Where to begin? This Paris Fashion Week has creative breakthroughs a many, from the quite literal style breakthrough (or breakup?) at Celine to the marvelous collection at Chanel – the late Karl Lagerfeld’s last. Here we summed up a few of our favorite collections and gathered some of our top runway looks.
Hedi Slimane’s 180’ change in style direction at Celine sent jaws dropping across the globe. Gone was the nightclub crawling model and in waltzes — who is this? The opening show model wore a pleated, knee-length, divided country-checked skirt with a horse-bit belt. A white silk blouse, a printed logo scarf. A black blazer, glossy knee-length high-heeled boots. A ladylike shoulder bag on a chain. Aviator sunglasses. In spite of jokes about bringing back “old celine” under Phoebe Philo, Slimane brought back old, old Celine — Celine as it was before LVMH acquired it and place Michael Kors at its helm. While bringing back this politely classy style inspired by the French bourgeoises, he also puts behind everything he made popular while designing at Saint Laurent. Will people follow his lead in this new direction. From the audience and reviews that follow, seems like it’s an unanimous yes.
Stella McCartney has been a sustainability leader in the industry for years, and at a time when awareness about fashion’s impact on the environment and people is higher than ever (most of the LVMH Prize’s 20 young semifinalists are working with deadstock fabrics), Stella is showing no signs of stopping to push the conversation forward. This time she used her show as a medium to raise awareness of the at-risk Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia, where many of the 150 million trees are cut down each year to make fabric. The viscose used in her own collection however, is harvested from certified sustainably managed forests in Sweden, but that’s just a small part part show. Strips of vintage tees were used as yarns for a dress, and fabrics from previous collections are used to create quilted details , and the show’s final coat was pieced together from past season fabrics.
Although not many designers on the fashion week roster are using up cycled materials, the tide might be turning. At Alexander Mcqueen, the collection is stunning as is, but take a closer look and one could see plenty of details made with rescued materials. A silver full length dress looks like it has narrow metal embellishments all over it, but it’s actually a loom’s heddles cut into sequins and studded with bugle beads. Another skirt is with swirly, ruffled embroidery is made from the scraps of selvage edges left on the cutting room floor. To research this collection, Burton took her team to northern cities outside of Manchester, to Macclesfield, where she was raised, and nearby towns where mills still produce the textiles used for men’s suits in the United Kingdom and abroad. It is refreshing to see a collection that gives so much homage to the hands and the places where clothes are made, and we hope this brilliant creativity born of up cycled materials would be seen in season to come too.
And then of course there is the show at Chanel — the late Karl Lagerfeld’s last collection. It was an emotional moment for many in the audience as well as models on the runway. The Fall 2019 collection took the audience to a beautiful morning on snow mountain, and it opened with loosely fitted tweed suit and a swinging coat on Karl’s model and friend Cara Delevinge. Following that we see high-waisted, wide-legged pants, wide-brimmed hats and chain-strapped bags – in Lagerfeld’s interpretation, tailoring became feminine and easy with bold proportions. After the standing ovation the show received, many lingered around, commemorating on the legacy and creative gifts Lagerfeld has graced the world with. The designer’s last collection, is doubtlessly one of his finest.
Here are some of our favourite looks from the Fall 2019 Paris fashion week shows:
Dries Van Noten