Everything You Need to Know About the First Half of Paris Fashion Week


For some reason, Paris Fashion Week seems to last the longest of all four international fashion weeks. It can feel slightly overwhelming, but as my husband pointed out, “the real shows are in Paris, huh?” He said this while he thumbed through a Women’s Wear Daily slideshow of Dries Van Noten. There are plenty of stories to unpack here, but let’s start with the most obvious one — here is a quick, consumable digest from the first half of Paris Fashion Week.

Tuesday, 2/28:


Couture woman tries to emulate gypsy. Simon Porte Jacquemus showed Fall 2017 and according to Vogue‘s Sarah Mower, indicated that his clothes were inspired by a couture-wearing woman who falls in love with a gypsy and tries to dress like a gypsy but just can’t because she is too couture. That is probably my favorite thing a designer has ever said about his own collection — cut to felt hats that look like Dali’s mustache as well as bucket hats, dramatic shoulders and cinched waists, which felt like carryovers from Spring. There were also at least three instances of capri pants which are so obviously coming back, I have to share this and this once more.


Slouchy boots are back, and shoulder pads are huge. Anthony Vaccarello’s second collection for Saint Laurent was met by resounding ooh’s and aah’s and a slow clap as if it was a completely unique and fresh perspective in spite of the fact that he’s only as good as what Hedi Slimane set up for him. If that sounds biting, it’s not supposed to. I was mesmerized too! I’m just still trying to understand why. What I do know, absolutely, is that I’d like a red leather rosette for my neck.


If you want to look like a vagina, here’s Y Project. The collection by Belgian designer Glenn Martens, which is in its fourth womenswear season, was a visual mind-fuck. Crystal sandals climbed up models’ legs and were paired with wool, A-line skirts, tons of garments (even shoes) that look like female reproductive parts, tightly strapped-on hoods a la South Park‘s Kenny and a lot of the same umph that makes Vetements so appealing to observe.

Wednesday, 3/1:


Politics on, pants off; Margiela pays tribute to America. Sometimes a bag is actually just an unrealized hat. John Galliano’s fall collection for Maison Margiela reminded me a little bit of what Raf Simons drew up at Calvin Klein, mostly because it was so representative of an America being interpreted by a foreigner. There were cut-apart baseball jackets, a couple of military-style coats and a group of early looks that hark back to a minimalism we really helped to create. But it wasn’t replicated or imitated, as evidenced by a trench coat boasting an open check and sweetheart neck.


Dries Van Noten celebrated his 100th show with a bunch of models he loves and has been working with for many moons, or whatever. There were 63 looks, which is not a little, and lots of predictably oversize blazers paired with knee-length skirts, dresses over jeans and cropped pants — Dries tentpoles. The standout color was orange and I am almost positive we will all wear shorts next winter.


Street style proves this concept further. ^^^ See?


The days of full looks are dead. Courrèges clearly knows this. Instead of showing full looks, the designers tapped an assortment of their friends: stylists, models, photographers and casters, and had them style anchor pieces from Courrèges (jackets, dresses, skirts) with their own clothes. The result was a series of outfits that look more like a magazine, or blog editorial, than anything else. What a smart way to consider your collection! No one wears full looks anymore, why not cut the political fare of showing full looks only to have them trickled down into multi-brand editorials when you can do it yourself? Genius!

Thursday, 3/2:


Clare Waight-Keller showed her last collection for Chloé on Thursday and the track pants said it all. OR DID THEY? According to show notes, “Don’t You Want Me Baby?” was the soundtrack of choice for the final walk, and when Waight-Keller emerged, her arms were flung up in the air and met by a standing ovation. There were lots of structured shoulders and almost zero peasant tops. Peter-pan collars were the currency of choice and I’ll say it again: neon, nylon track pants, people!


Zoe Saldana as Avatar vs. Balmain. So many textures, so many braids. The collection was inspired by Serengeti, the Far West and Amazonia. There were no front-row Kardashians, but Kendall carried the third lewk IN CASE YOU CARE (it’s fine if you don’t).


More slouchy boots and fairly huge shoulders at Isabel Marant. Also! If you bought a shit ton of sparkly socks last Fall, you will be pleased to learn you’ll still want to wear them next time it’s cold.

Friday, 3/3:


Viva personal style! Jonathan Anderson fucked shit up at Loewe in a 54-look collection that maintained so many different textures and patterns, smushing them together; there were tea dresses (for Fall!) and a couple of sun hats (for fall!) and my personal favorite, an opening ball gown with off-the-shoulder puff sleeves that so obviously once belonged to Cinderella I shouldn’t even have to say it. It all made me think: this is how a collection should be. Part feminine, part masculine, shiny in a couple of instances, hard but still soft…proper and shy at one point, but loud and confident at another — just a woman, point blank.

AND NOW THAT YOU KNOW EVERYTHING, I’m going to let Amelia, our boots on the ground in Paris, take it from here. Bye!

Runway photos via Vogue Runway, street style photos by Simon Chetrit; follow him on Instagram @simonzchetrit.

Leandra M. Cohen

Leandra M. Cohen is the founder of Man Repeller.

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