Perks of studying abroad in Paris: fashion week, fashion week, and fashion week. I was lucky enough to be where it all went down this year, so without further ado: my favorite shows at Paris Fashion Week 2018.
Natacha Ramsay-Levi gave us a Mediterranean hippie symphony that was warm, upbeat, flowy, and elegant. There were a lot of florals and patterns, but it never felt overwhelming or busy. Overall, there was an uncompromising balance between restraint and freedom. The slightly oversized pieces were paired with long and tailored lines to look easy, but not slouchy. Asymmetrical belts and textured layers furthered the seemingly effortless attitude.
2. Isabel Marant
This show was simply electrifying. A marriage between workwear and disco, the clothes made the models seem fun, youthful, genuine, and approachable. The silver and blue group really shined in a way that made the collection edgy yet unpretentious. What stood out here to me was how wearable and diverse the offerings were. From elegant evening wear to party dresses and oversized jackets approaching the realm of streetwear, they had it all. Oh, and the boots: phenomenal.
3. Saint Laurent
Reflection pool as runway and pale white palm trees on the side? I was surely having a déjà vu back to the good old surf sound LA days of Saint Laurent. It’s been some time since Hedi Slimane’s abrupt exit from Saint Laurent, but he has left such a mark on the brand that even today, it is nearly impossible to think of Saint Laurent without his name soon following. Fans of Slimane, myself included, are of course grateful for the continuation of the rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic with tall and slender designs. That being said, we must give credit where it is due to Anthony Vaccarello. Over the last couple of years, we saw his slow but diligent development at Saint Laurent, subtly but surely adding his own dark sensuality into the lookbooks. What stood out in this show were the impeccably crafted evening and leather jackets, giving the show ample adrenaline where others usually lack.
By far the most anticipated and controversial show at PFW this year, Celine saw the return of Hedi Slimane to fashion after a couple of quiet years. The show has been teased on Celine’s Instagram account since the beginning of September, generating a great amount of hype starting with the rebranding of Céline to Celine. Slimane’s fans (and I) ran around in circles when we heard our favorite designer was making a return, but was it worth the wait? Did his new pieces live up to some of his greatest designs like the Wyatt boots, SL sneakers, blood luster souvenir jacket, and the western belts? As much as it pains me to say this, no, they didn’t. It was without a doubt an excellent show with jaw-dropping lines on black dresses and black suits, but there lies the problem: it was too monochrome. To clarify, it was a great show, it just wasn’t Hedi great.
5. Haider Ackerman
This show was more or less what Hedi’s Celine should lean more towards. It’s unfussy, (slightly) more inclusive, with a great mixture of monochrome and pastel colors. After all, that was what Phoebe Philo’s decade at Celine was all about. More importantly, they were under clean-cut lines like Hedi’s Dior Homme. What’s significant here is the casual-sartorial integrity we’d like to see more of on the runway.
COVER PHOTO: Business of Fashion