With big ticket shows, Paris Fashion Week rounds out the final stop on the whirlwind fashion capital tour. On the catwalk, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Anthony Vaccarello presented their sophomore collections for Christian Dior and Saint Laurent respectively. Meanwhile, Chloe’s Clare Waight Keller gave her final bow after a six-year tenure as creative director for the French brand. Continue reading for highlights you might have missed from PFW Fall 2017 to keep your runway IQ up to speed.
Imagined by French artist Philippe Parreno, show-goers took their seats on rotating turntables that offered a 360-degree view of the runway. All at once, models paraded onto the catwalk in a seemingly unsystematic choreography, dressed in Phoebe Philo’s latest offering that riffed on wearable and strong silhouettes. The cosmopolitan Céline woman can rely on tuxedo tailored coats that featured wide lapels, power pantsuits, and versatile dresses that hit right at the shin. Jalabiya silhouettes were imagined though burgundy, striped crisp cuts, and graphic printed silk separates, punctuated the earthy palette. As for add-ons, models cradled blanket-like mohair stoles and slung oversized totes. Shoes took shape in optic white, low-cut booties and two-tone, leg-hugging, knee-high boots.
There are dresses and then there are Valentino dresses. Creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli dreamed up a frenzy of frocks that ranged from calf-length shifts to ethereal gowns. As a starting point for Fall 2017, Piccioli fused Victoriana and Memphis Group as a references on high-neckline, long-sleeved silhouettes that were churned out in zesty shades of pink, yellow, and teal. Graphic geometric prints in bold colors reminiscent of the Milanese art collective’s designs found its way onto knits, outerwear and separates. Models took cover under sliced coats that added tailored elegance to the lineup. Meanwhile, knee-high boots featuring cutouts toughened the delicate looks.
To mark the 100th anniversary of Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia celebrated by unearthing archival photos of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s iconic designs. For Fall 2017, Gvasalia opened the show with a bevy of coats crooked and hooked to the side. The outerwear pieces with asymmetric fastenings drew on archived lookbook images of models grasping coats to the side. Knee-length skirts were cut from fabrications reminiscent of car mats––swing dresses, and mini frocks were washed in floral patterns, and last season’s saturated tights made a return in muted tones. Rounding out the collection, Gvasalia reimagined nine couture looks plucked from the ’50s with a multitude of bubble gowns. As for extras, pointed-toe stilettos were wrapped in T-shirt material, while sized-down handbags took on the style of car side-view mirrors.
Deviating from a sporty aesthetic that traced through Elie Saab’s former Ready-to-Wear offerings, the Lebanese designer returned to his romantic roots for Fall 2017. In a vampy palette scattered with flashes of plum and cobalt, Saab took inspiration from the French ballet Giselle that tells the story of a peasant girl who dies from a broken heart. In an eerie mood, drama danced across tutu skirts, sheer lace gowns, and marabou trimmed designs, reminiscent of the haunting spirits in the ballet. Wispy, pale ombre gowns were gracefully cut, and signature lace paneling brought out a feminine allure that the designer is known for.
For her sophomore Christian Dior Ready-to-Wear collection, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri focused on the color blue. Chiuri was drawn to the inky hue thanks to a Monsieur Dior quote: “Among all colors, navy blue is the only one which can ever compete with black, it has all the same qualities.” Following up her debut last season, which included the very popular “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirts, Grazia tackled the current political landscape through subtle representations. Topped with black leather berets designed by milliner Stephen Jones, the show opened with a stream of daywear designs that evoke a relaxed attitude. Next, Chiuri explored denim in a utilitarian aesthetic, alongside ensembles worn during the ’70s feminist movement. Moving forward, she revisited the legendary Bar jacket, paired with long skirts, while sheer tulle gowns and embroidered dresses twinkled like the night sky on the catwalk.
If you are looking for hyper-maximalist clothes, Balmain is the place for you. For his Fall 2017 show held at Hôtel Potocki, Olivier Rousteing sent his cast of models––including Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn, and Lily Donaldson (20)––down the catwalk in richly embellished designs. Patchwork motifs encrusted in crystals elevated roomy tunics, shaggy fringe danced across the hemlines of skirts, and exotic animal prints roared through the collection by way of crocodile, zebra, and python prints. Capturing the spotlight was the revival of wolf T-shirts that brought a grunge vibe to the table and a youthful spirit to Rousteing’s extravagance.
Clare Waight Keller showcased her final collection for Chloé during Paris Fashion Week. After six fruitful years, the creative director will officially depart from her position on March 31. For her swan song, Keller suited up the free-spirited Chloé girl in smart tailoring. Low slung pants, strong shoulders, and boxy masculine jackets took up the first portion of the show. Mini dresses were charmed through ’60s thigh-grazing cuts and psychedelic graphics, while a breeze of bohemian air swept through by way of a sweet lilac frock.
Once again, Anthony Vaccarello held the Saint Laurent show at the (under construction) headquarters on Rue de Bellechasse. Stocked with a star-studded front row of supporters––including Catherine Deneuve, Amber Valletta, Travis Scott and Zoë Kravitz,––Vaccarello kicked off the lineup with a cool yet casual note. A roster of shearling jackets, skinny-fit jeans, and sumptuous leather mini dresses took up the first half of the showcase. Halfway though, the boys got in on the action, where for the first time a number of menswear looks were added to the mix. The last portion of the show took a sexy turn with dazzling evening designs dripping with rhinestones and washed in rich velvet. The footwear game was strong, with slouchy, knee-high boots. Expect the crystal-laden version to make the rounds on the street style circuit very soon.