Vogue CS in English

Paris Fashion Week puts the strong woman in the centre of creativity

I’m sorry Gen Z, Paris Fashion Week is all about grownups.
During Milan Fashion Week we noticed the rise of a new uniform for women, a new kind of utilization was spreading all over the Italian city under the form of style homogenization, a new direction that fashion brands followed towards a more simple and product-centered era. Bringing back the old luxury ways isn’t always a bad thing. Milan was always about Italian craftsmanship and style, Paris on the other side is a multicultural city having many designers from across the world. Multiple cultures are manifesting season after season, yet this time there was a kind of homophony as to how the fashion landscape is shaping itself. Paris’s biggest trademark in fashion is just a simple word, and that’s ‘’chic’’. A way to dress, talk and act in life, and that’s what fashion brands showcase the first three days of the fashion week.
The City of Light is all about elegance this season and that can have many sides, but this time every single fashion house is focusing on strong, independent and powerful women, dedicating their collections on how they could dress, only to succeed in their everyday lives. For the first time in the last years, we see a tremendous shift on where fashion is focusing its creativity and force. Generation Z is getting pushed aside this season and the attention is being given to grownups, as a way to reinforce a profit-increasing tactic and put back on the spotlight a group of people who can actually wear what the runway is showcasing. Sometimes being simple is not a bad thing, especially if that’s accompanied by interesting pieces, and that’s exactly what happened here.
Dior’s womenswear creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri dived into the brand’s history by getting inspired by women who wore Christian Dior’s clothes. His muses. Among them Catherine Dior, the couturier’s sister, Juliette Gréco, the Left Bank singer and actress who was famed for wearing the existentialist black, and iconic symbol of France, Edith Piaf. Her Fall/Winter 2023 was an overload of 50s that doesn’t bring back old Hollywood memories and cliché but relies on the principles of French culture in a new version of Dior's New Look. Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos created a colorful artwork that looked like a woman’s reproductive system and covered the entire show space in the Tuileries. In an almost black-and-white collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri infused her offering for the next season with total leopard looks, gingham patterns and Watteau florals, an abstract version creating a conflict to a very strict show.
Powerful and iconic women were in the spotlight during Anthony Vaccarello’s show for Saint Laurent. Before the show the brand posted videos of Catherine Deneuve in its Instagram account, Yves Saint Laurent’s longtime friend, muse and symbol of Parisian elegance and beauty. This type of friendship marked a whole era of creativity in fashion. The late founder of the house was always getting inspired from strong women and always creating for them. His goal was not just to empower them, but also to set them free from the stereotypes and the shackles that society forced on them. Unfortunately in the progressive society that we are living in, there are still some restraints when it comes to women and that’s exactly where Mr. Vaccarello steps in by giving them the opportunity to express themselves and feel proud of their accomplishments. Big shoulders in clothes always were a sign of power, a symbolization of women taking the power out of men’s hands only to manifest their own personalities and that’s exactly why the designer made the shoulders of his jackets even bigger only to amplify this message to the world. Drifting between 50s and 80s inside a black box under the Eiffel Tower he chose to recreate the ballroom of the InterContinental hotel where Mr. Saint Laurent used to hold his own haute couture shows. The models walked under the enormous chandeliers wearing sharp suits, huge scarves and sunglasses as a sign of attitude. The limited tailoring choices on this collection worked as a way of showing the importance of the clear line and the history of the house.
Balmain’s show also was about history and French style manifesting a series of Couture-to-Wear looks as a nod to Monsieur Balmain’s distinguished essence of elegance. Since the Spring/ Summer 2023 season, Olivier Rousteing took a dramatic turn in design and perception of what women want to wear now. After having an open show with Cher and youthful clothes, this time he chose to make it intimate in a show space with a total capacity of 220 people. His version of Balmain girl has grown up, only to become a fierce woman with a fine taste in sharp tailoring and effortless simplicity. The codes of the house this time were there more vividly like in any other show, like the spiral logo print, or the bows, the pearly polka-dots, and the essence of tailoring. Everything was old-school made but every piece was beautiful, bearing a significant amount of luxury.
An interesting game between the old and new is going on during this Paris Fashion Week. Dries Van Noten was there only to manifest it in his own unique way. The Belgian designer took the power jacket from men and put it on women’s shoulders alongside with the pinstripe suit (that’s becoming some sort of trend this season) and the masculine coats. This season Van Noted wants to remind women to re-wear their old clothes from a new perspective, and that’s why he staged his collection on a bigger and wider space in order for us to see the bigger picture. This time the designer put his signatures together in a different way and made us focus on the details like the golden foils on the clothes which was a metaphor of the light that shines after a dark period. A phenomenon that reflects all over Europe, exactly like how we were mirroring in front of the gigantic mirror which was covering the show space.