Paris: The Grand Finale
From the biggest trends to the most covetable collections, we round up the new season.
Paris: The Grand Finale. October 6th signalled the final of Paris Fashion Week and with it, one of the strangest seasons we have ever, and may ever, experience. Despite challenging conditions and some cancelled shows, Paris Fashion Week still provided attendees with a spectacle worthy of a major fashion capital. With fewer shows than normal, virtual experiences dominating over physical ones and front rows sat at an uncomfortable distance, the first fashion month since the coronavirus pandemic began was certainly a unique one. That being said, Paris delivered on the traditional (almost sacred) catwalk magic we have all been craving. Meanwhile, newcomer Savage x Fenty reinvented the game and Kenzo took unlikely inspiration. Read on to reveal the best of Paris Fashion Week and it’s look at our “new” future.
Firstly, the French House kicked off PFW in a decadent cathedral. Maria Chiuri chose to proceed with the traditional catwalk format, viewing it as a crucial part of the collective experience.
“Fashion shows are very important for the collections because the audience can appreciate the work and clients can understand the materials and fit — but it is a human experience of being together.” Despite the pandemic dampening many fashion devotees’ spirit, Chiuri saw the process as an integral form of spiritual reflection. In true form, the show must go on!
And the results were glorious. It was out with overly constructed, tailored looks that are normally associated with Dior. Instead, it was in with luxe comfort – bias, slouchy shapes in the softest of fabrics. Collage, patchwork prints of paisley and florals were key, inspired by the Italian avant-garde artist, artist Lucia Marcucci. Known as “Repair and reuse”, Croznest previously identified that patchwork would appeal to the growing consumer focus on sustainability and individuality, along with the home crafting’s popularity. Wearability has always been a priority for Chiuri, but the Dior woman has never looked so artfully relaxed as she does for spring/summer 2021. Tres Bien!
Spirituality was also the word that came to mind at Chanel on the last morning of Paris Fashion Week. Inside the soaring Grand Palais, for a split second, everything could have felt like it was back to normal.
“I was thinking about actresses at the photocall, on the red carpet, that moment when they’re being called to by the photographers: their faces a little distracted, their attitude a little out of sync with the outfits they’re wearing. And then there’s the fans waiting for them behind the barriers, this very lively side to cinema that happens beyond cinema, that’s what I like,” creative director Virginie Viard explained in her show notes about her Hollywood-inspired SS21 collection. The show set even spelt the brand’s name in giant letters, evoking the iconic Hollywood sign in the Santa Monica mountains, adding grandeur.
The collection featured beautiful bold evening wear alongside more casual pieces including pink denim, bandeau tops, layered tweed and plenty of the iconic Chanel skirt suits.
Taking influence from nature, Felipe Oliveira Baptista found a photo series of beekeepers that would provide his new-season direction. Guests arrived at a secluded rose garden to find a small pot of honey on each stool. All this was a reflection of Baptista’s positive outlook on what has been a difficult year for many: “Everyone goes to the low of the situation—fear and anxiety—but we go to the high: dreaming of optimism and a future and going back to the things we’ve been missing.”
Elsewhere, digitally printed florals, as well as lightweight parkas and tracksuit bottoms in vibrant, bold shades offered more wearable outfits. Barely their botanicals, watercolour techniques and distorted prints offer femininity to the print catalogue. Read more on upcoming print trends here.
Finally, Rihanna released the second instalment of her Savage X Fenty collection. We are still obsessing over the powerful display of talent, diversity and inclusive sexuality. There were many familiar faces among the line-up including Lizzo, Normani, Travis Scott, Chika, Cara Delevingne, and Paris Hilton. Each brought their personal flair to the runway.
Overall, “Paris: The Grand Finale” summed up a season that navigated the online and physical realms. Clothing was created for today’s much-changed lifestyle, one which shows no sign of settling come spring. Remember to read the rest of our fashion month series, including New York, London and Milan.
Words by Rhiannon Hudson