Paris 3 SS20

By Jo Phillips

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Chanel

French fashion designer Virginie Viard’s SS20 presentation was inspired from Chanel’s childhood. After the unfortunate demise of her mother, Chanel was sent away to Aubazine in the remote French region of Corrèze where she spent most of her teenage years in a convent. Viard’s collection showcased this childhood significance. From Claudine-collared coats to the iconic white-sock-black-shoe combination, the lineup for the collection appeared like a trained beeline of students dressed to perfection. The stone floors of the convent inspired the pastel, cream, white and black color palette that dominated the pieces. Woven-and-sequined fabric were inspired from the stained-glass patterns on the windows. Viard also managed to evoke a lightness in the outfits by adding subtle details like embroidering butterflies made of feathers on the skirts. Gigi Hadid finished the show, wearing an unbuttoned dress hinged to the upper thigh.

Hermes

A brilliant leather craftsmanship and attention to detail, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski seamlessly blent the signature style of Hermes with minimal Parisian themes. Leather was the most dominant fabric, appearing in the majority of its styles. Saddle-stitched patchworks and apron top paired with elegant trousers for women who dress for business were some of the highlights noted from the runway show. With olive cargos with co-ord jackets, Nadège successfully integrated the inventive idea of modernism with their designs without letting any of the elements overpower the design.

Givenchy

During a season of artistic designs and creativity, Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller for the brand found beauty in denim. In a collection of slim fitted jackets, defined by elongated designs, it was the incorporation of denim pairing that made a mark. Utility flats worn with the dresses made for an interesting way to balance Givenchy’s almost no jewels approach. Then there were holey jeans and silk plissé that pulled together a polished look floral dresses and black leather pencil skirt. It was a reminder that a simple reflection can often be the only masterpiece that needs to be created.

Altuzarra

Joseph Altuzarra knows exactly what he wants to put out – and what his clientele expects him to create. Inspired by the silhouette from the 1970s, polka-dot silk scarves and poplin shirts were undoubtedly on-brand. The most noteworthy outfit? Dresses patchworked from the fabric of striped silk tie!

Comme Des Garcons

During a week of fine tailoring and aesthetic contemporary looks, Comme Des Garcons actually managed to take a walk on the wild side of fashion. Japanese fashion designer and founder of Comme Des Garcons staged her Paris SS20 around the bold and colorful themes of European culture. And as only Comme Des Garcons could, Rei Kawakubo managed to make the macédoine details of laces, satin and silk pieces both simple and exotic. The collection was itself a slightly bold move for the brand. While there were inspirations from the 17th century and mismatch shapes of fabric torn and sewn – there was no better way for the brand to express that the Comme Des Garcons women is getting fierce.

Vivienne Westwood

Amidst the rage for sustainability, Vivienne Westwood dropped a fiesta of ethical fashion, and designs made from reused fabric – making us all want to go green with apparel shopping. The dramatic layering of sartorial pieces was masterfully enhancing the graphics on tees from the 70s. From the dramatic silhouettes to bringing back the Westwood shoe, silky slip fabrics with vibrant allure, Vivienne mastered the technique of producing a luxury collection from fabric that is recycled but doesn’t interfere with the quality or appearance of any of the items.

Alexander McQueen

Contemporary style is nice, but Alexander McQueen is skipping right into vintage with Victorian embroideries and motifs inspired from endangered flowers. Complimenting her runway show was a string orchestra directed by Isobel Waller-Bridge, the unique theme acts as signature for anything under her name. In Northern Ireland, Burton, McQueen’s team struck gold when they discovered the oldest linen manufacturer. The beater effect on the fabric from those machines immediately caught the label’s attention and ended up serenading the first few designs on the show.

Sacai

Chitose Abe’s Sacai show was aimed to bring together people, emotions or anything that mankind has scattered on its way to the top but now needs to be restored back to the way it was. The Funkadelic record cover T-shirt was proof enough. With an asymmetrical silhouette, Abe imagined the fabric as a canvas for her geometric ideas. The show opened with a series of designs carrying rather vibrant colours than the pieces they ended with. She also added some personalised tweeks like added volume in the jackets, liberating the concept of default measurements in her showcase.

Paco Rabanne

This season, Julien Dossena, the 36-year-old creative director of Paco Rabanne found his muse in a giant red heart, a design that repeated throughout the showcase. “To me, it’s about a kind of strength. Being proud of being nice and kind. It’s something that I value now,” said Dossena. “I don’t know if that makes sense visually, but it’s what I’ve been thinking about.” A rockstar, grungy, vintage color palette balanced the flower-power that briefly popped up. Puffed-sleeve lamé blouses, fluted shorts, mod pants suits, the variety in the collection was another captivating element.

Marine Serre

Fast becoming a favourite for many, Marine Serre’s latest collection titled Marée Noire (meaning oil spill in English) the designer did not disappoint with smooth-running all black color palette along with a apocalypse-ish theme for the runway show. From reprocessed plastic that was used to make raincoats to the reusable water containers, the intriguing collection added up with the final presentation. Marine Serre doesn’t use a lot of black in her designs but it provided the essential for the tone of death. Made with extreme terrain in mind, lace slips, white dresses and exquisite leather tailoring added elegance and strength to the overall outfits.

Stella McCartney

Known for her love of sexy femininity and sustainable fashion initiatives, Stella McCartney delivered another glam Paris-perfect collection which this time played with shapes and tones to support environmental causes. The standout in her designs was the use of circles to represent earth and using its outline to make the outfits. Lightweight power suits like the Caramel blazer have relaxed silhouettes, making way for the collection to enter the everyday wear market without any bumps. Besides the beige highlights and striped patterns, the showcase also flashed some of her vibrant designs like floral printed dresses.

Rokh

Besides being the runner up for the LVMH Prize in 2018, he has merged plaids, patchwork and slit hemmed trousers giving a 90’s feel to the collection. With a mix of stripped and bold patterns creating some stand out textiles.

A slice of Green P23