Review: Paris Fashion Week Fall / Winter 2017

©Collage / Oriane Baud

Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017 is over, and with it the Fashion Week Month: Veronika Heilbrunner recaps the best fashion moments from the french capital 

Normally, Paris Fashion Week is always lucky with getting a bit of sun – and then there’s the ease of knowing it’s the last fashion week stop. This time, however, the wind and rain simply wouldn’t end and my communication back to my team at the hey woman! Berlin HQ consisted of unhappy messages like “wet feet are trending” or “my worst fashion faux-pas: forgot my umbrella.”

But after what felt like too many “news alert” changes coming in from designers, houses, and concepts, finally this Paris Fashion Week stopped being all about “technicalities” and started being quintessentially about the clothes again.

Here’s a round-up of my favorites:

Favorite Show: Loewe

This show won me over with more than “just” amazing fashion. The suspense had already started with the invite: the saying “you can’t take it with you” embroidered on a little handkerchief.

Even finding your seat turned the experience into a Hitchcock-esque thriller as J.W. Anderson decided to dip the show space – located inside the UNESCO HQ – into total pitch-black darkness. I literally could not see my hand in front of me, let alone find my seat without switching on my phone’s flashlight. No need to mention that this was probably the most glamourous version of Blair Witch Project ever done.

Once seated and having had a chance to admire the spotlighted orchid wall decoration, the lights went off. After listening to the first tunes for what felt like an hour, it hit me, one after another: an ultra-romantic off-the-shoulder polka dot gown with black boots and a blanket pouch bag, a perfect logo-clad Norwegian sweater, a cool silk patchwork dress and a perfect, simple black satin sandal with a cute crystal bow. It was the perfect marriage of femininity and rustic elements – and with a good hint of very original Spanish influence in its coolest contemporary version, or that’s how it felt to me.

And now the punchline: I was really wishing could take it all with me…!

Best Look: Valentino

As a longtime fan of the Roman couture houses’ luxurious creations, it’s no surprise that I fell in love with the lace, silk, and velvet that Pierpaolo Piccoli showed on this stormy – yes, there was sun, rain, and hail, and all in the space of the show’s one-hour run – Sunday afternoon. But the overall composition totally blew me away: The models looked like beautiful bohemian witches with dark eyes, dark red lips, lots of jewelry (I especially loved the red pearl chokers), careless, long wavy hair streaked with slim braids and topped off with very chunky, almost ancient looking hiking boots.

Best Casting: Dries van Noten

This designer’s secret knowledge as to what women really want to look like revealed itself in a model cast that could not have been more exciting. I’m pretty sure every single show guest saw a longtime favorite walk past in an uber-cool look that celebrated the designer’s 100th show! Congrats Dries! And thank you so much for bringing back amazing women like Minnie Driver, Delfine Bafort, Nataša Vojnovic, Kati Nescher (with a new hair color!), Guinevere van Seenus, Nadja Auermann, Hannelore Knuts, just to name a few.

Best Collection: Acne Studios

After a few seasons at the amazing Hôtel Potocki, the brand moved to a very central, very clean new show space. In hindsight, I think that also describes the collection: focused, condensed, ultra-cool, back-to-the-roots looks like linen dresses in “special” colors, badass leather in Matrix-esque pants and long coat combos, corduroy with an amazing flower print, weird/awesome cowboy boots, funky and abstract basket bags, and simply great knits. My wish list is about a meter long and I didn’t want my re-see appointment to end.

Best Party: Chloé

Even though it was a sad moment for me seeing Clare Waight Keller leave after successfully recreating the look real #ChloeGirls want to wear, the farewell party thrown at the beautiful Monnaie de Paris on the rive gauche alongside the Seine was fun!

Solange Knowles performed with an all-white band, Chloé President Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye sported a huge pin-button from the shot-wall, Aymeline Valade and Mimi Xu were on the dancefloor, and when it came to Clare … I couldn’t stop thinking about where she is going to go next!? Of course, now we know it’s Givenchy, which was announced while I was writing this. Anyway, I definitely need one of the grungy check-shirt-instead-of-a-coat-with-T-strap-shoes mod looks from this, her last show for the brand!

Best Set: Chanel

There’s this German saying that Karl Lagerfeld has now managed to give a new meaning: instead of “den Vogel abschießen” – which means he nailed it again, but literally means “shooting the bird” in German) he shot off a rocket. And, of course, the rocket was painted in Chanel white with the black logo. And, yes, it took off for the finale. To everyone’s relief, it didn’t go through the roof, but inserted itself. Simply genius and so much fun! The same goes for the amazing, sparkly two-tone boots, the rocket and planet pins, the crystal headbands, and more than a few great tweed jackets, coats, and (yes!) cycling shorts.

Fun Dinner: Celebrating Ralph Lauren’s & Aizel’s 15th Anniversary

There was tough competition in this category, therefore I decided for two winners.

Very chic, cozy, tasty, and simply brilliant: That’s how to describe Italian PR princess and it-girl Margherita Cardelli’s invitation to Ralph Lauren’s restaurant in Saint-Germain. My personal highlights were the beautiful Joséphine de la Baume singing The Velvet Underground’s Femme Fatale in an acoustic set with her brother for host Tatiana Casiraghi and Vogue Paris astrologer Julie Patriat reading the stars for every single guest.

Power-woman Aizel invited the Who’s Who of business, fashion, and society to celebrate her 15-year-old business – bringing famous American designers like Oscar de la Renta and Marc Jacobs to Moscow – and her birthday as well, as Christian Louboutin pointed out in his speech. This very upbeat dinner ended late and after many speeches, as expected from fashion’s most-loved location: Caviar Kaspia.

Location Winner: Louis Vuitton

When the super-experienced driver I hired to drive me for the last, extra-crazy day of shows – Paris Fashion Week had been shortened one day and, therefore, three mega brands were all showing on the same day – had to drop me off in far-away Rue Saint-Honoré instead of closer to the last show of the day’s location in the Louvre’s famous Cour Marly, I didn’t think much of it. I always prefer to avoid traffic and walk the last bit anyway. But, this was unexpected. I knew I had to enter through the Louvre’s pyramids, but simply couldn’t find the entrance thanks to thousands of fans standing at the fences. First, I thought it was fun – almost like going to a huge concert. But when I realized there was no way in, I kind of panicked (I guess this happens to everyone once during fashion week??).

Once I got in – thanks to very kind street style photographers – I saw the sun go down in a pink sky in the downstairs escalades and thought just how unreal it all was. Thank you Nicolas Ghesquiere for choosing such an iconic location. Between the clothes and the beautiful 18th Century statues, it was some quite tough competition.

More fashion to see here:

More fun to see here:

Born and raised in Munich/Germany, Veronika’s professional career has developed from being a model to a fashion editor, to online luxury retailing and most recently style editor of Harpers Bazaar Germany. She currently lives in Berlin where in the beginning of 2015 she started a company with Julia Knolle, the ex-editor at large of Vogue Digital.
Oh, and she loves pugs!