Six memorable looks from Paris fashion week, which wound up Wednesday after nine days and more than 90 major autumn-winter shows:
– Back to the 1980s –
Time to get your Dallas wardrobe out of storage. The 1980s are back with shoulder pads, big belts, big bows and big earrings. Even stirrup pants were spotted. Saint Laurent went full-throttle killer miniskirt glam, but the decade was also there in the hugely influential Vetements and Balenciago shows, Kenzo, Veronique Leroy, Maison Margiela, Lanvin and Giambattista Valli.
– Urban warriors –
“Don’t mess with me,” said many of the clothes coming down the catwalks. Bikers, cowgirls and Indian braves abounded, and many outfits had an air of armour about them. Loewe, Louis Vuitton and Taiwanese star Shiatzy Chen all went for black leather bustiers, with the last two pairing them with skinhead and dominatrix boots to up the kick-ass attitude. Valentino even toughened up the tutu, with Sacai, John Galliano and Margiela all taking a military bearing.
– Boots are made for walking –
High boots are definitely in. Males excited by this may like to know they are for walking all over you. From thigh-high Puss in Boots to skinny, cavalier, lusciously soft suede, riding boots and S&M, they were everywhere. Balmain, Rick Owens, Ungaro, Barbara Bui, Wanda Nylon, Masha Ma and Luis Buchinho built much of their looks around them.
– Big is the new thin –
When in doubt, go big. This seemed to be the maxim in a year clearly in thrall to Vetements’ designer Demna Gvasalia. Stella McCartney, Celine, Hermes, Chloe, Yang Li and Hermes all fell for the oversized look while the wittily avant garde Jacquemus took it to a new level.
– Shiny happy people –
Paris has a new sheen again. And it is not just from all the leather. From the first day when Anrealage debuted its symphony of space age grey, to Dries Van Noten’s deliciously judicious use of gold lame to Saint Laurent’s flashy uptown girls, the catwalks have gleamed with shiny fabrics and surfaces. It reached a pinnacle in Haider Ackermann’s jewel-toned glitter ball of hard-edged glamour.
– Bourgeoise gentlewomen –
If all that aggressive glamour is too much for you, there was respite to be had in the romantic velvety embrace of a quietly gothic Victorian look. Finely cut 19th-century coats and suits you could imagine a liberated gentlewoman wrapping herself in popped up in Lemaire, Veronique Branquinho and most memorably in Aganovich, and seemed to find echoes in Van Noten’s magisterial take on decadent Edwardian dandies.