Paris: How The Tables Turned

Cast your mind back and this time last year Paris was abuzz with new names – and Vetements, to some, was still potentially just the french word for clothes and not the biggest thing in fashion. Ever. Demna Gvasalia, the man behind it all, would subsequently be scooped up by Balenciaga for the top job just vacated by Alexander Wang. Suddenly the old guard of Paris, home traditionally to storied houses such as Louis Vuitton and Chanel and more, were being ever so slightly usurped by a new generation of hip and cool and insta-connected. Paris was no longer simply the centre of tradition and could no longer simply be classed as being the preserve of heritage maisons. Nope, suddenly a youth quake all its own was happening. And it was happening inside and outside, all around, in fact, the pillar luxury labels. From the arrival of new creative directors within to the rise of new labels to rival the establishment.

 

 Paco Rabanne Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

It was happening at Courrèges, at Paco Rabanne, at Mugler, at Guy Laroche, at Carven, Nina Ricci too with Guillaume Henry – the boy wonder who had put Carven on the map – all welcoming new talent to bring them back to life. There was Y/Project and Jacquemus adding to the excitement as well – must-see brands and with only a few seasons to their names. And of course there was Vetements.
But then something happened. "I would certainly say the focus in Paris is again on the change-up for big houses," confirms designer Quoï Alexander, himself a newer name on the block having graduated from Central Saint Martins and brought his eponymous label to Paris.
"I think that in general in the fashion industry people are always excited about what is new, what is next and this season big Paris houses have been in the spotlight because they've got a new designer so it's exciting to see what the next season holds," agrees stylist Audrey Taillee.

 

 Saint Laurent Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

Because suddenly it was all change at the top and that Dior job got filled; and suddenly that Saint Laurent job was up for grabs again; and among all of that there was suddenly a Lanvin job to be had. The moving and shaking was now top-heavy, establishment-establishment heavy. And if there was ever a way to reignite interest among the top-tier luxury labels – and note, not that it entirely dwindled, we're just talking a shift of focus – this chain of events was it.

 

 Lanvin Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

So Bouchra Jarrar got the Lanvin gig, this season her tightly-guarded debut. Finally Valentino's Maria Grazia Chuiri was announced as taking the Dior role and this was her big reveal – and the first time a female designer took the helm. It left her stablemate Pierpaolo Piccioli to hold the fort at Valentino and then Anthony Vaccarello was tasked with following in Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent footsteps. Wow, what a difference a season, a year, makes in fashion. And it meant that suddenly every big show was a big show again at Paris Fashion Week, anticipation waiting in the wings, judgement day at the end of the catwalk.

 

 Leonard Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

"I wanted to do an evolution not a revolution," explained Christine Phung backstage at Leonard Paris. The new artistic director of the 60-year-old house, she agreed that it was an intimidating task joining an established name and that "being in 2016" was key to making it work. But that being connected digitally, too, was important.
Because that's where so many houses have fallen down – misread the heritage signs and mixed them up with something too modern or not modern at all for a complicated and inaccessible output.
"I wanted to find pieces like pyjamas and strong items like the teddy boy jacket, very causal and that you can wear now but blend it," Phung continued.

 

 Mugler Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

Because that balance is key. At Paco Rabanne, Julien Dossena wonderfully worked the house's iconic sci-fi elements into streetwear and sportswear cool. It came down to a mixing and matching of separates. At Courrèges, there were some nice nods also to that space-age heritage in cocoon shapes but the rest got lost among far too contemporary references and far too many of them. At Mugler, David Koma got it right – his blend the perfect modern-day Mugler; ditto for Nina Ricci; and Adam Andrascik at Guy Laroche worked to streamline his design sensibility with that of Guy's to great effect.
"It seems the emerging talent of Paris still has a strong hold on the industry, which has been traditionally unusual for Paris," notes Alexander also. As the last few days of the season fade away, the schedule eases up with the big names to hold it together. Cast your mind back to this time last week – equally as exciting, but in an entirely different way, was seeing the aforementioned, plus the likes of Koché and Aalto and Jacquemus.

 

 Jacquemus Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

This season, though, the old guard certainly knew how to take on the new guard – and of course this is really purely coincidence. But fashion has a domino effect. And Paris, you know how to keep us on our toes.
"It's not so much the big houses that are in the spotlight this season but anything new that will or won't happen. I think this is what fashion week is all about," sums up Taillee.

 

Read our latest fashion features and trend reports in NOWMagazine.

SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
A Verdict on Digital Fashion Week
By Fabio Ciquera
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed an array of different and varied virtual presentations,...
By Fabio Ciquera
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed an array of different and varied virtual presentations, online happenings and symposia. One cannot accuse luxury houses to lack inventiveness, and there is a genuine appreciation for the quick turnaround in moving everything online. From Loewe to Prada and...
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed an array of different and varied virtual presentations, online happenings and symposia. One cannot accuse luxury houses to lack inventiveness, and there is a genuine appreciation for the quick turnaround in moving everything online. From Loewe to Prada and Dior, among the many names, the creative solutions have been exciting to watch. This new reality...
Revival LDN: The Upcycled Fashion Brand Aiming At Helping the Environment
By Alice Ierace
For years now, many fashion brands have added sustainability to their vocabulary and, through...
By Alice Ierace
For years now, many fashion brands have added sustainability to their vocabulary and, through research and proposals, have tried to lessen the fashion industry’s huge impact on the environment. However, despite the efforts, many are still the fast-fashion brands ignoring the issue. The problem is...
For years now, many fashion brands have added sustainability to their vocabulary and, through research and proposals, have tried to lessen the fashion industry’s huge impact on the environment. However, despite the efforts, many are still the fast-fashion brands ignoring the issue. The problem is that, no matter how sustainable they deem they are, we are still living in a fast-paced environment...
Reflections on Life post Lockdown at MFW
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
Etro Kicking off day two of Milan Fashion Week was ETRO presenting its Men’s Spring Summer 2021...
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
Etro Kicking off day two of Milan Fashion Week was ETRO presenting its Men’s Spring Summer 2021 and Women’s Resort 2021 collections with an informal gathering at Milan’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel. “We are finally back together, in the garden of this iconic hotel, in the heart of Milan’s...
Etro Kicking off day two of Milan Fashion Week was ETRO presenting its Men’s Spring Summer 2021 and Women’s Resort 2021 collections with an informal gathering at Milan’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel. “We are finally back together, in the garden of this iconic hotel, in the heart of Milan’s Montenapoleone district. We want to highlight that we are a family, that Etro is a family living in a world...
White Mountaineering Brings Back BLK Line
By Elisa Carassai
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese...
By Elisa Carassai
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese designer Yosuke Aizawa. This season, the designer not only presented an exclusive film directed by Daito Manabe from the Rhizomatiks, but he also decided to relaunch his original BLK line. Launched in 2009,...
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese designer Yosuke Aizawa. This season, the designer not only presented an exclusive film directed by Daito Manabe from the Rhizomatiks, but he also decided to relaunch his original BLK line. Launched in 2009, White Mountaineering’s BLK Line proposed a new feel to outdoor wear with high-spec textiles and...
Digital Meets Local at Sunnei
By Elisa Carassai
Before lockdown started, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo...
By Elisa Carassai
By Elisa Carassai
Before lockdown started, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo were supposed to move in their newly-bought building, Casa Sunnei. Not being able to move in, and stuck quarantining home, the duo started reflecting on what they could do to move forward, at a slower...
Before lockdown started, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo were supposed to move in their newly-bought building, Casa Sunnei. Not being able to move in, and stuck quarantining home, the duo started reflecting on what they could do to move forward, at a slower pace.  “During the lockdown, I realized we were moving at a pace that was too fast - we were...
A Play of Poetics at MFW
By Elisa Carassai
MSGM’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Kicking off the first day of Milan’s Digital Fashion Week was...
By Elisa Carassai
By Elisa Carassai
MSGM’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Kicking off the first day of Milan’s Digital Fashion Week was Massimo Giorgetti’s MSGM, with a film celebrating the new Milanese generation of young creatives, as well as the joy of life post-lockdown. Inspired by writer Isabella Santacroce’s book Fluo: Storie di...
MSGM’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Kicking off the first day of Milan’s Digital Fashion Week was Massimo Giorgetti’s MSGM, with a film celebrating the new Milanese generation of young creatives, as well as the joy of life post-lockdown. Inspired by writer Isabella Santacroce’s book Fluo: Storie di Giovani a Riccione (“Fluo: Stories of Young People in Riccione”) – who also happens to be from...
Purity and Tradition Intertwine at MFW
By Alice Ierace
Prada and The Show That Never HappenedFew people do fashion quite like Miuccia Prada. After the...
By Alice Ierace
Prada and The Show That Never HappenedFew people do fashion quite like Miuccia Prada. After the announcement back in February stating that Raf Simons would become the brand’s new co-creative director, today we were lucky enough to witness Miuccia’s last solo collection – her final bow after three...
Prada and The Show That Never HappenedFew people do fashion quite like Miuccia Prada. After the announcement back in February stating that Raf Simons would become the brand’s new co-creative director, today we were lucky enough to witness Miuccia’s last solo collection – her final bow after three decades of unforgettable shows.Of course, a simple presentation wasn’t in the plan – it needed that...
Auralee’s Imaginary Journey Through Time
By Alice Ierace
Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer...
By Alice Ierace
Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer 21 collection during digital Paris Fashion Week as one of the major independent fashion brands.As a brand, Auralee is renowned for its magnificent clean silhouettes, impeccable quality and minimal...
Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer 21 collection during digital Paris Fashion Week as one of the major independent fashion brands.As a brand, Auralee is renowned for its magnificent clean silhouettes, impeccable quality and minimal styling. Its aim? A full exploration into the development of their own fabrics. By taking inspiration...