“Fashion has to record and embrace big changes in the world. We have to encourage tolerance and equality.” Market & Beauty Director Ellen Presbury on the best looks out of Paris Fashion Week.
The tension of the in-between.
There’s always a raw, undone quality to fabrics at Acne and here was a prime example. The oversized sleeves represented one side of the collection and the velvet, raw edged wool felt like the other.
Jill Kortleve in pink and red and Adut Akech in silver mesh. Again on the tough elements, but that’s an Alexander McQueen signature season on season.
Religion influences art. It’s threaded through music, and fashion is infused with its iconography – yes, often in rejection and a rebellion, however its influence is evidenced nonetheless. For Nick Cave, “The Christian story, in all its quaintness and implausibility, holds great meaning,” and for Demna Gvasalia, “Back then, I remember looking at all these young priests and monks, wearing these long robes and thinking, ‘how beautiful’ … I don’t know, I find it quite hot – but that’s my fetish.” This collection was big on black, models were imposing and frightening with red and black contact lenses and (again) prosthetic features. Walking down a catwalk, and front row, drenched in water, the sell-through on the scuba, toe glove footwear? We’ll see.
Who knew a ship could be steered so quickly? What Céline once stood for now reads entirely different at today’s Celine. Cuts are slimmer (of course with Slimane), fabrications are of the sort made to be touched and each look read somewhere between 70s hippy and modern alt-rock. A gold thread ran through the collection in overt sequins and small glints of jewellery.
Short shorts, pattered stockings and an ever more youthful energy at the Chanel show. Models strutting the runway in groups felt like friends. The same boot for the entire collection unified the approach, along with the black and white colour palette.
There was a schoolgirl feeling to a lot of looks here. Perhaps it was the chunky, black shoes reminiscent of our days in uniform. The collection jumped styles in a way that always felt very Chloé: boho dresses, slouchy suiting, sexy silk maxis and looks that read geek-chic. There was something for every woman, of every age. A collection that was accessorised to perfection.
I say I.
Can you tell I like a good pant? I tried to divert but I like what I like. For a house as storied as Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri has made a point of getting political since taking over the design reigns. Here the slogan tees read “I say I”. The blacks felt extra inky, the boots extra heavy and the eyes ladened with heavy liner. Seen all at once this felt like a Christian Dior army procession.
DRIES VAN NOTEN
He’s always about rich, emerald colours and interesting fabrications (brocade, velvet, feathers), and here for AW 20 this was all on show.
COMME DES GARÇONS
Purely just because. Rei Kawakubo isn’t making any kind of statement here – she’s creating because she can and in doing so she is asking us to see something new, dream larger and stranger and of something more. For the pure joy of it. Big colour and even bigger headdresses.
These are capital L looks. There’s no dressing down to dress up here. Gowns, suits, gloves, trains, capes and hats. Details were enhanced with embellishment, feathers and fur.
It’s all luxe. Butter leathers and soft cashmeres. The tartan pieces and autumn colour palette set against a red lip caught our attention this season.
Isabel Marant has a DNA that is rarely strayed from, and this collection felt no different. Very French, a little 80s and a lot of neutrals.
There were a number of collections that included motocross aesthetic this season. Mugler for one, Balenciaga definitely another, and here at Louis Vuitton we saw it again. Where do repetitions like this come from? Overall PFW had a feeling of TOUGH-ness, there was a push towards androgyny but that’s nothing new, or perhaps we remembered the time we had a crush on the motocross boys (just me?). A collection that embraced contradiction felt strongest with this girly dress over a boyish vest. And this suit? Well, it’s just sublime.
Big on colour, exaggerated volume and craftsmanship, always. It’s the way Loewe can seamlessly fuse clashing fabrics, and the shoes and bags are always covetable.
Sometimes you pull things apart to rebuild them back up, and this collection felt like that. Construction made from deconstruction. Big on colour, strong on clashing prints and that signature Margiela hoof shoe.
This was classic Miu Miu, with all the signature elements showcased in all their glory. A retro-mod nod that always feels fresh, embellishment embellishment embellishment, and casting gold. It’s always feminine and it’s always covetable.
Tough, luxe leathers, the body on show and sheer accents throughout.
Virgil Abloh pulled the biggest names for his runway – models from the past and the present. Carolyn Murphy, Isabeli Fontana, Bella Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Alek Wek, Mariacarla Boscono. There was cow print on clothing and accessories, cut-outs highlighting the body, and leathers that were spray painted.
Just like a prayer.
Much like Balenciaga, the AW 20 collection from Paco Rabanne also referenced religion and religious garb, such as priests, monks, crusaders and the occult. Oppression vs power, and if we are to focus on the chainmail there was something very Couture about it. Artistry and femininity that was far from girly and infused with an edge.
Mismatched tartan, patched together and set against chain headpieces.
It was all leggings, an 80s mood and more colour than usual for a Vaccarello version of Saint Laurent. Girls in skin-tight, wet-look leggings and high, high heels in procession under the spotlights. Let’s call this collection your bourgeois mother in the 80s goes underground clubbing in the year 2020.
“Make love not leather” read the show invitation for Stella McCartney. She’s long championed sustainability in fashion and for the finale of her AW 20 show she sent people dressed in cow, dog and rabbit costumes down the runway. Point taken.
The opening long-line coat pared with jeans and a statement earring felt very wearable, and twisted, layered, falling off the body coats/ jumpers/ scarves were the perfect welcome to winter.
“Fashion has to record and embrace big changes in the world. We have to encourage tolerance and equality,” Pierpaolo Picciolo offered backstage, post-show of his casting choices. Of the collection, note the combat boots worn with almost everything, and while Picciolo at Valentino is the master of the gown I’d encourage you to take note of the slouchy, oversized suit pants because a) they feel different and b) I’d wear them.