Dear Shaded Viewers,
Structure was the key message during Paris Fashion Week, as well as a return to substantial, grown-up dressing. It seems that the tyranny of sportswear and compulsory youth is on its way out, letting us appreciate the beauty and timelessness of impeccably crafted clothes. How do you move away from baggy hoodies, chunky sneakers and shapeless tracksuits? Designers embraced tailoring, strength and structure, as well as a precise silhouette. This season, Paris was obsessed with the shoulder, evoking the 1940s and the 1980s. It started with Anthony Vaccarello’s collection at Saint Laurent and continued with Givenchy and Balenciaga. Demna Gvasalia showed striking outerwear, which looked streamlined and innovative. Celine’s Hedi Slimane stole the show with his sharp tailoring and stylish separates, evoking the French brand’s heyday in the late 1970s. The attitude was cool, confident and very Parisian, making it one of the highlights of the week. By favoring menswear fabrics, such as tweed, corduroy, flannel, felt and pinstripe wool, many designers revamped the idea of bourgeois style, which can be read as the antithesis of sportswear. What feels out of touch now is loud, over-embellished clothes, as well as anything that is too contrived or tries too hard. If this was a nice season to focus on real garments, pragmatism does nevertheless not exclude romance. Leave it to Dries Van Noten to come up with the perfect compromise between dreams and reality, mixing impeccable suiting and coats with prints of his own flowers, photographed in his private garden. The most emotional -and historic- show of the week was Chanel, where guests got to admire Karl Lagerfeld’s last creations for the House. The serene chalet setting complemented the clothes perfectly, which again underlined the appeal of tailoring and menswear-inspired styles. Chanel was never about trends, and Lagerfeld himself knew how to reinterpret the codes of the House with irony and flair. His spirit could be felt in the room, which gave this show a deep and meaningful resonance.