We made it – Paris Fashion Week officially came to a close on Tuesday, after a full week of shows, events, parties, and a fair share of controversy. As the busiest week in the schedule, and the last in the global fashion month calendar, there was a lot going on – aside from the viral moments, which you can digest here. We’re taking a look back through some of the collections and shows that made a mark.
GMBH’S ULTRA LONG CATWALK
Taking place in a school in Paris, the GmbH show brought the fashion crowd and plenty of VIPs out in full force to witness its latest collection on an ultra-long catwalk. As the show notes summarised, “this collection was intended as a fragmented, personal celebration of South Asian beauty and culture, as part of our ongoing research into our own heritage”.
Some of the strongest looks showcased the brand’s keen grasp of leather manipulation: strong tailored blazers atop knee-high metallic boots. Elsewhere, we saw softer offerings including a flowing sheer dress with an intricately strapped crossover open back. On foot were boots which made rockpooling fashion – in everything from ankle to over the knee iterations.
AKRIS IN ALL COLOUR
Alongside some of the newer brands showing in Paris are the longstanding, true veterans of the fashion world – one of which is Akris, who staged its 100th anniversary show at the Palais de Tokyo. Adorning the already-striking setting with a 2011 Ugo Rondinone rainbow sculpture (which apparently took months to secure), this was Paris Fashion Week in all its classic beauty.
The anniversary collection didn’t do things by halves either – relaxed tailoring in neutral colours gave way to darker leather looks, which were rounded out by pops of colour in trenches, shirts and suiting. To close, Akris delivered chiffon gowns in all the colours of the rainbow – matching the sculpture in the centre of the Palais.
WE LOVE LOEWE
After bringing his playful designs to London under his eponymous label, Jonathan Anderson took to Paris to present the next instalment in the Loewe-verse, and it was a joy to see. With models walking around a giant fibreglass anthurium in the set’s centre, we saw the exotic flower as a motif on dresses, tops and sculptural cover ups. Elsewhere, Anderson introduced a new, structured ultra-babydoll silhouette, which sat rigid and created gregarious pleats and lines in heavy-set wool mini dresses, trenches and workwear jackets.
As Loewe has become so known for in recent seasons, this collection played up to the fun of fashion too – the iconic balloon-heels from last season were deflated and multiplied to create new texturised pumps, whilst Anderson’s clear grasp of phygital fashion came to the forefront in ‘pixelated’ looks which were immaculately photographed. Elegant draping and innovative fabrication rounded off this season for Loewe, which was undoubtedly one of the week’s highlights.
COWBOY BOOTS WIN AT KIKO KOSTADINOV
This was Laura and Deanna Fanning’s debut for Kiko Kostadinov in Paris, designing womenswear for the brand as well as a fair chunk of its iconic accessories offerings. For this season, the design duo took us back to school – presenting the collection in a schoolyard gym in Paris. Guests filed in to sit on crash mats or gym benches,
One of the main treats of the collection were the cowboy boots – far-removed from the traditional, we saw mesh embroidery adorn black or white boot-bases, embellished with key astrological motifs. Elsewhere, the same design thread of sheerness was present within the brand’s face coverings – a fine and delicate mesh that encased models’ heads as they hit the catwalk.
WE’RE NOTHING WITHOUT COMME DES GARÇONS
There’s always room for Comme, and this season saw more of the brand’s coveted avant-garde fashion land with a powerful impact. Rei Kawakubo described this season as a “lamentation for the sorrow in the world today” – a sentiment that was felt fully through the designs’ impactful presence and palpable feeling of sombreness.
Designing against the grain of convention has been Kawakubo’s bag at Comme des Garçons since the beginning, but this collection’s blown-up proportions in (majority) monochromatic black and white stripped this intention back to its purest form. This was the fashion week that the rest of the world may view as typical – but that Comme and fashion fans everywhere understand is anything but.
THE GUARANTEED GLAMOUR OF SAINT LAURENT
Saint Laurent is one of the institutions of Paris Fashion Week – a guaranteed glimpse into the glitz of historic French fashion in a beautiful Parisian setting. None of it was in vain, either: the collection has widely been received with nearly perfect praise as a demonstration of ongoing elegance, craftsmanship and elevated designing. Draping was an anchor of the collection – forming hooded dresses, slinky gowns and tie-up details.
But perhaps the most striking element of this collection were the coats: floor-length, sweeping and expertly constructed, we saw leather, wool and tweed versions grace the catwalk yesterday evening. Presenting an imposing, rounded exaggerated shoulder, these were centrepieces of already dynamic outfits, bringing the collection’s aesthetic into the realm of stylish workwear, in a distinctly Saint Laurent manner. It was a spectacle of clothing and circumstance whilst staying entirely true to the brand’s heritage – something that is increasingly rare in today’s engagement-driven fashion landscape.
LUDOVIC DE SAINT SERNIN TURNED UP THE TEMPERATURE
From one Saint to another – Ludovic de Saint Sernin turned up the heat this season. Known for its oscillating, sexy designs, the brand also utilised the anthurium flower as a focal point for SS23. Draped mesh gowns sat amongst strict leather tailoring, all embossed with a sheen that suggests these are clothes to be partied in.
Genderless micro minis formed part of glittering two-peice sets, or pleated iterations in worn leather. A thick rib pleat made a debut as part of form fitting long sleeves and trousers, and there was a new it-tank in town: the leather LdSS version, no less. Building on its brand identity with gorgeous offerings each season, the future’s looking bright (and shiny) for Saint Sernin.
TRY AND GO UNDERCOVER IN THESE
Undercover took deconstruction and ran with it this season – presenting a collection which explored the tropes of dressing and undressing, as well as what it means for a garment to be ‘finished’. Suiting was embellished with realistic flowers, before being ripped, slashed and buttoned askew, exposing frayed-seam mesh lining in the gaps.
The preoccupation with deconstruction carried over into cropped t-shirts, new trench coats and jackets of every variety. Colours ranged from neon pinks to demure neutrals, and for the finale, a set of exploded puffball dresses gave a treat in the texture department. Hard to go undercover anywhere in those, though.
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