In the last leg of their sartorial globe-trotting tour, the style set have officially descended on Paris for the enviable last stop of fashion month: Paris Fashion Week.
Just when we thought we had our fill of Fall/Winter 2023 fashion, the Parisian ateliers are working overtime to deliver a healthy serving of new season inspiration that is just as covetable as it is aesthetically pleasing.
And honestly, we couldn’t think of a better time for these collections to be shown.
With the start of fashion week also coinciding with the end of winter, we’ve never been more envious of the style savants who are taking to the front row in ankle-grazing trench coats and slouchy bombers.
We may have a while to wait before winter officially arrives, but it’s proving the perfect opportunity to curate our cool-weather mood board and expertly compile the looks we’re plucking from the runway and taking straight to the streets.
But if you think PFW is just an excuse to daydream about the ensembles we’ll be putting together as soon as these styles hit the store floor, you’d be dead wrong.
It’s also about attending star-studded soirées and galivanting around Paris à la Carrie Bradshaw (save for falling in Dior) to ensure we’re up to date with the latest and greatest happenings in the world of fashion.
And with countless designers showing this week, it’s not hard to miss some of the most jaw-dropping moments—despite how much you’re lurking on social media and living vicariously through the style set.
Thankfully, we’ve compiled your definitive know-how guide to what’s happened this week, including the most unmissable moments of note.
Dior Looks To Three Stylish Women From The 1950s For Sartorial Inspiration
Did Dior really just make the 1950s era of dressing covetable? Indeed, Maria Grazia Chiuri gave it her best efforts.
While most of us romanticise the voluminous silhouettes of the 1950s through a feminist lens, Dior is rather deconstructing the era’s architypes for a modern age.
Namely, by recontextualising the wardrobes of iconic French women from the period: Catherine Dior, Edith Piaf and Juliette Gréco. Some of the pieces may have bordered on austere, but it’s this banality which has proven so stylish this season.
Women, especially fashion-forward women, don’t want gimmicks or frills or fuss. They want chic, elegant and glamour, which exactly what Dior delivered a healthy serving of. Time to stock up on your future heirlooms.
Saint Laurent Continues Their Exploration Of 80s Glamour
It’s an undeniable fact that Saint Laurent has the monopoly on chic, 80s inspired silhouettes that have gotten the tick of approval from the celebrity style set season after season.
For FW/23, Anthony Vaccarello has explored this period through the viewpoint of the glitzy, dolled-up corporate women of the decade. Think: Joan Collins’ glamour-drenched statement shoulder ensembles from Dynasty or the pussy-bow blouses from 9 to 5.
We are well in truly in the era of women crying out for sleek, logo-less and minimalistic garms that can elevate any ensemble and suit both the corporate setting as well as any casual environment, and here Vaccarello has struck the perfect balance.
There’s pinstripe blazers with school uniform-esque shoulder pads in spades, which when styled correctly could even be worn over your Pilates one piece with a trucker hat to Sunday brunch à la Hailey Bieber. Prep staples like the tartan and Prince of Wales check also show up on capes and blouses.
But the real pièce de résistance comes in Saint Laurent’s ability to balance sex with sensibility, with sheer camisoles and drooping necklines delivering a playful element to this otherwise serious collection.
Chanel’s Fall Collection Focused On The House’s Connection To The Camellia
When you think of Chanel, few tropes call to mind. The alluring scent of a No.5 bottle, the feeling of a crisp tweed suit washing across your skin, and, of course, the blooming camellia—Coco Chanel’s favourite flower.
For Fall, Virginie Viard opted to explore the mystique and beauty of the camellia; it’s enchanting nature, it’s captivating beauty and enduring symbol of strength and grace.
Given the fact camellias were adorned, applied or embroidered onto every ensemble presented on the runway, you may have expected this collection to be the maison’s Spring offering, but as Chanel is proving, this fall flower is even better in bloom during the cooler months.
Louis Vuitton Explores The Anatomy Of French Girl Style
Is it a redux or a renaissance? Either way, after years of the style set making the Scandi-girl the aesthetic to covet, Louis Vuitton is proving once again why the French girl reigns supreme. Here, Nicolas Ghesquière playfully explores the codes of what makes something innately French.
And as it turns out, it’s nothing to do with hue of red you choose for your lips or how sensual you try to make your hair, it’s everything to do with your clothing.
So, to take a page from Ghesquière’s book, in order to be French you should look to follow these three cardinal rules: don’t overlook layering, try for perfect tailoring and attitude is always everything. Always.
Heliot Emil Sent A Literally Burning Man Down The Runway
We know we all agreed that we were done with gimmicks, but there is something so perfectly unhinged about Heliot Emil sending a man on fire down the runway. Yes, you read that correctly, a literal burning man.
They may be showing Fall/Winter but the brand is bringing the heat. Puns aside, the Copenhagen-based brand certainly made a spark (ok now we’re done).
Loewe Breathes Life Into Poetry In Motion
Loewe continues to be the moment. For their FW/23 collection, the brand literally takes flight by breathing new meaning into the poetry of motion. Movement, fluidity and form are at the centre of this idealistic collection which plays into the tropes of silhouette—where does one piece start and the next end.
The collection’s pièce de résistance was the trompe-l’œil dresses that were printed with other wardrobe essentials like a double breasted trench. Pieces were fresh, uncontrived (albeit clearly tongue-in-cheek) and oh-so covetable.
Coperni Brings A 55,000-Year-Old Metorite, A 74-Year Old Fable And 5 Robodogs To The Runway
Pushing the boundaries between fashion as art and fashion as performance art, Coperni opted to explore the relationship between fashion and technology through a theatrical show that made us question the place of virality and spectacle in fashion.
Aside from the clothing—which certainly took a backseat to some of the collection presentation’s more notable moments—Coperni brought out a serise of Robodogs onto the runway to proverbially stalk and serve the supermodel set.
Elsewhere, the brand made a metorite version of their viral Swipe Bag literally carved from the 55,000 space rock. Major.
Balenciaga Returns To The Runway For Their First Show Since The Scandal
“Fashion has become a kind of entertainment, but often that part overshadows the essence of it, which lays in shapes and volumes, silhouettes, the way we create relationships between body and fabric,” explains creative director Demna in a press note situated on the seats at their first show since their scandal.
For Demna’s return to the runway after the fallout that followed a series of controversial campaigns, we knew that the collection to come would’ve been a blank canvas. And as Demna revealed, the new direction of Balenciaga isn’t one that will rely on shock and spectacle but rather one that the Balenciaga house was rooted on: craftsmanship before everything else.
The collection was still innately Demna, with oversized silhouettes and cerebral eveningwear, but it begs asking the question: is this vision still innately Balenciaga?
Stella McCartney Took The Style Set To Fashion’s Rodeo
Daryl Braithwaite’s ‘The Horses’ may have Australia in a chokehold after Harry Styles ubiquitously claimed it as his anthem for his Australian leg of ‘Love On Tour’, but Stella McCartney is giving the international style set another reason to be fixated on the equine-aesthetic.
The fashion maven has long been a pioneer of vegan alternative to animal materials, and it was in a horse stable in Paris that Stella made her latest political statement about the place of animals in the fashion industry.
“There is so much leather, fur and feathers on these runways, particularly in winter. I just wanted to show that you could show animals in a different way,” said the fashion maven, touching on her decision to show a herd of horses on the runway to accompany her equestrian inspired collection.
Many questioned Stella’s intention to include the galloping horses in her collection if the point she was trying to make was about the commodification and slaughtering of animals, but as she explained herself: “The difference is that these animals are alive and my clothes haven’t killed anything.”
Of course, we couldn’t help but notice how apt the timing was to present a horse-inspired collection. It was only last week that Gen-Z was introduced to Stella’s iconic horse-adorned trousers from her 2001 Spring/Summer collection from her tenure at Chloé via pop-sensation Olivia Rodrigo wearing the trousers to the Billboard Women In Music Awards.
This may be the modern answer to the beloved vintage pieces, but it’s further proof that Stella has and always will be the voice of a generation.
Vivienne Westwood’s Granddaughter Cora Corré Closes The Late-Designer’s First Posthumous Collection
As any fashion fanatic would know, the role of the ‘bride’ in the closing of a fashion show is one of the biggest honours a model can be bestowed. So, for the first collection from Vivienne Westwood’s eponymous label since her tragic passing in late 2022, the house looked no further than the pioneering icon’s granddaugther Cora Corré.
The star closed the show arm-in-arm with her step-grandfather Andreas Kronthaler, who has been designing for the brand since 2006. Accompanying the show was a personal letter penned by Kronthaler to Vivienne on personal letter head, lamenting on their love and Vivienne’s legacy.
“Having you on my ap is everything I would want now, and caressing your face with my nose,” he wrote. “What happened was what I needed. You have been my reason and what I have done, I have done for you.”
Of course, the ensemble was the innately punk, unconventionally bridal white you’d expect from Vivienne. Always the rockstar, the design featured knee-high flatform boots and a lace boat-neckline playsuit. “Maybe the most important thing you ever taught me was to put the woman on a pedestal,” Kronthaler also wrote. And it’s clear by this presentation that Corré is taking up Westwood’s mantle and firm in her place on the world’s pedestal.
Zimmermann’s Romantic Collection Is The Palatte Cleanser We All Needed
If you were part of the 19th Century intelligentsia, no trip to Paris would be complete without a walk in the park. It was this notion of idyllic mise-en-scène à la Georges Seurat’s ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte’ that Zimmermann explored upon their return to Paris for their FW/23 collection.
Zimmermann’s classic romantic silhouettes find new form through the lens of Australian artist Rupert Bunny, with the brand’s volumous proportions and elegant eveningwear rooted in their dedication to appliqué detailing and glamourous shapes. Simply put: the collection was bucolic beauty.
The Victorian-esque silhouettes were paired back with classic French girl staples like a scrumptious chocolate leather jacket, oversized pinstripe blazers and the perfect high-waisted jeans.
But for fashion girlies, the collection’s pièce de résistance came in the form of the Carrie Bradshaw-approved oversized rosette boutonniere. A triumphant sophomore season indeed.