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Paris Fashion Week SS 2020

Oct 16, 19 Paris Fashion Week SS 2020

Sustainability, whatever it means to anyone, was the headline of the Paris (and more or less all others) fashion week, shaping the highlights of spring/summer 2020 season. However, some brands “have a chance” of being eco-engaged for quite a time.

Think, for instance, Stella McCartney, which has recently passed under the umbrella of the LVMH group. The designer declared 75% of her collection SS20 to be sustainable. She has been leading activist’s talks since years, and now the garments she makes carry the concept in a such significant way that colors, cuts and accessories themselves step away to take second place. Anyway, as long as it’s comfy and good-looking, we could wear anything since the given that the statement behind the cloths is there. Still, kudos for bags, earrings and open-toe laced sandals – note! I’ve just listed “the trends” of SS20 – the details which create a good slack look without being dull.

Could we talk about French capital’s catwalks without mentioning Maria Grazia Chiuri laboring to deliver commercial yet empowered with feminist combats products at used-to-be-so-male-version-of-woman Christian Dior. Definitely. But we will not.  At Dior show models walked in a forest. The designer has been collaborating with Paris-based environmental design collective Coloco to show her vision of sustainability: all trees used for the presentation will be planted around the city. “Respect for diversity and nature will set us free.” Probably, if all guests of this extra elitist show would arrive to the venue on bicycles rather than black lacquered Mercedes-Benz S class. Will they?

Sustainable, in the sense meaningful, and one of the most memorable yet unexpected was the collection presented by Dries van Noten and Christian Lacroix. Two extremes which one would never supposed to meet broke all stereotypes and showed perfectly wearable and eccentric at the same time cloths – what a pleasant surprise and a feast for the eyes! When Belgium northern minimalism marries south French opulence, it gives a combination of what we all have been starving for since a while on Parisian catwalk. Yet, Van Noten named a “king of prints” is not a usual minimalist, while Lacroix left fashion a decade ago to concentrate on the costumes for theater, what a duo!

“Another new start” (since it’s haute couture revival in 2013) worthy to highlight among hundreds of Parisian shows would definitely be first ready-to-wear set by Daniel Roseberry for Schiaparelli (his second collection after the haute couture line revealed last January). Early rainy morning in the lush location between historic Elsa’s house (21 Place Vendome) and Ritz hotel turned into pinkish cage filled with the totems made of ‘the stuff of childhood and the stuff of adulthood, too’. 10-piece wardrobe is a dance between Daniel and Elsa, sophistic reinterpretation of iconographies in a contemporary way. Champagnes and snacks as a good bonus for amazed public.

Medium to small size hats (with some marvelous exceptions as of Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood show) in all their versions will be the unavoidable headgear for the next season with let me call it ‘waterproof fisherman’s hat’ shape together with all sort of basket or even bucket ones, be it as literal as at Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrough’s Nina Ricci show on the top of the trend list.

Nina Ricci’s “bucket” headwear looks so alike their handbags that the author is not 100% sure there were the same items. Bucket bags, mostly in leather [in some collections vegan] set themselves as a must-have of an upcoming summer. With all sorts of egg-shape, ball-shape, circular or simply folding: one of the best solutions would be to upcycle your favorite one which hasn’t been showing up since ages – slight update and a bag could enjoy new better life!

Didn’t you notice that there are certain similarities between Yves Saint Laurent by Antonio Vaccarello and Celine since its creative directorship has passed under Heidi Slimane? It might be nothing else but my imagination, nevertheless watching the both shows, I can’t get rid of an impression that the duo passes their time in same archives. Well, it’s all about 60’s and 70’s and night life and eternal youth, probably this time with a touch of the hippie bourgeois-bohemian Russian collection of 1976. And the iconic Le Smoking with a very-very plunging V-neck. Chic, as usual.

Parisian shows this autumn went unusually colorful: it would be mission impossible to spot just one prevailing hue even if flowery exotic and animalistic prints were well present on the catwalks. To my surprise, tie-dye effect all-around New York and Milan weeks was not so frequent in the French capital. Let’s wait for next year spring’s shows?

Regarding footwear: fashion pendulum has definitely swung in the other direction [away from streetwear sneakers, T-shorts and other hoodies] and we are witnessing the triumphant comeback of sandals: wedges or heels, strappy, embellished or concise, open [or close] toe – the choice is yours.

Massif chains as a major accessory have undergone some embellishments: inlaid with plastic links and stones, combined with uncombined stuff (like ropes with pearls with metals), multiplied, chokers emphasized long thinner necklaces. Designers use a mix of opposite colors and happy to match what in old times believed to be a mark of a bad taste – viva new exquisitely with a rebellion touch.

To close the review of SS2020 Parisian season I’ve chosen the designer whose creations might not be the easiest to wear, they might be off the commercial trends but are the embodiments of eco-friendly sustainability itself. Collection Noir Kei Ninomiya of an ex- pattern-maker for Rei Kawakubo looks like a poesy of nature or a daydream for a spectator. His ability to build the volumes around the body is not without reminding that of his legendary mentor. Nevertheless, one would not mix two of them: pieces of Ninomiya as sophisticated as they could be to produce, are more laconic, less deconstructed, even more romantic. And so urgently needed in fashion: who wouldn’t escape the reality watching the immaculate clouds flying by…