PARIS FASHION WEEK SPRING 2023: THE THEATRICS OF IT ALL
Au revoir fashion month! Fashion’s grand finale, Paris Fashion Week, wrapped up Tuesday, Oct. 4th and it was a full 9 days of back-to-back shows, parties, and events. The IRL runway shows were packed with guests and celebrities, and the week was back to pre-pandemic levels. The fashion was magnificent as the French have a flare for the theatrical, ranging from pannier looks (Panniers or side hoops are women’s undergarments worn in the 17th and 18th centuries to extend the width of the skirts at the side while leaving the front and back relatively flat), to asymmetrical hemlines, bra tops, and catsuits.
Paris Fashion Week was filled with just as much excitement on the runways and off.
At Loewe, guests were sent a red anthurium flower as the invitation as the bold flower appeared on dresses, modelled as bra cups and breastplates made from metal covered in ceramic paint.
Ester Manas celebrated ALL women. Her Spring 2023 show notes stated that ‘Everyone is welcome’, this was clear with the collection’s size-inclusive cast.
Stella McCartney is one of the biggest designers championing sustainable clothing and this season was her most sustainable collection to date, using 87% conscious materials.
Junya Watanabe returned to Paris with a bang. The models sported fantastic New Romantic wigs and strutted to a soundtrack of Duran Duran.
The set at Balenciaga was an immense dimly lit mud pit that stank of damp soil as the poor models trudged around the perimeter. The show opened with Ye dressed in a multi-pocketed security guard jacket. Demna Gvasalia, the creative director for the brand, described the set as a ‘metaphor for digging for truth’.
Inspired by Catherine de Medici, who is recognized for bringing high heels, corsets, and Burano lace to the French court, Maria Grazia Chiuri riffed on the wide-skirt silhouette from that era for Dior’s Spring 2023. At the center of the runway was a grotto set by French artist Eva Jospin and a performance by dancers and choreographers Marne and Imre Van Opstal and their troupe.
Cher made a cameo appearance at Balmain’s festival at Stade Jean-Bouin. She is the new face of Balmain’s handbag campaign, and the star joined creative director Olivier Rousteing for his bow.
A huge ‘monster flower’ installation designed by artist Philippe Parreno pulsated at the heart of the Louis Vuitton show, complete with lightbulb chandeliers whizzing about over ahead.
Victoria Beckham’s Paris runway debut brought a sexier edge to the brand, set against the backdrop of the cloisters of Val-de-Grâce. The Beckham family were all in attendance to cheer her on.
The first Issey Miyake show since the founder’s death in August, opened with a portrait of the late designer on big screens displaying one of his quotes, ‘I believe there is hope in design. Design evokes surprise and joy in people.’
Zendaya made a stunning appearance at the Valentino’s show during Paris Fashion Week and took a front seat to the runway. The actress wore a sheer bodysuit covered in tiny crystals covering a pair of black short-shorts, all from Valentino’s Spring 2022 collection.
K-Pop sensation Blackpink took over Paris Fashion Week as bandmembers made various appearances. Rosé attended Saint Laurent in a black minidress, Jisoo paired a black mini with fishnets at Dior and Jennie Kim looked absolutely delightful in a colorful, knit look at Chanel.
Kylie Jenner also made a splash at Paris Fashion Week as the reality star popped up in multiple front rows and events. She definitely went out of her comfort zone as she wore bold fashion looks.
Bella Hadid Closing Show at Coperni’s Spring 2023 Collection. Video Courtesy of YouTube The Front Row
In a runway moment that evoked the iconic Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 1999 show, in which Shalom Harlow’s white dress was live-painted on the runway by two robots as she stood on a rotating platform, Coperni designers Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant sprayed a dress onto Bella Hadid before the audience’s eyes. It was a moment very clearly engineered to go viral, but in that respect, it was a massive success: The brand gained hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers in the days after the show, and a post depicting the moment garnered over 2 million likes in just 48 hours, according to Nylon Magazine.
Doja Cat was a front row fixture all month long, sometimes putting the collections on the runways to shame. The entertainer is definitely having fun with fashion.
Spring 2023 marked Ib Kamara’s first, as the art and image director at Off-White in the wake of founder Virgil Abloh’s passing, and the show — complete with a live musical performance and a dancers — was a lovely celebration of the Abloh’s life, work, and legacy.
It doesn’t matter where Thom Browne shows, his runway extravaganzas are nothing short of magic. This season, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez shut down the runway by climbing into a pink Cadillac as Aretha Franklin song of the same name blasted from the speakers.
BIZZAREST MOMENT OF PARIS FASHION WEEK
Kanye West — who legally changed his name to Ye — sparked controversy in his black long-sleeve tee with its statement, “White Lives Matter” which is considered a “hate slogan” by the Anti-Defamation League, during his Yeezy Season 9 event at Paris Fashion Week on Monday, October 10th. His look was on full display as the designer gave a speech during the opening of the presentation. It was also featured in an image uploaded to Twitter by conservative commentator Candace Owens — who wore the same shirt in white to the show.
The fashion industry has collectively deemed Ye’s YZY show as dangerous and irresponsible, and they have also rallied around Vogue fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson after the artist bullied her in response to her critique on the show.
PARIS FASHION WEEK TRENDS
Aside from Ye’s disastrous show, there was plenty of great fashion in Paris and here are a few breakout trends:
Everything old is new again, even the pannier – an under-structure used in eighteenth-century fashion that created a shape wide at the sides and flat at the front and back – designers ranging from Dior to Loewe all created modernized versions of the hip-accentuating silhouette.
Hooded evening-looks were all over the runways in Milan, and in Paris the trend is going strong. But in France, the capuche (French for hood) looks more like a cowl or an already-attached headscarf than what you’d see on a sweatshirt. These hooded ensembles can be found on anything from a cropped top to a slinky gown.
This spring the French Runways were filled with the tiniest of shorts, so go ahead and show off your legs.
Bra tops have been going strong and for Spring 2023, the French Runways were filled with leather variations of the controversial top.
Designers are favoring the one-and-done style of the catsuit this Spring season. From Sheer and sparkling numbers to printed versions, one things for sure, none of these looks are a bore.
The moto-bike trend trickled up from the streets to the Paris Runways. For spring 2023, there were plenty of moto jackets that ranged from graphic motifs to minimalistic leather versions.
THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO
It was a disco inferno on the Paris runways as designers presented sparkling dresses that are perfect for dancing the night away.
THE CANADIAN TUXEDO
The Y2K trend is still going strong as designers are inspired by Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake matching denim looks from the 2001 American Music Awards. An update to the Canadian Tuxedo definitely made its mark on the Paris runways this season.
Another popular Y2K trend is back for Spring 2023, the asymmetrical hemline. In Paris, designers opted to shift mullet hems from to side-to-side for a modern version of the handkerchief dresses.
HIPS DON’T LIE
And the Y2K continues with low-rise bottoms. Designers in Paris presented low-rise everything: skirts, jeans, trousers, cargo pants and shorts. This trend is here to stay.
So tell us, after New York, London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks, which city do you think has the strongest trends?
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