Everything going down at Paris Fashion Week!

Starring Dior, Saint Laurent, Isabel Marant, Loewe, Balenciaga, Hermès, Givenchy, Vivienne Westwood, Maison Margiela, Stella McCartney, Chanel, Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton. Whew.

7.00pm, October 5th
7.00pm October 5th
2.00pm, October 5th
2.00pm October 5th
10.30am, October 5th
10.30am October 5th
2.30pm, October 4th
2.30pm October 4th
10.00am, October 4th
10.00am October 4th
8.00pm, October 2nd
8.00pm October 2nd
2.30pm, October 2nd
2.30pm October 2nd

Hermès SS22: refined comfort is king

Holiday-goers have dusted off their passports over the last few months and creative director Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski couldn’t be happier about it. This season, she transported us to an airport for an ode to the freedom of travel. Bon voyage.

This season, Hermès’ creative director Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski took show-goers to a different kind of runway for her SS22 collection – Le Bourget airport hangar, on the outskirts of Paris, to be exact.

Models came down the catwalk against a backdrop of paintings by French artist Flora Moscovici, which were specially commissioned for the occasion. A warm orange to grey gradient, they evoked balmy Mediterranean sunsets and played on Hermès’ signature colour codes, setting the scene for a collection that struck a perfect balance between refined utility and dressed-down sexiness.

Unconstricted, leather-panelled day dresses gave way to black ensembles with harsher, simple-yet-effective silhouettes. A square-necked, leather playsuit adorned with metallic studs were fit for a woman seeking sartorial comfort and luxury in equal measure, as did a halter-neck bustier top with a ruched matching skirt and a luxurious suede trench coat. All of these pieces, of course, harked back to Hermès’ equestrian heritage.

A selection of terracotta pieces followed, as Vanhee-Cybulski’s penchant for stripped down minimalism came into sharper focus via loose-fitting trousers with cinched waists, structured bralettes and bomber jackets. Bursts of summery honey yellow made an appearance, too: a three-piece racer front top, high-waisted wrap skirt and sumptuous matching coat stood-out, making for seriously hot holiday gear.

As the colour palette further shifted towards crisp white knits, classic Hermès belts and monochrome jumpsuits, Vanhee-Cybulski’s knack for craftsmanship came full circle. An ode to the freedom of travel and a welcome respite from fit-to-fly testing mania, the SS22 show felt like taking a much-needed trip for all attendees. Fittingly, the designer took her post-show bow as a jet landed behind her in the distance.

3.00pm, October 2nd
3.00pm October 2nd

Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood SS22

Break-a-neck fashion was a thing of the past for Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’s SS22 collection. Rather, the creative director was in a state of comfy – clothes to move in, do the splits, the worm… while in keeping with the brand’s stellar theatricalities.

Presenting in Paris on Saturday, the ever sustainably-minded Kronthaler used leftover fabrics and hand knits from torn georgette in pieces balancing soft and sexy, in the search for a new beginning”. Pieces were achingly art school, experimental in their construction and styling. A transparent dress was worn with a cotton polo shirt, and a white organza hood extending down over the breasts and worn like a bra.

Billowing, roomy looks came with double-breasted closures and worn as dresses, while actual dresses were made from soft shawls. In keeping with Kronthaler’s quest for comfort, a nehru coat pyjama suit was presented in crushed raspberry damask. At the end of the press notes, a quote by theatre and film director Peter Brook reads: Theatre is a search for an expression that is directly concerned with the quality of living and, in that search, one can find great purpose.” Amongst the sex and seduction of this collection lies Kronthaler’s mission to reach new methods of expression: wearable, comfortable and, always, sexy.

8.30pm, October 1st
8.30pm October 1st
11.30am, October 1st
11.30am October 1st
8.00pm, September 30th
8.00pm September 30th
7.30pm, September 28th
7.30pm September 28th

Saint Laurent SS22: an all killer, knife-edge affair

Angular cuts! Meticulous craft! Austere lines! The influence of Paloma Picasso makes for a deadly, razor-sharp collection by Anthony Vaccarello.

Paloma Picasso has a penchant for red: red coats, red gloves, red bags, red lips. Even her eponymous eau du parfum, released in 1984 and now discontinued, was sealed in a bright red box. Her style is superbly angular: boxy shapes, colour blocking, asymmetric cuts strikingly evocative of her father’s paintings (artist Pablo, in case you hadn’t figured that out). During her years as a jet-setting It Girl throughout the 1970s and​’80s, she was the magnet of the party – or so the story goes.

Saint Laurent’s red-hot SS22 collection, presented last night at the Eiffel Tower, was a celebration of Paloma Picasso, an outcome of YSL co-founder, the late Pierre Bergé’s, many stories of working alongside Yves.

We were invited to a friend’s house who was throwing a party,” Bergé once said.​“At one point, I no longer spot Yves. I look for him and find him with a young unknown girl. She had wedge heels, a turban on her head and things she had tinkered into clothes. It was Paloma Picasso.”

A little-known story, it was turned into a tribute of independent spirit for creative director Anthony Vaccarello’s sexiest collection yet. It’d be lazy to turn to the Studio 54 references. There were disco dancefloor cues a‑plenty, yes. But this was a collection of freedom, high-octane energy and emancipation. Subversive seduction with a killer knife-edge.

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The show kicked off in eerie silence, with just the clacking of the first model’s heels heard across the outdoor area blackened by the night sky with spotlights cast over the white floor. Then came the violins and the first look of a razor-sharp SS22: a dramatic, plunging evening gown in crisp white paired with chunky platforms, gold accessories and a deep red lip. Paloma check one.

From there, it went from strength to strength: viper domination in skin-tight disco pants with a bandaged top; a grey checkered suit, again, with skinny bottoms. Silhouettes followed a similar structure, with a boxy top finished with high, sharp shoulders and elongated legs. The occasional glimmer of​’70s hedonism came by way of flared trousers or jumpsuits, often artfully cut, sensually revealing skin in the mid-section. Speaking of, vinyl envelope purses were saucily stuffed into the waists of jeans, revealed only by the top half poking out.

The body was the ultimate weapon. Whether it was the models appearing even more nonchalant than has become expected of a Saint Laurent show (icily cool), or the striking balance of masculine cuts with smoky glamour, SS22 used the lines of the body to serious effect. Hair slicked, blood red gloves slipped on, the collection only became more deadly.

2.30pm, September 28th
2.30pm September 28th

Dior’s subtle fighting spirit for SS22

Maria Grazia Chiuri delivers a refined take on workwear, comfort and optimism.

When Maria Grazia Chiuri became the first woman to lead Dior’s creative in the house’s 75-year history, she intended to make a statement.

Her past collections have, literally, had her heart written on a sleeve (or chest, whatever). T‑shirts have been emblazoned with​“we should all be feminists” or​“why have there been no great women artists?” (taken from a 1971 essay by American art historian Linda Nochlin). She was also behind Cara Delevigne’s hilarious MET Gala look earlier this month: a bullet-proof Dior vest with​“peg the patriarchy” written in the centre.

Yet yesterday’s collection felt like Chirui’s clearest message yet. There were no slogans, no questions and, indeed, no need. Opening Paris Fashion Week, Dior presented a show of mammoth scale. This season, as teased by an Instagram post or two, the creative director reached out to little-known veteran artist Anna Paparatti – a key figure in Rome’s 1960s art scene – to build a set that resembled a board game, geometric in its construction and painted in bright, bold hues. Opening with the shimmer of a disco ball and an Italian singer belting it out in the centre of the multicoloured stage, it felt like a suitably Roman tribute to optimism.

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Digging into Dior’s archive, it seemed Chiuri took notes from former creative director Marc Bohan’s Slim Look of the early​’60s, drafting in key elements such as uber-tailored workwear, double-breasted suit jackets and mini skirts in black, as well as vibrant green, orange and pink. Meanwhile, slick shift dresses belted at the waist added shape and pleated knee-length skirts were worn with blouses tucked into the high waist.

The subtlety of Chuiri’s messaging was the real bonus in a collection where cuts were deeply sophisticated, interchangeable between the office and after-hours, and fitting the body to epic proportion. Pockets were added throughout (a scarcity in womenswear). And comfort came in flat shoes, either knee-high patent boots, strappy sandals or ballet pumps.

There was a fighting spirit too. Amongst the pop-art palette was multiple interpretations of a boxing uniform worn in the ring: silky shorts, light jacket and matching bra. There was a utilitarian, stone-washed parka, sandy cargo trousers with pockets lining the side and quilted detailing on a short-sleeved jacket.

Towards the end of the show, as the music gathered momentum, the looks reached their upbeat summit: optimism in sequin embellishments, joy in vibrant colour blocking, ease in the flow of sheer gowns. This collection felt like Chirui’s most refined yet and it didn’t rely on heavy messaging. Rather, its strength came from the subtlety of stellar tailoring, impactful palettes and considerate details.

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