- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - The end of Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday evening marked the end of this season’s global fashion parade. Running from September 27 to October 5, making it the longest leg of the 4 international fashion weeks, Paris was perhaps one of the most unusual fashion weeks of all. From the Vogue editors lashing out at bloggers for encroaching on their turf, to an era of new creative directors making their debuts at established fashion houses and US reality TV star Kim Kardashian being robbed at gunpoint in her hotel in Paris, this has certainly been a fashion week like no other. Which is why FashionUnited has rounded up the top and must see shows of the season below.
Saint Laurent without the Yves but with Anthony Vaccarello
It is needless to say that creative director Anthony Vaccarello had very big shoes to fill for his debut at Saint Laurent. After tackling the fashion house’s archive at which is currently being restored by the Foundation Pierre Berge - Yves Saint Laurent, the designer presented a surprisingly sensual and sexual collection full of 1980s throwbacks and references. The SS17 collection is said to have been based on a leopard-print dress from the fashion house’s 1982 collection, which the Belgian designer deconstructed and reconstructed in numerous ways - crafted from leather, with a transparent top, cut out at the waist. Vaccarello played with proportions, adding in a oversized balloon sleeve here, the boxy-shoulder pads of the 80s there - similar in a way to Hedi Slimane’s final collection Saint Laurent, but more sleek and sophisticated. Skirts were tight and short and the tuxedo was transformed into slouchy trousers and loose jackets.
Maison Margiela goes colourfully intergalactic
It seems as if John Galliano truly embraced his quirky and eccentric side for Maison Margiela SS17 collection. Remaining true to the fashion house’s founder notion of taking true and trust preconceptions of fashion and turning them inside out, creative director Galliano presented a collection of upside down, inside out and plain topsy turvy clothing - securing Maison Margiela position as the avant-garde fashion house. Although a number of design looked rather futuristic, there were plenty of references to 1940s made modern. Macs were spun around and worn backwards, wrapped around model's torso to showcase the garments underneath. Jackets and vests were layered in an almost whimsical manner over bodysuits. Outfits were accompanied by unique headwear, which ranged from racing driver hats with shields to elf ears, goggles and swimming caps and rainbow coloured makeup.
Bouchra Jarrar ushers in a new age at Lanvin
Another highly anticipated show at Paris Fashion Week saw creative director Bouchra Jarrar unveil her debut collection for French fashion house Lanvin, since the departure of former creative director Alber Elbaz. Although the designer is best known for her impeccable day and work wear, she decided to remain true to the fashion house’s roots by including Lanvin signatures in her first collection, such as pyjama striped jackets, silk trousers with embroidered flowers and feather accents which led to a rather sensual and intimate feeling collection. Overall the collection felt quite fit for the boudoir rather than day wear as it featured sheer body suits trimmed with lace and paired with high waisted bottoms, negligee-looking dresses and satin gowns.
Balmain mixes jungle fever with all that glitters
One can say that young creative director Olivier Rousteing has found his place at Balmain. Celebrating his fifth year at the French fashion house, the designer latest collection featured a number of his signature designs in a familiar palette of burnt oranges, terracotta, olive green and black. Of course, it would not be a Rousteing for Balmain collection without the Balmain army of models in show stopping dresses and this season’s collection was not exempt. Gigi Hadid, Doutzen Kroes and Alessandra Ambrosio took the catwalk in glittering dresses in gold and silver lamé, jewel-toned jumpsuits with sequins and shining capes.
Dior turns over new leaf with Maria Grazia Chiuri
If Maria Grazia Chiuri was nervous for her first show as the first female creative director to ever lead famed fashion house Christian Dior, she certainly did not show it. She embraced a new feminist leaf in the fashion house’s history under the banner of "We should all be feminists" and was ready to come out fighting. Her debut collection was influenced by a number of battle related themes, from variations of the fencing suit to medieval knights suit references such as breastplates, swords and embroidered hearts - quite different from Chiuri former vision for Valentino. However, the 52 year old designer kept things relevant by adding in a modern and romantic twist - think tulle skirts paired with leather biker jackets and sneakers. The standing ovation given at the end of the show proved that the fashion industry is ready to continue evolving together with Dior as it begins its new chapter.
Balenciaga redefines its silhouette
Sharply cut, oversized square shoulders are having a moment in the fashion spotlight once more, no doubt in part thanks to creative director Demna Gvasalia vision for Balenciaga. For his debut collection last season he rewrote the fashion house’s impeccable tailoring, updating it for the woman of today. This translated into high, boxy shoulders, very defined waist lines, and that off the shoulder, oversize puffa jacket. For SS17, Gvasalia continued with his vision for the fashion house, which included oversized proportions, exaggerated silhouettes and stretchy leggings which turned into heels of boots, creating a very tight line from the hip to the toe.
A tribute to the late Sonia Rykiel
Creative director for Sonia Rykiel, Julie de Libran paid homage to the late Sonia Rykiel during the fashion house’s first show since her passing this August. An army of red-head models took to the catwalk wearing shiny, thin ribbed rainbow striped sweaters in honour of her Parisian sweater boy. Other models filed down the catwalk dressed in black sweaters, with a letter emblazoned on each to spell out the phrase ‘Rykiel Forever’ - a clear message than even though Sonia Rykiel herself may be gone, her fashion house and legacy will continue on in her name.
Chanel embraces a digital future
Always one to stage quite the show during Paris Fashion Week, Karl Lagerfeld, creative director at Chanel, did not hold back this season with the unveiling of his vision for the future. The show was staged at Paris’s Grand Palais, which was transformed into a Chanel computer database centre and was opened by an ‘android’, wearing a black tweed skirt suit. She was later joined by another bot in a matching cream suit. Although the andriod remain very human underneath, some questioned if the idea reflected Lagerfeld's concern that we are all becoming robots or a throwback to a time, the 1980s, when hopes for the future and technology were so very high. Lagerfeld himself in an early adopter of most gadgets and lover of the digital, so the bot was likely a playful remark in favour of the rise of the robot. The rest of the collection included other 80s references, such as boxy jackets and Chanel knit suits bright computer colours paired with bauble earrings and sideways baseballs caps.
Pierpaolo Piccioli solo debut at Valentino
The departure of half of Valentino’s creative duo, Maria Grazia Chiuri, who left to take up the helm at Dior, left the industry in wait as to which direction Pierpaolo Piccioli would go. Rather than reinventing the fashion house’s signature, which has remained a success since his appointment together with Chiuri 8 years ago, Piccioli revamped Valentino current design direction. Teaming up with British veteran designer Zandra Rhodes , who created patterns inspired by Hiernoymous Bosch, it is unsuprisingly that the resulting collection’s palette ranged from pinks and reds, from bubblegum sweet to Valentino red. Pleat dress with laces, ruffles, sweeping gowns and ethereal dresses were centre to a collection not too dissimilar from Valentino’s previous looks.