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What We Learned from Paris Fashion Week

Paris fashion week is a long-awaited staple style event for fashion fanatics who can’t wait to see the trends that will be dominating in the coming seasons. This year’s event was no different, giving us a glamourous and exciting insight into the very bests of the fashion world and brands. The 10-day extravaganza of shows were nothing short of splashy, with incredible scenery demonstrated by Louis Vuitton’s closing takeover show at the Louvre.

Whilst fashion shows may not typically generate images of open invites for the general public, a new egalitarian mood descended in Paris this week as several designers found ways to make their fashion shows more accessible to the public. Balmain’s show was a key example of this, with over 6,000 guests attending. Over half of these attendees were members of the public, who had made a donation to the Aids charity RED in exchange for a ticket. It was creative director Oliver Rousteing’s 10th anniversary at the brand, and when speaking on the event he commented that ‘runways, which were once limited to just a lucky few of fashion insiders, are now open to more and more fashion lovers’, displaying the new attitude that was prevalent this year.

This idea can be highlighted through the powerful presence that influencers took at fashion week this year – by sharing content on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, the once exclusive fashion week can be available to be seen by people from all over the world. Popular social media influencers such as Emma Chamberlain and Olivia Neill were seen at Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu respectively, and remind us of the dominance social media has over trends and fashion. It allows young people to be a part of such an iconic event like Paris Fashion week in a way that has never been done before and adds another level of popularity to new trends before they hit stores.

In terms of the new style statements that appeared on the runways, movements of surrealism were among the most popular. Jonathon Anderson’s Loewe collection was described in the show notes as ‘neurotic, psychedelic, completely hysteric’, creating a more whimsical feel on the runway, supported by the saturated colours of tangerine orange and cobalt blue that appeared in Dior. The mood when it comes to the next big trends, therefore, seem to be bright colours and breezy shapes – alongside the bold colours in Dior, sixties mod-like silhouettes were heavily present. The Y2K trend that has been extremely popular does not seem to be going anywhere either, with low rise baggy jeans and sequin crop tops still heavily prevalent on the runway; sparkly tops dominated the catwalk in Valentino.

When it comes to sustainability in fashion, it is often a word so overused with little impact that it can feel almost meaningless. However, there was a more conscious impact to make more planet-friendly decisions this year, one of the stand out ones being by the brand Chloe. The label introduced Chloe craft, which involved the company working with independent artists to handcraft products that cannot be mimicked by machinery. This craft forward approach aimed to emit significantly fewer greenhouse gases, supported by switched from cotton to linen, to help ensure a brighter future for fashion coincides with one for our planet. This is an important and progressive venture for fashion brands when it comes to sustainability, and we can hope that more brands take a similar approach.

Finally, fashion week does not come without stand out moments, and this one was not shy of them. In Louis Vuitton’s show, a protestor interrupted the catwalk holding a banner reading ‘Overconsumption = Extinction’, with many people not realising it was not part of the runway shows until the protestor was escorted off stage. This was not the only event to cause a stir – Balenciaga’s runway show culminated in a custom episode of the Simpsons, with appearances from Marge, Homer, Bart, and Lisa.

Hi, I'm Harriet! I'm a second year English Literature student at the University of Bristol.
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