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Rethinking the Traditional at Paris Fashion Week

Taking place in the city that has produced some of the most significant fashion moments, Paris Fashion Week rounded out the fall/winter 2017 womenswear shows. In a mix of serious and sexy, this season’s collections brought a variety of looks from denim to ballgowns. While none of the fashion was too unexpected, new life was brought to classic looks through unexpected styling, fabrics, and cuts. Let’s check out some of my favorites:



A relative newcomer to the Paris fashion scene, Virgil Abloh has consistently delivered fresh, original, and downright cool collections. This season was no exception. Jackets of any type— puffer, bomber, and jean—covered the models’ shoulders but were chopped off at the waist. Sheer shirts added a new element and texture to many of the looks. Silk and lace gowns floated down the runway, showing just enough skin. Plaid was also big on the runway, adding a professional twist to some of the more daring looks.


Isabel Marant

In a perfect mixture of funky prints and shapes, and wearable, professional wardrobe staples, Isabel Marant delivered a collection that felt familiar, yet by no means boring. Thigh high boots gave many looks a contemporary touch. Fur and fun prints kept the looks youthful. Yet, broad shoulders, wide belts that nipped the waist, and big earrings brought the collection a few decades back to the 1980s. Not that I’m complaining; Marant’s take on the 1980s is nothing short of glamorous.



The long, flowing, beautiful gowns were what has come to be expected at Valentino under Pierpaolo Piccioli. Yet, the rich, vibrant colors and patterns were something else, especially when contrasted with the black, heavy gowns that were sprinkled in every few looks. While some looks featured popping colors and florals, others remained colorless and somber. Other dresses combined these two disparate elements, with bright floral patterns appearing against a black backdrop, similar to a trend we saw at New York Fashion Week.


Nina Ricci

Lots of elements were at play in this collection. Lace stocking and shirts, jackets and skirt suits, sequins and pastels all came together. Some looks stayed traditional, with skirts or dresses paired with jackets, while others played with sex appeal, revealing bras and lace. Wide shoulders were also present, as in the Marant collection, and images of the American West were also conjured up with belts, boots, and bolo ties. While some looks felt busy, others came together in harmony.


Olympia Le-Tan

In a collection loaded with 1960’s nostalgia, models wore cinched waist, oversized coats, and cat eye sunglasses. Nonetheless, touches of kitsch and sex kept the looks modern and exciting. On some occasions, skirts and shirts were unbuttoned to reveal old fashioned lingerie. Other times, purses, jackets, and even skirts were embellished with phrases such as “psycho” or “notorious.” This level of humour and playfulness brought new life to a vintage-feeling collection.

Whew! The Women’s fall/winter ready to wear collections have come to a close! It seems like a lifetime ago we were stepping into New York Fashion Week. If you missed the last three recaps, check out New York, London, and Milan. If you still have no idea what ready to wear means, check out this article on everything you’ve ever wanted to know about fashion week.


Image Sources: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11

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Hallie Lorde

Mt Holyoke

I am a first year at Mount Holyoke College interested in fashion, politics, and environmental issues.
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