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Paris Fashion Week Roundup

Hosting big names such as Chanel, Dior and Valentino, the fashion industry in Paris tackled the decision to host its scheduled presentations in light of the tragedy happening just a few hours away. Choosing to continue with the week's events, numerous designers paid respect to those suffering as a result of the war in Ukraine, with some offering tribute through their presentation and others making various donations to aid charities, as Paris Fashion Week brought the season's events to a solemn close.


Off-White – Virgil’s Legacy

Haute Couture, summer 2022, Paris, fashion show, Off-White, france - 28 Feb 2022
Source: Pixelformula/SIPA/Shutterstock

Womenswear, winter 2022, Paris, Off-White, france - 28 Feb 2022
Source: Pixelformula/SIPA/Shutterstock

For the first show since Virgil Abloh’s death in November 2021, Off-White offered a celebration of the designer’s legacy and future vision for the brand with a divided presentation showing both his final ready-to-wear collection and the brand’s "haute couture" debut. Starting with the AW22 menswear and womenswear collections, the looks consisted of tactical utility vests, diamond cut out jumpers, several blazer-trouser-skirt sets and a mesh printed bodycon look worn by Serena Williams. Accessorised with oversized equestrian helmets, supersized faux-fur and cube puff bags and two white flags baring "QUESTION EVERYTHING", Abloh challenged the streetwear label often assigned to Off-White in a rebellious commentary on the rules of fashion.


Continuing with the rebellious tone, the brand then presented its "haute couture" debut collection, titled in quotes to emphasise its unsanctioned nature. Opened by R&B musician Ian Isiah, who walked the runway in a black velvet tuxedo smoking a joint, the brand's couture debut was modelled by a blend of both new and old names in the industry, including Kendall Jenner, Kaia Gerber, Joan Smalls, Adut Akech, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford. Accompanied by a backstory in 36 pages of show notes, each look broke down the idea of what haute couture is perceived to be. The first look, worn by Bella Hadid and titled "The Bride", featured an off-the-shoulder puff sleeve gown, a veiled baseball cap and sneakers, with the model carrying heels in hand. Other looks included a grey hoodie dress layered with an oversized pink bow wrapped around and extended into a train, a tulle crystal pleat skirt with an oversized alcantara jacket and a skateboard in a self-portrait entitled "The Verg" and various graphic tees layered under oversized silhouette gowns. Compromised of 28 looks in total, Abloh elevated streetwear to the level "HIGH FASHION" in his vision for the future of Off-White as a challenger of couture culture. The show was a powerful statement of the designer’s legacy within the fashion industry.


Saint Laurent – Easy Elegance

Ready to wear, autumn winter 2022 2023, fashion show, Paris, Pixelformula, YSL, france - 01 Mar 2022
Source: Pixelformula/SIPA/Shutterstock

Ready to wear, autumn winter 2022 2023, fashion show, Paris, Pixelformula, YSL, france - 01 Mar 2022
Source: Pixelformula/SIPA/Shutterstock

Presenting the brand’s AW22 collection against the backdrop of a sparkling Eiffel Tower, Saint Laurent Creative Director, Anthony Vaccarello, took inspiration from early 20th-century anti-fascist poet Nancy Cunard. Known for her love of oversized jewellery and masculine silhouettes, the collection featured femme floor-length gowns contrasted with masculine leather jackets and tailored coats of various lengths, form-fitting dresses and drop-waist jumpsuits accessorised with stacks of chunky silver bracelets and a series of chest-baring tuxedos, echoing Yves Saint Laurent’s own Le Smoking jacket. With a mostly black colour palette, interjected with spots of white, browns and deep green, and a focus on 80s glamour silhouettes with slim-line gowns and faux-fur jackets, Vaccarello embodied the brand’s aesthetic in a classic Saint Laurent show of easy elegance.


Valentino – Custom Colour

Valentino show, Runway, Autumn Winter 2022, Paris Fashion Week, France - 06 Mar 2022
Source: Shutterstock

Valentino show, Runway, Autumn Winter 2022, Paris Fashion Week, France - 06 Mar 2022
Source: Shutterstock

Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli took a turn from Valentino’s signature red hues for the brand’s AW22 menswear and womenswear collection. Showing 81 looks against a bright-pink set, 48 of which were presented in a custom fuchsia colour created in collaboration with Pantone’s Colour Institute, Piccioli aimed to focus on the character of each design removing the distraction of colour in a step away from the idea of presenting a whole look to instead pull attention to the cut, silhouette and detail of each piece. Paying particular attention to necklines, the collection began with 40 custom-pink looks featuring column and fitted dresses with scallop detailed shoulders, sheer chiffon shirts and plunge vests layered under oversized tailored jackets and low waisted suit trousers and short bubble dresses with bead embroidery. Going on to take a break from the vibrant pink theme, Piccioli continued with 33 all-black looks featured in the middle of the presentation, giving an elegant darker theme to the collection before ending with eight final fuchsia gowns with feather, flower and embroidery detail.


Balmain – The Power of Hope and Truth

Ready to wear, autumn winter 2022 20223, Paris, Balmain, france - 02 Mar 2022
Source: Pixelformula/SIPA/Shutterstock

Ready to wear, autumn winter 2022 20223, Paris, Balmain, France - 02 Mar 2022
Source: Pixelformula/SIPA/Shutterstock

Drawing from his own experience following his accident during lockdown, Creative Director, Olivier Rousteing’s initial theme of online hate for Balmain’s AW22 collection also provided a subtle commentary on the war in Ukraine. In a statement made by Rousteing in his social media before the show, he described “the power of hope and truth to push back against hate, lies and aggression,” drawing attention to the relevance of the collection’s theme to the current events happening just a few hours away. Opening the presentation with a fight scene performed by a sportswear dressed dance troupe, the collection featured gold breastplates, ribbed detailed trousers and skirts, corset tops and classic Balmain bold shoulder silhouettes. Drawing from images of armour and bandages, the collection contrasted delicate materials such as lace, satin and silk with hard metals and neoprene and a colour palette of white and soft creams against black and blue denim. The presentation then ended with a selection of gowns contrasting classic silhouettes and material against Rousteing’s protective wear designs in a blend of old and new.

 

Go to the link in our Instagram bio for resources on how to help those affected by the situation in Ukraine.