Paris Fashion Week has one of the most important Fashion Week schedules, since it’s home to many great designers and shows you don’t want to miss. Think of Louis Vuitton, Off-White, Hermès, Chanel, Givenchy and many more. Trends may come and go, but the typical Parisian look goes never out of style. Therefore the street style is as yummy to watch as the designer shows. Check out the best of Paris Fashion Week below.
Cover photo: © Dior
Best of Paris Fashion Week
Paris Fashion Week has been worth the wait. As many designers left New York’s edition to show at Paris, its schedule was full of great names. Check out the best of Paris Fashion Week below.
With the Dior Spring/Summer 2021 collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri rethought the role of clothes at the present time and how they interact with the body. Accompanied by the sounds of ‘Sangu di Rosa’, models walked the ecclesiastical runway, dressed in clothes in which ancestral and innovatively modern techniques played an important role; from warp-printing to tie-dye.
How we started to wear clothes during the past months has been the starting point for this collection. According to Chiuri, the pandemic will dictate what we will wear the upcoming year(s) as well. Therefore, she approached this collection with a pragmatic eye; “Our clothes have to reflect this new style of life,” she explained. In a tent in the Jardin des Tuileries, Chiuri presented her collection for a socially distant audience. While her current silhouette is far from the traditional Dior look – which isn’t as comfortable as your average WFH look – Chiuri aimed to revise the Dior’s classic shapes. According to her, this silhouette will become the new standard for the fashion house.
In many cases, it was hardly visible that the looks were inspired by classic Dior suits. Trousers were more slouchy than they used to be and shirts were transformed into tunics. Where we used to wear clothes to send out political messages and to share our opinions, today’s clothes are all about the relationship with oneself, the designer added. Hence, she created clothes that embraced the body, instead of lacing up. A true relief in times like these.
Christelle Kocher staged her show in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, the park she has spent so much time during lockdown. During these walks, she imagined her Spring/Summer 2021 collection; one full of crafts and embroideries. Just like many fellow designers, Kocher broadened her interest in crafts during quarantine. This interest resulted in hand-painted signature slip dresses. Furthermore she combined sporty influences with lace; printed as well as the real deal.
The last look was the most special; it faded out the division between high and low fashion, together with the binary of gender – making it more relevant than ever.
Dries van Noten
For the first time in his career, Dries van Noten merged his mens- and womenswear collections. Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen shot the videos and photos for this debut. Now that shoots and productions have to happen locally (Sassen is based in Holland, close to Antwerp), interesting projects have originated across the fashion industry. And so it happened that Van Noten and Sassen co-created a mysterious, direct and arty presentation of Van Noten’s SS21 collection.
For the prints, the designer used artist Len Lye’s work as a starting point. According to Van Noten, the prints are best described as “psychedelic sun, sunshine and moons, light bars, and palm trees.” It may be a reference to how people want to feel – and dress – next summer. Once we will be freed from lockdowns and quarantines, a sense of freedom will overwhelm our souls, just like psychedelics. Hopefully, Van Noten’s cheerful predictions of the future are right. An easy summer, while dressed in psychedelic prints, sound like the right recipe for success.
As always, Rick Owens studies the current state of the world – one that isn’t that great to take a closer look at nowadays – and responds to it. In his show notes, Owens spoke about “grim gaiety”. He referred to the hats French women wore during World War II; they became bigger and more impressive as the war got worse. These hats were a reaction to the German occupiers; it formed a way to tease them. Nowadays, Owens argues, clothes can’t change the world. But, though, they can change the way people think. They are the signifiers of one’s mood or opinion and can say more than a thousand words.
These modern signifiers were translated into big shoulders and fierce looking outfits. The models’ mouth masks were the most prominent references to today’s world. While he doubts the true function of a mask, Owens thinks it’s more important that you send the right message when wearing one. And by doing so, you promote consideration for others. This isn’t the first time Rick Owens provides mouth masks for his models; in his 2012 show they wore them too. Fun fact: this collection’s fishnet dresses were made out of those masks, making them a signifier for the need for both recycling and upcycling. While the overall theme is hellish, the presentation and collection leave you with hope. Hope to inspire others by your own actions and the feeling of empowerment by giving the right example.
Jonathan Anderson presented a joyful collection for Loewe. On a serious tone he spoke about the way in which fashion could become irrelevant; something that has happened before. According to him, fashion needs to be a bit less dramatic at the moment. This rationale resulted in a humble collection with a big message.
The collection was presented in a box filled with posters of models wearing Loewe Spring/Summer 2021 looks. Since Anderson wanted his invitees to have a truthful image of the collection, he printed the posters on a 1:1 scale. He added a tool bag, so people could become creative by themselves. With the tools, you could simply pin them on your wall or make a tote bag out of the materials. Every single component serves a purpose.
During lockdown, Anderson has started to question the purpose of a fashion show. He doesn’t think a show is the best way to present clothes and to drive sales. In line with this, he felt more connected to designing than ever before; it made him realize why he eventually started to work in fashion. Besides the excessive amount of time spent on each piece, this presentation also left gender norms behind. He explained: if you like something and you want to wear it, it doesn’t really matter who you are.
In these troubled times creative directors Lisi Herrebrugh and Rushemy Botter felt the urge to go back to the roots of the brand: “an irrepressible desire for optimism”, they wrote in a statement. This collection forms a message of hope.
Therefore, the new silhouette is all about lightness and reinforces every movement. The classic Nina Ricci scarf plays an important role as well; it’s used here to extend a balloon sleeve, to twist a pants’ volume or to tie a hat. Following the duo’s interest in beachwear, the bathing suit is used as a reference for several tops – fitting as a modern-day and comfortable corset. After all, comfort is all we need now. In line with Nina Ricci’s mindset that beauty lies in simplicity, this collection definitely comes back to the essence of the House: Parisian elegance with an added touch of playful irreverence.
Grace Kelly, Delphine Seyrig, and Jeanne Moreau: three legendary women whom – amongst others – formed the inspiration for the Chanel Spring/Summer 2021 ready to wear collection. Accompanied by a big sign spelling Chanel, models walked the runway dressed in clothes that cover all facets of an actress’ life. The big Chanel sign, referring to the Hollywood sign on the hills of Santa Monica. Let’s take a closer look at the way in which Virginie Viard translated some legendary on-screen Chanel moments to a modern wardrobe.
“I was thinking about actresses at the photocall, on the red carpet, that moment when they’re being called to by the photographers: their faces a little distracted, their attitude a little out of sync with the outfits they’re wearing. And then there are the fans waiting for them behind the barriers, this very lively side to cinema that happens beyond cinema, that’s what I like, this collection is a tribute to the muses of the House,” Virginie Viard explained. It resulted in an over the top collection, full of surprising details. One of our favorite accessories was the tiny bag-bracelet. Despite that nothing fits in the ‘bag’, it looks effortlessly cool.
Nicolas Ghesquière created an over the top collection for Louis Vuitton SS21. The creative director wondered: what does an in-between garment look like? What kind of cut can dissolve masculine and feminine? What wardrobe might s/he look good in? A fascinating new exploration for fashion, and the promise of a great journey that Louis Vuitton sets out to discover by abolishing these last boundaries. “This is but the beginning of a reflection that is open, stimulating and fundamentally conscious”, the press notes stated.
It resulted in a collection that will find approval from Gen Z. Inspired by Wim Wenders’s famous movie ‘Wings of Desire’, Ghesquière focused on the zone between femininity and masculinity. According to him, nonbinary people provide freedom for all of us. We should take their way of life as an example. Therefore, Louis Vuitton’s SS21 wardrobe isn’t masculine nor feminine. It’s somewhere in between.
This rationale shows Ghesquière is one of fashion’s most forward-thinkers. Despite the pandemic, clothes and shows haven’t changed much. We’ve seen many new trends and different interpretations of escapism, but Ghesquière is one of the few to look for something deeper. While he states he doesn’t know how fashion will change, he knows inclusivity will only become more important; the freedom to be who you want to be. He couldn’t be more on point. Check out some of our favorite looks below and find the full Louis Vuitton SS21 review here.
Do you like Paris Fashion Week? Then also read Best of Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021