Paris is a multinational moveable feast
Get ready for a busy Paris ready-to-wear season, with the runway debut of hotly tipped hopefuls, a revamped schedule and the return of one of France’s most legendary fashion houses.
The nine-day season, which culminates on March 6, includes 79 runway shows, and over 30 presentations. Though, as ever in fashion’s never-ending search for the new, much attention will be focused on a series of exciting debuts.
The season’s biggest debut will certainly be Bejing-born Yiqing Yin’s first collection for Poiret; a century after Paul Poiret reigned supreme in Paris.
Though he eventually died penniless, Poiret encapsulated the wild color and fantasy of pre-WW1 Paris. He was one of the first designers to collaborate with artists, and famously fused the ideas of the Ballets Russes into his collections. A 2007 retrospective in the Costume Institute only served to burnish Poiret’s reputation. So, Yiqing Yin has a tall act to follow. Poiret was not known as “Le Magnifique!” for nothing.
And much attention will be focused on Marine Serre, the most recent winner of the LVMH Prize, who makes her first entry on the official calendar of the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s governing body.
A designer of great potential, Serre was also nominated for France’s other two key awards. Her hybrid mixed-material, culture-hopping style marks her out as a designer to watch.
Also entering the calendar for the first time are Beautiful People, by Hidenori Kumakiri of Japan, a former pattern maker at Comme des Garçons, known for a boldly quirky sense of proportion. While Hong Kong supplies another fresh face, Anais Mak, whose brand Jourden makes highly distinct textured and embellished creations. The season also welcomes back APC, one of France’s most successful brands, which had shown frequently in New York for the past half decade.
Moreover, an impressive group of happening brands are making their first ready-to-wear presentations in Paris; including Ralph & Russo, the Australian-born, but London based couture house; Cyclas and Mame from Japan; Dawei Sun and Jarel Zhang from China and Kim Moohong from Korea. Though, the most curious entry will be Situationist by Irakli Rusadze from Georgia. Ever since fellow Georgian Demna Gvasalia exploded onto the fashion firmament with Vetements, the world of style has been on the look out for another talent from the Black Sea.
Paris has also retained the allegiance of two booming American labels – Altuzarra and Thom Browne – who both have clearly profited from the international exposure that Paris enjoys. No other fashion week in the world attracts as many foreign buyers and editors as Paris. Indeed, the Achilles’ heel of New York is its failure to lure a truly global audience to its catwalks.
The Federation is also actively supporting fledgling talent with its much-followed Designer's Apartment incubator program. This season it will be staged at the Palais de Tokyo, along the Seine, and boast some 13 young hopefuls: Afterhomework, Coralie Marabelle, Da/da. Dawei, Kenta Matsushige, Mazarine Paris, Proêmes de Paris, Quoi Alexander, Savoar Fer, Arthur Avellano, Clara Daguin, GNDR and Nïuku.
By recent tradition, the action kicks off with a solo show on Monday 26, when Simon Porte Jacquemus stages his eponymously named collection inside the Petit Palais. Though the first major brand to hit the catwalk is Dior, with a show inside the Rodin Museum on Tuesday afternoon February 27. The house is also unveiling in a soft opening a unique Dior Eyewear boutique beside its historic headquarters in Avenue Montaigne, making the house the first major fashion label to create a dedicated store for only eyewear.
Paris will always be a moveable feast, especially for foreign folks: like Switzerland's greatest designer Albert Kriemler of Akris hosting a supper; and designer Ingie Chalhoub, whose group recently inked a major deal with Farfetch for the Middle East, planning a proper dinner dance in iconic club Castel, after her show in the Shangri-La Hotel. Getting the location right is always pretty vital in fashion.
Among the notable changes in slots, Chanel has pushed its show back until the final morning. That will lead to a very busy last day of Tuesday in March, with Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton, the last major catwalk of the entire Fall Winter 2018 season. Bringing down the curtain on a month of shows, and confirming Paris' status as the world’s most awaited fashion season.
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