10 Trends From Paris Fashion Week You’ll Love

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6 min read

In the high church of fashion, no event is more holy than Paris Fashion Week. Send Milan and New York my apologies, as wonderful as those fashion capitals are, they just can’t compete with the birthplace of couture.

Each year the fashion gets bolder and more designers come out to play. This year, Chanel built an entire seaside, complete with water and lounge chairs to show off Karl Lagerfeld’s latest creations. Gucci made a special appearance in the Paris lineup (usually they show in Milan) as part of Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s Homage to Paris collection. And the creative duo Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh made their Nina Ricci debut.

Here are some of the hottest trends that graced the runways of Place Vendome, Palais de Tokyo and La Louvre.  

1. Gender blurring

The fashion world is traditionally divided into menswear shows in July and women’s fashion week in September. But more designers are sending men and women down the runway together in September. This could be because womenswear gets a lot more press, or as a cost saving strategy. But it could also be seen as something of an advancement in gender equality, or at least reflecting a broader shift in gender norms. This season Balenciaga, Céline, and numerous others hosted “co-ed” shows.

Genderless fashion isn’t just borrowing your boyfriend’s sweaters anymore. And while it isn’t exactly a new concept (think Zara’s TRF line), this season took it to a whole new level. 

Designer Yolanda Zobel, currently at Dries Van Noten, said her show was a statement against ‘binary stigmatisation’ in fashion.  At the Hérmes show, viewers were asked a question: “What if Corto Maltese had been a woman, Lord Jim a Lady, Penelope a man and Odysseus his wife?” 

Fashion has pushed beyond women in suits to men in dresses and blouses. 

Designers are more LGBTQI aware than ever. Transgender model, Krow, walked his first show for Louis Vuitton. Intersex woman, Hanne Gaby Odiele, walked for Margiela.  Some observers saw this as attention-seeking and distracting from the integrity of fashion, others applauded it as inclusive.

Maison Margiela
Zadig & Voltaire

2. Bulky blazers

Following on from the theme of gender blurring, blazers are in – even in Spring.  Stella McCartney created an assortment of linen suits while other designers stuck to more traditional fabrics.  Across all runways, bulky shoulders harking back to the 1980s were evident.  

And blazers were not just on the runway, they monopolized street fashion. Thanks to style-setting actress Blake Lively, colorful and patterned suits were seen on all the A-listers, marking them down as a hot ticket for autumn.

Stella McCartney
Celine

3.     Netting

This trend, also reminiscent of the ‘80s, was not only seen across runways in Paris, but also in London and New York.  The netting fit in perfectly with the seaside vibes from Thom Browne and Chanel’s venues.

Often the netting was layered over another garment, see Dior and JW Anderson. But some designers went for the transparent look, like Paco Robanne and Sonia Rykiel.  Both gave a laid back and sporty effect. The trend even extended to accessories with netted stockings and fisherman’s totes.

Dior
Sonia Rykiel

4.     Brands are big

There’s no humility here.  Designers this season were all about their brand. Chanel has always had an attachment to the interlocking ‘C’s, but it is now focusing on the entire name in its signature black and white.  Balenciaga showcased dainty name necklaces, (similar to the one I bought at the mall in the early 2000s, but about 50 times the price).

Chloe
Gucci

5.     Washed out denim

Often with an acidic wash, light colored denim made a statement on the Paris catwalks.  Stella McCartney did tie-dye denim jumpsuits and Isabel Marant even made a pair of light wash denim boots.

Jean jackets have been ‘in’ since the Hadid sisters and Kendal Jenner started paring them with track pants.  Now, in a lighter colour, they are part of a more sophisticated look when worn as a set with shorts or over dressy trousers. 

Balmain

6.     Bike shorts

You have seen Kim Kardashian in them and you have probably seen a little bit too much of your neighbour in them, but get ready to see bike shorts a lot more.  Perhaps leaning on the comfort of the athleisure movement and popularity of high-end sneakers, designers have embraced tight, knee-length shorts.

Apparently bike shorts can be paired with anything from a tank top to a blouse.  Off White presented a look that was all about the 21stcentury eco-conscious woman who bikes to work but also looks fabulous while presenting to clients.

The best way to wear bike shorts is with a monochrome look.  To dress them up, try a black blazer over your regular black bike shorts, or grab a colorful pair and find a matching T-shirt.

Off White
Stella McCartney

7.     Chain jewelry

Move aside Snoop Dogg, chain jewellery isn’t just for rappers anymore!  I was surprised that designers embraced the heavy trend for their spring/summer shows, but they pulled it off by either shrinking the size to make them appear dainty or paring the chains with pastel colors, like Chloé.

Alexander McQueen took a Game of Thrones-style approach, layering small chains on his models.  Balenciaga and Off White went for a chunkier look. Hérmes took a lighter approach to the style using oversized interlocking chains as clasps on otherwise simple pieces. 

Off White
Alexander McQueen

8.     Brushed back hair

No trend was more obvious this season than brushed back hair; it seemed to be in every show.  Some designers used more gel than others, going the completely wet look, such as Jason Wu. Perhaps designers embraced it so that show-goers would look at the clothes and not the hair – if so, sorry. It backfired.

John Pecis, hairdresser for Etro, told WWD that the effect was, of course, to make the hairstyle look effortless, but in reality, it wasn’t. He describes the process as brushing in volumizing mousse, then using a curling iron to give the hair some ‘carefree waves.’  Then to finish it off with the wet look he covered the top of the head with a finishing serum.

Chloe
Saint Laurent

9.     Bangs

If you were ever thinking of taking the plunge and getting bangs, now is the time to do it. Some wags even dubbed this season the ‘assembly line of bangs.’  Kendal, Gigi, and Kaia all showed off the trend on the catwalk.

We saw bangs in every shape and size.  Gucci showed off wavy, unkept bangs, while Saint Laurent models showed of straight and sleek locks.  Dries Van Noten models sported micro bangs while Givenchy girls contrasted with long bangs on a pageboy cut.

Dries Van Noten
Acne Studios

10.  Pocketed wide leg trousers

Ladies trousers have gotten a useful upgrade: pockets! For us short ladies, this is great news because high waisted loose trousers elongate the legs. Plus, they are more comfortable than normal workwear.

And a memo to teenage boys: cargo pants are finally in. Chloé made them out of linen and Dior out of denim.  Isabel Marant translated the idea to shorts.  At Gucci, they even tucked a blazer into trousers.

Hermes
Givenchy

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