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Fashion Week Highlights: Paris & Milan

Milan Fashion Week

Create & Develop might already have explored September’s fashion news, but, without a doubt, Jennifer Lopez was the biggest fashion news of the month. Creating quite a stir when she sashayed onto the Versace catwalk in a similar, and possibly more revealing, version of the ‘(in)famous’ green, silk chiffon dress she wore almost two decades ago to the Grammy’s, J Lo looked better than ever. The scene was set for the big surprise when a Google image search field flashed onto a screen with the command, “Okay Google, show me the Versace jungle dress,” followed by images of the original look from 2000. This created the excitement that an updated version would be appearing on the catwalk, when the next command was “Okay Google, show me the real Versace jungle dress”. But I doubt many would have thought that Lopez would, actually, appear to bring history to life. Fun fashion fact: the original version became Google’s most popular search query ever seen at the time, leading to the invention of Google Images.

Gucci made headlines for very different reasons, when one of its models staged a mental health protest against the brand’s take on straightjackets. Model Ayesha Tan Jones held up their hands with the words “mental health is not fashion,” stating on their Instagram that they considered Gucci’s designs to be hurtful and insensitive. Creative Director Alessandro Michele said that the show had been about “humanity and uniforms,” and that the straightjacket was “the highest type of uniform.”

From two high-profile, high-octane shows to a simpler format designed to be about clothes and not fashion one-hit wonders. Rather than showcasing pieces that generate instant headlines; think flame shirts and big padded headbands; Prada stripped back its show to something with more simplicity. Detail was key, with embroidered leather skirts and skinny cables being the order of the day. Alongside this show being its first to go fur-free, Prada has set the tone for where fashion ought to be heading. From a woman so used to being at the very top of fashion, it was a bold thing for Miuccia Prada to state that “the person should be more important than the clothes.”

Paris Fashion Week

At Paris Fashion Week, one fashion designer taking care of his health is Virgil Abloh. The most popular designer of the moment recently announced, under doctor’s orders, the cancellation of all his engagements, which included his Off-White show. Having been told by his doctor that he’s been pushing his body too far, “to fly all these miles, do all these different projects – is not good for your health,” his absence did little to put attendees off. Although undeniably loved by the youth of fashion, this show had a maturity about it, not just in the clothes, but in the models that walked his show.

Attendees to Dries Van Noten fashion show were graced not only by the designer himself, but by another famous designer, not seen at fashion week for over a decade. Having watched a show comprising of a few giveaway Christian Lacroix trademarks; a large black feather in the models hair; both men appeared at the end of the show to take a bow together. A closely guarded secret, the designers had spent the last five months working together.

From one very welcome attendee to another most unwanted visitor, Chanel hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Only 7 months on from Lagerfeld’s passing, Virignie Viard continued the Lagerfeld spectacular with a show set above Parisian rooftops. Despite stunning designs, it was the high drama of a gate crasher and model Gigi Hadid’s ‘oh-so-cool’ demeanour in removing said gate crasher that caught everyone’s attention. The prankster, YouTube comedian Marie Benoliel, blended so well into the show wearing a monochrome tweed suit, that it appeared Chanel’s security had difficulty in identifying her, and it fell to Hadid to swiftly deal with the situation.

Known for her passionate politics on feminism, Christian Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, transferred this passion to nature. In collaboration with environmental design collective Coloco, and taking inspiration from Christian Dior’s love of gardens, Chiuri set out a temporary grove of 164 trees, which will then be planted in projects around Paris. Along with Greta Thunberg-inspired plaits, it made for quite a thought-provoking start to the week.

It was Issey Miyake, however, who delivered that most fantastical of fashion shows. With the use of a pulley system, dresses floated down onto models, clothing them in one swift move. And then the fun started! As music blared out, the models jumped up and down to show off the bouncy nature of the creations, whilst other models appeared to twirl on one foot. Issey Miyake is known for its innovation in design, but here they created something mesmerising on the catwalk. Here’s to the anticipation of what next season brings.

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.

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