PARIS– The dreary Paris weather did not dampen the French capital’s ready-to-wear show, which continued on Saturday and vividly spanned the muted colors of minimalism to Renaissance exuberance.
Here are some highlights of the Fall Winter 2023-2024 collections from Paris Fashion Week:
ELIE SAAB SAYS IT WITH FLOWERS
Singers Ciara and Avril Lavigne negotiated crowds and slippery stone steps to get to the Palais de Tokyo, the venue for Elie Saab’s show. Inside, the Lebanese designer presented an ode to Renaissance floral bouquets, with flowers blooming from every nook and cranny, seam and hem.
Tailored looks featured blooming hydrangea embroidery over 1970s-inspired flared trousers, as well as brooding dark prints in ruby red and flashes of iridescent citrine.
The collection passionately culminated in the evening of Saab’s bread-and-butter va-va-vum silhouettes. Sheer mermaid dresses and dresses with sweeping, three-dimensional flowers glittered with sequins and tulle.
The best looks were figurative, such as an Asian pleated cummerbund that fanned out dramatically like opening petals.
HERMES FASHION AS CAMOUFLAGE
Nadege Vanhee-Cybulski, Creative Director at Hermes, offered a simple but effective suggestion for fall – she created each look in the same hue so that it seemed to blend into itself like a camouflage.
“Just as a second skin exists under the surface of a tree, a bark-like fabric, there is a constant dialogue between materials, colors and details,” the fashion house said poetically.
The monochromatic concept created a minimalist feel, even when the looks were characterized by layers and details such as duffel-style long coats in double-faced cashmere, zip-up coats in shiny lambskin, embroidery, belts, buckles and straps.
The first look, a loose, structured double skirt dress, came in cognacrot and . It wore a hat reminiscent of equestrian styles – no wonder considering the house’s strong association with show jumping.
The monochromatic reflection continued amid textural tensions – like a lustrous red silk pleated skirt that provided a chic contrast to the matching long suede boots.
COPERNI’S CANINE TALE
How does Bella Hadid’s spray-on dress, which became an instant viral hit last season and spread Coperni’s profile, fit together?
Designers Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant sought help in the canine world – that is, in the curious world of robotic dogs. Five Boston Dynamics cyberdogs named Spot starred in the show, posing in various yoga positions for the Instagram-friendly snaps, which fashion insiders enjoy.
The theme of technology and dogs continues in the designs, which are mostly made from recycled materials and inspired by versions of ‘The Wolf and the Lamb’, a famous French fable.
The story was retold as a painting on leather jackets. Scabbards were slashed as if scratched by a predator. Enveloping shawls were a take on “Little Red Riding Hood”. Fabulous feathered mini dresses looked like the wolf had raided the chicken coop.
A shaggy, floor-length coat looked as if the wolf had been skinned and given the Cruella de Vil treatment.
JAPAN’S FASHION FORWARD HERITAGE
Junya Watanabe, the protégé of Comme des Garcons designer Rei Kawakubo, was in good fashion on Saturday, continuing his oft-cited ‘monozukuri’ theme. It means “making of things” in Japanese and has come to mean innovation in fashion production and the use of technology to create materials.
For fall, the talented Japanese designer went all-in on utility for a dark and aggressive display that utilized gags, armor-like padded cloaks, ninja mouth covers and black headgear reminiscent of martial arts like fencing.
Braided hair was wrapped around the head and face like a shield for a dramatic effect on the hazy-lit runway.
Swirling flashes of color, including neon blue, fused themes of cycling and combat, while structured black leather coats with eyelets, straps, buckles and zips fused biker gear with traditional Asian attire.