Fashion Week is once again closed for another season and what a season it was! Of course, the best is always kept to last, allowing the rich history of Paris to finish the season. Didn’t manage to catch the best looks from PFW? Don’t worry, we’ve scoured the runways for you to bring you the best looks from Paris Fashion Week, highlighting the key trends for the season. Fashion always works ahead of time so this Fall we’re looking at the designers’ collections for Spring Summer 20, which of these pieces will you be adding to your closet next season?
Of course, we’ve got to start with Chanel, one of the most highly anticipated shows of the season. Not only does Chanel always have a large production, putting on a very special spectacle each year but creative director Virginie Viard is still very much in her infancy with very large cool girl boots to fill since the death of Lagerfeld. This season, the Chanel runway was designed to look like the iconic zinc lined Parisian rooftops and chimneys, with models making their way across them with that nonchalant attitude Parisian girls are famous for. Viard is clearly working hard to keep the brand youthful and quintessentially Parisian and her hard efforts haven’t been in vain. Bringing the 1950’s into 2020, elements of the typical 50s’ style were shown in the forms of miniature hats, heritage tweed suits with a cropped leg and a seriously feminine silhouette. But Viard didn’t stick rigidly to her nod to the 50s’ there were a number of logo dresses too to please the newest of Chanel lovers, those who want to wear their Chanel pieces and have them scream with branding design.
The collection walked like a complete kit of how the modern woman can wear Chanel for every occasion and still ooze that eternal French girl style. We loved the fact that Viard kept her girls in flats and not the sky scraping heels we so often see on the runway – keeping the collection feeling authentic, after all, no respectable Parisienne would be seen walking the streets in nine inch heels, not with all those metros to catch and cobbled streets to strut down. Viard also said of her inspiration for the collection, that she had drawn a connection between the rooftop scenery and the feeling of the Nouvelle Vague – French New Wave cinema that came to light in the 50s. The Nouvelle Vague was famous for presenting these talented actresses of the moment in a real life way, no longer glamorised with a Hollywood filter over everything. Just another influence on the collection that drizzled through into the execution, allowing every ensemble to feel like a real life woman would actually wear it top to toe and still be practical.
Unlike Lagerfeld, there wasn’t a sniff of a gimmick accessory, instead Viard opted for a paired down, striped back look, allowing the clothes to do all the talking. Perhaps it simply isn’t Viard’s vision for the future of the brand but we like to think she knew she couldn’t possibly outdo Lagerfeld with his infamous puns and comical accessories so she didn’t bother to try.
On the surface, Sarah Burton’s effort for Alexander McQueen was sumptuous and delicate, feminine yet powerful, everything we have come to love about a McQueen performance. One thing Burton has cleverly done however, is to bring back the shock factor that Lee himself was so renowned for but of course, she has done it in true understated Burton style. While the collection on the surface looked indulgent, there are some facts you need to know about this show in order to truly see its full beauty and intent as well as the shock secrets that lie within the fashion.
The 42 designs that walked the runway had a full focus on sustainability and community. Burton upcycled lace, re-used patterns from not just her collections but from heritage patterns during Lee’s reign too. The primary fabric used for the collection was linen, sourced only from Northern Ireland where linen used to be one of the biggest industries and working with the only remaining linen weaver there. Burton also made use of the sole remaining beetler in Ireland, beetling being a laborious process where the linen is covered with potato starch and then beaten on a wood machine, in order to create a paper thin linen as light as air to create pieces for the collection. Furthermore, to encourage the notice of community spirit, everyone on staff, not just those who work in the studio but even the HR department, all helped to hand embroider two of the dresses on the runway.
All of this and more were included in the show notes, allowing the audience to understand the collection on a deeper level. Burton’s passion for community spirit, for using sustainable techniques and delving towards the source of fabrics shows just how amazing a collection can be, inside and out.
Haider Ackermann has been toying with gender fluidity and sensual androgyny long before he decided to combine his menswear and womenswear into the same collection. This season really went up a notch (tailoring pun intended!) with Ackermann suits being the talk of Paris Fashion Week. A big focus for this season was accentuating the waist, on both men and women, waists were belted and cinched as well as jackets casually tied around the waist, providing a healthy nod towards Ackermann’s early years.
There was a lot of skin on show this season, something we’re not used to seeing from Ackermann which in retrospect, made it hard for the collection to be quite as androgynous as his previous collections. In saying that, his jackets styled with nothing underneath certainly represents the current trends on the red carpet, fitting in nicely with his bandeau strapped gowns, we’re certain to see some of these styles on the carpet in the near future and of course the jackets could be worn in real life with a layer underneath. Ultimately, Ackermann has proved once again that not only does he know tailoring and the body but that androgyny can be sexy and it’s certainly empowering.
Article Commissioned by Mod'Art University of Shanghai