Paris threw its normal tantrum of cold and rainy weather this past week, but Paris Fashion Week maintained its luster with fresh designs for the Fall 2020 season. This was no easy feat — with the abundance of questionable news and coronavirus scares (read the articles of my LOOK sisters, Maggie Kelleher and Carolyn Hammond, for a more in-depth look on coronavirus and fashion), it is clear that we live in bleak times. Designers like Balenciaga took the futuristic apocalypse into their own hands while others like Miu Miu and Loewe sowed seeds of optimism for the future. Check the highlights of the Week below.
Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent makes us pause in our daily routines and ask, “Should I wear latex daily?” Vaccarello mixes femininity, 90’s Parisian nightlife, and dominatrix flairs in his designs for the season, reminding us that Saint Laurent seldom disappoints. The daring color palette of the show is promising for a designer that has blossomed in black under Vacarello’s direction.
With the atmosphere of “charm as positivity,” Miu Miu brought joy into the hearts of Fashion Week attendees with vibrant colors in the Palais d’Lena. The collection balanced formality and fun with eye-catching diamonds and colorful patterns. Even in darker colors, Miu Miu kept up with the bright optimism in a carefree manner. With appearances from British singer Rita Ora and Euphoria actress Storm Reid, Miu Miu maintained pure stardom on the runway.
Creative director Louise Trotter stayed true to Lacoste’s classic green, but that did not constitute to a simply classic show. The dark greens, clear blues, and bright whites of the vintage-inspired collection popped right off the beige backdrop and into the view of the show’s attendees. Inspired by the powerful love of founder and tennis champion, René Lacoste, and his wife and golfing champion, Simone de la Chaume, Trotter released a collection that celebrates sexual equality with gender-inclusive designs and a variety of models.
Inspired by his own ruffles-and-tulle laden Andalusia look, Elie Saab continued his gorgeous fantasy on the Parisian runway in the Palais de Tokyo. Black and white pieces dominated the show, but they embodied a romantic mystery with pearls, feathers, and (the return of) oversized pussy bows. This red-carpet favorite designer acknowledged the muted tones of today’s world, but given his unmistakable charm, the shimmer won out.
Simply from the show’s atmosphere, it was evident that Demna Gvaslia’s Balenciaga was going to be intense and a treat for the senses. From the sinister characters dressed in startling colors to the water flooded runway, the show stormed the fashion world with an apocalyptic vengeance. The designs were rooted in social commentary, making strong observations about religious wear, climate change, and fetishism (what a trifecta!). Gvaslia’s collection is a reminder that fashion is fun, social, and unpredictable — in the best ways.
It’s no clandestine secret that Lanvin has struggled as of recent. With a revolving door of creative directors and questionable branding Lanvin’s newest creative director Bruno Sialelli had a lot to prove with the Fall 2020 collection. And prove he did. Sialelli highlighted the beauty of femininity in a collection that touched on cinema, femme fatale characters, and headbands. While the designer still has some kinks to work out, Sialelli produced what Vogue has dubbed “his best yet Lanvin collection.”
Given that his eponymous collection was recently well-received, Jonathan Anderson’s Loewe collection had a lot of buzz surrounding it. The feminine-embracing collection bolstered Anderson’s rising star in modern fashion with a fresh look at womanhood that strays from cinched waists and form-fitting silhouettes. The collection’s tailoring is notable, making the designs speak with every hem, drape, and billowy sleeve. Anderson is finding his niche in the fashion world and is cultivating it really well.
Oliver Rousteing’s work with Balmain is a sweet addition to his admirable life story, growing up as an adopted black child of white parents in France and persevering against the odds placed against him, his heritage, and his race. Inspired by the equestrian lifestyle that he was excluded from as a child in Bordeaux, the collection features various leathers, latex, sharp shoulders, and tailoring touches. Set against a warm backdrop, this collection speaks to the continuing evolution of Rousteing’s work and character.
For an official debut at Paris Fashion Week, Kenneth Ize made a lasting impression on the fashion world with his organic designs, made from a traditional Nigerian fabric known as asoke. The Austrian-Nigerian designer’s show was fit with stars such as Naomi Campbell and Imaan Hammam, who showcased the colorful androgynous cuts of the Fall collection. Using asoke fabrics from Nigerian weavers and Austrian lace, Ize crafted a collection that represents the multicultural, inclusive future of fashion.