Glitter, Gowns, The '70s And Feminism: A Dispatch From Paris Fashion Weekby | March 02, 2020
Fashion needs to keep up with the current times. At the news of the Coronavirus reaching Europe, a number of shows and parties stood cancelled, while face masks became a mainstay accessory at most venues. Did fashion keep up with the times? Yes and no.
In Milan, Giorgio Armani held a show to no direct audiences, urging people to watch from safe spaces. In New York, Prabal Gurung shared a series of telling posts on his Instagram. "What is spreading faster than the coronavirus in the US? Racist assaults and ignorant attacks against Asians," it read. In Paris, the leading houses went ahead with their showcases anyway, the air-kissing replaced by the upper arm squeeze, a less formal greeting than the handshake and requiring no skin contact. The ones cancelled—a party by Net-a-Porter, another for LVMH finalists, shows by a number of Chinese labels and a few more—could have very well been forgotten in the midst of the global epidemic, which ought to have been addressed more as counterparts, most notably in China, watched fashion week through their screens.
On a more optimistic note, there was empowerment, a consciousness towards the environment, and forgoing the usual plastic. Read on to see the highlights from Paris Fashion Week.
Sleek, Tailored Things
At Claire Waight Keller's Givenchy, clean cuts and fuss-free silhouettes reigned supreme, punctuated by strong, emphasised shoulders, puffed sleeves, capes, and the occasional marabou feather sighting. The sleek suits, with their tailored appeal, were made for wearing, should you wish to see how to style yours. Add to that the bevvy of accessories—chic scarves, gloves and bags wrapped with silken scarves—and a full-fledged look was in the making.
An array of all-black ensembles let the way to shimmer and shine at Valentino, where Pierpaolo Piccioli perfected the art of age-old eveningwear. The dripping sequins were accompanied by plunging necklines, sheer fabrics, elbow-length gloves, and placement flower motifs to give way to striking eveningwear that could see you through multiple seasons. As for all upcoming red carpet dressing, we are placing our bets on the shimmer from Valentino to make multiple appearances.
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A leitmotif of the #DiorAW20 show from @MariaGraziaChiuri, discover the #DiorSavoirFaire behind the scarves that appeared tied around the models’ heads throughout. Featuring House motifs such as polka dots, Toile Oblique, and the more recent tie-dye, as well as referencing archival designs from the Marc Bohan era, the scarves were woven with fil coupé jacquard borders before being precision printed.
Inspired Italian feminists Carla Lonzi and Silvia Federici, the Tuileries garden—the venue of Maria Grazia Chiuri's eighth prêt outing for Dior—saw words in neon blazing on set. Put together by the art collective named Claire Fontaine, 'consent', ‘patriarchy = climate emergency’, ‘when women strike, the world stops’ and more hung over the proceedings. And while the inspiration went back by years, it could very well have been a note inspired by and relevant in the current day. In terms of clothes, ties, headscarves and an assortment of checks were spotted; some in roomy trousers, others in skirts and billowing outerwear. Inspired by a '70s led mood board, Chiuri's outing saw embroidered jackets and argyle knits, rounded off with those XL Dior totes. What more could one ask for?
The collection may not have varied much at Isabel Marant but the grey, luxe takes were chic and for all seasons. From the subtle palette to the floral inclinations, the designer veered towards a minimalist setting. But striking and super wearable for multiple seasons, Marant's runway—part of a sustainable set that forwent plastic and offered guest reusable bottles—presented looks that could easily be used in a desk to dinner scenario. Which, to be frank, who could despise.
Games Of Volumes
Voluminous silhouettes, ruched details and everything in massive proportions cascaded down the Loewe runway, the tiered gowns and low waistlines paired with gathered skirts; simple while in contrast, a few more complicated works followed—a patterned blazer with extra-large, extra-gathered sleeves; cape-like sleeves; gowns made of gatherings and more. All in all, Jonathan Anderson's showcase took a number of dramatic turns while not compromising on wearability.
Featured Image: Instagram