Paris fashion week weekly began the end of fashion month for 2017 spring and summer collections. With successful risks by both new and mature designers, fashion’s oldest capital is looking brand new.
Asusual, athleisure manages to stay prominent this season. The level of comfort and functionality sportswear brings has taken it from being a passing fad into a lifestyle for some. Although becoming popular in 2014, brands such as Fenty x Puma, Fendi, and Vetements have reinvented the look for spring 2017, making sports luxe more daring and over-the-top than ever.
Rihanna combined a French icon with the trend, noting Marie Antoinette as a major inspiration for her collection. Styling corsets with sweatpants and slip dresses with hoodies, this brought a satisfying romantic twist to the brand.
Other luxury brands have embraced sportswear as well. The experimental Demna Gvsalia playfully incorporated spandex for Balenciaga. Paco Rabanne successfully mixed futuristic wear with tennis skirts and yoga pants.
Even Olivier Rousteing, creative director of Balmain, opted for more comfortable wear, clearing out his designs of the embroidered crystals and beading that was synonymous with the brand for so long.
Those staples were switched out for cutout tops, snake print and surprise, surprise: sporty shorts, tights, leggings and bra tops. This collection was described as “sexy sportswear.” If Balmain is willing to change their signature look, comfort must be key.
Speaking of new creative direction, Christian Dior and Valentino, both long standing Parisian houses, have acquired new leaders for spring. Dior was a personal favorite for many this season. Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior’s new creative director, has already made major statements as the first ever female to hold this position.
Along with the “We Should All Be Feminists” tee, Chiuri brought fencing jackets, tulle fabric, and images of both flowers and bees to express her broad take on femininity in 2016.
Comme Des Garçons also made an important statement on womanhood this week. Conceptualizing the collection as “invisible clothes,” the Rei Kawakubo created enormous, sculpture-like designs to either symbolize the immeasurable presence of the female being, or to portray how clothing can diminish the presence of women greatly. Mysterious and beyond comprehension, Comme Des Garcons manages to be a highlight almost every season.
While Dior and Comme gave broad statements on modern womanhood, Céline simply gave women a broad collection of everyday pieces to choose from. These basics along with the house’s strong sense of color theory made it a sure continued favorite for spring.
Chloe and Off-White, both it-girl favorites, experimented with the girl-turned-businesswomanconcept and succeeded. Striped tops and pantsuits were new for both labels. Off-White is known for its street wear and Chloe for its bohemian style. Both did well in playing it safe, mixing their signature looks with this new image.
Haider Ackerman, however, was comfortable shaking off his signature style to move in a more punk direction. Known for his soft draping techniques, Ackerman worked toward the exact opposite for spring, creating sharply tailored pantsuits and complimenting them with bold colors like electric yellow, fuchsia pink, and bright orange.
Because Paris has the most luxury fashion houses and tends to pick up the most trends, it is sure to leave a lasting impression on the overall review of spring 2017’s fashion month. When spring does roll around, be sure to look toward these collections for the season’s trends. This won’t be the last you hear of them.