The Grande Finale
PFW ended this lavish season with a bang! With robots and robberies, Paris provided a week like no other that was definitely out of the ordinary. There was a sense of change and progression in the air as well-established fashion houses were not afraid to demonstrate that they are more forward-thinking and well adapted to the times. We saw the first female Creative Director of the 70-year-old French fashion house Dior unveil her first collection full of feisty feminist slogans offering a sense of girl power. And we saw the fusion of fashion, femininity and technology in Chanel’s SS17 show which saw the Grand Palais transformed into Karl’s Data Centre. This week was full of fashion firsts changing the face of the industry that can often appear to be rigid and unaccommodating of the views of the modern millennium. Whilst there are rules and regularities that are here to stay (for now) this week has demonstrated how designers are not afraid to steer away from the status quo every now and again. And when they do they are sure to make a lasting impression.
Dior SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Friday 30th September 2016
This exquisite collection put together (in only six weeks!!) by the established fashion house’s first female Creative Director , Maria Grazia Chiuri, was a tribute to women everywhere. With simple slogan t-shirts that read “we should all be feminists” and princess evening gowns that oozed femininity there was no shortage of girl power. The juxtaposition of the fierce fencing jackets and the dainty flowing dresses conveyed the many guises of a feminist embodying the idea that anyone can be such. Homage was also paid to the founder himself with tarot-inspired and astrological embroidery, both said to have been an interest of the designer. This beautiful collection is sure to inspire the modern woman representing female progression and power in a female dominated industry in which only a third occupy the top jobs.
Miu Miu SS17 Ready-To-Wear -Wednesday 5th October 2016
Groove is in the heart! This retro inspired beach babe show, which was the final show of the season, was bound to make show-goers feel as though they had been transported back to the 70’s and yearn for the return of summer already. We saw glossy swimwear grace its way down the runway accompanied by flamboyant floral rubber swimming caps. Popping with vibrant colours and full to the brim of groovy floral prints and patterns this was sure to make any 70’s hippy feel nostalgic.
Chanel SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Tuesday 4th October 2016
Karl Lagerfled likes to ensure his shows make a lasting impression jumping from one extreme to the next with his themes. And this season did not fail to disappoint. Karl provided an insight into the future conveying the relationship between fashion, femininity and technology in his SS17 collection unveiled in the Grand Palais which was transformed into his very own Chanel Data Centre. This collection blew the fuse with cable woven tweed, neon laser beam prints and edgy urban snapbacks making an appearance on the runway. Robotic models opened the futuristic show strutting their stuff in Coco’s renowned tweed ensemble, this ensured that this classic piece was viewed in a whole new light making it timeless and immortal. Karl clearly had the next generation of Chanel shoppers in mind and it is clear that the German designer recognises the need for the industry to adapt to the demands of modern society.
Kenzo SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Tuesday 4th October 2016
Miu Miu wasn’t the only collection that offered a blast from the past. Whilst the 80’s was full of fashion faux pas this season has seen the return of many of its finest trends. Kenzo’s SS17 collection was full of puffed sleeves, boiler suit jumpsuits and a metallic pallet. There was also a hint of the 90’s with military wear, oversized tees turned into dresses and the parka coat all making a return to the runway. This retro collection is bound to appeal to any 80’s/90’s kid looking to channel their days as a teen.
Alexander McQueen SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Monday 3rd October 2016
Sarah Burton never fails to embody the late Alexander McQueen in her collections, ensuring homage is paid to the talented designer and founder in each and every stich. This gothic/punk inspired collection with grungy mini-kilts, delicately embroidered evening gowns and leather jackets skilfully painted with floral motifs merged Parisian and British fashion to create a beautiful hybrid. Tribute was paid to the founder’s origins with the lavish grounds of the Jardin du Luxembourg littered with symbols and references to the Scottish Highland with woven and taatit rugs lining the bumpy runway. Each and every piece seemed to contain a hint of McQueen’s heritage with Shetland lace, Fair Isle knits and chunky steel toe capped boots making their way onto the runway. This collection full of attitude, elegance and high-end craftsmanship stood out among the seemingly conventional Parisian fashion houses.
I haven’t singled out a collection from this week that I would like to see grace the red carpet this coming award season as no single collection stood out as such. Rather, I felt there were exquisite pieces from multiple collections which would be suitable attire to any red carpet event including ones that I have discussed above such as Dior and McQueen and ones not mentioned including Valentino. Below are some of the pieces I would like to see strut down the carpet:
Paris provided a seemingly splendid end to what has been an exciting and eventful fashion-filled month. So the fashion frivolities may have come to an end until next season (Jan/Feb 2017) but in this constantly evolving and fast-paced industry we will not be short of new developments keeping us on our toes in the meantime.