Viral Moments from Paris Fashion Week Fall 2023
Including a touching tribute to Vivienne Westwood and pant-a-shoes at Alexander McQueen.
We’re in the home stretch of fashion month and that means one thing: Paris fashion week is underway. At the Fall 2023 ready-to-wear shows, the focus for many storied houses was on looking to the future by paying tribute to the past. Honouring the house’s heritage was à la mode at Dior, where creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri revamped the house’s iconic silhouettes, and Saint Laurent, where Anthony Vaccarello looked to the house’s couture heritage for inspiration.
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Paco Rabanne creative director Julien Dossena honoured the late designer’s legacy by exploring fabrics, forms and textures the way Mr. Rabanne famously did. Speaking of utilizing unique fabrics, the runways of Paris saw dresses made of colour-changing knits, cut-out foliage and even fire (yes, fire).
Read on for more of what you might’ve missed at Paris Fashion Week Fall 2023.
Acne Studios: Posion Ivy realness
On March 1, Acne Studios transported show-goers to a dark, fantastical forest to show a collection rooted in (see what we did there?) nature. Thanks to Swedish creative director Jonny Johansson, the elaborate set was decorated with wickedly twisted trees covered in strands of sparkling crystals and exploding futuristic flora. A somber band of wood nymphs stomped the winding runway in form-hugging dresses with crocheted flowers sprouting from the fabric and a patchwork of leaf cutouts that would be a no-brainer for a certain Batman villainess. “I’ve always enjoyed the contrast between urban life and nature, the idea that an infinite forest is just around the corner,” explained Johansson on Instagram.
Alexander McQueen: Legs for days
How do you fake having longer legs? Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen says to combine your shoes with your pants. For its Fall 2023 collection, the brand showcased gorgeously tailored suits in wool, leather, denim and sequins, where the trousers morphed into shoes, elongating the already streamlined silhouette even further. Talk about having a leg up.
Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood: Life after death
“But what is grief if not love persevering?” This quote from the hit Disney Plus series Wandavision captured the heart of social media in 2021, and one can’t help but be reminded of it when watching Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’s Fall 2023 presentation. Kronthaler, Westwood’s widower and collaborator, paid tribute to his late love by taking inspiration from the legendary designer’s archive. Crinoline skirts, corsets, towering platforms, buckles, chokers, vintage fabrics, and layered plaids all appeared in the collection. The result was a beautiful and respectful love letter to the woman who forever changed the fashion world.
Anrealage: Let there be light
A dress that changes colour IRL? No, this isn’t another “The Dress” situation but strategic scientific trickery. Using a moving UV light, Anrealage’s Fall 2023 collection transformed from basic to breathtaking, revealing vibrant colours and patterns hidden under plain white ensembles. While this use of tech isn’t new for the brand, it was the first time it was done with such heavy fabrics like velvets, laces, knits and jacquards.
Chanel: Garden party
Chanel has often taken inspiration from the beauty of botany (who could ever forget the Spring 2018 couture show by the late Karl Lagerfeld!?). This season, creative director Virginie Viard focused on only one flower, the camellia. Not only was it seen literally in prints, embroideries and as a massive sculpture at the start of the runway, but the dichotomy between the camelia’s soft petals and resilient nature (it blooms in the winter) was felt in the mixture of leather, tweeds and delicate lace.
Dior: Blast from the past
Can you ever repeat the past? Not according to Nick Caraway, but Dior agrees with Jay Gatsby. For its Fall 2023 collection, creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri reconstructed timeless Dior silhouettes for the modern woman. Presented along a downright magical purple runway, models came out in ladylike blouses, midi skirts and coats, but the details made it trendy. Think sheer fabric, shiny leathers and ombre knits.
Heliot Emil: Fire away
Heliot Emil set Paris Fashion Week on fire…literally. For its Fall 2023 presentation, the Danish designer sent a male model down the runway wearing a black ensemble engulfed in real-life flames. Rest assured, the outfit was created with fire-proof techwear, so no one was injured, but we couldn’t help but be reminded of this iconic costume from The Hunger Games.
Louis Vuitton: Is Zendaya now an LV girl?
Zendaya in Louis Vuitton? This is one designer/celebrity pairing we didn’t have on our 2023 Bingo card. The Euphoria actor attended the show looking ready for a stylish safari, dressed in a matching jacket, skirt and boot set. Is this a preview of what’s to come for future red carpet appearances? While we anxiously await the answer, the Louis Vuitton Fall 2023 show was a textural tour de force, combining leather, jacquard, fringe, wool, fur and sequins, sometimes in the same outfit.
Miu Miu: Princess Diana has arrived
Mark this day in the history books because on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, Emma Corrin — as in Princess Diana from The Crown — made their runway debut at the Fall 2023 Miu Miu show. Looking effortlessly elegant and cool, the actor closed the show in a beige crewneck and a pair of rhinestone-encrusted underwear, cementing that pants are truly optional this season. Mia Goth and Zaya Wade also appeared in a celeb-filled catwalk.
Nina Ricci: Welcome to the Harris Reed era
At only 26 years old, there isn’t much that Harris Reed hasn’t done. Started his own label in London? Check. Became a fan-favourite of Adele, Billie Eilish, Harry Styles and more? Check. Dressed Beyoncé on the cover of British Vogue? Check. And now he can add “become creative director of Nina Ricci” to that list. For his first Nina Ricci collection, Reed brought his signature drama with oversized hats, bows and silhouettes in an assortment that was clearly made for the red carpet. Never one to be ordinary, it will be exciting to see what new heights Nina Ricci will reach with Reed at the helm.
Schiaparelli: Head first
Schiaparelli is not known for being casual. A must-see during Couture Week, creative director Daniel Roseberry has become fashion’s golden boy for his surrealist (and sometimes downright questionable, as seen last season with the animal head dresses) approach to design. So think of the brand’s first-ever foray into ready-to-wear as a diet version of the above. Models were modestly dressed in almost exclusively all black, white and gold looks — a Schiaparelli staple — that were more cocktail-ready than wear-everyday.
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