New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Not your traditional runway show: Flying Solo breaks barriers at Paris Fashion Week

Fashion collective Flying Solo showcased up-and-coming independent designers at Paris Fashion Week.
Wyatt Baker
(Wyatt Baker for WSN)

PARIS — A line of elegantly dressed attendees stretched down the Avenue Marceau, only a few steps away from the Arc de Triomphe, waiting to enter La Galerie Bourbon for Flying Solo’s Show No. 3. Clad in trending looks ranging from elegant dresses paired with designer heels to effortlessly cool streetwear style, the guests reflected the variety of designers featured in the show.

From left to right: a model wearing an oversized gray blazer with white lining and a pair of slacks of the same color and pattern; a model wearing a gray, oversized blazer with white and yellow lining and a rain guard at the back; a model wearing a gray double-breasted vest and a gray skirt with white lining with yellow ribbons hanging from the waist.
Elena Rudenko. (Wyatt Baker for WSN)

Operating between Paris and New York, Flying Solo is an innovative fashion company who works with designers around the world. Cardi B, Bella Hadid and model Coco Rocha have visited the company’s retail space in SoHo. For the Spring/Summer 2024 Paris Fashion Week, their lineup included five distinct shows, each featuring a dozen international designers. 

After ascending an ivy-adorned staircase, attendees walked into a beautiful room decorated with mint green walls and Palladian arched windows. Two crystal chandeliers showered light cascading over the intimate space, which teemed with guests and photographers. Lively electronic dance music played throughout the show, starting with the rhythmic mix, “Moon” by Anima. Each of the 12 designers presented six to seven unique looks, all different from one another.

From left to right: a model wearing a patterned yellow vest with red-and-gold striped lining and a pair of black heel-high leather boots; a model wearing a yellow-and-purple floral patterned coat; a model wearing a multicolored herbal-patterned jacket with oversized dark blue lapels.
Delhi Vintage Co. (Wyatt Baker for WSN)

Delhi Vintage Co.’s “Anonymous” collection captivated the audience with its intricate garments. Handmade in India, the exquisite couture jackets, blazers and dresses resembled art pieces. Designer and founder Manish Chhabra expressed the importance of Indian history and mythology in his brand. 

“The whole inspiration behind the brand is to revive Indian art, textiles and embroidery,” Chhabra said. 

A model wearing a red Devi jacket with golden embroidery.
Devi Jacket, Delhi Vintage Co.(Wyatt Baker for WSN)

A standout of his collection was the Devi Jacket. In a rich shade of burgundy, the jacket featured the multiple arms of an Indian goddess in breathtaking embroidery. On the back, the phrase “I am a goddess” was spelled out in Bengali. DVC’s one-of-a-kind pieces are sure to one day secure its place as an international luxury fashion brand. 

From left to right: a model wearing an army green sherpa crop top hoodie as well as a fanny pack, a pair of booty shorts and a bucket hat of the same texture and shade; a model wearing a tan sherpa coat, as well as a black-lined crop top and a pair of pajama pants of the same color and texture; a model wearing a tan sherpa cropped hoodie as well as a bucket hat and a pair of patchy shorts of the same color and texture.
Barely Naked Designs. (Wyatt Baker for WSN)

Unfortunately, not every collection succeeded in impressing the audience. One designer’s fluffy sherpa garments drew raised eyebrows and frowns from guests. A particular look that paired a furry tan sweatshirt with booty shorts felt better suited for an H&M campaign than a PFW runway. However, by the end of the show, guests seemed impressed enough to forget about the questionable looks.

From left to right: a model wearing a black eye mask, a black leather belt-like choker, a black puffy and ruffled crop top and a pair of black buckled leg warmers; designer Vivien Sophie, wearing a black ribbon tie, a pair of black latex sleeves and a black baby-doll dress, holding a sign that reads “Vivien Sophie;” a model wearing a white collared floral shirt, a white ruffled dress and a pair of white buckled leg warmers.
Vivien Sophie. (Wyatt Baker for WSN)

The show closed glamorously, thanks to two brands founded by young female designers, both born and raised in Germany. Designer Vivien Sophie’s sexy and innovative couture dazzled the audience. The models walked in a sensual and playful manner, boldly flaunting the unique legwear. By developing her own fabrics, Sophie ensured the unparalleled originality of each piece. She hopes to move into arm couture next and eventually create dresses to fully style models in her designs. 

“I see myself as an international fashion brand. My biggest dream is to be on the cover of Vogue magazine,” Sophie said to the audience. 

From left to right: a model wearing a collared black silk cropped jacket and a pair of black shorts; a model wearing a white one-piece sleeveless sweater dress; a model wearing a black leather coat and a black long dress.
LD13. (Wyatt Baker for WSN)

The final collection, from sustainable New York City-based brand LD13, consisted of simple yet unconventional garments. A skirt and top fully constructed out of white arm sleeves prompted fascination and awe from guests. LD13 designer Lisa Deurer said she was inspired by a New York habit of complimenting strangers; outfits on the subway. 

“That’s how I see clothing; as an invitation to conversation, to dig deeper and ultimately not be judged,” Deurer said. 

From left to right: a model wearing a white-and-blue knitted scarf, a multicolor-lined sweater with oversized sleeves and a pair of white work pants with a blue flared bottom; a model wearing a white sleeveless blazer, a white long dress and a pair of tan patchy pants; a model wearing a blue-and-yellow tie-dyed kaftan dress.
Soltyslabel. (Wyatt Baker for WSN)

Flying Solo demonstrated a bold new artistic vision through its collaborative concept. Following the show, a remarkably positive and loving spirit filled the air as designers and models congratulated one another. With an upcoming store opening in Paris, Flying Solo and its community of rising designers continue to transform the competitive nature of today’s fashion industry.

Contact Ishani Paul at [email protected].

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