Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2024 has ended, and what a week it was. As showgoers avoided the bedbug infestation on the Metro, traipsed from one side of the city to the other in their tippy-tappy Tabi ballerinas, and planned their entire week around seeing Usher and Cher perform (sadly, not together), there were also a 107 shows and presentations to get stuck into.
The calendar featured all the top billings. Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel and Valentino reigned alongside smaller brands that have just as much pull: Y/Project, Cecilie Bahnsen, Kiko Kostadinov, Coperni, and Peter Do, to name a few.
Paris Fashion Week SS24 was a chaotic one, filled with TikTok-approved blokette and coquette-core realness. Celebrities, including Paris Hilton, Kris Jenner, Rosalía, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Shygirl, Alexis Stone, Erykah Badu, Usher, Kate Moss, Demi Moore, Mia Khalifa, Hailey Bieber, Tyga, and many more familiar faces (mostly all) said “Hi Culted,” but they weren’t the stars of the show.
Why? Because this season, Paris Fashion Week pushed the boat out on producing, and delivering, some of the best collections and runway moments we’ve seen in some years.
Here are Culted’s best shows of Paris Fashion Week SS24.
Demna found his sweet spot with Balenciaga Summer 2024. The controversial fashion designer, whose work came under fire due to a number of damning campaigns, vowed to turn Balenciaga back into a House that Cristóbal Balenciaga would recognise. Gone are the gimmicks, provocation for the sake of provocation. In came the serious side of fashion.
This was explored with Balenciaga Resort 2024 and Winter 2023, which took solemn routes with paired-back collections and stripped-away sets. Summer 2024, on the other hand, was the perfect mid-way point between Balenciaga’s irreverence and revived aesthetic.
The show took place on an elevated platform and red velvet drapes, evoking runways of old. Models ranged from Demna’s mother, Amanda Lepore, and BFRND, to Diane Pernet, Robin Meason, Lina Loppa, Martina Tiefenthaler, Inge Grognard, and many more, and each wore a depiction of Balenciaga from a specific period in the House’s legacy.
Lepore, for example, donned a Cristóbal-era-esque black lace dress. BFRND wore Demna’s stacked-up interpretation of a wedding dress, which is a very traditional way to close a show. Pernet was allowed to wear what she usually would – big hair and a black outfit, fitting for American Horror Story.
Balenciaga Summer 2024 was a real spectacle to witness. It felt like a lesson in how to put on a show. Simply put, it left us – and Kris Jenner, Paris Hilton, and dozens of other celebrities – in awe.
Florals for Spring? Guess what… At Marni, this was actually groundbreaking. Francesco Risso put on a breathtaking display in the former Parisian home of Karl Lagerfeld, bringing hundreds of attendees to every inch of the late designer’s palatial quarters.
Culted could be found in the garden, which made for the perfect backdrop to dresses crafted from tin-cut flowers and sticker book collage-effect floral dresses (which may have found their inspiration from SLXWORLD).
In contrast, tailoring was oversized and rigid, looking like the chequered designs were laminated. But beyond the designs was a show of grand proportions, cementing Marni as a House not to be overlooked. It remains one of the best shows of the seasons not just for its unforgettable clothing, but for its ability to combine thoughts of romanticism, joy, and sartorial elements in one experimental, yet concise, offering.
You can always count on Issey Miyake to put on a show. For SS24, the Japanese label delivered a performance art display that centred around pleated washi paper hanging from the ceiling, and dancers moving around the room with power.
But when the clothes were revealed, there was a darker, moodier side that Issey Miyake clearly wanted to explore. Three opening looks consisted of models wrapped in a sheer material that distorted the human form – layers and layers of the stuff created undulations of transparency and opaqueness, subverting beauty with a menacing and eerie tone.
The clothing evolved into everything from sculptural royal blue coats to delicate techwear. The latter was a particular strong point for the House. Here, lilac dresses made from sheer organza laid atop orange trousers that were also layered, sitting atop a cream underpant. This theme was continued into tailoring, which was seen alongside a New Balance footwear collaboration.
Sarah Burton bid farewell to Alexander McQueen with her tear-jerking SS24 runway show. It was her last after being House’s Creative Director for the past 13 years, and having worked at the brand for 25 years. In fact, it was so emotional, even the steely supermodel Naomi Campbell wiped away tears as she closed the show.
We were all in bits. But it wasn’t just because Burton was waving goodbye. Indeed, the show itself was an emotional display of everything that makes Alexander McQueen so beautiful.
Kaia Gerber’s opening look was subtle and sophisticated, channelling the powerful sexiness we’ve come to expect from the label. Leather was used to sculpt bust-hugging tops that came with their own incorporated peplums, dressing extravagant gold-fringed skirts beneath. Other dresses sported a web of red veins that were somewhere between human and horological, respectively ftting into the world of McQueen. Audible gasps were heard aloud when another dress, this time looking like a rose in full bloom, came onto the dimly-lit runway. Campbell’s silver fringed moment was breathtaking, leaving the showgoers an emotional mess.
It was the perfect tribute to Burton’s tenure, but more than that, an admirable ode to the foundations Lee laid.
Talking about show stopping moments, Glenn Martens’ Y/Project was one of this season’s most unexpected heroes. While we all expected a great show, no one could have anticipated the lasting impact Y/Project SS24 would have on the Paris Fashion Week crowd.
Coats got the seal of a monk’s approval. T-shirts were warped with complexity. Bomber jackets lost all of their warming qualities. Sporty jogging pants were sexed-up with dropped, asymmetrically-skewed waists. Jeans were ruffled in ways we’ve never seen denim manipulated before.
But Martens’ ability to continue his fabric manipulation on chromatic, crisp nylon dresses that made us stop and stare. The almost impossible proportions of these dresses created drama, heightened by the void that was the runway setting itself.
If his Diesel collection was a moment in history, his Y/Project SS24 collection was the start of something monumental.
You asked for a masterclass, Valentino gave you one. SS24’s “L’École” runway show commenced with FKA twigs performing, and saw the artist perform throughout. But in our opinion, the clothes – and that Valentino Garavani VLogo Moon bag – were Valentino’s standouts.
Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Maison explored delicacy and sensuality. Womenswear looks spanned beauty and elegance to power and confidence, but no matter what, it was all in the details. For example, an array of dresses sported cut-out florals to create a multi-dimensional illusion.
This was translated onto the most decadent pair of jeans we’ve ever witnessed, worn with a contrasting cool-girl white tee. ‘60s shift dresses were found alongside green capes clasped with big, gold VLogo collars, and more intricate cocktail dresses also made from cut-out flowers.
Paris Fashion Week SS24 was a monster of a season. Arguably, it was one of the best there has been in some time. From the stunts at some of these aforementioned shows, to the bags, shoes, and of course what we’re all here for – the clothes – PFW SS24 restored our faith in fashion.
We’re living in a time where we do not need more clothes. So if you’re going to make a collection, make it with a few things in mind. A) it must speak to people on an intimate level. B) it must be innovative, special, and have meaning. C) fashion is meant to be fun. Have at it.