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Paris Fashion Week promises drama and departures



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Milan Fashion Week was not even over and the fashionistas were already heading to Paris on Monday for another 100-plus shows in the hectic womenswear season.

The spring-summer 2024 week in the French capital runs until October 3, with 107 brands presenting collections, of which 67 are giving runway shows.

All eyes are on Balmain's show on Wednesday night after the dramatic theft of 50 of its outfits.

Armed robbers seized the clothes on their way from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Balmain's Paris headquarters, leaving creative director Olivier Rousteing racing to pull together a replacement collection.

This week also sees final shows for two big name designers.

Gabriela Hearst is leaving Chloe after fewer than three years. Her sustainable focus was critically acclaimed but did not bring a major boost to sales.

It will also be the last show for Sarah Burton, who took over at Alexander McQueen following the founder's suicide in 2010.

Paris is the last of the big four fashion weeks in the busy September calendar that sees back-to-back events in London, New York and Milan.

The biggest story this season has been a new creative director at Gucci.

The debut by Sabato de Sarno in Milan on Friday was a relatively low-key affair but gave a boost to the share price of French parent company Kering, which has been struggling lately to keep up with its major rival, LVMH.

The first day of Paris Fashion Week always focuses on emerging designers and there is excitement this year about avant-garde newcomer Marie Adam-Leenaerdt from Belgium, who has the opening show.

"It's not about anchoring the pieces in a particular season, it's about creating surprise, emotion, crossing time and generations," she wrote on her website, promising "playful derision" of fashion's norms.

Also showing on Monday is Victor Weinsanto, a former classical dancer who trained in fashion with Jean Paul Gaultier and loves to bring an element of cabaret and performance to the catwalk.

Far from a newcomer, but long absent from the official line-up in Paris, is Pierre Cardin, which returned to the catwalk for the first time in 25 years last season and is back on Monday night.

The label's founder died in 2020 and his nephew Rodrigo Basilicati-Cardin is currently in charge but is embroiled in a bitter succession dispute with family members who have accused each other of fraud and other crimes.(AFP)

Paris Fashion Week