Veronika and Madeleine were on the go at Paris Fashion Week. Here are their personal highlights
Lasting almost ten days, Paris Fashion Week is by far the longest of all the fashion weeks. It’s here that the most important labels show their collections, and so – after New York, London, and Milan – the French capital is an important final piece in the big puzzle of the Fall/Winter 2018/19 season.
The classic shows are rather outnumbered, as a matter of fact. Instead, it’s the presentations and re-sees of French and foreign brands that define daily routine. But labels that have already shown in New York, like Calvin Klein and The Row, also use the masses of people to be found in Paris during these few days to present here again. A lot of brands also welcome their buyers. It’s hard to make decisions in Paris because the quality level of the beautiful shows, collections, and accessories is extremely high. It is also exciting to discover how each respective designer’s vision of the upcoming season fits our expectations. Not surprisingly, when names like Chloé and Chanel, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, or Miu Miu and Haider Ackermann are right there on the schedule. For Veronika and Madeleine, it was a blessing to split all the events between themselves and to review their highlights together.
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MA: It’s no secret that I love everything by Isabel Marant. The fashion is beautiful, the models look fresh, and I want to wear everything. I also always have the feeling that everyone is having fun (no matter if it’s a show or lookbook). A striking number of collections played with materials: Chloé put fringe on pants, a lambskin coat at Loewe grabbed me and wouldn’t let go, and the vinyl coats at Miu Miu were pretty hot. Haider Ackermann gets the prize for the best show music.
VH: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, my absolute favorites are almost identical to last season. Perhaps this can be explained by the fact that I have always gotten excited about a consistent look that forms a common theme, summer and winter, throughout my suitcases (makes packing much easier!), closets, and of course my favorite shops.
That’s why I’m a big fan of designers who don’t let themselves get distracted and just do their thing: J.W. Anderson for Loewe with his fantastic Ibiza DIY dresses, shearling and duffle coats, and the chicest of bags – and gladly paired up. Nicolas Ghesquière is looking to the future as usual, but this time his cool futurism got a good portion of ‘80s Texas saloon vibes. I’d already be lining up for the crystal bolo ties, western darted coats, and glitter pants. For me, Dries van Noten wins with the mega sound of Deep Purple’s Child in Time alone – and of course the expectedly cool shaggy coats, scarves, and sleek suits. Unfortunately I missed the Jacquemus show, and although I am usually more enthusiastic when I experience everything in real time (just because of the materials and how the cuts unfold in motion), Simon Porte’s clean yet sexy and elegant designs in a watercolor palette and with matching mini bags totally blew me away.
Other favorites from the FW/18 season included Balenciaga because of the western fringe and fake zebra and tiger fur, Vika Gazinskaya’s mint, Isabel Marant’s casual snake prints and the white denim and fringe, Chanel’s fantastically chic and long knitted coats and cocktail dresses with down jackets, Virgil Abloh’s mirrored bags for Off-White, Joseph Altuzarra’s smoked Carmen dresses and wrap-around sunglasses, and of course Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s Chloé. But more about that in the next section.
Julien Dossa’s designs for Paco Rabanne, which win me over with their simple and obvious power, are also repeatedly life-changing. Especially the new additions in the form of long silk dresses and bleached baggy jeans. And let’s not forget Valentino, Thom Browne, Miu Miu, and Sakai.
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MA: It felt like fringe was breezing past me at every second show. Whether leather or fabric, it was diligently swinging down from the looks.
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VH: Natacha Ramsay-Levi’s new Chloé girl: That’s my favorite trend in a nutshell. It was especially the fatigued late-70s rust tones that did it for me…matt cherry red, ochre, rust, sweet mustard, and so on. These tones work all by themselves, but also pair fantastically with a lot of precious metals.
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MA: It’s hard to top Chanel, of course. After waterfalls and rockets in the Grand Palais, this time Karl Lagerfeld turned everything into an autumnal forest with a dried foliage landscape. It was significantly rougher at Balenciaga with a graffiti covered mountain of snow that got the entire fashion audience driving to the suburbs of Paris. Thom Browne, who showed for the first time in Paris, invited guests to the grandiose Hotel de Ville. The show there resembled a performance art piece that you’d want to see again and again.
VH: For me, Hermès’ tubular Plexiglas tent, the red tartan floor, and the fire-lit, leafless trees win the prize for the set of the season. The timing was extraordinarily great – the show started at the same time as the so-called “blue hour.” Other set superstars: the sprayed-on snowboard park at Balenciaga and of course the Chanel forest in the Grand Palais.
Presentations – Re-See Moments
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MA: I have been watching Polish designer Magda Butrym for some time now. I was able to look over the new designs in her showroom and think that it is her best collection so far – great cuts, colors, and materials. The label Alessandra Rich, which was founded in London, presented a small show in a beautiful house on Square Alboni. Usually super feminine and sexy. But the most beautiful is the Italian designer herself, who welcomed guests personally in black silk overalls. I decided to only wear the knitted sweaters next winter while at the Calvin Klein re-see. The most sought-after presentation was probably Céline. It felt like a quiet farewell to the Phoebe Philo era when we saw the last collection officially designed by the team.
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MA: Three events have particularly stuck with us. Right at the beginning of fashion week, Delphine Arnault held a cocktail reception to present the young designers nominated for the LVMH Prize. Time to talk to designers such as GmbH, Eckhaus Latta, Marta Jakubowski, and Matthew Adams Dolan. Byredo and Virgil Abloh (aka Off-White) launched their fragrance Elevator Music a few days later and installation artist Carsten Höller accentuated their vision. Jeanne Damas, who presented her new Rouje collection to us in a small circle with red wine and cigarettes, was super French. At the end, there were bisous and small raffia cups.
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After over a month of fashion weeks, Paris is the crowning moment for everyone. Thanks to the diligent street style photographers who are on the streets looking for the perfect shot every day, we can also show a small review here.