The crescendo of fashion month was absolutely during Paris Fashion Week which presented some of the finest collections of the SS17 season full of empowerment and pulsing adrenaline. Of course all were eager to take part of this week’s offering due to the debuts of some of the world’s most renowned designers at established houses including Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior, Jarrar Bouchra at Lanvin and Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent. In some cases, the new direction fell short of anticipation while other designers flourished due to new found autonomy, such as Pierpaolo Piccoli now singlehandedly taking the reigns at Valentino. What made Paris so unique was that the majority of houses followed the beat of their own drum instead of hoping on the Vetements bandwagon, which was cringingly apparent in some cases in London and Milan. Female empowerment could not have been shown at a more appropriate time – in the wake of the vulgar comments by one certain presidential candidate- and was successfully portrayed by oversized shoulders, masculine styling, black leather, utilitarian jumpsuits with zippers and an architectural structure as opposed to flimsy summer dresses. While on one hand girl power was spelled across t-shirts at Dior, Celine and various other brands adopted a more refined approach – no need for in your face text to bring the message across. Although with a feminist intention Dior’s delicate silk applique dresses were no match for the subtle, elegant power dressing consistently delivered by Phoebe Philo (loved by the modern woman!).
In this story line of POWER we also witnessed excessive Punk references, most notably at Haider Ackerman and Junya Watanabe and a reemergence of ‘80s glam rock. Deconstruction, whether that includes slits or slashes, contributed to the “don’t you dare mess with me” vibe perfected by Nicholas Ghasquie at Louis Vuitton who did not hold back with the scissors.
Best in show was in my opinion Alexander McQueen and Rick Owens. Both very emotional and displayed some of the most impressive handiwork. McQueen interpreted female empowerment through women taking on the extraordinary force of the sea (interesting to note Erdem too was inspired by a shipwreck for his collection- we all are navigating through choppy waters to stay afloat no?) . Especially through the patent leather studded bustier – harsh, raw, tough – complimenting the romantic so ever-beautiful undertones, the collection was a powerful yet calming force winning over a volatile, queasy environment. I think that can sum up Paris to be honest and on that note after a four week period of globetrotting – the time has come to reflect, digest, and ponder on fashion’s future.