Recap on highlights from the catwalks and backstage at Paris Fashion Week autumn/winter 2017. Scroll down for Jacquemus’ upside-down handbag kicking off the shows, Pat McGrath’s stunning beauty look at Maison Margiela, sexed-up aviator jackets at Saint Laurent, balaclava antics at Kenzo, a hint of grunge at Chloe, a blue mood at Christian Dior, a punk manicure at Vivienne Westwood, the lopsided coat at Balenciaga and more...
What we wore for the final shows...
Editor Susan Riley and Executive Fashion Director Kitty McGee both opted for Mon Purse bags while Fashion Director Alexandra Fullerton worked her “Feminist AF” Jonathan Simkhai t-shirt with a Saint Laurent jacket, Levis, Gucci belt and Louboutin shoes.
Nicolas Ghesquiere closed out the ready-to-wear season – that began with a politically charged mood in New York - with a theme of “doing away with frontiers”.
Nomadic, boho elements combined with slick, structured luxury fabrics in the grand setting of the Cour Marly of the Louvre. There were tailored wet-look trousers, slinky silk patchwork cocktail dresses and boxy short waisted jackets in downy peach fur, shearling-edged denim and soft leathers. Shoes and boots came with patent leather and fabric uppers and sturdy lug-soles, while some bags resembled classic toolboxes.
Detail: Louis Vuitton
Miuccia Prada looked to put Fashion Week to bed on a high note with a rainbow-coloured procession of fun faux fur, pearls and rhinestones, executed with a rule-breaking ‘70s vibe.
Huge swirls of gold embellishment adorned woollen jumpers nipped in at the waist with diamond buckle belts, while bright pink or orange tops and trousers were covered in retro alarm clock and parrot prints. Outerwear was a furry bundle of contradictions, with some fluffy coats covered in a transparent layer of plastic that was then topped off with giant fur collars, while knee high boots were enveloped in pastel coloured fluff.
Detail: Miu Miu
Embracing the faux fur wall...
Even the invitation was ?
Blast off! Karl Lagerfeld turned the Grand Palais into Mission Control for Chanel's autumn/winter ‘17 collection, sending models out at the foot of a 37 metre-high rocket that closed the show by rising into the air to strains of Elton John's Rocket Man.
“It’s a journey through the sky, to the heart of constellations, in the wake of the astronaut Thomas Pesquet,” said Lagerfeld. Pesquet, a French astronaut, was recently chosen to join the ISS crew for Expedition 50.
This being Chanel, bulky spacesuits were eschewed in favour of sparkling boots, the fashion house’s iconic tweed flashing with sequins and electric blue thread, while godet skirts were made to resemble rockets and oversize quilted coats came in thermal metallic silver with ultra-high collars. Playful jumpers bearing astronaut prints and rocket-shaped bags were out of this world.
This being a space-themed show, it was fitting that the beauty look paid tribute to the decade of great space exploration: the 1960s. Sam McKnight gave longer-haired models a Barbarella-esque bouffant pushed back by headbands embroidered with crystals or faux pearls.
The gravity-defying backcombing was offset with fluttery black eyelashes and a slick of black shadow in the socket line.
Sarah Burton looked to the glorious natural landscapes, creative communities and ancient traditions of Cornwall for her Alexander McQueen autumn/winter ‘17 collection.
Cloutie trees, or ancient wishing trees as they’re also known, where people gather to tie ribbons and keepsakes were a particular leitmotif represented in the raw, frayed tassels hanging from dresses, coats and jackets and twisted yarn running through tweed. Traditionally folksy, feminine themes of patchwork, cross-stitch and embroideries of rural English meadows came with a warrior-like edge. Burton described it as “Medieval armour deconstructed and reinvented in their softest incarnations.”
The 16th and 17th century inspired cross-stitching was embroidered on tough denim. Tulle and cashmere voile finished with silk trailing threads honoured the Lady of Shallot, while gossamer silk knit dresses referenced “Queen Guinevere’s soft armour.”
Detail: Alexander McQueen
Ankle flat Chelsea boots with an exaggerated pointed toe came in lace, patch-work, studded leather and beautiful embroidery of rural village scenes.
Watch: Alexander McQueen
Pretty floatiness and an abundance of ruffles are to be expected at Giambattista Valli – what was surprising was the addition of Nike leggings into the mix. The sleek black high-waisters were the kind you’d see regularly at the gym or in the park but here they were worn with spike-heeled lace up velvet boots and ruffled or embroidered jackets.
Detail: Giambattista Valli
Fenty x Puma
Rihanna presented us with US high school-inspired designs at Paris’ Bibliothèque Nationale de France, where tables were turned into a catwalk and Supers including Joan Smalls and Lily Donaldson walked in front of a hoodie-wearing Cara Delevingne.
Beauty: Leonard Paris
Bold, blue eyeshadow was firmly back on the beauty agenda at Leonard Paris. It came in waves of bright painterly strokes across the lids and eye socket and was framed with a slick of black liner under the lower lashes.
Stella McCartney kicked off day 7 of Paris Fashion Week with a collection of timeless tailoring with blown-up and elongated sleeves offering a twist on her signature style. Alongside the suiting, which came largely in heritage checks, tailored Jersey dresses, structural velvets and beautiful knitwear in shades of honey, sand, biscuit and grey and formed the mainstay of the collection.
The finale merged into a choreographed tribute to the late George Micheal as the line out danced and sang along to Faith.
Detail: Stella McCartney
Finale: Stella McCartney
Expanding on Off-White’s rather downcast labelling of its “Nothing New” collection, Pierpaolo Piccioli explained Valentino’s autumn/winter ‘17 offering is “Fashion as a dialogue with time: disclosed, transformed, released.”
The result was a fusion of Victoriana’s high collars and ornate accents with the graphic ‘80s Memphis design movement. Loose, long sleeve print dresses were worn with thick, flat lace-up boots and soft pink looks came with youthful graphic prints displaying childlike drawings of simple arithmetic.
Fringing, draping and oversizing were the keywords in Celine’s chic collection.
Prepare to meet the off-centre coat.
Following last year’s shoulder-exposing trench, Demna Gvasalia continues to shake-up outerwear by playing with proportion in plaid, duffel, jacquard and leopard print.
Rodeo gets a high-fashion spin at Nina Ricci with pastel sherbet colours, spliced two-tone star patterns and waist hugging belts.
Detail: Nina Ricci
Comme des Garcons
Models became living exhibitions cocooned in bubbles of foamy materials, balloons of patchwork and oversize rubber brocade at Rei Kawakubo’s sculptural fantasy collection.
Vivienne Westwood stepped down from designing last year, handing over to her husband Andreas Kronthaler, who injected elements of his Austrian homeland into the label’s autumn/winter ‘17 collection.
Beauty: Vivienne Westwood
She may not have been designing, but Westwood was by no means out of the picture. The 75-year-old modelled two looks from the collection wearing richly drawn graphic eye art by Val Garland using Mac and equally bold nail art by Marianne Newman, who created French tips punk style, with bright red and inky black talons topped with razor sharp pointy white tips.
The end result was last day at Glastonbury-meets Austrian kindergarten.
Backstage at Vivienne Westwood
Jaw-droppingly beautiful gowns swept the runway at Elie Saab in a collection fittingly titled “Poetry in Motion” inspired by the iconic ballet scores Giselle.
The return of the quiff? Both Haider Ackermann and Mugler worked a cowlick hair where the models looked slightly Something About Mary – though Mugler’s was a little more muted.
There was a touch of Star Trek to elements of Mugler’s collection, with high-neck, long sleeve dresses in mustard and powdery grey discreetly adorned with star motifs. David Koma stuck to sculptured shoulder peaks on body hugging dresses for a powerful but not overpowering silhouette. Sections of lamé plissé were expertly manipulated into origami-esque dresses, suits and one-shoulder tops for a futuristic warrior feel.
Detail: Veronique Leroy
It was all about the ruche at Veronique Leroy...
London punks of the 1980s provided the springboard for Junya Watanabe’s colourful geometric patchwork parade of tartan, bright leopard print and floral jacquard. The designs revisited his first ever collection, which he made from materials he sourced from old coats and sofas he bought at London flea markets.
Of course, the “any colour as long as it’s black” rule came into play at Yohji Yamamoto, the focus being on the geometric shape and technical artistry that gave the designer his name.
It was a blue runway for a blue collection at Christian Dior, with creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri citing a quote from Dior’s Little Book of Fashion in show notes: “Among all colours, navy blue is the only one which can ever compete with black, it has all the same qualities.”
Taffeta, mesh and velvet were combined with stiff, functional materials – blue was explored as a deep, romantic hue and also one that is associated with order and industry, with Chiuri pointing out it is “the colour of the uniform.”
All the outfits, from double denim to delicate glittering gowns, were topped off with black leather berets.
The power brow is going strong – as seen at Loewe and Christian Dior.
A collection inspired by the northern lights shimmered down the runway in blues, greens, mustards and reds at Issey Miyake – the label’s famous pleats appearing to change the colour of the fabrics as the models walked.
Exquisitely crafted leather pieces, raw frayed fabrics and beautifully individual feminine dresses that frequently displayed patchwork patterns or fabrics kept the audience mesmerised at Loewe.
Clashing tartan suits came with streetwear touches at the Off-White show, intriguingly titled “Nothing New”. New or not, we’re all kinds of excited about those slouchy boots.
Season after season, the rule-breaking styles of the ‘80s are plundered and refreshed by designers old and new. Isabel Marant borrowed heavily from the decade of the power shoulder, adding an unexpected boho spin.
Duvets, blankets, sweaters...it all went on at Rick Owens, stretched and swaddled around the models in a manner that might suggest they’d been caught up in the spin cycle. This wasn’t a message about comfort dressing though, the fabric mitre-style hats represented rituals, ceremonies and the majesty of clothes. Comfy ones.
It was a wild and fearsome ride at Balmain, with Olivier Rousteing applying his signature maximalism to two sources of inspiration: adventurous female travellers and ‘90s grunge legends Nirvana. Patchwork animal print combined with tie-dye t-shirts and most notably signalled a revival of the once ubiquitous howling wolf and moon tee that we all
hoped thought we’d seen the back of...
Precious metals poured onto the runway at Paco Rabanne...
Indian influences meets outer space at Manish Arora, where the bags were definitely out of this world.
Detail: Manish Arora
Detail: Manish Arora
Beauty: Manish Arora
Clare Waight Keller waved goodbye to six years at Chloé with a playful, youthful collection featuring cut-out hearts, patent Mary Janes, stand-out jumpers and grungey – as far as a Chloé girl can do grunge – plaid jackets. The round bag shape we saw at Mulberry featured in abundance, so prepare for an onslaught of Instagram and street style tributes as well as high street copycats.
Kenzo debuted its new line La Collection Memento Nº1 in front of a room full of celebrity fans – and treated them to a rare live performance from the mighty Lauryn Hill, who flew in specially for the occasion.
The collection was an updated take on looks from the label’s ‘80s archive, with strong floral prints on deep red and blue backgrounds, kimono cuts and puffa jackets. Some models wore colourful balaclavas – referencing both an early Kenzo campaign and Pussy Riot’s famous aesthetic.
Something stunning happened at the H&M show on Wednesday night: the models wouldn’t stop smiling as they walked down the catwalk. It was jarring, but we kind of liked it.
This show of jollity was not hampered by a delayed start thanks to latecomer Nicki Minaj. And what she lacked in good timekeeping, she more than made up for in fabulous front row style.
The H&M models included the Hadid sisters, Amber Valetta and Winnie Harlow. Menswear – most of it hot pink – was thrown into the mix with a mainly monochrome palette used for womenswear.
The Rochas woman is elegant and understated by day – and a dazzling showstopper by night. Pretty, minimal dresses came in pastel pinks, khaki green, rust and monochrome, saving the theatre for the fluffy, belted faux fur coats in dramatic jewel tones and showstopping cocktail dresses. A gold fringed flapper style look was the star of the show.
Dries Van Noten
There couldn’t be a more fitting way to celebrate 100 shows than by honouring age diversity and the models who helped the label achieve its success along the way. Dries Van Noten cast “retired” Supers to walk alongside women in their 20s. These included Amber Valetta, Alek Wek, Liya Kebede, Guinevere van Seenus, Nadja Auermann, Carolyn Murphy, Tasha Tilberg, Trish Goff, Kirsten Owen, Michele Hicks, Esther de Jong and Kristina de Coninck – who walked in Van Noten’s first show in 1992.
The clothes honoured the label’s archives, with a focus on exciting prints and tactile fabrics used in unusual ways, such as iridescent vinyl suits and tri-colour velvet curved heel shoes.
Detail: Dries Van Noten
Watch: Dries Van Noten finale
Spotted at the Paula Ka presentation – the diamond encrusted fingerless lace gloves we never knew we needed until now...
A simple, dreamy collection ruled by monochrome colours – aside from the showstopping soft pastel pink evening gowns.
Your art teacher’s had a high fashion makeover. The boho, crafty feel at Maison Margiela came through in stencils, extreme cut-outs and embellishments – with ostrich feathers and strips of fraying fabrics adorning many designs. However, the quirks came in ripples rather than waves, which is unusual for John Galliano. There were also sporty moments with shredded baseball jackets worn over tweed suits or skintight beige dresses. A delicate trench with a sheer panel under the collar and stencil cut out of the Statue of Liberty on the back was a triumph.
The upside down bag we saw at Jacquemus appeared again – this time they were fluffy and worn on the models’ heads like a bearskin hat.
Detail: Maison Margiela
Detail: Maison Margiela
Detail: Maison Margiela
Beauty: Maison Margiela
All the eye make-up trends that have been danced around so far this season were piled into one magnificent look by Pat McGrath at Maison Margiela.
Anthony Vaccarello put on a provocative show in the rainy setting of the new Saint Laurent HQ, where Kate Moss and Catherine Deneuve were among A-list guests shivering on the front row. The sharp pointy shoulders of Vaccarello’s September debut made a powerful return for his winter collection on long-sleeved vinyl mini dresses, while scrunchy leather has never looked so sexy – it took over boots, dresses, skirts and was fashioned into flowers for oversize corsages and chokers.
Deconstructed aviator-style jackets added high drama to simple jumper-and-jeans outfits, and most effectively in the case of model Mica Argañaraz, as one mighty sleeve worn with a caramel leather symmetric mini dress.
Detail: Saint Laurent
Detail: Saint Laurent
Front row: Saint Laurent
Stiff, neat curves took to the runway in sombre colours at Jacquemus. Big, rounded shoulders and tight, nipped-in waists were the main attraction, with pleats, ruffles, oversize collars, polka dots and pinstripes combining ‘40s and ‘80s staples with that unmistakable Jacquemus edge. Cloche hats were given a modern update and elegant boxy handbags came with distinctive scalloped edge detailing or chunky gold chains.
Introducing the covetable upside down bag.