Fashion Week: women who dare



Paris Fashion Week ran from September 27 to October 5 with a frenetic schedule of shows presenting Spring/Summer 2017 collections. Loewe, Christian Dior, Céline, Givenchy, Kenzo and Louis Vuitton all unveiled striking looks for next season.

© Manuel Braun

Inspired by contemporary art, the  Loewe collection designed by Jonathan Anderson was eclectic and poetic, playing off natural colors and materials from ceramics, leather, linen and nylon, to burlap and jersey. The textures revealed exquisite craftsmanship, including patchwork and prints. There were infinite artisanal details such as flowing, fringed dresses in a raw, work-in-progress spirit. Loewe’s Creative Director has an innate sense of balance, emphasizing the waist while giving volume to shoulders. The radical and resolutely contemporary collection was embellished with accessories such as gilded arum lilies in large sculptural bracelets.

© DR / Christian Dior Couture

The first woman to hold the creative reins at Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri ushered the House into a new era, redefining its codes. With its strong feminist message, the collection will seduce modern women and connects especially with younger Millennials, who recognize themselves in the contemporary voice of the new creative director. The collection was a study in contrasts as sport fencing jackets were joined by ballet-inspired dresses with embroidered tulle and a lingerie spirit. Even as she introduces new codes to Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri at the same time connects with the past, reprising the iconic bee symbol in a nod to Christian Dior. The new “Dio(r)evolution” proclaims that “We should all be feminists” with a black and white wardrobe, set off by a touch of red for a woman as confident as she is delicate…a woman with both a mind and a heart.

At Céline, Phoebe Philo fused fashion and art with a set designed by her longtime friend, artist Dan Graham. The show began to a soundtrack of tumultuous city traffic against the backdrop of metal mesh and reflective glass. This season’s Céline woman is inscrutable, juxtaposing transparency and contouring, as well as unusual proportions that sharpen the silhouettes. Immaculate long dresses are accentuated by a blue print that references Yves Klein’s Anthropometry series. Jackets were outsized, as were new must-have leather goods.

© Monica Feudi

Presented at night on an open-air mirrored runway in the Jardin des Plantes, Riccardo Tisci’s collection for Givenchy explores the themes of nature and the strength of spirituality. The show opened with slipdresses in vividly psychedelic mandala prints, followed by slender close-fitting dresses with floral motifs and rich colors. Giant glass jewels added relief to somber suits with zipper details. With her Josephine Baker hairstyling, the Givenchy woman is sensual, sexy and confident.

© DR / Kenzo

Humberto Leon and Carol Lim sent out a spectacular Kenzo show at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine museum, replete with living sculptures, a rough stone floor and an electric ambiance. The two Creative Directors paid a vibrant tribute to famed 80s fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. The collection plays on a juxtaposition of materials including denim, vinyl, lamé and rubber. The Kenzo wardrobe includes body-hugging dresses, tracksuits and graphic t-shirts for a sophisticated and attractive urban woman who is perfectly at home in her time.

LOUIS VUITTON Women Collection Spring-Summer 2017 © Louis Vuitton Malletier – All rights reserved

Nicolas Ghesquière chose the site of the future Louis Vuitton store at Place Vendôme to show his latest  Louis Vuitton collection, not far from the site of the Maison’s first store in 1854. Dominant metallic gold and black create a dialogue of stylish transparency and bold cuts. There was a strong accent on tailoring, albeit with deconstructed suits, along with well-defined shoulder lines. Prints flirted with iridescent metallic effects, giving the Vuitton woman a futuristic warrior spirit.