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JE NE SAIS QUOI – PARIS FASHION WEEK 2022 TRENDS

- - Fashion Shows

Models strut the runway at Saint Laurent’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Masks may be an au courant trend (not without controversy), but thanks to masks, social distancing and vax cards Paris Fashion Week roared back to life. The festivities that began on Monday, September 27th wind down on Tuesday, October 5th with major fashion houses opting for live shows such as Dior, Chanel, Hermes, and Vuitton.

Looks from Dior’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

“We are overjoyed at their return and the presence of the other big brands,” Pascal Morand, head of France’s Federation for Haute Couture and Fashion, told AFP, a news network in France. “We feel this appetite for the physical, for the show,” he added.

But we cannot forget that COVID-19 is not yet over and so just like in New York, London, and Milan, face coverings were compulsory at all the shows this week in the City of Lights.

Of the 97 fashion brands showing at PFW, about two-thirds are continuing with online presentations.

A look from Kenneth Ize’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Nigerian designer, Kenneth Ize, a favorite of supermodel Naomi Campbell, kicked off Paris Fashion Week with a show at the Palais de Tokyo.

Then on Sunday evening, Givenchy held its first IRL catwalk presentation by its new American artistic director Matthew Williams, who brought an element of street style to the historic French brand.

Saint Laurent was also back with a live show on Tuesday evening, despite being the first major house to quit the Paris Fashion official calendar when the deadly pandemic hit in 2020. Today it’s obvious that the brand and it’s creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, made the right choice. The historic French house has been protesting the chaotic pace of the fashion calendar, which has led several major brands to rethink their strategies even before the pandemic.

A video of Saint Laurent’s spring 2022 show. (Video courtesy of Saint Laurent on YouTube)

Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala Balanciaga Look rewrote the Red Carpet’s Rules. (Photo Credit: Elle)

On Saturday night the much-anticipated Balenciaga show took place. All eyes were on the brand’s creative director Demna Gvasalia, especially after making waves at the Met Gala when he dressed Kim Kardashian in a controversial all-black, head-to-toe covering (talk about the ultimate Covid mask!).

Balenciaga, which is under the umbrella of the French global luxury group Kering (Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Bottega Veneta to name a few) proved that they are totally committed to the future of fashion. Prior to Paris Fashion Week they announced at their brands would be going entirely fur-free. Balenciaga announced that they had teamed up with the hit cartoon comedy show The Simpsons, and they announced a partnership with Unreal Engine’s popular computer game Fortnite. Keep your eyes on this space and watch for our upcoming blog topic on how the fashion industry is entering the gaming space.

Video about Kering going fur-free. (Video Courtesy of France24 on YouTube)

Although there was plenty of excitement and so many live shows to attend, there were still a few who have opted out of showing during the Paris Fashion Week calendar. Most noteworthy absent brands were Celine, whose artistic director Hedi Slimane has argued that the traditional calendar was “obsolete” in the age of social media. Off-White, the brand of the popular streetwear designer Virgil Abloh, has not appeared for several seasons now, as well as Stella McCartney, although she has not given a reason for skipping out of the fashion calendar.

PFW will end with an homage to Israeli-American designer Alber Elbaz, who died from Covid-related complications in April 2020. The late Elbaz’s company, AZ Factory, planned a tribute show with 44 of the world’s most talented designers, each of whom have created a piece in Elber’s honor. Among the designers participating: Rei Kawakubo, Alessandro Michele, Donatella Versace, and Nicolas Ghesquière, and from the U.S., Ralph Lauren, Virgil Abloh and Daniel Roseberry of Schiaparelli.  The company is calling the event, which will be live streamed on October 5 at 8 pm CET, “Love Brings Love.” I am sure the event will bring many to tears as Alber Elbaz was one of the most beloved and charismatic designers of our time.

While the final stretch of the Spring 2022 shows is still going strong, here are some key trends coming out of Paris so far:

POSH SPLICE

This season, designers in Paris played mix masters with a mélange of luxe and alluring combinations.

A look from Marine Serre’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Sarawong’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Thebe Magugu’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Lutz Huelle’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Isabel Marant’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

TWISTER

Twisted halter tops take center stage this season as the sexy neckline can be found on everything from body-con dresses and jumpsuits to barely there tops.

A look from Courrèges’ Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Issey Miyake’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balmain’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Saint Laurent’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

JUMP STARTS

No longer the sole domain for dancers and gymnasts, the jumpsuit takes on a racy twist in skintight versions that are oh-so-sexy.

A look from Balenciaga’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Saint Laurent’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Marine Serre’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Acne Studios’ Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balmain’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

SPORTS CENTER

Getting in shape never looked better. Designers are inspired by the sporty life with chic riffs on everything from cool basketball-style shorts to a full-on boxing looks.

A look from Christian Dior’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Isabel Marant’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Meryll Rogge’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

THE BELT WAY

Cinch it in! Designers are opting for belting looks this season to accentuate the waist.

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Patou’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Andrew Gn’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christian Dior’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Hermès’ Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

BARING CONDITIONS

The French have a flare for sexiness and this spring designers are adding an extra dose of seduction with strategically placed  cut-outs leaving very little to the imagination.

A look from Rick Owens’ Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Gauchere’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Coperni’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Saint Laurent’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

YOU’RE A GEM

The collections in Paris were filled with brilliant jewel tone colors – rich magentas, emeralds, and blues – enough to make you sparkle like a gem.

A look from Andrew Gn’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Kenneth Ize’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Issey Miyake’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christian Dior’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Patou’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

SHINE LANGUAGE

Metallic hues take a playful turn for spring 2022 as designers show an array of shiny looks from a gold fringe dress to a silver futuristic topper, one things for sure, it’s time to shine on.

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balmain’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Courrèges’ Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Lutz Huelle’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balenciaga’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Now that we’ve covered each of the major fashion week capitals, which city do you believe has the most creative talent?

 

 

MILAN & PARIS: FALL 2021 COLLECTIONS PART 2

MILAN

Gigi Hadid is officially back on the runway. Here she is backstage at the Versace show with her sister Bella. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Ciao! Milan Fashion Week ended on a high note as designers looked to the promise of la vita bella (a beautiful life) as COVID-19 vaccines were being distributed throughout Europe as well as the world.

With the possibility of ‘back-to-normal’ in the not too distant future, Italian and French designers created energetically charged pieces at MFW and PFW with the hope that we will all be making a big splash when we return to a life of  normalcy.

(Video credit: Valentino’s live show)

Like New York and London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week shows were digitally-focused with one exception, namely, Valentino’s intimate runway show. The Milan schedule was packed with established designers such as Missoni, Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, Max Mara, Marni, and Dolce & Gabbana but the highlight of MFW was Kim Jones’ highly anticipated ready-to-wear debut for Fendi, which definitely delivered. Another show of note was Team Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada, who presented their second Prada collab women’s collection to raves. In addition to the traditional line-up of veteran designers, there were a few new names in the mix (finally), such as former Gucci designer Daniel Del Core.

(Video credit: Daniel Del Core’s debut collection)

Daniel Del Core’s debut collection was a socially distance IRL (in real life) show. It’s definitely every aspiring designer’s dream to climb the ladder, gathering experience on someone else’s dime and then ultimately launch their own brand. The proof of the pudding comes when you finally get to ‘strut-your-stuff’ with a runway show. This designer not only succeeded but did it during a pandemic! Check out Daniel’s show video. So, what do you think? Definitely rocking the 80s shoulder, right?

Covid is still wreaking havoc on the fashion show schedule and a few designers presented their digital collections after Milan Fashion Week, such as Versace’s Donatella Versace and Luke and Lucie Meier at Jil Sander. Dates for Bottega Veneta and Gucci are still up in the air.

A look from Prada’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Prada)

Nonetheless, MFW was full of bold trends, thanks to Italian designers’ flare for dramatics. For them, life after lockdown will be anything but boring. Here are our top five trends:

ALL BUNDLED UP

Baby it’s cold outside! For Fall 2021, designers in Milan showed plenty of terrific outerwear to keep you warm, yet oh so fashionable. Brands such as Fendi and Prada featured fabulous big, furry coats, while Valentino focused on charming capes that offer effortless glamour to any look. Meanwhile, the basic puffer got a makeover with unique shapes and bold colors, case in point, Marni.

A look from Marni’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Fendi’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

 

A look from Prada’s Fall 2021 Collection and the accessory of the season, the zip pouch glove. (Photo Credit: Prada)

 

A look from Valentino’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Salvatore Dragone)

 

A look from MSGM’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

METALLICA

Glitz and glamour ruled the runways from futuristic silver suits at Annakiki to chainmail gowns at Salvatore Ferragamo, these glistening looks will rule the return of the red carpet.

A look from Annakiki’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

 

A look from Moschino’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Moschino)

 

A look from Salvatore Ferragamo’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Salvatore Ferragamo)

THE PREPPY HANDBOOK

Leave it to the Italians to give the classic Preppy look a much-needed update. For fall, designers like Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini and Etro are giving the otherwise conservative styles a cool makeover. Relaxed shapes, vibrant hues and edgy styling take preppy away from the country club to and onto the backs of our favorite fashion influencers.

A look from Etro’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Etro)

 

A look from Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini)

 

A look from Andrea Pompilio’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Andrea Pompilio)

BRIGHT OF WAY

Italian designers lit up the season with fantastically bright hues — pink, lavender, yellow, and teal were particularly popular on the runways. Brands like MSGM and Emilio Pucci clashed hues in the most creative and vibrant ways.

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dolce & Gabbana)

 

A look from MSGM’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)

 

A look from Emilio Pucci’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Emilio Pucci)

GREEN DAY

Olive has become the new neutral, giving the nod to military-inspired looks that marched down runways by the legion and received uniform salutes. From Ports 1961’s belted coat to Sportmax’s utility shirt, today’s military trend is chic and polished.

A look from Sportmax’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Sportmax)

 

A look from Max Mara’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Max Mara)

 

A look from Ports 1961’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ports 1961)

PARIS

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Fall 2021Collection. (Photo Credit: Casper Sejersen)

As of the writing of this blog, Paris Fashion Week is still going strong. The fashion show season officially ends on March 10th, but in the City of Lights, the Fall 2021 collections started out with a bang! PFW never disappoints by offering collections that reflect the climate of today, but also gives us the possibilities of dreams and fantasies. Even during the turmoil we are all facing due to the global pandemic, the tremendous loss of life, economic uncertainty and political and social upheaval – designers are still pushing forward creating beautiful collections that offer an escape from the real world and that envision better days ahead.

The most anticipated show of the season was Gabriela Hearst’s debut collection for Chloé. It was an IRL outdoor fashion show and Hearst lived up to the hype.

(Video Credit: Chloé’s Fall 2021 Show)

Gabriela Hearst stayed true to the heritage of Chloé as she offered a collection filled with rich bohemian inspired looks. Hearst, a designer known to incorporate sustainable practices in her own collection, brought that sensibility to Chloé. She integrated lower-impact raw materials and put a plan in place to lower carbon emissions by 2025.  The collection was filled with Boho pieces that you will want to hold on to forever, such as a series of ponchos in stripes and solids, along with knit maxi dresses. Heart showed terrific outerwear from spliced trench coats to a cut-away shearling coat, as well as plenty of patchwork looks, including a leather patchwork jacket and skirt set. In a fashion season dominated by 80s shoulders, Hearst’s bohemian vibe had a ‘70s aesthetic that was fresh and modern.

OTHER TRENDS

SPACE AGE

Futuristic fashion was all over the runways of Paris, from Rick Owens’ sharp shoulders and shimmering bodysuits, to Courrèges’ mod high neck jacket. These looks will have you standing out in any crowd.

A look from Rick Owens’ Fall 2021Collection. (Photo Credit: Carlo Scarpato)

 

A look from Alexandre Vauthier’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Alexandre Vauthier)

 

A look from Vetements’ Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Gio Staiano)

 

A look from Courrèges’ Fall 2021Collection. (Photo Credit: Thomas de Cruz Media)

PRETTY IN PINK

Pink has been a favorite among the millennial set, so for fall, designers showed a range of pretty pink looks from Patou’s belted jacket with feathered trim to Coperni’s zippered dress. Pink is here to stay.

A look from Patou’s Fall 2021Collection. (Photo Credit: Patou)

 

A look from Coperni’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fillippo Fior)

 

A look from Acne Studios’ Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Acne Studios)

 

A look from Nina Ricci’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Nina Ricci)

 

THE COLD SHOULDER

Designers adopted a chic asymmetry with interesting bare shoulder effects.

A look from Coperni’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fillippo Fior)

 

A look from Acne Studios’ Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Acne Studios)

 

A look from Ellery’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Kym Ellery)

 

A look from Alaïa’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Piere-Ange Carlotti)

 

HERELD SQUARES

Check this out: windowpane, tartan, houndstooth and more. This fall, designers have gone mad for plaid.

A look fromVivienne Westwood’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Alice Dellal)

 

Looks from Marine Serre’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Marine Serre)

 

A look from Courrèges’ Fall 2021Collection. (Photo Credit: Thomas de Cruz Media)

 

WELL SUITED

Pantsuits were all over the runways, but in Paris, they were anything but business-like. Designers took the office staple to new heights by injecting them with the boldest of hues.

A look from Thebe Magugu’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Thebe Magugu)

 

A look from Loewe’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Loewe)

 

A look from Nina Ricci’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Nina Ricci)

 

A look from Isabel Marant’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Isabel Marant)

So tell us, do you have a favorite trend?

 

ON WITH THE SHOW & SHOULDERS! PARIS FASHION WEEK SPRING 2021

- - Fashion Shows

Looks off the runway of Yohji Yamamoto’s Spring 2021 Show. (Photo Credit: Alessandro Lucioni)

Welcome to the final stretch of the Spring 2021 Collections, which, let’s face it, has surely been the most unpredictable show season in history. With all four major fashion cities ascribing to a hybrid mix of digital and physical fashion presentations, we now have a new fashion term “Phygital FashionWeek.”

At Paris Fashion Week, September 28th – October 6th, French fashion houses are on track to follow Milan’s template: a combination of runway shows, short films, and everything in between. According to The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, this season will function as the online destination for all the spring/summer 2021 collections. According to the site’s official statement, the organization has complied with recommendations of public authorities in order to carry out successful presentations, ensuring the health and safety of everyone involved. We’d expect nothing less, especially since Europe’s Covid numbers are on the rise.

A detailed look from Chloé’s Spring 2021 Runway. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chloé)

Some Parisian designers this season have dropped out of the fashion show calendar altogether (similar to American designers) including heavy hitters such as Celine, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Off-White and Lanvin. But not to fret, Paris will have plenty of in-person shows including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Balmain, Hermès, and others.

However, the majority of designers have opted to present their collection digitally, namely,  Balenciaga, Maison Margiela, Miu Miu, Dries Van Noten and Rick Owens. And, making his debut at Givenchy, Matthew Williams.

Paris Fashion Week started off with plenty of anticipation and excitement, but no one was expecting a protester to crash Dior’s runway show, and that was only on day 1. An environmental protester infiltrated the runway holding a yellow banner with the phrase “WE ARE ALL FASHION VICTIMS” written in bold letters with the extinction symbol used by environmental protesters appearing on the bottom corners of the flag.

An Extinction Rebellion Protester Crashes Dior’s Spring 2021 Show. (Photo Credit: Victor Boyko)

A spokeswoman for Extinction Rebellion — a climate group that previously called for a fashion boycott due to the industry’s impact on the environment — confirmed it was responsible for the runway protest, WWD reports.

Naturally guests were confused by the situation, as the woman did not speak or disrupt the flow of the show. It almost seemed that she was part of the show.

It was a surprise for everybody,” Pietro Beccari, chairman and CEO of Christian Dior Couture, said according to WWD. ″It was so well done, you couldn’t tell what it was.″

Sidney Toledano, chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, didn’t initially realize what was happening either: ″I had no idea what was going on. I saw the girl go past, and it looked like she was walking in the show,” Toledano said, according to WWD.

I don’t think we’re destroying the planet,” he continued. “We’re committed to reducing our environmental impact by cutting our carbon dioxide emissions, tracing our raw materials and so forth. They shouldn’t be targeting us. I think there are industries that pollute much more.”

Speaking about the effectiveness of the protest, Toledano said, “It wasn’t nasty or aggressive, but I think her message wasn’t clear. You couldn’t tell if it was part of the show or not.

Here’s a wrap up of some of the strongest collections in Paris thus far:

CHRISTIAN DIOR

Creating a collection during quarantine is no easy feat, as the “work from home” concept translated to seven months of leisurewear for many. So with this new reality in mind, Maria Grazia Chiuri, the Creative Director for Christian Dior, created a more intimate, wearable collection, as she tells Vogue Runway in an interview, “We had to approach this collection with an idea more of design. We are living in a different way and staying more at home within our intimacy. Our clothes have to reflect this new style of life.”

Chiuri is known for creating whimsical and intricate collections for Dior, so her more wearable collection was a far cry toward   cashmere lounge sets that have become the uniform of WFH dressing. The house of Dior’s DNA is in its feminine yet tailored suits. For spring, Chiuri created a new Dior silhouette: the jacket, shirt, and pant, in a more relaxed yet elegant aesthetic. Jackets ballooned into dressing gowns, shirts elongated into tunics, and trousers became slouchier in width. The collection was filled with Mediterranean paisleys, which took Chiuri back to her Italian roots, as well as airy goddess dresses, which have been a favorite of the designer for years.

Other key looks included a series of boxy trouser and skirt suits that highlighted the hourglass silhouette by softly emphasizing its waist, embracing a woman’s natural curves. These are formal yet comfortable pieces that will have you looking effortlessly chic during our new reality of the work-from-home lifestyle.

DRIES VAN NOTEN

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Viviane Sassen)

COVID-19 has undoubtedly impacted all of us, but for some designers, it pushed them into new creative endeavors. Case in point…Dries Van Noten. For Spring 2021, the designer found himself in new territory, a director of photography and film. This was a first in his 34-year career, especially since Van Noten has never even had an advertising campaign!

Van Noten worked with Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen to shoot the images and the film. In an interview with Vogue Runway he stated that “she [Sassen] captures the moment in a very good way. There’s a directness and she works fast and spontaneously.” For spring, the designer presented both his men’s and womenswear collections simultaneously, which was also a first for Van Noten.

The photographs were shot on a beach and the setting was the perfect backdrop to the collection, which was filled with board shorts, Bermudas, swimsuits, netted knit tops, and easy cotton jackets worn by both boys and girls – all in psychedelic prints of the sun, moons, palm trees and bars of light. “We wanted to work around beauty [that] evokes energy—not one that makes you dream or linger on things that are past, which makes you nostalgic,” he says. “It had to push you to the future, to give energy.”

BALMAIN

At Balmain, it was all theatrics. The show opened with Olivier Rousteing, the house’s young creative director,  sitting on a wooden stool as six established models slowly strolled the runway from one side to the other as they tilted their hips and twirled to the audience’s delight. The mood was perfect. Rousteing adapted Balmain’s 1970s archived looks in gray cashmere along with the houses’ monogramed logo. The soundtrack for the show included Pierre Balmain himself saying, “Black is the only color young people can wear more successfully than old people. A young girl dressed in black is always tremendously beautiful. An older woman in black can be dreary. That’s why black is not an old color, it’s a young color. Black velvet is the epitome of young and sexy. Because there is also a touch of sex in fashion now.

Once the six models and Rousteing exited the runway, then the real show began, with four models (two male and two  female) in sharply tailored neon suits as The Weekend’s “Blinding Lights” tune echoed on the soundtrack. There was no streetwear here, no cozy WFH looks. This was pure power dressing with bold suits for men and women that ranged from wide shoulder jackets to pagoda-shouldered blazers. Rousteing also presented a group of grey suits that were very Armani.

The collection then segued to denim, a true staple in everyone’s wardrobe. The washed denim looks ranged from classic boot leg jeans and shorts, to a wide range of outerwear. Then came the eveningwear, which the Kardashian and Jenner sisters will surely rock, with two-piece dresses and slinky slip dresses. But the real showstopper was the two adorable kids that closed out the show in miniature gray suits. It was all so magnifique!

RICK OWENS

A global pandemic and political unrest were the perfect inspiration for Rick Owens and his post-apocalyptic collection. Let’s just say that as the godfather of Goth Glam, this collection did not disappoint his fans. His women’s show was titled “Phlegethon.” In Greek mythology, the Phlegethon was one of the five rivers of the Underworld, less famous than the Styx, but just as deadly. In Dante’s Inferno, it was a river of blood that boiled souls. Dark and eerie yes, but the clothes were Owens at his best.

Owens channeled Tina Turner in “Thunderdome” with his powerful shoulder looks. Maybe he was sending us all a message? The axiom of  having “broad shoulders,”  which is the ability and/or willingness to accept multiple demands and responsibilities. Seems appropriate for these times. And there were vests and leather cutoffs that looked like they could double as tactical gear. This dystopian-like collection was filled with the accessory of the moment, facemasks, because in today’s world, it’s a necessity AND NOT OPTIONAL. “A mask kind of works with my clothes,” Owens said in an interview with Vogue Runway, “but it’s also a vote. It’s also promoting consideration of others. You might not believe in a mask, but it sends the right message.

The allure of an Owens show is that as dark and disturbing as his theme may be—as hellish as we all feel—he inevitably leaves you excited and energized. There was also a message of hope and the promise of better days ahead, as Owens showed his softer side with shades of pink, red and yellow to transform his customer to a happier place.

LOEWE

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Loewe)

Loewe’s spring collection is a joyful celebration of fashion in a time when we can all use a jolt of happiness. In an interview with Vogue Runway, creative director Jonathan Anderson stated, “We have to start loving fashion again. We don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring. So let’s enjoy it!

Just one page of Loewe’s spring 2021 Lookbook says it all. You can feel the excitement of the collection as the models are all in animated and energetic poses, bringing the collection to life. As for the clothes, Anderson created a whimsical collection that plays with volume and shape. Key looks included a puffy white dress ruched with parachute tape; a generously layered black taffeta trapeze dress; a crisp scalloped-edge broderie anglaise dress with wires sewn into the collar and skirt; as well as balloon-shaped trousers and sleeves.

These humorous pieces will surely leave a smile on your face.

ISABEL MARANT

Just like Jonathan Anderson’s Loewe collection, Isabel Marant similarly turned out a lively and upbeat collection with a runway show that may have caused some guests to feel uncomfortable, because after all, we are still living through a pandemic. Marant staged her show at the Palais Royal and was billed as ‘a night out in the club,’ reminiscent of  happier times. While we all long for a return to normalcy, it was reported that guests at Marant’s show plonked themselves down so close to each other, with zero respect for social distancing. Though you really can’t blame the designer if guests choose not to sit six feet apart from one another in an outdoor venue,  but the last thing anyone wants is a super spreader event like the one held last week in the Rose Garden at the White House, where eight people so far have been infected with the virus, including the President and First Lady.

In an interview with Vogue Runway, Marant stated, “For me, fashion is about enjoying life. It has to be positive. It’s a release of energy to people, putting bad vibes behind.” There were no bad vibes here, only ‘80s-centric clothes suspended someplace between Saint-Germain and Manhattan, all with Marant’s signature glamour and with an extra dosage of high shine and luster. Looks ranged from mutton sleeve tops paired with metallic overalls to embroidered bohemian blouses and micro shorts for Marant’s version of daywear. Temperatures rose for her evening portion with mini-dresses in glossy fabrics and a leather corset top paired with shimmering leggings. While Marant’s collection may be a tad too sexy for the state of the world today, it does give us the promise that in time, we will return to “the old days.”

STREET STYLE STARS

And what would Paris Fashion Week be without some great Street Style looks? Sometimes the best shows in Paris are viewed on its city streets. Which reminds me…be sure to catch the new 10 episode Netflix series, Emily in Paris, which stars Lily Collins as Emily, and was created by Darren Star of Sex in the City fame and with costumes by Patricia Field. Get ready for some very fashionable moments!

Paris brought back the Street Style Stars. (Photo Credit: Acielle for Style du Monde)

Streetstyle Star Bryanboy attends Paris Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: Acielle for Style du Monde)

Actress Maisie Williams and Reuben Selby attending the Dior Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle for Style du Monde)

Shows may still be going on, but tell us, which show was your favorite so far?

 

PARIS FASHION WEEK: A MUCH NEEDED BEAUTIFUL ESCAPE FROM REALITY

- - Fashion Shows
Saint Laurent's spring 2019 Runway (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Saint Laurent’s spring 2019 Runway (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Political unrest, devastating natural disasters, fear of war, the economy, racism, the #me too movement, every day we are all bombarded with negative news, not only from our own backyard, but around the globe. At times, it feels as if we live in a mad, mad world.

So, when friends who are not in the fashion industry ask: “How can you think about fashion during these volatile times?” the answer… it’s not easy. The fashion industry is a Goliath worldwide business. According to Statista, revenue of  the U.S. Apparel Industry in 2018 was estimated at $102,820 million. Globally the retail value of luxury goods is estimated at $339.4 billion (according to Fashion United). But aside from the economic value of the fashion industry, there is also a psychological one – fashion is a great escape from the real world. And, this fashion season delivered!

Not only were the shows theatrical, but the craftsmanship and the use of bold, eye-popping color all contributed to an upbeat and happy escape from reality. Exactly what the doctor ordered.

Let’s take a look at what was happening at the Paris shows, which included debut and controversy at Celine, gender-diversity on the runway, avant-garde escapism and a space age look into a better future.

A NEW DAY AT CELINE

Hedi Slimane’s debut collection for Celine was filled with mixed reviews. Even before his show, Slimane caused controversy by rebranding the company’s logo, removing the accent aigu (Céline). As editors, influencers, buyers and celebrities eagerly awaited Slimane’s collection, many were disappointed that he replicated exactly what he did at Saint Laurent (2012-2016) and his past collections for Dior Homme (2000-2007). Slimane fired back, targeting the American press and charging them with ‘homophobia.’ I mean, really?

For many, the re-branding at the hands of Slimane was the complete and utter destruction of Celine’s house codes and Phoebe Philo’s legacy, whose fan base expects smart, chic, and intellectual collections. Some even called Simane’s debut collection, ‘Saint Celine.’

And here’s why. The collection had a glam-grunge, rock n’ roll sensibility.  There was a nod to the Eighties, with big shoulder silhouettes, exaggerated pouf details, mini lengths and plenty of shine. Maybe perfect for dancing the night away at your favorite trendy hot spot but not what the house is generally known for. Just goes to show that taking over as creative director at a heritage house is no simple task!

Celine's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Celine’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Slimane also introduced menswear to Celine, showing perfectly tailored skinny pantsuits that have become his signature look. But, ladies don’t fret, these looks are unisex as well.

Celine's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Celine’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

On the retail front it will be interesting to see, whether Celine’s customers take to the ‘new vision’ or will Slimane’s consumer be his old Saint Laurent clientele. Only time will tell.

THE AGE OF ANDROGYNY

As the cultural discussion on gender identity keeps moving forward, designers are embracing the shift in acceptance and are positioning their brands to be all inclusive by showing their menswear and womenswear collections together, casting transgender models, and even launching entire unisex collections.

At Givenchy,  Clare Waight Keller took cues from 1930s gender-bending writer and adventurer Annemarie Schwarzenbach. Keller sent her models out with cropped boyish haircuts in leather Perfectos tucked into military pants – a direct homage to a photo of Schwarzenbach. For evening, she showed elegant bias cut asymmetrical gowns. But her daywear was what really stuck out.  There were plenty of chic army trousers paired with fitted jackets, smart suit alternatives and plenty of crisp shirts – all perfect looks for the fashion-forward working girl.

Givenchy's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Givenchy’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Haider Ackermann has been showing androgynist looks for years now, with Tilda Swinton as his muse. This season the designer decided to show both his womenswear and menswear collections on the runway together.  The collections were perfectly intertwined, sending out his models in pairs of three to clearly make his point that his collection is cross-gender.

Ackermann has mastered creative tailoring. For spring, there were plenty of sharp suits in bold colors, boxy shirts with intricate laser-cut details and pajama-inspired pieces. Although the unisex concept has been seen on a number of runways this season, Ackermann’s version was effortless and elegant.

Haider Ackermann's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Haider Ackermann’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

THE AVANT-GARDE

There are a handful of designers who are truly creative geniuses. Season after season these avant-garde designers take us on a breathtaking journey, their collections are thought provoking, witty and intellectual. Here’s a mash-up of the best!

Comme des Garçons' spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Comme des Garçons’
spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Thom Browne's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Thom Browne’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Rick Owen's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Rick Owen’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Yohji Yamamoto's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Yohji Yamamoto’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Junya Watanabe's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Junya Watanabe’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Balenciaga's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Balenciaga’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Maison Margiela's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Maison Margiela’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

THE GREATEST SHOWMEN/WOMAN

Meanwhile, back to reality, well, almost. Karl Lagerfeld created a tropical beach for his Chanel spectacle. Yes, you heard me right. At the Paris Grand Palais, Lagerfeld recreated a beach that included an ocean with gentle waves, blue sky, wooden docks and lifeguards. He completed the scene with none other than former Baywatch actor Pamela Anderson seated in the front row.

Chanel's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Chanel’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Nicolas Ghesquière took us on a futuristic voyage for his Louis Vuitton collection. The perfect escape mechanism to avoid the reality of these times.

Louis Vuitton's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Louis Vuitton’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Modern dancers performed during Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Christian Dior Show. It was a nice break from traditional cat walking.

Christian Dior's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Christian Dior’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Anthony Vaccarello’s girls walked on water under the Eiffel Tower for his Saint Laurent show.

Saint Laurent's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Saint Laurent’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

For Miuccia Prada’s Miu Miu collection, the concept of  ‘deconstructing beauty’ continued by putting her spin on DIY, recycling, and upcycling under a backdrop modern art installations.

Miu Miu's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Miu Miu’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

THE ROMANTICS

Fashion week season wouldn’t be complete without a ‘romance-inspired’ collection. Beautifully feminine looks, from whimsical tulle confections to vintage floral charm, these saccharine-savy looks had just the right dose of spice.

Giambattista Valli's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Giambattista Valli’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Alexander McQueen's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Alexander McQueen’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Ann Demeulemeester's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Ann Demeulemeester’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

 

Altuzarra's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Altuzarra’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Valentino's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Valentino’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

 SPACE AGE

In a galaxy far, far away…..some designers looked ahead to the future, creating looks that were out of this world.

Balmain's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Balmain’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Louis Vuitton's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Louis Vuitton’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Gucci's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Gucci’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Isabel Marant's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Isabel Marant’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

THE REALISTS

Ok, all these fantasy looks are spectacular, but sometimes we need to see some real clothes on the runway, right? But always with a twist!

Sonia Rykiel's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Sonia Rykiel’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Stella McCartney's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Stella McCartney’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Loewe's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Loewe’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Dries Van Noten's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Dries Van Noten’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Hermès' spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Hermès’ spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Rochas' spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Rochas’ spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

THE NEW GUARD

Here at UoF, we love and support new, emerging designers. Here’s a fresh crop who are disrupting the establishment……

Off-White's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Off-White’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Ellery's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Ellery’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Johanna Ortiz's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Johanna Ortiz’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Beautiful People's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Beautiful People’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Esteban Cortazar's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Esteban Cortazar’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Tell us which collection took you out of reality, even if only for a moment?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paris Fashion Week: From Glam and Glitz to Avant-Garde

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

PARIS FASHION WEEK

Saint Laurent Runway : The Eiffel Tower  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Saint Laurent Runway : The Eiffel Tower (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

The spring 2018 fashion shows have been a long haul, but there were so many inspiring moments from Ralph Lauren’s show in his exotic car garage in Bedford, N.Y. to Donatella Versace’s tribute to Gianni; who can ever forget the images all over Instagram with his supermodels (Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen and Carla Bruni) all on stage in golden gowns – it was an emotional moment for many in the industry. Now we reach the final stretch, Paris, the fashion capital of the world. Paris shows are not over yet, but here are some of the highlights of the week so far, from political messages to over-the-top glamour.

EMPOWERING WOMEN

It’s clear that Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first female Creative Director for Christian Dior, is using the label as a platform to empower women. Who can forget her “We Should All Be Feminists” t-shirts. Every Instagram and street style star wore them. For spring, Chiuri uses the runway to let us ponder another thought “Why Have There Been No Great Woman Artists?” This question was emblazoned on a striped marinière sweater. The question is the title of art historian Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay that explores the topic of feminist art history; historically, woman have had a difficult time achieving success in the arts. Chiuri’s Dior is a new Dior. Gone are the pastel colored, ladies-who-lunch suits. It’s clear that Chiuri is focusing on the millennials with looks that ranged from 70’s patchwork jeans to leather jumpsuits. For evening, she showed an assortment of sheer, sparkly, glitter mini dresses in every color under the rainbow – all complete with low block heeled mesh knee high boots. It’s refreshing to see a designer put out a positive message that she really does believe in.

Christian Dior  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Christian Dior (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

THE NEW CHLOE-GIRL

There’s a new Chloe Girl in town…..Natacha Ramsay-Levi just presented her first collectionas the creative director for Chloé  to rave reviews. Although this is her first moment in the spotlight, Ramsay-Levi is well-known within French fashion circles; she worked at both Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton under Nicolas Ghesquière. Ramsay-Levi looked to the entire history of the house and gave a nod to each of her predecessors. The hand-painted cotton dresses were inspired by Lagerfeld’s time at the House. McCartney and Philo both liked horses, and Ramsay-Levi embroidered the motif on trim velvet tailoring. A floaty micro-floral dress was inspired by Waight. But there was a lot of Ramsay-Levi infused as well, such as the tailored leather outerwear and skinny cropped jeans.

Chloe  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Chloe (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

GLITZ AND GLAMOUR

Anthony Vaccarello is paying tribute to the city of lights and to Mr. Yves Saint Laurent himself. The epic show was held outdoors, on a balmy night, with the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the background. Hundreds of spectators—the public and professionals—looked on, held in the awestruck moment. Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent girl wants to have fun, there were fanciful feathers, flirty glitter, and plenty of jaw-dropping boots. But the night was bittersweet for the house of Saint Laurent as Pierre Bergé passed away earlier this month. Vacarello started the show with hippie inspired looks that had a Moroccan feel,  it was a throwback to Yves Saint Laurant  and his love of Marrakech. There were floating, billowy-sleeved silk blouses, gold-coin–dot printed tulle tops, sparkling sequined dresses, bubbled frocks and fanciful ostrich feathers, all of it paired with the shortest of shorts and miniskirts and let’s not forget the over-the-top boots. This bold collection was sexy and confident!

Although the world is on edge today, with politics, threats of terrorists attacks and war, that didn’t reflect in many collections in Paris, there was a refreshing air of glitz and glamour; lighting the way for hopefulness and fun. Such collections included Balmain, Maison Margiela, Altuzarra and Dries Van Noten.

Saint Laurent  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Saint Laurent (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Balmain  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Balmain (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Dries Van Noten (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Dries Van Noten (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Maison Margiela  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Maison Margiela (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Altuzarra  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Altuzarra (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

EIGHTIES ARE BACK

A throwback to the Eighties was a continuing theme that made its way to Paris. Virgil Abloh, the designer behind the cult label Off-White, was inspired by Princess Diana as “the people’s princess.” Marking the 20-year anniversary of her tragic death, Abloh payed homage to the fashion icon, most notably with his farewell to streetwear and opted for a feminine collection filled with tulle and flounce. But Naomi Campbell stole the show – with her regal strut – wearing an asymmetrically flounced white jacket and cycle shorts quite the twist on eveningwear.

Isabel Marant and Mugler also gave a nod to the Eighties this season.

Off-White  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Off-White (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Isabel Marant  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Isabel Marant (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Mugler  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Mugler (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

THE INDIVIDUALISTS

Sure they may not be mainstream designers, but you have to give credit to those designers who season after season march to their own beat. Such avante-garde designers include Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Jun Takahashi for Undercover, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto and Rick Owens.

Comme des Garçons (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Comme des Garçons (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Undercover  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Undercover (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Junya Watanabe (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Junya Watanabe (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Yohji Yamamoto  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Yohji Yamamoto (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Rick Owens  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Rick Owens (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)