It’s time to bid adieu to Fashion Weeks as Paris closed out the Autumn/Winter 2019 season. The city signified a new wave of trends, in its rightful tradition. Scattered across arrondissements, covetable creations from the world’s top designers strutted down runways and decorated showrooms. Television screens illuminated Miu Miu’s dimmed runway. Giambattista Valli revitalized ‘80s-wear and its trademark puffed sleeve. And Chanel gave the industry its final goodbye to renowned icon Karl Lagerfeld. Now, we reflect on the week’s best.
A snowy “Chalet Gardenia” filled the Grand Palais as Karl Lagerfeld’s last collection walked the wintry runway. The show transported its audience to a place high in the mountains, an ethereal setting that seemed to be Lagerfeld’s posthumous gift—“It’s like walking in a painting,” he pondered over a recording. Cara Delevingne emerged onto the ski lodge steps and opened the show in a black-and-white houndstooth coat, layered over a tweed jumpsuit. Models followed in similarly après ski-esque wear of full-length tweed coats, fur-skirted minis and satin wide-leg trousers. The final message might’ve been best left by sketches, laid on the seats of guests, which read, “The beat goes on…”
If you were searching for a way to blur the line between romance and goth, the solution can be found in Miu Miu’s latest collection for 2019. Darkened walls and black runways were illuminated by the glow of vintage TV sets, neatly stacked on top of one another, flashing imagery you might find stored away on old VHS tapes. Camouflage manifested in forms of cape jackets, scarves, belted anoraks, cropped shearling coats, tiered minis—need we go on? While the military-inspired print dominated, florals decorated satin slip skirts, sheer puff-sleeve dresses and nylon thigh-high stockings. Overall, Miu Miu’s showing seemed to take on an attitude of “a little bit of this, a little bit of that.”
Belts were on the brain for Givenchy’s designers this season. The French fashion house debuted dozens of menswear-inspired looks, many that were fastened at the waist with a thin or oversized belt. Said ensembles were neatly tailored pantsuits, plaid trench coats and collared shirt-dresses. One look reimagined a man’s tuxedo, pairing a black mini skirt with an oversized, flat-collared blouse, which featured a black satin sash that swayed from the neckline. While taffeta sleeves were comparable to ‘80s style, floral frocks and ankle-length sweaters draped over turtlenecks embodied the looks of the ‘70s.
Simpler silhouettes carried dramatic details for Creative Director Sarah Burton’s collection. With a fitted, long-sleeved gown came glistening, disco ball-silver bugle beads. Tailored pinstripe pants accompanied a matching, asymmetric blazer with three lapels. A pleated drape of fabric broke from the sharply cinched waistline of a wool blazer. The designs offered a textural juxtaposition, where soft embellishments contrasted with metallic hardware. But from look to look, Burton’s intense attention to detail is apparent and defines what it means to be couture. Not for the weak or faint-hearted, McQueen’s designs are, and always have been, fantastical creations meant for those confident in carrying its weight.
What started as strictly business, ended with some flair at Thom Browne’s showing. Gray ankle-length pantsuits under beige collared jackets opened the show, followed by other workwear pieces—tie clips and sock garters included. But the androgynous garments shifted mid-show, displaying showy accents of fur, colorful tweed and rosy hues. Gold brocade decorated the final cuffed pantsuit and sheath gown; however, the most notable designs from the American designer might’ve been his optical illusions. Upon closer inspection, what would look like a mid-length cardigan layered over a blouse and sheath dress revealed to be all one piece, thoughtfully imagined and intricately sewn.
Effeminate dresses mixed with boxy blazers encapsulated Giambattista Valli’s Fall 2019 looks. With many garments accented with exaggerated puff sleeves, the ‘80s returned to the runway in a vengeance. While nostalgic nods to fashion’s past are no new trend, the Italian designer’s approach was nuanced. Yes, puff sleeves were present, but they trimmed bohemian, dreamy looks that are removed from the elaborate, ornate styles of the ‘80s. A palette of pink and purple painted many of the floral pieces—evening gowns, midis and more—but back and soft beiges colored neutral hues into his collection.