Demna Gvasalia attempted to modernise the classic Parisian bourgeoisie and juxtaposed it with what he envisions as ‘the notion of the street’, through his Balenciaga collection. The focus was on outerwear which is fundamental to the Spanish brand and Gvasalia, himself. The collection boasted 109 outfits in total, tailored from leather and moire silk that explored the silhouette in a dramatic, fierce, sensual light. The runway was a square asphalt expanse and the models covered the very perimeter brimming with front-row guests, almost knocking knees with them. The constant flashes of ambient lights completed the simple yet elegant setting. The signature attributes of the collection include exaggerated volume and padding, frilly jackets and coats, oversized blouses, tulip collars on coats, silk dresses with turtlenecks and orbital necklines and a soft emphasis on neon. The outfits were accessorised with shopping bags, leather bottle carriers and souvenir-like Eiffel Tower earrings and ‘love Paris’ gloves. The make-up was kept natural, with hair slicked-back and arranged neatly past the shoulders.
Claire Waight Keller’s collection titled ‘The Winter of Eden’ flaunted a very Game of Thrones vibe while also implying Biblical allusions and relied on a dark palette comprising of various shades. Keller played with the concept of duality (Adam and Eve were cited as the original dualists) and the heavy use of masculine characteristics and delicate feminised floral patterns were very prominent in the clothing. The collection featured leather coats, tweed blazers and nylon taffeta structures. Givenchy’s interior mise-en-scène manifested gloom and shadows along a narrow mile-long runway. The exterior of the venue was dramatically decorated in large smoky monumental words spelling out the brand’s name. The outfits were based off a 1940s silhouette and reflected a 90s street style meets the classic Parisian bourgeois style, with striking updates like the cinched waist and strong shoulder. While many a tuxedo lapels were encrusted with crystals, the ankle-length plissé dresses were high neck-lined and long sleeved. Snake-skin patterned coats were also the show’s highlight referencing it to the name of the collection. Their outfits were accessorised by matching designer bags. The models wore minimal make-up with an alternate nude and bright red lip, sculpted cheekbones and hair parted in the middle and tucked neatly behind the ears.
Bathed in variant hues of brown, beige, black and white, the beautiful Hermès collection was launched by designer Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski. It exuded every attitude – elegance, vibrance and sensuality – and most of all, femininity in all its confidence. The Parisian show was set in an auditorium-esque background, with translucent, curved walls, accompanied by an arrangement of twinkling lights that danced to the beat of the music. The collection featured patterned and plain leather fabrics tailored into pants and skirts, trouser suits, cabans, trench coats and puffa coats. The models sported poker faces and strutted across the vast runway in six-inch block-heeled boots. Their outfits were complete with a designer bag clutched in their grip. The make-up was bold with their eyes lined and smoked in kohl, faces contoured giving the illusion of high cheekbones.
Sarah Burton’s collection for Alexander McQueen embraced sustainability wholeheartedly and featured pieces made from recycled materials. The designer paid homage to her home town by collaborating with textile mills of Macclesfield, North England that produce some of the best fabrics in the world. The colour palette was infused with bold shades of black, white, red, magenta and navy blue. The collection included trouser suits (with selvedge deliberately used as a detail), dresses embroidered with glittery earrings and dressmaker snaps, and puffy taffeta dresses – mass fabric craftily designed to resemble flowers in bloom. The outfits were complimented by varying pieces of jewellery such as large finger rings and bracelets. Their ears especially were clad in several earrings cuffing the entirety of the lobe. Other accessories included bejewelled clutches and designer handbags. Models cat-walked across the classic runway amidst an avid guest list sat on either sides of an adequate wooden ramp. A fresh-faced look was achieved for the makeup keeping it simple yet vivid, with slicked –back hair held together in a low ponytail.
Apart from launching her tree-planting initiative #thereshegrows, Stella McCartney is also a founding signatory of the UN’s Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change. Her shows aim to convey a message and this time, she took a greener approach in designing her new collection titled ‘The Past, Present and Future’. Her chosen colour palette heavily reflected the vibrant colours of nature. The fabrics and materials used such as viscose and vegan leather were organic, sustainable and upcycled. The collection was a compilation of 51 outfits and included flowing dresses, fur-free fur jacquards, dresses knitted from vintage t-shirts, boiler suits, elegant coats and fitted jumpsuits. The dresses were accentuated with ribbon belts, leather edges, floral prints and meticulous construction surrounded the neckline and was reminiscent of the Northern Soul scene of the late 1960s. The runway seated guests on either side of it, with the name of the collection highlighting the expanse of the floor. The makeup was kept natural and dewy to achieve a subtle glow. Designer bags and boots with platform soles made with natural rubber were used as accessories to complete the outfit. McCartney also collaborated with Sheila Hicks on accessories composed of threads that were added to clothing.
The collection featured bold colours like cobalt blue, yellow, green, fuchsia pink. Interesting pieces were featured throughout the runway, one of the striking pieces was a grey wool overcoat with silhouette of a swimsuit in a cobalt blue, other pieces featured include their long draping overcoat, one-piece colour block dress, cobalt blue long overcoat with a matching scarf, tailored matching suit and trousers, cloche hats. The makeup was minimalist, chic, simplistic which helped showcase their sleek look.
The runway was decorated with glass walls, fluorescent lights. The setting was dark & edgy with fluorescent lights twinkling and flashing as the models strutted down the runaway. The bonus fluoro show at the end upped the stake for hi-tech show production as colourful glow-in-the-dark cocktail dresses were shown behind a glass wall which showed the silhouette of the dresses perfectly. The palette for this show mainly consisted of darker colours like black, navy blue, grey, red, green, silver and patterns of fierce animal prints like leopard print. The spirit of the Eighties was visible through big shoulder pads on dresses, tops, blazers. Other featured styles were tiered, ruffle skirt in black leather with a button fastening down the front, quilted leather accents. Their makeup was simplistic with their thin feline eye look and contoured cheekbone.
Having lived in Paris for more than 20 years, Giambattista Valli pays homage to the city of lights, Paris in one way or other through his designs. The hi-tech rooms of the Palais des Congres, a conference hall cum shopping mall, didn’t seem to fit well with the Valli’s brand of upper-class nonchalance at first but the venue with the outside, the clouds and the concrete proved to be a perfect backdrop for the collection. Translating the vibe of a Parisian woman wandering in the garden while a photographer takes her pictures into sophisticatedly tailored into pieces, retaining the timelessness required for Valli. The collection featured vivid florals, patchworks of printed textiles, exaggerated 80s shoulders, loud silhouettes. The collection was flamboyant and loud equally impressive were their footwear which consist of sky-high strappy stilettos embellished with feathers. Other equally interesting pieces featured in the collection were ruffled hemline patent skirt, full- on snakeskin shirt and trouser combination, asymmetric ruffles, ginormous pussy bows. The models had a sleek catwalk look with chiselled cheekbones and bright eyeshadows.
The runaway setting was dark room vaguely menacing flooring. The runaway featured tv’s and screens at the side with dishevelled teens in lingerie, blinking eyes, darkened windows. It felt like a captivating blend of innocence and stubbornness, wonder and loss, that defines a Miu Miu girl. Key featured look in this show include heavy capes which gave more sleeveless jacket vibes. Other key look consisted of clashing prints, pairing of earthy-green print with tartan jackets and camel hued capes. Colour palettes involved in this collection are black, navy blue, white, camo prints and neutral tones like brown, tan, beige, khaki. The makeup on the model were simplistic with contoured high cheek bones.
Image 1 Akris, image 2 Dries Van Noten, 3 Asia Werbel for Iceberg, Image 4 Louis Vuitton Men, 5 Miu Miu Location,