Although Paris Fashion Week has always been primarily about sophistication, recent editions have also seen an innovative spirit that challenges classic rules and aims to experiment with new forms of fashion, playing with materials, shapes and style combinations. This PFW edition was marked by several events and anecdotes, such as Pierre Cardin’s return with a futurist collection, the black tie as a must-have element for pretty much every Valentino look presented by Pierpaolo Piccioli, Stella McCartney’s classic dresses with images of horses showcased at a prestigious riding school (the show was also attended by horses, together with their renowned instructor Jean François Pignon, who uses a completely cruelty-free method in training, without touching them). Lanvin and his 18th-century and Renaissance inspirations for his collection of tailored suits in black and burgundy, alternating with embroidered evening gowns with sequins. Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons with her ample sculptural silhouettes. After last season’s famous “spray-on” dress, the designers at the helm of Coperni introduced a series of dog-robots on the runway that interacted with the models in what was an energy-filled fashion show. One of the most iconic moments occurred during Noir Kei Ninomiya’s “Noir in Bloom” fashion show, which explored new dimensions through a series of 3D creations, with clothes that looked like “molecular studies”(the outfit closing this fashion show really looked like a molecular explosion). I found many of the looks from Paris Fashion Week brilliant and innovative as well as elegant; below I have selected seven of my favorites:
1) BALMAIN: for the Fall/Winter 2023 collection, Olivier Rousteing was inspired by the Pierre Balmain archives. “By celebrating where we come from, we clearly see where we are headed”, said the designer. Who, for this show, abandoned street-style to return to his roots, with more structured fashion reminiscent of the shows of yesteryear. The designer had the opportunity to explore Balmain’s most significant collections, based on excellent craftsmanship, and actualize that savoir-faire in this new collection. A collection made of shoulder-less silhouettes, severe skirts and rhinestone dresses, with jackets reminiscent of the style of the ’80s. Not only black and white, but also polka dots. And red, a color that was seen several times at the Milan shows last week. The outfits were a tribute to the genius of Pierre Balmain, as Rousteing stated: “In this collection I go back to the roots, the new style of Monsieur Balmain, and that to me is passion turning into luxury and quality. We are surrounded by fireworks and all this craziness—social media—but at the end of the day we go back to quality… to understand the future you must understand the past, and this collection is clearly an homage to the House that I am working for.” I love this black and white short tailleur and cape dress with matching red bag, classically shaped and complete with long black gloves that added a touch of old-world elegance.
2) PACO RABANNE: the Paco Rabanne FW 2023 fashion show had something very unique about it, due to the founder’s recent passing at the age of 88. The clothes that Julien Dossena showcased on the runway were a final tribute to the Spanish designer, who modernized fashion in the 1960s with his futuristically designed clothes. Dossena also thought to pay tribute to him by celebrating the designer’s friendship with Salvador Dalí, as seen in some of the dresses on the runway. He used some of Dalí’s surrealist paintings as prints for some of the designs, especially for the long gowns. The precious mini dresses, on the other hand, were designed by Rabanne himself and were reminiscent of the first ones made of metal plates from the 1960s. The Spanish designer was one of the first to launch metallic dresses, inspiring creatives of later generations. A futurist aesthetic appreciated by many prominent figures of the time such as Françoise Hardy and Audrey Hepburn, who would often wear his revolutionary creations. The soundtrack during the finale of the show consisted of Paco Rabanne’s voiceover narrating his creative process in couture and it was very moving. I really love the short metal dresses and also the cashmere and wool designs but I am choosing this blue outfit with the rocky landscape as my favorite because the surrealist print gowns on the runway were incredibly creative.READ MORE
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