Paris’ fall presentations are testaments to its realization of poignant yet abstract inspirations. This season, designers chose to focus their creative energies in sculpting concrete characterizations of fashion’s penultimate muse—the woman. In her physicality, women just seem to be skin and blood. Looking closer though, she’s an intricate weaving of complexities. From the cunning edge of her coat’s sharp shoulders, to the obtuse tenderness of her skirt’s sloping curves, let’s see how Paris expressed the different female identities.
Tinges of Individualism
While other designers gravitated towards a stereotyped impression of a woman, some took the Messianic route and declared that every woman is unique with bedazzled details, with each having a different color palette of rhinestones to adorn themselves in.
Personalization was a key element in the styling of Courrèges’ fall presentation, with models wearing favourite pieces from their personal wardrobe to match the brands heritage pieces—architectural dresses and miniskirts—that were, in turn, reinterpreted in a more contemporary textile: vinyl.
This idea was further showcased in Kenzo’s ombre intarsia sweaters and viscose floral jackets, Saint Laurent’s laminated leather pieces with ruffle accents, Maison Margiela’s neutral shaded palette, and Lemaire’s pragmatic use of shirting and suiting techniques in relatable fabrics.
The New Ingénue
Think grand ballrooms with opulent chandeliers, afternoon tea with the ladies who lunch, or scavenging an exhibit for your next art find. Just in case you end up matching with a real-life prince or just a scion of some big tycoon, do feel free to take notes from these designers.
The theme of feminism in fashion was elevated at PFW. What was then thought of as either basic or Pollyanna has now been reconstructed into shape-altering, elegant silhouettes that still flatter the figure. Tiny waists and slender shoulders are ideal but they have been eclipsed by cuts that mold the woman into a different form, with some needing further consideration.
Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld led the pack of shape-shifting silhouettes with the heritage house’s signature boucle jackets with its sleeves cut in rounder patterns. Alexis Mabille’s attempt at casual elegance was seen through volumized taffeta with sleeves tied at the waist; Giambattista Valli’s signature ultra-feminine style saw itself evolve into a mature state through less embellishments and heavier fabrications; and Rochas’ circle cut dresses were the perfect melting pot of high necks and low backs.
Hymns to the Bohemienne
A girl’s naivety might limit the idea of being a ‘bohemian’ to tiered skirts, an arm full of ornate beads, and thingamabobs from a gypsy caravan. Fall has shed light to that insular notion of la vie boheme, and has given the ‘boho chic’ the rightful reputation she deserves. To the girls who submit to the boho trend, please pack your tiered skirts and learn from the carefree spirits of these houses’ genuine bohemian ethos.
Other fashion houses followed suit in the nonchalant aesthetic. Sacai’s activewear garments and pristine tailoring were harmonious complements to the relaxed vibe of décolletages and loungewear pieces; Valentino’s lightweight frocks in mixed media and a hodgepodge of prints breathed just the right amount of bohemian air; and Balenciaga’s rehashed car mat skirts paid homage to the gypsy’s creative spirit.
Fantasies of espionage are easily conjured up once you see the other collections at Paris. Women with rather sly causes are the prime stimuli, dressed in sleek textiles for this season.
The likes of Olivier Theyskens, Haider Ackermann, Mugler, and Nina Ricci, have sung the same salvo on spy dressing. Black leather is obviously the go-to textile for stealthy transactions, and the streamlined cut of the pieces provide an ease in movement for the agent on-the-go.
Photos courtesy of Vogue Runway