Getting dirty and feeling empowered. Paris is celebrating fashion’s new status quo

The last years in fashion we are witnessing a unique phenomenon that comes out as a result of the radical changes of society and culture. New subcultures are rising and the essence of freedom is more strong than ever before. In a small period of time, people all over the world started to be open about changes and quickly they developed the feeling of acceptance. Out of the sudden being different was a thing to applaud and not to judge. Individualism became a necessity for cultures across the globe and that’s when fashion system changed for the better. Old stereotypes got demolished and a new order of things rise to redefine humanity’s dress codes.This relatively new fashion movement broke down the stiffness of the industry opening the doors for new subcultures to rise up. Rave became a thing and people started feeling the need to loosen up. Hoodies transformed into the new formal suits and what the industry used to call flaws were perfect and unique details (as they should be). Being flawless isn’t a trends or a fashion philosophy anymore, cause every individual isn’t afraid of getting dirty. Instead they are embracing themselves by proudly revealing their true identity, body and preference. Realising fashion’s new status quo, designers pushed the envelope even further by expressing themselves accordingly to society’s demands during the 7th day of Paris Fashion Week.
On last Sunday’s mid-afternoon hours, Demna took us outside Paris only to throw us into the mud. Balenciaga’s creative director collaborated with Spanish artist Santiago Sierra to create an enormous mudslide inside the show space that was ending into an extensive catwalk full of muddy water. In order to complete his vision, the designer created a special perfume that was moistured in the air and transferring the smell of peat to all the guests - creating the scent of decomposition successfully. In an effort to brake fashion’s boxes (again) he chose not to explain and verbalise his designs, instead of that he let the mud talk. ‘’Fashion is a visual art and all we need is for it to be seen though someone else’s eyes’’ said, allowing us to talk freely about it. While the industry had a divided opinion about that statement, the show was started in low light as usual. A fast moving Ye (aka Kanye West) opened the show in a total broad black jacket full of practical pockets as a smart move to Kim Kardashian’s Dolce & Gabbana collaboration. Then it was the time for the actual pit fight to star. Real life strugglers were coming very fast down the runway in buggy low crotch jeans, Hulk-size bomber jackets and glove-bags that seemed like fisting gloves in our first glimpse. Small teddies became the new must have every accessory paired with sweat sets and colored-from-the-dirt sneakers and a leather dress made out of pieces from the houses City Bag was setting up the bar of de-constructiveness. Logo branded baby carriers were there to cover every aspect of the human life but also they worked as an expansion to Balenciaga’s shopping goody offers. For Demna the show worked as the perfect metaphor, or perhaps as an irony. The mud became his hallowed ground in which he baptised humanity in order to rise and witness their own truth and form their own unique identity.
A different kind of individualism also got celebrated by Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli later the same day. By offering us a black box, the designer called us to unbox the secrets of the house’s which floated all over the black catwalk he created. This time it wasn’t Pandora’s box that got opened and released all the sufferings to the world. Instead of doing that, Pierpaolo advertised his values in a world full of troubles and darkness. With the economy’s shifts and price ranges that went over the roof, industry need to support individualism in every way possible to hold its position and status to the eyes of humanity - and that’s exactly what Pierpaolo Piccioli thinks. For him beauty is eternal. It doesn’t have a structure or a shape. It has emotions and feelings, it’s an entity that lives inside every individual. As a human-centric designer he wanted to showcase the distinguished characteristics of every personality in their purest form. In order to do so he used minimalism as the epicenter of his Spring/Summer 2023 collection. Adaptable bodysuits in natural shades were creating a nude effect which showcasing every model’s personality while giving the freedom of choice to the customers. Tailoring felt looser and more relaxed. The sleeves of a classic tuxedo were turned into a cape, and the trousers of an other look were embroidered with feather as a way to glamourise simplicity. Pierpaolo Piccioli’s vision tho isn’t just around a specific body type. To prioritise that, he choose to transform the clothes in such way that one piece of fabric will fit every body - as a strong symbol of every individual’s dominance over fashion. In the recent years, the industry unanimously declared Valentino’s creative director as the haute couture’s greatest colonist. What most of people might not know, is the fact that before conquer this title in fashion, Pierpaolo Piccioli had already mastered black and darkness as part of him. In a season full of blackness and so many similarities, the last looks of his collection worked as a solid proof of that. But also as a promise to us, that after the darkness, light always shines bright.