Paris Fashion Week came to a close on Tuesday evening with a spectacular show from Louis Vuitton, marking the end of an eventful Spring 2018 season. From Clare Waight Keller’s much-anticipated Givenchy debut to Off-White’s homage to Princess Diana, here is your five-minute recap of the main takeaways from PFW so you can up your knowledge of the latest fashions.
Sarah Burton’s Alexander McQueen is known for its femininity infused with a punk edge, and Spring 2018 was no different. The English garden-inspired collection was rife with floral raincoats, pink, ruffled, chiffon dresses paired with chunky utility boots (some decorated with needle-point embroidery), leather dresses with hardware fastenings, and pasted-to-the-head hair that recalled 2002’s cult horror film, The Ring. The final looks included exquisite eveningwear that will undoubtedly command a room.
For its Spring 2018 show, Chanel transformed the Grand Palais into a rainforest by way of 30-foot waterfalls and caves for models to emerge out of. The show was opened by Kaia Gerber, while her mother Cindy Crawford watched in the star-studded front row that included G-Dragon, Mariacarla Boscono, Liu Wen, and Soo Joo Park. Featuring perspex rain bonnets, thigh-high boots, bags, and hair accessories, the collection was a nod to the environmental issues facing the world. As for the clothing, a strict silhouette was evident in the cinched waists and peaked shoulders that punctuated the Spring 2018 offering. The fringed crop-tops and mini skirts will no doubt find favor among gen Z.
Maria Grazia Chiuri stayed true to most of her design practices since her debut at the House of Dior thus far for Spring 2018, such as the newspaper boy caps, tulle skirts, bustiers, and underlying feminist sensibilities. The ubiquitous “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirt from her debut ready-to-wear collection for the maison was refashioned with one that read, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”– a nod to feminist art historian Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay. No stranger to celebrating female artists in her collections, the Spring 2018 offering paid homage to French-American sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle, whose colorful, mythical female figures served as the background of the show’s set. Fresh additions to the offering include sequin eveningwear, stripes aplenty, and checkerboard prints. See the full collection here.
Nicolas Ghesquière closed Paris Fashion Week in the foundations of the Louvre on Tuesday. The designer, who took inspiration from the 1994 film Interview with a Vampire starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, for the fantastical collection, told Vogue Arabia editor-in-chief, Manuel Arnaut, after the show: “Sometimes we think that this is more costume or theater, and I think that it is interesting to put it into today’s wardrobe.” Key pieces including embroidered doublets, silk boxer shorts and printed T-shiets (including a Stranger Things shirt.) Ghesquière infused some sportiness into the collection with the introduction of white sneakers. “We saw the most beautiful frocks,” he said of his historical research into 18th century French and English clothing. “And I thought, this is so interesting to mix them with sports clothes, with sneakers, and to create that look.” Read the full interview here.
For Elie Saab’s Spring 2018 show, the Lebanese designer sent out a total of 63 looks. The inspiration for the offering was an Amazonian jungle, and this translated to plenty of python prints, golden leaf earrings, kaftans printed with botanical motifs, and separates in birds-of-paradise colors. Of course, it wouldn’t be an Elie Saab show without glamorous eveningwear. The designer sent out a lineup of beaded gowns, and sheer jumpsuits that are certain to costume the upcoming red carpet events. See the full collection here.
Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad looked to two sources of inspiration for his Spring 2018 collection. On one hand, you had the warrior princess, and on the other, her romantic, feminine counterpart. This resulted in gold-studded fringe dresses for the former and embroidered eveningwear for the latter. While the vast majority of the collection leans more towards couture than ready-to-wear, pieces such as the leather jackets, and expertly-tailored two-piece suits are suited for 24/7 style. See the highlights from the collection here.
The Eiffel Tower acted as the backdrop for Saint Laurent’s co-ed Spring 2018 collection, setting the bar high on day one of Paris Fashion Week. Models marched down the moonlit runway wearing party-ready dresses with exaggerated silhouettes that ballooned with feathers, sequins, leather, and tulle. Ostrich-feathered footwear, billowing-sleeved blouses, and tiny, leather shorts were also present in the collection. Some pieces read slightly bohemian, for instance the crocheted tops and lace dresses. See the full collection here.
With Balenciaga’s Spring 2018 collection, Demna Gvasalia proved once again just why he’s one of fashion’s most eccentric designers. As per usual, the collection was dripping with the out-of-the-box silhouettes, prints, materials, and layering. The trench coats were attached to denim jackets, sheer, polka-dot dresses, turtlenecks paired with slip dresses, mismatched earrings, bumbags, and even yellow and pink platform Crocs. A pair of the brand’s signature thigh-high, sock boots injected with dollar notes basically screamed “buy me now, Rihanna.” See the full collection here.
British designer Clare Waight Keller, who was the former creative director at Chloé, made her keenly-anticipated debut for Givenchy at the mid-19th century Palais de Justice in Paris. It marked a new era for Givenchy, after the unexpected departure in late February of the previous creative director Riccardo Tisci. Delving into the archives of Hubert de Givenchy, Waight Keller started the show with a double-breasted coat-dress paired with a bumbag. It was followed by breezy dresses punctuated with the 1961 clover prints and 1981 animal motifs, and leather jackets in muted hues of black, white, and red, before concluding with house classic LBD’s in various iterations that we could easily picture on Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, or Julianne Moore, all of whom sat front row. See the full collection here.
Virgil Abloh’s Princess Diana-inspired Off-White Spring 2018 collections reworked some key pieces from Lady Di with his own signature touch. “I’m interested in being more literal then figurative. It’s the variance between imagining her living now, with me iterating on what she meant,” the designer told American Vogue. The show included a dress similar to the one Princess Diana wore to dance with John Travolta, a pink suit worn with white socks and sneakers and a black and white patterned blouse. A few models carried their clear, pointed heels, a collaboration with Jimmy Choo, and a not-so-subtle reference to a glass slipper. See the full collection here.
Valentino’s space landing-inspired Spring 2018 collection featured mini bubble dresses, plastic utility jackets, silk gowns, mini party frocks, anoraks, and shirt dresses. According to the show notes, creative directer Pierpaolo Piccoli believes that fashion’s main function is to “make the ordinary extraordinary,” and he did just that.