortment of sheer, sparkly, glitter mini dresses in every color under the rainbow – all complete with low block heeled mesh knee high boots. It’s refreshing to see a designer put out a positive message that she really does believe in.
THE NEW CHLOE-GIRL
There’s a new Chloe Girl in town…..Natacha Ramsay-Levi just presented her first collectionas the creative director for Chloé to rave reviews. Although this is her first moment in the spotlight, Ramsay-Levi is well-known within French fashion circles; she worked at both Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton under Nicolas Ghesquière. Ramsay-Levi looked to the entire history of the house and gave a nod to each of her predecessors. The hand-painted cotton dresses were inspired by Lagerfeld’s time at the House. McCartney and Philo both liked horses, and Ramsay-Levi embroidered the motif on trim velvet tailoring. A floaty micro-floral dress was inspired by Waight. But there was a lot of Ramsay-Levi infused as well, such as the tailored leather outerwear and skinny cropped jeans.
GLITZ AND GLAMOUR
Anthony Vaccarello is paying tribute to the city of lights and to Mr. Yves Saint Laurent himself. The epic show was held outdoors, on a balmy night, with the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the background. Hundreds of spectators—the public and professionals—looked on, held in the awestruck moment. Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent girl wants to have fun, there were fanciful feathers, flirty glitter, and plenty of jaw-dropping boots. But the night was bittersweet for the house of Saint Laurent as Pierre Bergé passed away earlier this month. Vacarello started the show with hippie inspired looks that had a Moroccan feel, it was a throwback to Yves Saint Laurant and his love of Marrakech. There were floating, billowy-sleeved silk blouses, gold-coin–dot printed tulle tops, sparkling sequined dresses, bubbled frocks and fanciful ostrich feathers, all of it paired with the shortest of shorts and miniskirts and let’s not forget the over-the-top boots. This bold collection was sexy and confident!
Although the world is on edge today, with politics, threats of terrorists attacks and war, that didn’t reflect in many collections in Paris, there was a refreshing air of glitz and glamour; lighting the way for hopefulness and fun. Such collections included Balmain, Maison Margiela, Altuzarra and Dries Van Noten.
EIGHTIES ARE BACK
A throwback to the Eighties was a continuing theme that made its way to Paris. Virgil Abloh, the designer behind the cult label Off-White, was inspired by Princess Diana as “the people’s princess.” Marking the 20-year anniversary of her tragic death, Abloh payed homage to the fashion icon, most notably with his farewell to streetwear and opted for a feminine collection filled with tulle and flounce. But Naomi Campbell stole the show – with her regal strut – wearing an asymmetrically flounced white jacket and cycle shorts quite the twist on eveningwear.
Isabel Marant and Mugler also gave a nod to the Eighties this season.
Sure they may not be mainstream designers, but you have to give credit to those designers who season after season march to their own beat. Such avante-garde designers include Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Jun Takahashi for Undercover, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto and Rick Owens.
At last, Paris Fashion Week! As we all know, Paris is the ‘birthplace of fashion’ – a la Worth, Poiret, Vionnet, Chanel, Dior, Lanvin, Givenchy- all those great heritage brands that we have come to love and respect. And so, not surprisingly, we saw lots of variety and innovation. Let’s take a look at our favorite looks from Paris Fashion Week Fall Winter 2017-18.
Some designers have gone from street style to space style. Chanel’s collection was a nod to astronauts and the runway was the launch pad! Lagerfeld created this silver metallic belted coat paired with silver shimmer tights, matching boots and headband – perfect for Astronaut Barbie!
In a collection she called “The Future of Silhouette,” Rei Kawakubo stayed true to her design philosophy with this amorphous metallic wearable art piece, a real runway show-stopper! By the way, her work will be on exhibit beginning in June at The Costume Institute at the MET, entitled Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.
Dries van Noten brought the future back down to earth with this classic, old-school, oversized, metallic boyfriend jacket. You just have to love it!
PLAYING IT SAFE BUT WITH FLARE
Speaking of playing it safe…While some designers experimented with futuristic fashion, others stuck to practicality. For her first ready-to-wear collection for Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri, (by the way, she is the first female creative director ever at Dior- female power!), served up jeans paired with an asymmetric blouse and accessorized them with a beret, for that quintessential ‘French girl’ style.
Our favorite look from Valentino makes this artsy-print maxi dress wearable yet chic by pairing it with a double-slit coat and a practical handbag.
HOMAGE TO INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY- THINK RED
Perhaps in anticipation of wearing red for International Women’s Day (March 8) Givenchy’s collection was all about RED! This look is both a statement and wearable – a dramatic sequin ruffle jacket paired with matching cropped leggings (so I guess leggings are not démodé after all?).
This red look, by Giambattista Valli, featured ruffles and the very boldest sleeve treatment ever; one that epitomized the #BeBoldForChange hashtag that flooded the Web during the month of March.
Red carpet here we come! Paris Fashion Week is nothing if not the place where we get to see some of the most incredible eveningwear. This stunner, by Thierry Mugler, is a hybrid – a cross between a slip dress and Le Smoking (channel YSL). A pagoda shoulder detail and a daring slit…Angelina is gonna love this one!
Elie Saab’s best look was this deep amethyst-colored dress with a velvet burn-out sheer skirt, accessorized with a matching belt, fur-trimmed shoes and some very, very, French, point d’esprit hose.
Isabel Marant was thinking more along the lines of casual eveningwear with this look. These charcoal grey embellished jeans were paired with a ruffle-sleeved shimmery top and glitter socks.
EMBELLISHMENTS AND COUTURE DETAILS
We all know that the couture serves as a design lab for designers to experiment, with some design details trickling down into their ready-to-wear collections. This was evident at Balenciaga where creative director Demna Gvasalia, not only played with house codes, but brought a couture sensibility to his fall ready-to-wear collection with this strapless evening look complete with oversized bow.
At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton designed this evening jumpsuit, reminiscent of those worn by Cher (designed by Bob Mackie). Burton updated the look with a feather sleeve and hem trim.
A TRIP TO THE ZOO
It seems like animal prints never go out of style. This season was no exception. At Balmain, Olivier Rousteing used snake skin to create the most amazing over-the-thigh boots with matching bodice sash. And at Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière created a patch-work vest in cheetah printed fur, ooh la-la!
GOTTA HAVE A GIMMICK
Gypsy Rose Lee, one of America’s legendary entertainers, had a favorite tagline- “you gotta have a gimmick’ and at Maison Margiela, John Galliano was listening. Check out this outfit and tell us just what you think. Is it a pantsuit? Or is Galliano, along with Rei Kawakubo, redefining what ‘is’ a silhouette?
Yohji Yamamoto got into the act with this engineered hand-painted belted coat with matching hose. He completes the look with black lipstick, red eyeshadow on one eye and black on the other.
Whether it’s plastic or georgette, this fashion week cycle certainly showcased transparency. Miu Miu’s piped plastic coat teamed with an all over paillette dress, was then topped off with a fur shawl and a fringed headdress. This is sure to be a fashion magazine editorial favorite!
How to update a dress you ask? At Stella McCartney, this embroidered tulle overdress was worn over a sheath dress and what a great idea to update your wardrobe?
Before Claire Waight Keller left Chloé and headed for Givenchy, she created this sheer, puff sleeved, baby doll overdress paired with a slip dress. So feminine.
A SIGN OF THE TIMES
As Paris marked the end of the fashion week cycle (New York, London, Milan & Paris) a resounding theme remained prevalent throughout the shows…female power! Strong shoulders were showcased next to feminine looks, what a great time to be a woman in fashion.
While we are currently in the throes of international Fashion Week 2017, we thought we would take a look back at 2017 Couture Week, to get a better perspective of what we are seeing on the ready-to-wear runways and to offer a contrast. Couture will never die as long as as fashion luxury conglomerates like LVMH and Kering need it to hype their handbags and perfumes. Those of us in the fashion community are grateful, because the couture preserves the art and craft of fashion. Where would we be today without the talented petits mains who so skillfully work their magic in designers’ ateliers? However, this past couture season offered up an interesting mix. Sure there was the ‘over the top’ frou frou of ruffles, embroideries and feathers, but a few new-to-couture designers, introduced bold color, cleaner lines and even minimalistic silhouettes. These elements went a long way in creating memorable couture evening wear that we can’t wait to see on starlets at this weekend’s Oscars.
We selected both timeless and avant-garde looks from Paris Couture Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017 . Let’s take a peek:
SHEER, EMBELLISHED AND APPLIQUÉ
Feathers, sequins, beadwork, embroidery and appliqué set the trend as adornments on evening dresses at Paris Fashion Week. Elie Saab showcased embellished sheer gowns in a beige, pale gold and blue color palette. These dresses were accessorized with slim belts, decorated sunglasses and matching hair scarves.
Givenchy’s cream-colored gown with feathered touches
Leaving pastels behind, Armani Prive’s collection showcased bright orange as its summer color.
While some couturiers were committed to showcasing embellishments, in the true couture tradition (let’s face it, who else but fans of the couture can afford these labor intensive clothes?), Valentino’s collection, in contrast, came as a surprise. Valentino designer, Pierpaolo Piccioli’s red column gown with cut-out slit armholes, focused on clean lines and less structure.
At Schiaparelli, Bertrand Guyon is also feeling a more modern couture aesthetic. His white gown, devoid of embellishments, adds drama to this clean shape with the addition of cape that hangs from the shoulders giving the appearance of being suspended from nothing!
Couture bridal gowns are ‘big’ business. At Paris Fashion Week this selection didn’t disappoint. Zuhair Murad’s offered a peplum-shaped embellished white layered gown with a long sheer veil, something that could also adorn a wedding cake. Victoria’s Secret model, Angel Alessandra Ambrosio, walked the runway wearing Ralph & Russo’s embroidered bridal gown, complete with a full length feathered cape.
THE FANTASY THEME
Maria Grazia Chiuri chose a fantasy and fairytale theme for Dior’s new collection, with a pastel color palette, colorful intricate floral appliqués, garden-inspired accessories and tall headdresses.
True to their ‘over-the-top’ reputation, Viktor & Rolf’s SS17 Couture show featured avant-garde Cinderella-like dresses, embellished with randomly shaped patch-work pieces on voluminous tulle skirts.
THE ROYAL INSPIRATION
Guo Pei’s Marie Antoinette-inspired collection walked the line between museum-worthy and wearable.
Jean Paul Gaultier, one of fashion’s original ‘bad boys’ and the designer of Madonna’s iconic Conical Bra (which sold at auction for $52,000 in 2012), served up his unique brand of couture with this sheer dress complete with stand-up ruffle collar, circa 16th century. A successful mix of queenly vintage and modern style.
ART TAKES THE RUNWAY
At Maison Margiela, John Galliano collaborated with tulle artist Benjamin Shine for his artisanal couture collection, featuring a white floor length coat with Shine’s black tulle portrait of a woman dramatically placed across the front of the coat. Does it get any better than this?
Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s couture collection was entitled “Between the Lines.” Van Herpen, known for her artistic collaborations, teamed up with Berlin artist Esther Stocker to explore the design elements of negative and positive spaces, gaps and contours, light and shadow. Laser-cut fabrics and Soft 3D hand-casted PU fabrics were hand-painted in another collaboration with architect Philip Beesley.
At Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld channeled ‘ruffles,’ while attempting to targeting millennials, as his final look was presented on French kid star (Johnny Depp’s) Lily-Rose Depp. A baby pink gown with all over ruffles looked like the perfect prom dress for the wealthy girl whose parents have money to burn.
Giambattista Valli’s ruffles adorned the shoulders and hemline. A real show-stopper that is red carpet-worthy, for sure.
Chanel once said, “It is the unseen, unforgettable ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.” Surely today’s designers are creating couture that can’t be forgotten even after the wearers’ departure.
Long Live Couture!
[Top Cover Image Credit: Chanel.com]
The quickest way to understand the upcoming season’s trends is to take a look at the collections from the international fashion weeks – New York, London, Milan and Paris. The meccas of fashion – they set the mood for imminent style. The fashion weeks just ended, so it comes as no surprise that we pick out our top 20 favorite looks from fashion weeks for Spring Summer 2017 to mark the beginning of conversations about next season.
Some of the looks were about redefining everyday things. Let’s see two such looks by Alexander Wang and Versus Versace. The former look has pajama stripes and collar style to create an asymmetric wrap dress with a thigh-high slit. The dress is paired with white fringe sneakers, which the brand designed in collaboration with Adidas. The latter look is all about brazenness and shock. An orange bandeau top is designed like a belt, and paired with a matching jacket and pants.
This trend brings us to the topic of athleisure. This look from Mugler SS17 RTW collection gives a party dress the cut of a sports-bra, mixing the theme of 70s glamour with it.
The other athleisure look is by Versace. An asymmetric skirt held together with a buckle is worn over an energetic mesh and ultra-lightweight nylon dress, paired with heel-socks.
Emporio Armani paired blue track-pants with a matching plunging-V-neck top, a red bag and earrings for a fun yet comfortable look.
Art was another theme we observed in the SS17 collections. In a dress by Alice+Olivia, a painting depicting Italian towns and landscape takes center-stage.
Another gorgeous dress is this one by Valentino. Inspired by Italian medieval art, the gown has sketchy painting all over its white and pale pink fabric.
Rahul Mishra’s novel machine-washable hand-embroideries feature flora and fauna. The black cotton dress with patchwork birds on it, paired with a zipper jacket with three-dimensional floral applique on the shoulders.
Another look by Fendi pairs a floral patterned ruffle-neck bodysuit with a sheer organza skirt.
Some of the collections had specific themes. Moschino, for example, had models dressed as paper-dolls. In this unmissable look, a crop top with a bra-print is paired with a pencil skirt that has prints of logo-waistchains, complete with paper-doll-like hair and makeup, and folding tabs.
Dior had a feminist message in its collection. Maria Grazia Chiuri, the fashion house’s new Artistic Director made headlines with the tee shirt that proclaimed “We should all be feminists” – one of Paris Fashion Week’s most talked-about looks.
Dolce & Gabbana took the theme of tropical Italy, focusing on Italian foods and music. This look is royal with a younger taste. An embellished black hoodie is paired with a tiara-like embellished headband and sheer knee-high socks.
Gucci’s 18th century-inspired look with ostentatious earrings, large Colonial hat and a floral silk coat and a bag with a contrasting message – Future!
On the other hand of the spectrum, Chanel, with its data-center themed show, catered to the millennial generation with its candy-colored coordinated set and matching baseball cap.
In this tropical forest themed look by Max Mara, a forest-like skirt with large leaf print is paired with a fuzzy sweater that has a large lemur-motif.
Gowns and evening dresses came as pretty, shimmery and embellished as ever. Our top three include this one by Alexander McQueen – an unconventional gown with a wave of silver sequins rising up from sea-foam-like train, and going up to the neckline.
This Marchesa gown is similar, but more red-carpet-suitable. Silver sequins cover the top half of a tulle gown that creates an uneven artistic texture, leaving the bottom-half sheer.
The third one is a Monique Lhuillier gown in mint-blue that comes with a rose-creeper embroidery on shoulders and sleeves.
This Elie Saab mini-dress has a 70s theme to it, but presented with a modern taste –pockets and full-slashed sleeves rolling up into the belt.
This Zuhair Murad cocktail dress in petal-pink is urban-royal with every inch embellished and three-dimensional rose-shaped sleeves.