Post-pandemic Paris Fashion Week is stronger than ever. Those who intend to take it seriously and play it loudly must gradually show up, preferably with posses of shouting kids outside their venues eager to see their favorite TikTok or K-Pop singer.
In a period of sensory overload, reduction acts rang most true. Demna of Balenciaga, the event’s original creator, opted a straight outing devoid of all theatrics except for the emotive show notes. (His most fascinating characteristic is being romantic, despite his raw design language).
The shift in tone was expected following a serious incident involving two of the brand’s most recent advertising campaigns. Reduced back to a simple runway in the historic Carrousel du Louvre, the Paris Fashion Week site before brands began outdoing each other with their venues, and when fashion presentations were fashion shows, the garments were more or less comparable. A severe critique of ladylike fashion and apparel as body shaping. It was a plain presentation from a real seamstress among today’s designers: less of a reset and more of a remorse and type of clearance.
The brands at this year’s Paris Fashion Week
At the Paris Fashion Week Jonathan Anderson is today’s source of mind-expanding reduction in fashion. Loewe’s January men’s collection resulted in fuzzy memories of pieces stamped onto beautiful satin gowns (halfway between Gerhard Richter and Martin Margiela), pieces held together by a pin, and inventive use of flexible leather. The effort appeared slightly sensual and immensely intriguing, resulting in powerful garments despite their apparent plainness.
Less is always more at The Row’s exclusive shows, which take place in a mansion on Rue des Capucines and are among Paris’ most elite gatherings. The Olsen twins’ sense of minimalism is reminiscent of Yohji Yamamoto, Romeo Gigli, Zoran, and other minimalist masters. As a result, The Row continues to thrive as a high privilege and luxury with a monk-like, utilitarian bent in a wonderful niche of deprivation. They provide designs for women who have everything and can do absolutely nothing. This season’s collection was unusually large, enveloping, and casual, with an unexpected fold, long leather gloves in an off-kilter tone, and a beanie with an evening gown. It was a pleasure to witness: a rare demonstration of pure elegance and taste.
Nicolas Ghesquière of Louis Vuitton took a similar approach. His exploration of French style was visually appealing, with components that could be applied to everyday life, but the journey was delayed by the designer’s preference for brainy over-complication. In this scenario, little is more. At Hermès, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski went for floral simplicity with paneled coats and Fortuny-style pleated dresses in an earthy palette of wood tones.
At Chloé, the feeling of simplicity was not as welcoming. Gabriela Hearst continues her investigation into the rough aspect of a corporation known for its feminine delicacy. The results are obvious but have been bestowed on the wrong brand. The accessories, on the other hand, were magnificent.
Lanvin also strives for minimalism, with only a few quirky, childish elements like aviator caps with cartoon motifs. As a result, the outfits were acceptable but a little monotonous, without the flare and flair that a renowned Maison like this needs.
That was the season of the black tailleur elsewhere at the Paris Fashion Week. In her first Paris presentation since Covid, Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen demonstrated her mastery of precise, devilishly elegant tailoring. Instead of romantic storytelling, Burton stressed anatomy, which she channeled through an infinite number of suit variations and naturally shaped clothing as precise as sexual. The house of McQueen has developed into a new being more than ten years after its founder’s death, as Burton continues to carve out the new creative ground. What’s left is the fiery personality of the woman she dresses.
Although a little low on apparel at the Paris Fashion Week, Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s debut as Ann Demeulemeester’s creative director was an assured mix of strictness and recklessness in which one could perceive a union of Ann and Ludovic’s respective notions of androgyny. This was a significant feat.
At the Paris Fashion Week, Off-White’s attention was drawn to Ib Kamara’s manipulation of the brand name rather than the huge mirrored orb dominating the catwalk or the reddish lunar sand. The clothing stood out for its Alaa-esque hardware-infused strictness and totemic brand of femininity, while the menswear remained street-inspired. There is still work to be done, but development has been noticeable and in keeping with current fashion concerns.
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In a Martin Margiela-esque way, Dries Van Noten’s strictness bordered on the melancholy, with a marked fondness for sumptuous fabrics and exotic decorations. The vertical profile, with all of its peeling strata and broken portions, and the painterly juxtaposition of the dry and masculine with the smooth and feminine appeared marvelously achieved if tinged with melancholy.