As the finale of the major four fashion weeks, Paris Fashion Week promises fashion buffs grand productions and splendor to outdo the previous shows, and it never ceases to amaze. Throughout the collections this season, the focus was on youth and femininity. Details like decorative lace, sheer textiles and flouncy embellishments added a light and playful touch to collections from Elie Saab, John Galliano and Christian Dior among others.
Alexander McQueen, known for its brooding and tortured beauty, stepped into the light with detail-oriented garments showcasing handcrafted lace, painted florals and distressed chiffon and organza. Creative director Sarah Burton found inspiration from the 17th century huguenots of London’s Spitalfields who were skilled in silk weaving. She captured their craftsmanship in floral prints on washed leather gowns, French lace and carefully frayed and ruffled accents on silk gowns.
Despite a subtle hint at McQueen’s past obsession with dark fetishism — heavy chain harnesses accessorized beneath tailored vests and blazers — the show maintained a dreamlike air that fit with the youthfulness that many designers embraced for the overall season.
Alexander Wang’s final collection for Balenciaga also departed from previous dark and sultry inclinations, instead conveying a sweet and feminine romanticism. The entire collection was whitewashed in ivory silk satins, linens and lace. The balance between structure and flounce was seen in bust-wired tops and dresses paired with ruffled peplum skirts that flowed down the front. A hint of streetwear could be discerned in low-rise linen pants and cargo-pocketed satin overalls and jumpsuits, but even those were grounded in the collection with sheer lace slippers.
The youthful theme took a sporty turn in the Chloe and Acne collections. To build upon Chloe’s already-established carefree and romantic vibe, creative director Clare Waight Keller implemented an active yet relaxed style with tracksuits, harem pants and pops of bright, fruity colors.
Acne, known for its solid streetstyle edge, played with homages to music. Disc-printed dresses and acrylic electric guitars pinned onto blazers made a loud statement alongside body-conscious, mesh tops and buckle-strapped halter crop tops.
In contrast to the playful collections, Rick Owens’ collection powerfully expressed symbolism through fashion, something the designer has had past success in. The muted color palette, sculptural draping and asymmetrical silhouettes were overshadowed by some of the models being carried down the runway upside down in harnesses by fellow models. The garments had a delicate and raw quality that was unexpected from Owens. He wanted to capture femininity in his own way by displaying womanly strength through his translation of sisterhood and motherhood.
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