Phoebe Philo defined the wardrobe of a million women’s whilst at the helm of Celine, designing comfortable and fashionable clothes for women. Her departure has been lamented internationally, but interest had been mounting because, waiting in the wings, until this Paris Fashion Week, was Hedi Slimane. The purveyor of super slim, it is him that we can thank (or not!) for our passion for skinny jeans. On September 28, Slimane simply showcased a lot of Hedi Slimane; clothing for the cool, skinny kids and completely unlike Celine. Whilst change is often a good thing, it’s difficult to view this collection as anything other than Hedi at Saint Laurent or Hedi at Dior. But it certainly got people talking, which will undoubtedly lead to people buying.
Not all the new is negative, with Paris delivering in so many ways and demonstrating just why it is the capital of fashion. Virgil Abloh was another name that is STILL on everyone’s lips. At his own label, Off-White, Abloh took athleisure, which we can all recognise is nothing new to fashion, to the heights of haute couture by mixing ballgowns and sport. This sports based theme continued at Christian Dior, with Maria Grazia Chiuri concentrating on dancewear. From wide-necked leotards to flouncy, flamenco-esque skirts, the colours were more reserved than those seen at other shows, yet it was a fluid and elegant show, with clothes that exhibited a timeless energy.
Dior opened the season. This was closely followed by Gucci, who, for spring summer 2019, decamped to Paris from Milan as part of a three-part homage to France. Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s love letter to the country began with his pre-fall 2018 advertising campaign, which took inspiration from the 1968 marches and riots before going on to hold their cruise 2019 show in the town of Arles. Having viewed Dior’s more delicate shades earlier on in the day, Gucci was, by contrast, a riot of colour. Featured also, were plenty of broad, exaggerated shoulders, seen at the likes of Balenciaga and Chanel.
Whilst at Balenciaga this trend translated into extremely sharp, tailored long jackets, but at Chanel the edges were decidedly softer on the classic tweed jacket. As always, Chanel put on a show! This time, the Grand Palais was transformed into a beach, whilst models strutted barefoot along the sand. On seeing Chanel’s latest spectacle, I imagined Deauville, a lavish seaside resort in the south of France, which was a centre of fashion and high society a hundred years ago. Drawing inspiration from her surroundings, it was Deauville that gave Coco Chanel her first taste of the limelight. Now, alongside the tweed jackets, Chanel-emblazoned belts hung loosely around the model’s casual yet chic attire, and straw hats instantly transported you to the seaside. It was fresh, summery and oh-so Chanel.
Whilst leather and shades of black may sound distinctly lacking in the sunshine department, these trends did pop up frequently in the collections of designers such as Alexander McQueen, Hermes and Balenciaga. Combining the two together as accents alongside lemon yellow dresses and white lace, made them the perfect accompaniments at Alexander McQueen. At Hermes, white, brown and burgundy leather looked predictably chic.
By contrast, Chloe and Altuzarra were particularly sunny affairs. Chloe’s hippie style highlighted rope belts, fringed miniskirts and fringed flares as certainties to make it onto the high street next season. At Altuzarra, tiny cropped cardigans and cut-out shoulders in bright blue and white hues stood out as particularly wearable pieces. Blue was a mainstay of quite a few of the shows and highlights of these included Issey Miyake, whose decorative collection was stunning, and Dries Van Noten, from which my favourite piece was not blue but was the sunshine yellow plastic plumed bag!
Dries Van Noten
Dries Van Noten
However, it was at Clare Waight Keller’s Givenchy that all shades of this colour, and the rest of the collection, really stood out, with teals, powder blues and navy looking delicious. Gazing at each outfit, I couldn’t help but make a mental decision whether or not the Duchess of Sussex would wear this or that piece. Since marrying in May and wearing THAT wedding dress, Meghan Markle has worn Givenchy on a number of occasions, so there is little doubt that in the coming months that we will see her rocking some of the outfits on display here.
Whilst a stunning, long, fanned dress in navy would be red carpet perfect, having admired Markle in suits, black tailored trousers with a shoulder-baring tunic would look spectacular, if not far too utterly daring!
Images courtesy of Vogue.com
About Our Author: Katie Calvert's background is in fashion and textiles with a first class honours degree in Fashion Communication and Promotion and experience in trend, PR and events. She decided to take the plunge back into education in 2015 to complete a Master of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Using these newfound skills and her love of fashion and culture, Katie has been freelance writing for over a year.