Paris resistant in face of an uncertain context
Following London and Milan, the baton passes to the French capital. Starting this Wednesday 22 June and running until Sunday 26 Paris will unveil its menswear collections for spring/summer 2017.
Despite the instability of the markets and the turbulence the Fashion Weeks are currently experience, Paris has held onto a rich calendar, with 49 shows compared to 48 in January and some 15 presentations by appointment.
Valentino, Rick Owens, Louis Vuitton, Yohji Yamamoto, Givenchy, Kenzo, Dior Homme, Hermès and Lanvin are all notably on the programme, sharing it with emerging talents and other rising fashion stars.
Nevertheless, some designers are questioning the evolution of the fashion weeks, such as Turkish designer Umit Benan, who has decided to stop participating in them. Having shown his menswear line in Paris since 2014, he no longer considers himself to be in tune with this ritual. "The shows should be a celebration and not a 15 or 16 time slot in a calendar," he explained.
Five more defections have been counterbalanced by six new arrivals, plus the return of Korean designer Juun.J, who showed at Pitti Uomo last season.
This time, it was Raf Simons' turn to leave Paris for Florence, where, as the guest of honour he held a major show on 16 June.
Another noteworthy absence will be Saint Laurent, who would rather wait until the womenswear Fashion Week in October to unveil the first collection from its new creative director, Anthony Vaccarello. The label was already absent in January, when it chose to show in Los Angeles instead.
Also missing will be Japanese house Mihara Yasuhiro, currently being restructured, and South Korea's Songzio, as well as Australia's Strateas.
However, the programme is no less appealing with its several newcomers. Starting with the highly anticipated Balenciaga runway show, on Wednesday 22 June, led by its new creative director Demna Gvasalia. It will be the first menswear show for the label created nearly a hundred years ago.
Another label revealing its first menswear collection on the runway, Carven, designed by Barnabé Hardy and up until having shown with a simple presentation.
The same day, the Parisian public will be able to discover Facetasm from Hiromichi Ochiai. Leading the new wave of Japanese designers and usually showing in Tokyo, he showed in Milan in June, invited to walk the runway at the Giorgio Armani theatre.
The next morning, Thursday 23 June, it will be designer Stéphane Ashpool's Pigalle Paris label making its debut on the Paris catwalk. Winner of the Andam prize in 2015, previously it had been part of the off calendar programme.
On the final day, Sunday 26 June, the audience will be treated to the Off-White label from American designer Virgil Abloh, and also a fashion advisor of Kanye West, who first showed in Paris on 8 March during the womenswear fashion week and who will now unveil his menswear creations on the Paris runway.
Finally, also on the fashion week's closing day, to watch out for, Sean Suen, one of the new talented Chinese designers. The brand was created in 2013 in London and is backed by GQ China.
Born in Chongqing, the designer excels in deconstructing the classics, drawing inspiration from street culture with extensive work on the fabric.
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