This season’s fashion week in Paris looks similar to the previous ones held since the pandemic hit. Snazzy video presentations, bite-sized socially distanced shows and an overall solemn tone continues to pervade the once-bustling runway. However, in PFW, some key differences are of note. First, the prestigious event was headlined by student designers instead of a big designer. Then, there’s Gabriela Hearst’s sustainability-centred debut at Chloé and Acne Studios’ loungewear-inspired collection. We’re also getting a peek at what Parisian street style looks like now (side note: it’s still as chic as ever). Keep reading to know the details about all the fascinating things that have happened at Paris Fashion Week so far.
Student designers kickstart Paris Fashion Week
We’re used to Paris Fashion Week opening with a big name, but this time — with the absence of staples like Saint Laurent and Balenciaga — new blood takes the spotlight. For the first time, students of Institut Français De La Mode Master Of Arts headlined womenswear at PFW. Called the “Master of Arts Graduate Show 2021”, the presentation is an opportunity for 48 students of Master of Arts in Fashion Design to showcase their works. Among the designs, what caught our eye are the looks from Sofia Massuti featuring delicate greens, cami dresses with loose silhouettes and lush knits. She’s definitely one to watch out for.
Gabriela Hearst makes debut at Chloé
Even under different creative directors, Chloé has always been known for feminine and sleek designs with a few iterations through the years — frills and fun reigned under Phoebe Philo, relaxed ensembles thrived with Clare Waight Keller at the helm, and with Natacha Ramsay-Levi a distinct bohemian chic touch took the spotlight. But Gabriela Hearst, an established name in her own right, brings a new statement — craftsmanship with sustainability in mind.
Chloé’s new looks presented at Paris Fashion Week featured clothes made of recycled and upcycled materials — from the chic ponchos to the breezy dresses. The bags showcased were secondhand (we spy the comeback of the Edith bag) and refurbished with patchwork and additional design details using material scraps. Another highlight of this particular collection is its presentation exactly one hundred years since the birthday of the brand’s founder, Gaby Aghion. Gaby to Gabriela!
Acne Studios’ fancy take on loungewear
Loungewear has really taken centre stage since stay-at-home guidelines were put in place. and Designer brands are now dipping their toes into this territory, but with a luxe twist, of course. If you’re looking for a dressier alternative to sweatpants, look no further than Acne Studios’ latest collection featuring a dressing robe-dress hybrid made with a duvet-like fabric, fuzzy sweatpants in pastel shades, upgraded pyjamas that can pass as streetwear and loose floral numbers. Finally, some fancy loungewear that looks good both in the bedroom and on the streets.
Marine Serre’s “documentary”
While most digital fashion presentations are done in a five-minute video, Marine Serre takes it up a notch by making an interactive “documentary”. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind way to present designs. On the brand’s website are clips of people seemingly wearing the collection while going about their daily lives. Kids jumping on a trampoline, people tending a garden, a duo strolling around Paris and more. It’s immersive and gives off a feeling that you’re watching an indie movie with a big cast of characters.
Marine Serre also gave a peek at how the collection came to be with another video showing its crew picking fabrics and how the patchworks are done; one of the footages is of the delivery of materials. A slice-of-life art piece you don’t want to miss.
The state of Paris street style
More than the runway shows themselves, what people look forward to during fashion season are the practical street style looks from attendees that are easy to cop. For Paris Fashion Week, that usually means a parade of glam ensembles. However, this time around, street style is more lowkey and more localised but still chic as ever. Masks are wonderfully incorporated into ensembles. Standout accessories like bright scarves and berets are some of the micro trends that are popping on the streets of Paris. It may not be as glittery as before, but it seems like street style is going back to its roots of practicality and candour.
While the end of this fashion season is near, there are still some brands we’re anticipating to make a splash like Stella McCartney, Loewe and CHANEL. But so far, so good!
(Cover photo from: Ana Itonishvili via Unsplash)
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