Thursday, March 28, 2024

Alessandro Michele Is The New Creative Director Of Valentino

Alessandro Michele is the new creative director of Valentino. The Roman designer’s first day at Rome’s archetypal couture house will be next Tuesday, 2 April. His debut collection under the Valentino flag will be spring/summer 2025: under current plans, it will be unveiled during this September’s edition of Paris Fashion Week at what will be the most anticipated show of the season.

“It’s an incredible honour,” said Michele of his appointment in a statement today. He added: “I feel the immense joy and the huge responsibility to join a Maison de Couture that has the word ‘beauty’ carved on a collective story made of distinctive elegance, refinement, and extreme grace.”

He will work from one of fashion’s most beautiful offices: Valentino’s studio in Palazzo Mignanelli, a few moments from the Spanish Steps. Among his duties will be designing couture collections for the first time.

Speaking of the prospect, he said: “I search for words to nominate the joy, to regard it, to really convey what I feel; the smiles that kick from the chest, the bliss of gratitude that lights up the eyes, that precious moment when necessity and beauty reach out and meet. Joy, though, is such a living thing that I’m afraid to hurt it if I dare to speak its name.”

That joy is not confined to Michele. His appointment has been overseen by Valentino’s CEO, Jacopo Venturini. The two men previously worked as colleagues at Gucci, where Michele spent seven years as creative director, and Venturini was vice president of merchandising and global markets.

Praising Michele’s “profound intelligence” and “wonderful lightness”, Venturini said: “I am very happy and excited to return to work with Alessandro.” He added: “I am certain that the reinterpretation of the Maison’s couture codes and the heritage created by Mr Valentino Garavani, combined with Alessandro’s extraordinary vision, will bring us moments of great emotion and will translate into irresistibly desirable objects.” The newly appointed creative director described Venturini as: “an extraordinary professional, able to combine pragmatism and strategic vision, competence and sensibility”.

At Gucci, Michele’s ability to conjure “irresistibly desirable objects” transformed the fortunes of the house, nearly tripling revenues from €3.5 billion in 2014 to €9.73 billion in 2022. This is one reason why, ever since his departure in November that year, speculation about his next creative home has swirled near-constantly. In the end, all roads led to Rome.

From Tuesday, Michele will embark upon a total immersion within the archive and codes of his new home. He said: “My first thought goes to this story: to the richness of its cultural and symbolic heritage, to the sense of wonder it constantly generates, to the very precious identity given with their wildest love by founding fathers, Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti. These references always represented an essential source of inspiration for me, and I’m going to praise such influence through my own interpretation and creative vision.”

Garavani launched his namesake house alongside his partner Giammetti in 1960. Between its foundation and his retirement 48 years later, Garavani created an enormous treasury of intensely romantic womenswear — and from 1969, menswear too. Michele’s appointment today follows last week’s departure of Pierpaolo Piccioli, who led the house with great aplomb and acclaim from 2008.

In part, Michele’s new role will reunite him with Kering Group, which owns Gucci. Valentino was acquired for €700 million by the investment fund Mayhoola in 2012. Last year, Mayhoola sold a 30 per cent share in the house to Kering for €1.7 billion, in a deal that reportedly allows Kering to acquire the rest of the brand by 2028 whilst also allowing Mayhoola to take a stake in Kering. Should Michele prove as transformational to Valentino as he was to Gucci, that opportunity will look highly appealing on both sides.

Rachid Mohamed Rachid, chairman of Valentino, was instrumental in that deal, as well as today’s appointment of Michele. In a statement today, he said: “The appointment of Alessandro Michele marks another pivotal moment for Maison Valentino. He is an exceptional talent, and his appointment underlines our great ambitions for Maison Valentino.” He added: “I strongly believe that with his unique creativity and sensibility, Alessandro will continue the elevation of the brand’s everlasting heritage… a new page of excellence and endless beauty is ready to be written in the history of Valentino.”

At the time of its investment in Valentino, Kering’s chairman and CEO, François-Henri Pinault, described Valentino as “a unique Italian house that is synonymous with beauty and elegance”. As Piccioli did before him, Michele is now bound to recalibrate Valentino’s sumptuously classical expression of beauty through his own creative lens and instinct. Michele once said that “beauty has no boundaries, no rules, no colours” — and his expansive, inclusive and fiercely intellectual philosophy has seen him interrogate many such perceived boundaries on the runway.

Michele’s decision to remain based in the city of his birth should come as no surprise: as he recently told Vogue: “Rome bewitches you. It welcomes everyone in a dishevelled way.” His new and atmospheric office is barely a 10-minute walk from his home. Michele today acknowledged his good fortune, gratitude and excitement about what lies ahead: “May my bow with arms wide open speak for itself, and salute in this early spring the regeneration of life and the promise of new blooming.” The newest chapter in the history of Valentino – and of Alessandro Michele – has begun.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Pierpaolo Piccioli Is Leaving Valentino

Valentino and creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli are parting ways, the Italian house said on Friday. A “new creative organisation” is to be announced soon. Piccioli joined the house in 1999 as an accessory designer alongside Maria Grazia Chiuri. The pair were appointed co-creative directors in 2008, replacing Alessandra Facchinetti, who had taken up the role a year earlier after founder Valentino Garavani retired. In 2016, Piccioli took on the role of sole creative director, following Chiuri’s departure for Dior.

“Not all stories have a beginning or an end, some live a kind of eternal present that shines so bright that it won’t produce any shadows,” said Piccioli in a statement. “I’ve been in this company for 25 years, and for 25 years I’ve existed and I’ve lived with the people who have woven the weaves of this beautiful story that is mine and ours… Thanks to Mr Valentino and [Valentino co-founder] Giancarlo Giammetti who have blessed me with their trust, thanks to every single person who made this possible in one way or another. It was a privilege and an honour to share my journey, and my dreams, with you.”

Piccioli grew up in the Italian resort city of Nettuno, studied literature at Rome University, interned at Brunello Cucinelli and after graduation, joined the team at Fendi with Chiuri. Speaking with Luke Leitch in a 2011 interview about the way he and Chiuri approached the task of directing design at Valentino, Piccioli said: “We keep the language, but change the attitude.” That translated initially into collections that toughened Valentino staples, including ruffles and bows (not to mention red), and injected new motifs like the Rockstud. His first collection in October 2016 after Chiuri left “revealed the unbridled romanticism and fantasy of Piccioli’s singular vision”, Hamish Bowles wrote.

The autumn/winter 2024 show was a “black on black manifesto for progress explored in 63 ways”, wrote Vogue Runway’s Sarah Mower. “In his spring 2023 summer collection — which began in pristine white — Pierpaolo Piccioli expressed his creative outrage against prime minister Giorgia Meloni’s retrograde remark on women needing to dress conservatively in order to avoid rape. His collection in black followed through, expanding on multiple options for women to show their bodies however they will, from hip-slashed skirts to a full engagement, if desired, in full-frontal red carpet exposure in transparent Valentino lace,” Mower wrote.

In 2012, Valentino was acquired by Qatari investment fund Mayhoola for €700 million, per Reuters. In July 2023, Kering announced the acquisition of a 30 per cent share in Valentino for a cash consideration of €1.7 billion. The deal includes the option for Kering to acquire the rest of the brand by 2028. Kering chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault describes Valentino as “a unique Italian house that is synonymous with beauty and elegance”. Valentino’s revenues in 2022 amounted to €1.4 billion.

“I am grateful to Pierpaolo for his role as creative director and for his vision, commitment and creativity that have brought the maison Valentino to what it stands for today,” said Valentino CEO Jacopo Venturini. “We extend our deepest gratitude to Pierpaolo for writing an important chapter in the history of Valentino. His contribution over the past 25 years will leave an indelible mark,” added Valentino chairman Rachid Mohamed Rachid.

Hermès Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Birkin Sales Model

On Tuesday, two California shoppers filed a class-action lawsuit against Hermès, alleging that the French luxury label’s Birkin buying practice is “unfair.” In the anti-trust suit, plaintiffs Tina Cavalleri and Mark Glinoga allege that Hermès unlawfully requires customers to purchase ancillary products before offering them the opportunity to purchase a Birkin bag, in an illegal practice known as “tying.”

“The tying product, the Birkin Handbags, is separate and distinct from the tied products, the ancillary products required to be purchased by consumers,” the suit reads. “Plaintiffs have alternative options for the ancillary products and would prefer to choose among them independently from their decision to purchase Birkin handbags.” Cavalleri explained that after spending “tens of thousands of dollars” at Hermès, she was told that the label’s Birkin bags are reserved for “clients who have been consistent in supporting [the brand's] business.” Glinoga, meanwhile, was told to “purchase other items and accessories,” after attempting to buy a Birkin on several occasions.

The lawsuit uses the “compensation structure of sales associates” as evidence of the company’s unlawful practice, stating that retail employees do not earn commission on Birkin sales. Instead, sales associates earn 3% commission on ancillary products and 1.5% commission on non-Birkin bags. “Although Hermès Sales Associates receive no commission on the most valuable and sought-after products sold by their employer, they are instructed by Defendants to use Birkin handbags as a way to coerce consumers to purchase ancillary products sold by Defendants (for which the sales associates receive a 3% commission) in order to build-up the purchase history required to be offered a Birkin handbag,” the suit states. Hermès has previously denied the claim. “Hermès strictly prohibits any sales of certain products as a condition to the purchase of others,” the brand told Business of Fashion last year.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Annie Leibovitz Becomes An Immortal

Annie Leibovitz has a new title, and a fancy sword to go with it. The U.S. photographer was inducted to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris on Wednesday in a star-studded ceremony filled with pageantry, earning her the title of Immortal, as the French refer to members of the illustrious institution. Anna Wintour, wearing her signature dark sunglasses, handed over the ceremonial sword at the outcome of the ritual staged under the imposing dome of the Institut de France, under the watchful eye of infantry officers of the French Republican Guard.

Dressed in an embroidered uniform designed by Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière, Leibovitz brandished the gnarly sword – resembling a prop from a Tolkien saga – as she received a standing ovation from guests including designers Giambattista Valli, Guillaume Henry and Harris Reed, fashion editor Carine Roitfeld, and Miren Arzalluz, director of the Palais Galliera fashion museum. In a speech punctuated by lengthy silences, the 74-year-old photographer paid a moving tribute to her late partner Susan Sontag.

“Susan Sontag shaped my relationship to Paris and to French culture and art. I wouldn’t be in this room if it weren’t for Susan. She loved France,” she said. Leibovitz was introduced by renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, who wiped away tears at the end of his speech, and was followed on the podium by Patti Smith, who gave a stirring rendition of “Peacable Kingdom,” accompanied by her daughter Jesse Paris Smith on keyboard.

In a special section reserved for fellow Academy members sat choreorapher Blanca Li, in her uniform designed by Chanel, photographer Dominique Issermann, wearing a bandana on her head, and artist Jean-Michel Othoniel, whose suit was made by Dior. “The only thing more daunting than a French fashion show is a French academy, and by a similar principle, the only thing more intimidating than Annie Leibovitz is Annie Leibovitz brandishing a sword, so I stand before you today in awe and some degree of terror,” Wintour said when it was her turn to speak.

The global editorial director of Vogue and chief content officer of Condé Nast has worked with Leibovitz for close to three decades, and suggested a fair amount of sparring was involved. “Annie can parry, be playfully evasive, especially in any attempt to get inside her defences,” Wintour said. “Now with a sword in your hand you may not be d’Artagnan, it’s true, but with a camera, Annie is as dextrous and, better, a formidable and unstoppable force. The thousands of photographs she has published in her life are not just a testament to her imagination and the way it will survive the future, they are her vision and a plea for a better world,” she continued.

“In that way Annie is the most essential thing any artist can be: She is generous. So Annie we salute you, you have become Immortal,” Wintour concluded, her voice cracking. Leibovitz was flanked by four generations of relatives, including her aunt Sally Jane, her sisters Susan and Barbara, her brother Philip and her daughter Susan. “My oldest daughter, Sarah, is somewhere in the Appenine Mountains, studying limestone outcroppings. She is a young earth scientist,” said Leibovitz, who has a third daughter called Samuelle.

She paused frequently as screens displayed images from her book “A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005,” which mixes her portraits of luminaries – including Johnny Cash, Nicole Kidman, Keith Richards, Michael Jordan and Nelson Mandela – with reportage from the siege of Sarajevo in the early ‘90s, landscapes and intimate photos of her family and friends. “‘A Photographer’s Life’ is the closest thing to who I am that I’ve ever done. It made me understand that my work is not one thing or another. It is one thing,” she explained. 

Salgado recounted how Leibovitz started taking pictures in the late 1960s when she was studying painting at the San Francisco Art Institute, before working for Rolling Stone and subsequently Vanity Fair and Vogue, portraying a roll call of international figures ranging from John Lennon to Queen Elizabeth II. He suggested that her images were frequently more powerful that the words that accompanied them, a comment she echoed in her speech.

“I’m not a journalist. A journalist doesn’t take sides and I don’t want to go through life like that. I have a more powerful voice as a photographer if I express a point of view. Portraiture gave me the latitude to pick a side, have an opinion, be conceptual, and still tell stories,” she said. She hinted that photography has also helped her process the most difficult periods in her life. “Susan’s last illness was harrowing. I didn’t take any pictures of her at all until the end. I forced myself to take pictures of her last days. I didn’t analyze it. I just knew I had to do it,” she said.

After the ceremony, Leibovitz and guests headed to the courtyard of the 17th century building, where she showed off her sword to Antoine Arnault, head of communication, image and environment at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the parent company of Louis Vuitton. She explained that the custom-made object was created from branches and a mushroom collected at her property in Rhinebeck, N.Y., that were then dipped in copper by florist Ariel Dearie, using a process inspired by French sculptor Claude Lalanne.

“You look so elegant,” Arnault said. Leibovitz said she was pleased with the Vuitton suit, which took 400 hours to complete, though she added jokingly: “But I like my baggy clothes more.” The photographer joins the ranks of foreign associate members of the Académie des Beaux-Arts alongside the likes of British architect Sir Norman Foster, U.S. director Woody Allen and German artist Georg Baselitz. She fills the seat previously held by Chinese-born U.S. architect I.M. Pei. It was the latest in a long series of honors for Leibovitz. In 2006, she was made a Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters. She has received the International Center of Photography’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and has been designated a Living Legend by the U.S. Library of Congress.

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Philipp Plein Signs Home Textile License

Philipp Plein’s ambition to deliver his flamboyant style directly to his customers’ homes is inching up a notch. The brand revealed Thursday that it has signed a licensing deal with the publicly listed Caleffi SpA for the design, production, and global distribution of home textiles under the Philipp Plein moniker. Mirabello Carrara SpA, an entity controlled by the Caleffi group, is to operate the partnership.

The three-year agreement kicks off in 2025, with the first collection set to be unveiled at the Maison & Objet trade show in Paris in January. “It’s been a true privilege to get in touch with such a company as Mirabello Carrara — and Caleffi Group — which impressed me for its quality, manufacturing prowess and practical and proactive business blueprint,” said Philipp Plein. This marks a new brick in Plein’s plans to build a design and interior ecosystem, plans that commenced in 2022 when the namesake brand revealed a licensing deal for the production and distribution of branded furniture with The Netherlands-based Eichholtz and for wallpapers with Italy-based specialist Zambaiti Parati.

“We are extremely glad and proud to be collaborating with Philipp Plein, a synonym for luxury, extravagance and eccentricity all over the world,” said Guido Ferretti, chief executive officer of Mirabello Carrara and a board member of Caleffi SpA. “Unmistakable for their rock and rebellious spirit, Philipp Plein’s creations represent the perfect combination of comfort and style defined by a futuristic and alluring bent, aimed at a dynamic and cosmopolite consumer who wants to stand out with style and originality.”

Based in Viadana, in the outskirts of Mantova, Italy, Caleffi SpA was founded in 1962 by Camillo Caleffi as a luxury home textile manufacturer. It boasts 2,000 stores in Italy and 600 abroad. Listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, the company’s portfolio includes house brands as well as licensed labels including Roberto Cavalli, Diesel and Trussardi, among others. Plein’s move falls in line with another ambition of the outspoken entrepreneur, who in 2021 unveiled plans to venture into hospitality with a dedicated project in Milan, yet to be completed.

After unveiling stately headquarters in Milan that year, his road map to grow his company’s scope and reach includes the relaunch of the Plein Sport line; new licensing deals and global store openings; significant distribution plans in China, and an overall enhancement of the womenswear business to rebalance the label’s offering, among other initiatives. Last year the company signed a beachwear license with Area B, following similar deals with manufacturer De Rigo for eyewear collections and with Timex Group Luxury Division for watches and jewelry.

Stephen Linard Dead

Stephen Linard, an ’80s London club kid who drew on Gothic, romantic and street dress for his wild, color-drenched looks, has died aged 64, according to his family.Linard, who spent his career working for brands in Japan and Australia before returning to his native England, had been ill for many months and died on March 10 from throat cancer.

He wasn’t the best-known ’80s designer, nor was he the most successful to come out of London, but he was a trailblazer, and a talented artist who lived for color and saw fashion in a broad context. “He was the first person who saw clothing as a ‘story’ — this was pre-John Galliano — and had a visual interpretation of fashion. It was the era of MTV, i-D, and The Face and he was styling for those magazines,” said Stephen Jones.

Jones knew Linard from his university days at what was then Saint Martins School of Art, now Central Saint Martins. Jones later hired Linard as his very first assistant, and made the hats for Linard’s graduation show. “And for his own collections he designed everything — the hair, the makeup — and the attitude,” said Jones who, like Linard, was a “Blitz Kid.”

Both Stephens were regulars at the Tuesday night Blitz club in London’s Covent Garden in 1979 and 1980, outdoing each other with their increasingly flamboyant looks, which they’d often change and tweak multiple times before stepping out. Passionate about creating different personae through the language of clothes, they are credited with birthing the New Romantic movement, in all of its baroque splendor. Those boys and girls were the very opposite of minimalists.

In the ’80s, Linard was among the first designers to create Goth looks, and drew on his menswear background to create things like “an organza shirt for men — it was something that just wasn’t done,” said Jones, adding that color — black, faded navy and chocolate — always played a big role in Linard’s designs. He dressed Boy George, David Bowie, the Pet Shop Boys and even the members of U2, in addition to his friends Galliano and Jones, who argued that Linard’s designs were much more than fashion. “They were costumes you’d put on to ‘become’ someone else,” said the milliner.

Linard branched into womenswear and had a shop near Oxford Street but — as with most young London designers — money was tight and it eventually shut. At other points in his career he worked with great success for Japanese and Australian brands. In the ’90s, Linard joined Drake’s, the Savile Row tailor and haberdashery which had been founded by his second cousin, Michael Drake.

There, Linard applied his love of pattern and rich, drenched color to silk-screen designs for foulards, ties and other soft accessories for Drake’s and a variety of other brands. “He used his talent in all kinds of ways, and we worked on so many designs together — he was my first design assistant, and I respected and trusted his opinion,” said Drake. Linard stayed on after Drake sold the company to its current owner, Michael Hill, and continued to immerse himself in pattern and color.

“He was an expert colorist, and because of his technical background he knew exactly how all the dyes worked when they were printed onto fabric. He could hand-block prints, and color ancient madder designs,” said Hill referring to the silk printing technique that results in unique shades. “He approached everything with flair,” Hill added.

Over the decades Linard’s sense of color endured, and was even celebrated last year with an exhibition of his fashion illustrations at Rogue Gallery in Linard’s hometown of St. Leonards-on-Sea in East Sussex, England. The show, “Stephen Linard: Total Fashion Victim,” featured works from his archives from 1978 to 1983. The gallery’s owner Ray Gange said he was proud to have put it on. “Other celebrated British fashion designers have all had big public exhibitions of their work, and I felt that it wasn’t right that Stephen, with his immense talent and his legendary status, hadn’t. I thought he deserved a show of his own here in his adopted home town,” said Gange. 

He said the show was a hit — so much so that the police received complaints about the street being blocked with so many noisy people — an echo of the clubbing days at The Blitz. “On the night, Stephen rose to the occasion like the fashion star he should have always been,” said Gange. Linard is survived by his sister Beverley. A memorial service is being planned, but a date has not been set.

Walter Chiapponi Exits Blumarine After One Season

Walter Chiapponi has left Blumarine after just one season as creative director. A successor has not yet been named. The brand did not indicate any reason for the departure, but Chiapponi had been open about his grief throughout 2023, which he called a “horrible year” in an Instagram post in January due to the sudden deaths of his nephew, his friend Davide Renne (shortly after his appointment as Moschino creative director), and his dog.

“My thanks for this experience go first and foremost to Marco Marchi [sole director of Eccellenze Italiane Holding, parent company of Blumarine] who made it possible, but also to all those without whom I wouldn’t have been able to express myself as I did. I am especially referring to people I have loved who are no longer with us, but who continue to instil strong emotions in me, to inspire my feelings and my journey,” says Chiapponi in a statement today. “I now want to concentrate on new initiatives and projects with a social and humanitarian scope before returning at a later date, at the right time, to the catwalk.”

Chiapponi’s appointment to Blumarine in November came as a surprise for some, signalling a pivot away from the Y2K aesthetic the label had leaned into under Nicola Brognano, who revived the brand following his appointment in 2019. Chiapponi was formerly creative director at quiet luxury label Tod’s; he stepped down in July 2023 and was succeeded by Matteo Tamburini.

As anticipated, Chiapponi’s first and only collection for Blumarine was a far cry from Brognano’s aesthetic of butterfly motifs and Y2K silhouettes: for autumn/winter 2024, the brand pivoted to romantic lace brogues, sheer gowns and floral prints on dresses and silk pyjamas. Some showgoers thought the collection lacked direction, but the sense was that we’d yet to see what Chiapponi could do with the brand. “This experience will remain unique at a special moment in Blumarine’s history,” says Marchi. “I am grateful to Walter Chiapponi for pouring so much of himself into this collection. It has been an extraordinary adventure. I wish Walter all the best for the continuation of his journey.”

Naomi Opens Her Own Fashion Exhibition

As one of the most famous supermodels in history, it’s hardly surprising that Naomi Campbell is preparing to unveil her own exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The display celebrates her extensive creative collaborations, activism and profound cultural influence. To kick off the exhibition in style, Naomi chose to host a fabulous luncheon at The Dorchester, and wore a particularly rare piece of fashion history for the occasion.

Dressed in Alexander McQueen – specifically look 47 from the autumn/winter 2000 Eshu collection – Naomi sported a black button-up shirt paired with a slate-grey suit, featuring a single-breasted jacket with an ultra-defined waist and matching pleated, cropped trousers. Her ensemble was finished off with silver jewellery and black patent leather pumps, maintaining a classic yet sophisticated vibe.

The exhibition, titled Naomi: in Fashion and sponsored by Boss, promises to be a thrilling experience for fashion enthusiasts. Visitors can expect to see exclusive pieces crafted specifically for Naomi, ranging from creations by Azzedine Alaïa and Valentino to the unforgettable Dolce & Gabbana gown famously worn on the final day of her court-ordered community service. Plus, attendees can marvel at the platform shoes – bearing the inscription “Naomi”, penned in blue ballpoint by a backstage dresser – in which Campbell stumbled at a Vivienne Westwood show. Mark your calendars – the exhibition is scheduled to open its doors on 22nd June.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Dior Will Present Its Cruise Collection In Scotland

Dior will unveil its cruise 2025 collection on June 3 in the gardens of Drummond Castle in Scotland, the French fashion house said Wednesday. The picturesque location in Perthshire near Crieff, a market town famous for its whisky and history of cattle trading, has featured in films including “Rob Roy” as well as the TV series “Outlander,” in which it stood in for the gardens of the Palace of Versailles. Built into a hillside, the castle started life as a fortified tower in the 15th century.

Its Renaissance-style garden combines the styles of Italian terraces and statuary with French parterres, with a striking 17th century sundial at the center. A beech tree planted by Queen Victoria commemorates her visit in 1842. The castle, which is not open to visitors, is now the seat of Lady Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, 28th Baroness Willoughby de Eresby, who was a maid of honor at the coronation of Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

Dior staged a ball at the nearby Gleneagles Hotel for its spring 1955 collection, the house said in a statement provided exclusively to WWD. Founder Christian Dior drew inspiration from Scotland for a look in his debut collection in 1947 that he christened Écosse. Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director of womenswear collections at Dior, is expected to continue her tradition of collaborating with local craftspeople on the annual collection, which has the potential to significantly boost tourism revenues in its destination.

Since the lifting of pandemic-era restrictions, the Dior cruise show has taken place in Mexico City; Seville, Spain; and Athens, Greece. The last time the fashion pack descended on Scotland was in 2012 for the Chanel Métiers d’Art show at Linlithgow Palace near Edinburgh.

Applications For New York Men’s Day Open

New York Men’s Day (NYMD), the biannual showcase for emerging men’s and genderless brands, is now accepting applications for the spring 2025 season. The presentations are slated for Sept. 6, during New York Fashion Week.

NYMD will feature 10 to 12 designers, each of whom will present in an individual studio space during either a morning or afternoon session. Designers who are selected to participate in the event will have a chance to meet buyers, show their lines to media representatives and network with various industry professionals. NYMD covers 85 percent of the presentation costs for each designer chosen.

The New York Men’s Day committee for this season includes stylist Memsor Kamarake; Aria Hughes, editorial creative director of Complex Media; Joseph Errico, editor in chief of Grazia USA, and Jian DeLeon, Nordstrom’s men’s fashion and editorial director. To apply, designers can visit and fill out an application. Applications will be accepted until April 12th.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

High & Low: John Galliano

“I am going to tell you everything,” says John Galliano mere minutes into High & Low: John Galliano, the documentary on the designer directed by Kevin Macdonald, which will be released in theatres in the US, UK and Ireland on 8 March, with Canada following a week later on the 15th. And when Galliano says everything, he’s not kidding: He doesn’t spare himself over the course of the 116-minute run time of the film – which features contributions from Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Bernard Arnault, Charlize Theron, Amanda Harlech and Rabbi Barry Marcus – as he comes to terms with not just his recent past, but his entire life.

Not about his upbringing in south London in the Sixties with his Spanish and Portuguese parents. Not about his student years, where he went full throttle with the hedonistic club scene of Eighties London while still managing to – notoriously – graduate from Central Saint Martins art school with a 10-look collection, Les Incroyables, which has achieved mythic status. And certainly not the cycle of ascent, descent and reascent with his own label, with Dior, and with Maison Margiela while facing addiction issues, departures from reality, and the racist and anti-semitic outbursts in a Paris bar, which brought him and his world crashing down in 2011. “It was a disgusting thing, a foul thing, that I did,” Galliano says. “It was just horrific.”

On the phone from London, Macdonald – who previously directed the Academy Award-winning One Day In September, about the murder in 1972 of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes – explains why he wanted to make a documentary about Galliano. “There are two reasons,” he said. First, “John is regarded as one of the great designers of the last hundred years – everyone tells me this guy’s a genius. What does that actually mean in the world of fashion? What does it mean to be one of the greats?”

The other, he goes on to say, was around those antisemitic incidents and the subsequent firing of Galliano from Dior and the ensuing court case in Paris. “We’re living in a time in which – and John’s is really the origin of this for me – well-known people, celebrities, are getting caught by some socially unacceptable behaviour and cancelled in one way or another,” Macdonald said. “I was interested in the question of what happens to you afterwards? Is there a mechanism for forgiveness for that in society?”

Much of the power of Macdonald’s film lies in the way that it refuses to neatly lead us to a place of forgiveness – it tacitly acknowledges that the path to that place isn’t one everyone will want to take but is, rather, full of conflicting signposts and complicated diversions. To reduce it to black or white is too simplistic. That Macdonald can do all of this lies in no small part to a subject who, the director acknowledges, was prepared to speak his truth, but understood that not everyone would hear him. (The interviews with the designer were conducted over six days, for four or five hours per day, and with no minder or PR present.)

“John knows he will never be forgiven by everybody,” Macdonald said. “He wants to be understood – to have the opportunity to explain as far as he can what happened. And he wants his case to serve as a warning. But he was also concerned not to make his story too depressing. At the end, he says his story isn’t actually depressing, because he has come out of everything with a renewed life and a renewed sense of vigour and creativity.”

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Art Dubai 2024

Amidst the backdrop of global and regional tensions, Art Dubai 2024 emerges as a beacon of creative exchange and harmonious rejuvenation. With its captivating blend of artistry, design, and intellectual discourse, this year's event promises an unparalleled experience. As the premier platform for art from the MENA and South Asia regions, Art Dubai 2024 presents a rich tapestry of cultural offerings that captivate the senses and ignite the imagination.

(Image credit: Art Dubai 2024. Installation view. Credit_ Spark Media)

Featuring 120 presentations curated from over 60 cities and spanning across 40 countries, Art Dubai 2024 showcases four distinct sections: Contemporary, Bawwaba, Art Dubai Modern, and Art Dubai Digital. Among the myriad highlights are groundbreaking commissions and premieres by globally acclaimed artists. Notably, the debut of 'Heart Space' by visionary digital artist Krista Kim, presented by Julius Baer as part of its esteemed NEXT initiative, promises to captivate audiences with its innovative approach to artistry.

Distinguished as hosting 'the most extensive education, talks and thought-leadership programme of any international art fair', this year's edition of Art Dubai also features the prestigious Global Art Forum. Led by commissioner Shumon Basar and curator Nadine El-Khoury, this flagship summit explores the intricate relationship between extreme weather phenomena and societal transformation.

(Image credit: Art Dubai 2024. Installation view. Credit_ Spark Media)

Under the esteemed patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Art Dubai 2024 stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of cultural collaboration. In partnership with ARM Holding and sponsored by the esteemed Swiss wealth management group, Julius Baer, the fair brings together a constellation of international galleries in a celebration of artistic ingenuity.

´Bawwaba, translating to 'gateway' in Arabic, offers a curated selection of solo presentations from artists hailing from the Global South. Conceived by esteemed curator Emiliano Valdés, this section serves as a platform for contemplation and healing, engaging with pressing social and political themes whilst fostering a sense of community and belonging.´ - Charles Daniel McDonald

Art Dubai Modern, curated by Dr. Christianna Bonin, delves into the geopolitical landscape of the Global South following the Second World War. With a focus on artists who traversed Cold War-era exchanges and studied in Soviet metropoles, this section offers a compelling exploration of artistic expression amidst historical upheaval.

(Image credit: Cedric Ribeiro for Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Art Dubai Digital, curated by Auronda Scalera and Alfredo Cramerotti, ventures into the realm of new media art and technology. Through the lens of advanced technologies such as AI, AR, and VR, this section offers a glimpse into the future of artistic expression and cultural perception. As the 17th edition of Art Dubai unfolds at the prestigious Madinat Jumeirah from 1 to 3 March 2024, visitors are invited to embark on a transformative journey through the boundless realms of artistic innovation and cultural exploration.

Friday, March 8, 2024

Christian Dior’s Defining Silhouettes

In 1947, Christian Dior revolutionised the fashion industry with the launch of his eponymous fashion house and a captivating collection. The backdrop was Paris, recently liberated from Nazi occupation, and Dior himself had just broken free from Lucien Lelong's design house, where he had worked since 1942. Termed the 'New Look' by Carmel Snow, the influential editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, Dior's collection defied the austerity of the post-war era with its opulent designs. One standout piece, the iconic bar suit featuring an ivory, cinched-waist jacket paired with a full, pleated black skirt, quickly gained acclaim for its bold new silhouette. Now, inspired by Snow's apt descriptor, Apple TV+ presents "The New Look," a ten-part drama delving into the history of fashion, chronicling Dior's journey through World War II and the genesis of his groundbreaking style.

Karen Muller Serreau, the show's costume designer, recalls her grandmother's tales of Dior's iconic silhouette, which symbolized hope and progress. Created by Todd A. Kessler, the series introduces us to Dior (portrayed by Ben Mendelsohn) in 1955, as he prepares to address eager design students at the Sorbonne. However, an audience question transports us back to 1943, immersing us in the challenges of occupied Paris, a setting that would later infuse Dior's designs with profound significance. "I can understand its hopeful impact," reflects Muller Serreau. "As we recreated it, we felt the anticipation building, especially when we approached the unveiling of the bar suit. It was a moment of awe and relief, much like it must have been for people at that time, to see such elegance and abundance amidst hardship."

Running alongside Dior's narrative is the story of Coco Chanel, portrayed by Juliette Binoche. While Dior maneuvers through crafting party dresses for Nazi officers' wives to survive the war and worries about his sister Catherine (played by Maisie Williams), who is imprisoned for her involvement in the French Resistance, Chanel's tale unfolds quite differently. Despite purportedly closing her atelier in an act of patriotism, Chanel is depicted living at The Ritz, engaging in an affair with a Nazi agent. The rivalry between Dior and Chanel, along with the evolution of their fashion houses, forms the crux of "The New Look."

Costume designer Karen Muller Serreau found dressing Binoche and Williams' characters particularly enjoyable, although Chanel presented a unique challenge due to the scarcity of visual references from that period of her life. Muller Serreau aimed to capture Chanel's essence while avoiding stereotypical portrayals. Chanel's own fashion philosophy, such as her famous advice to remove one piece of jewellery before leaving the house, served as a guiding principle. Catherine's character, on the other hand, required a nuanced approach, transitioning from being Dior's sister and former model to a member of the resistance, necessitating a more subdued wardrobe to blend into the background.

The stark contrast between the glamour of the fashion world and the harsh reality of wartime was a recurring theme throughout production. Muller Serreau notes the intriguing juxtaposition between scenes of wartime austerity and the luxurious attire featured in Dior's debut fashion show. With only two scripts available at a time, the production team was constantly surprised by the unfolding storyline. "The New Look" offers viewers a glimpse into this captivating era, exploring themes of survival, rivalry, and the transformative power of fashion.

Rive Droit - Retail Architecture

In the pulsating heart of Paris' 6th arrondissement, where the essence of bohemian elegance intertwines with artistic flair, Yves Saint Laurent ignited a sartorial revolution. In September 1966, the legendary couturier unveiled his avant-garde masterpiece – the first Rive Gauche boutique, nestled at 21 Rue de Tournon. Transforming a quaint former antique store into a sanctuary of style, Saint Laurent shattered conventions by introducing ready-to-wear clothing within the realm of haute couture. "I'd had enough of making dresses for jaded billionaires," declared the visionary designer, embarking on a mission to democratise fashion. His pioneering venture not only captured the spirit of the Left Bank but also transcended geographical boundaries, with subsequent Rive Gauche emporiums gracing the fashion capitals of London and New York. In 1969, the trailblazing spirit extended to men's fashion, as Saint Laurent unveiled an outpost dedicated to the modern gentleman.

Fast forward to 2011, where an enthralling exhibition titled 'La révolution de la mode' unveiled the profound legacy of Rive Gauche. Revered as a crucible of innovation, the iconic fashion house seamlessly merges heritage with contemporary allure. Under the stewardship of the visionary creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, each season unfolds as a symphony of seduction, reimagining Yves Saint Laurent's timeless aesthetic through a modern lens. Embracing the house's Parisian heritage, Vaccarello's spellbinding collections grace the runways against the majestic backdrop of the Eiffel Tower. As twilight descends, the iconic landmark bathes the showcase in its luminous embrace, a testament to the eternal allure of Yves Saint Laurent's enduring legacy.

Inside Saint Laurent - Lorenzo Meloni

In a bold stride towards redefining luxury retail, Anthony Vaccarello unveiled his visionary concept, Rive Droite ('Right Bank'), in 2019, echoing the democratic spirit of its predecessor, Rive Gauche. Nestled on Rue Saint-Honoré, within the hallowed walls once occupied by the revered concept store Colette, Vaccarello's brainchild emerges as a modern-day wunderkammer. Here, an eclectic ensemble of one-of-a-kind projects and collaborations finds its home, spanning fascinating exhibitions, art books, and an array of Saint Laurent-branded ephemera. From sleek skateboards to artisanal bicycles, avant-garde speakers to designer coffee cups, Rive Droite beckons the discerning connoisseur into a realm where creativity knows no bounds.

´In a testament to Saint Laurent's perpetual quest for innovation, Rive Droite's influence extended across the Atlantic, as a sister store graced the illustrious Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles later that same year. Embodying the ethos of a brand that thrived on youthful rebellion during the iconic 1960s and 1970s, Vaccarello emphasised, "Saint Laurent was a very youthful brand... It shouldn't become something sacred and untouchable."´ - Charles Daniel McDonald

Venturing further into uncharted territory, the house unveiled its most ambitious endeavor to date on the iconic Parisian thoroughfare, Champs-Élysées. Positioned amidst the historic boulevard's revival, this flagship establishment serves as the quintessential embodiment of Vaccarello's reimagined 'store concept' for Saint Laurent. Building upon the tantalising glimpse offered by the Boulevard Saint-Germain outpost in 2022, this monumental inauguration signals a new chapter in the maison's storied legacy. As the Champs-Élysées experiences a resurgence with a flurry of fashion openings and significant renovations, including the grandiose Louis Vuitton 'project' at number 103, anticipation mounts for the forthcoming Olympic spectacle. In this vibrant landscape of reinvention, Saint Laurent's timeless allure shines brighter than ever, casting a spell of elegance and innovation upon the City of Light.

Bespoke, Contemporary Interiors - Lorenzo Meloni

"I wanted to realise one of Yves Saint Laurent's wishes when he arrived in Paris and said he wanted his name to be written in fiery letters on the Champs-Élysées," reveals Vaccarello, as he unveils Saint Laurent's grandiose outpost at number 123. Behind the ornate Haussmannian façade of the 19th-century building – meticulously renovated for this prestigious project – lies a sanctuary of sartorial opulence. Within its stone-clad chambers, Vaccarello's latest collections find their home, echoing the designer's relentless pursuit of monumental elegance, often epitomised by the striking silhouette.

*Drawing inspiration from architectural marvels and avant-garde aesthetics, Vaccarello's menswear showcases stand as a testament to his visionary philosophy. Adorned with dramatically pitched shoulders and impeccably tailored waistlines, these ensembles grace modernist locales akin to temples of haute couture. From Tadao Ando's concrete-clad rotunda at the Parisian gallery Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection to Berlin's iconic Neue Nationalgalerie designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1968, each venue serves as a canvas for Vaccarello's daring creativity.

Interior Design By Vaccarello - Lorenzo Meloni

The Neue Nationalgalerie, with its stark architectural lines and modernist allure, left an indelible mark on Vaccarello's monumental Spring/Summer 2024 womenswear showcase. Produced by the renowned Bureau Betak, the event featured an eclectic array of colossal stone and marble walls adorning the runway. Described by the house as "a modernist set of kaleidoscopic, mineral surfaces, affording views of the Eiffel Tower while highlighting its soft elegance," this breathtaking spectacle epitomises Saint Laurent's timeless fusion of innovation and sophistication. In this captivating narrative of design fusion, the store emerges as an organic extension of the enthralling runway set, embodying Vaccarello's vision for the Spring/Summer 2024 collection – a subtle shift towards simplicity and pragmatism, yet infused with the assertive sophistication synonymous with the Saint Laurent ethos.

As one traverses the threshold into the double-height foyer, a symphony of undulating textures envelops the senses. Marble and stone, with their raw, cracked allure, dominate the space, extending seamlessly throughout the four-floored sanctuary. Here, amidst the simple rails of clothing, a seductive assemblage of surfaces unfolds – some rugged and brutal, others softer and more refined, reminiscent of lapis lazuli embedded in rock. It is a spectacle that evokes a mood of unparalleled sophistication, modernity, and timelessness.

Contemporary Cool - Lorenzo Meloni

Within this architectural marvel, echoes of artistic mastery reverberate. Works by the esteemed American sculptor, Donald Judd, grace the space, including a pair of painted aluminum chairs that stand as testaments to minimalist elegance. Wooden seating by the visionary Austrian-born American architect, Rudolph Schindler, alongside custom-made marble display tables, continue the narrative of architectural reduction, inviting patrons to immerse themselves in a realm of refined simplicity.

Ascending to the upper floor unveils a VIP suite, a contemporary ode to Yves Saint Laurent's legendary haute couture salon. Here, an immense circular mirror reflects the essence of indulgence and exclusivity, while glass doors beckon towards a lush private garden sanctuary. Vaccarello's aspiration is clear – to transport visitors into a realm where time stands still, where the allure of the space transcends the distractions of modernity. It is an invitation to disconnect from the digital world and bask in the sheer splendour of the sensory experience.

Installation By Cerith Wyn Evans - Lorenzo Meloni

If the fiery letters of Yves Saint Laurent's name do not entirely blaze as he once desired, fear not, for within the foyer hangs a bewitching neon light sculpture by the visionary Welsh conceptual artist, Cerith Wyn Evans. Illuminated tendrils of intertwined shapes and forms cast a radiant glow, serving as a luminous waymarker for Vaccarello's architectural odyssey. As guests navigate through the ethereal glow of Wyn Evans' creation, they are transported into the realm of Vaccarello's luminous architectural vision. Here, the couturier's legacy is not merely preserved but reimagined anew, each flickering beam a testament to the eternal evolution of style and innovation.

In this enchanted space, where art and architecture converge, Vaccarello breathes new life into Saint Laurent's timeless legacy, crafting a narrative that transcends the boundaries of time and space. It is a tribute to the enduring spirit of creativity and reinvention, where the luminous essence of Yves Saint Laurent's name shines brightly for generations to come.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Secret Saint

In a clandestine convergence of fashion and art, the enigmatic aura of Saint Laurent's secret show finally materialised on Tuesday evening. Against the backdrop of Paris Fashion Week A/W 2024's crescendo, Anthony Vaccarello unveiled his latest menswear opus within the architectural marvel of the Tadao Ando-designed rotunda, nestled within the Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection. While the bustling British press embarked on their swift motorbike taxi journey toward the Eurostar station, enticed by Louis Vuitton's grand decadal celebration curated by Nicolas Ghesquière at The Louvre, a privileged coterie gravitated toward a different spectacle. Through a carefully orchestrated invitation, an exclusive cohort embarked on a brief sojourn, a mere five-minute jaunt, to the contemporary enclave. The venue, a testament to modernity and heritage, emerged from the ashes of a former corn store, its circular silhouette paying homage to its storied past as the city's bustling stock exchange, revitalised in 2021 for its new artistic purpose.

Ando's masterful touch within the spaces main chamber, nestled beneath the expansive original cast-iron dome, served as the dramatic canvas for Vaccarello's A/W 2023 menswear spectacle in January of the preceding year. The austere beauty of the Japanese architect's cylindrical concrete creation echoes the monumental precision inherent in Vaccarello's collections – often characterised by a distinctive recurring silhouette – while evoking the seamless dialogue between bygone eras and the contemporary ethos at the core of Saint Laurent. In the words of Ando himself, spoken during the gallery's inaugural ceremony, "It was about revitalising the historic monument: paying homage to the city's legacy etched within its walls, and introducing a new structure within. A composition fostering a dynamic conversation between tradition and innovation, fostering a space teeming with vitality as befits a sanctuary dedicated to contemporary art." This sentiment resonates deeply within the gallery, which now proudly houses the curated collection of François Pinault, the visionary founder behind the esteemed Kering group, of which Saint Laurent stands as a cherished jewel within the luxury conglomerate's crown.

For this latest spectacle, the models emerged from one of the rotunda's enchanting openings, adorned with delicate accents of calla lilies, anemones, and orchids, a reverential nod to the iconic shows of Yves Saint Laurent. Stepping onto the plush carpeted expanse, they embarked on a smooth-as-silk journey along the circular runway. The aesthetic was imbued with an air of nonchalant sophistication, featuring double-breasted silhouettes, generously wide-shouldered tailoring, and elegantly draped trench coats, all reminiscent of the suave office attire of the 1980s. Amidst this sartorial symphony, flashes of vibrant ties added a playful pop of colour, evoking a sense of nostalgia for an era of corporate chic. However, amidst this homage to decades past, Vaccarello unveiled unexpected twists, with high-necked silk tops and oversized rubber jackets and hats serving as captivating diversions from the expected. Unlike his recent menswear ventures, which embraced elements of glamour and romance through intricate pussybow fastenings and fluid, draped silhouettes, this collection exuded a different allure. The loose, relaxed tailoring echoed the liberated spirit of Giorgio Armani's groundbreaking menswear creations of the 1980s, epitomised by the iconic costumes worn by Richard Gere in "American Gigolo."

As Vaccarello described, the initial formality of the opening ensembles gradually gave way to a sense of fluidity and ease as the show unfolded—a deliberate evolution that created an illusion of fabric transcending its solidity and melting into liquid elegance. Thus, amidst the grandeur of the setting and the sophistication of the designs, a new narrative of sensuality emerged, capturing the essence of a modern dandy traversing through time and style. Continuing Saint Laurent's illustrious journey through the realms of art and architecture, Vaccarello's latest showcase follows the trailblazing footsteps of the S/S 2024 menswear extravaganza. Set against the backdrop of Berlin's iconic Neue Nationalgalerie, a masterpiece of modernist design crafted by the legendary Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in one of his crowning achievements, the stage was set for an unparalleled fusion of fashion and architectural brilliance. Vaccarello's penchant for traversing diverse landscapes with his menswear presentations is no secret. From the windswept dunes of the Moroccan desert to the sun-kissed shores of Malibu, California, each locale serves as a canvas for his visionary storytelling. This peripatetic approach, alternating between the grandeur of Paris and the allure of far-flung destinations, imbues each collection with a sense of wanderlust and adventure, inviting the audience on a journey beyond the confines of tradition and expectation.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Paolo Carzana Is The London Designer Courting Hollywood

Insider eyes have been watching the Welsh designer Paolo Carzana ever since he graduated from Westminster University in 2018 with a revelation scribbled in a sketchbook: “Imagine if we could be the ones to change it all.” His plaintive designs – crafted from his small studio at the Sarabande Foundation, where he hand dyes upcycled fabrics with spices, wild plants and therapeutic oils – are dressings to bind a wound, delicate and lyrical and often produced on less than a dime.

It’s spirit raising, then, to see this designer’s work being platformed on the backs of some of the world’s most famous women. Earlier this month, Law Roach styled Zendaya in one of Carzana’s spring/summer 2024 ensembles, and just last night, Michaela Coel was photographed in a custom, hand-whorled gown while hosting Net a Porter’s Incredible Women Dinner at the V&A. She looked like one of the museum’s Bernini sculptures had been bewitched with life. The other celebrities in attendance – Gillian Anderson, Lisa Eldridge and Kate Winslet – wore tailoring.

It is almost impossible not to be struck with emotion when sitting at one of Carzana’s presentations, where his cast amble hand in hand, enveloped in wispy layers of ecru, pale pink and chartreuse. At times, his organza tailoring and antique chiffon shirts look as though they might have grown out of the nervous system to form a protective film around his models, their gossamer sleeves trailing behind them like shackles. There is a reason why the fashion critic Sarah Mower has described this designer as “a wonder to the fashion world”, likening his outlier talent to Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. It will take a couple more big names to provide Carzana with the on-ramp he so deserves.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Paris Fashion Week A/W´24

As Paris Fashion Week A/W 2024 draws to a close, it marks the grand finale of a whirlwind fashion month that spanned New York, London, and Milan. Over nine glittering days, the world's fashion elite anticipate spectacular showcases from the industry's titans. Louis Vuitton, slated to close the week on Tuesday evening, is poised to celebrate Nicolas Ghesquière's remarkable ten-year tenure as creative director. Speculation abounds whether Ghesquière will unveil a retrospective of his iconic designs or venture into uncharted territory. Regardless, anticipation runs high for a star-studded affair and breathtaking runway presentation.

´Dior set the stage with a nostalgic nod to its groundbreaking ready-to-wear collection, Miss Dior, launched in 1967. Against the backdrop of Indian artist Shakuntala Kulkarni's sculptures, Maria Grazia Chiuri captured the era's spirit of liberated femininity, weaving it into her collection. Saint Laurent delivered a sensually charged show, with Anthony Vaccarello unveiling an audacious collection featuring almost entirely sheer garments. Inspired by Marilyn Monroe's iconic 'naked dress' from 1962, the collection exuded allure and sophistication.´ - Charles Daniel McDonald

Elsewhere, Nicolas di Felice presented a collection characterised by sensual symmetry at Courrèges, while Acne Studios offered a bold clash of elevated femininity and biker attitude. Jonathan Anderson explored aristocratic dress codes with a contemporary twist at Loewe, while Chemena Kamali debuted her vision at Chloé. Notably, the fashion world awaited the debut collection of Irish designer Seán McGirr for Alexander McQueen, following his assumption of the creative helm last September. With each designer's unique perspective, Paris Fashion Week A/W 2024 promises to leave an indelible mark on the fashion landscape.


In a grand finale to fashion week, Nicolas Ghesquière took centre stage, marking his remarkable ten-year journey with Louis Vuitton by reimagining his past collections in a dazzling new light. With over 4,000 guests in attendance, including Louis Vuitton's dedicated staff, the event unfolded as a triumph of design, solidifying Ghesquière's position as a defining force in contemporary fashion. Set against the majestic backdrop of the Cour Carrée at the Louvre, where Ghesquière unveiled his inaugural collection in 2014, the atmosphere was charged with anticipation. Unlike his debut, where sunlight flooded the space through colossal metal blinds, this time, the stage was transformed into a captivating spectacle by artist Philippe Parreno and film production designer James Chinlund. Their breathtaking light installations, anchored by a colossal orb emitting flashes of brilliance, set the stage for an unforgettable experience.

Ghesquière's collection was a masterful reinterpretation of his past decade's work, infused with a nostalgic yet innovative spirit. Each ensemble bore traces of its predecessors, skillfully reimagined to evoke "earlier affinities" and cherished design elements. For Ghesquière, it was a journey guided by his unwavering vision, described as "following one's North Star." His distinctive aesthetic, characterised by a futuristic fusion of eras and cultural motifs, was on full display, captivating the audience with its audacity. The collection's standout moments were a testament to Ghesquière's craftsmanship: delicate tassels adorning sleek parkas, cascades of shimmering sequins, meticulously embroidered brocade coats, and billowing skirts adorned with shards of silver confetti. Amidst this opulence, structured silhouettes lent a modern edge, exemplified by hourglass tailored jackets synonymous with Ghesquière's style. In a heartfelt letter left on each attendee's seat, Ghesquière reflected on the significance of the evening, recalling the exhilaration of his journey with Louis Vuitton. "This joy is still here," he penned, as the audience rose to their feet in appreciation of his unparalleled contribution to the world of fashion. As he took his final bow, the sense of reverence in the air was palpable, marking a momentous milestone in his illustrious career.


In a departure from her usual runway introductions, Virginie Viard kicked off her latest collection with a cinematic flourish, presenting an Inez & Vinoodh-shot short film featuring Hollywood icons Penelope Cruz and Brad Pitt as star-crossed lovers frolicking on a sun-drenched beach. Rianne Van Rompaey made a cameo appearance as the couple's waitress, adding to the allure of the narrative. Viard drew inspiration from Claude Lelouch's iconic 1966 French film, "A Man and a Woman" (Un homme et une femme), which unfolds against the picturesque backdrop of Deauville, a coastal town deeply intertwined with the history of the French house. The connections between the film and Chanel are manifold: the leading lady of "A Man and a Woman," Anouk Aimée, shares a close bond with house founder Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, while Deauville holds a special place in Chanel's legacy, serving as the birthplace of her eponymous fashion empire with the opening of a millinery shop in 1912. "It's where it all began for Gabrielle Chanel," Viard remarked, as she transformed the Grand Palais Éphémère into a captivating rendition of Deauville's wooden boardwalk for the show. "This story is very close to my heart," she added, underscoring the personal significance of the collection's inspiration.

Within the collection itself, Viard skillfully evoked the romantic ambiance of a winter seaside retreat, layering textures, colours, and volumes to evoke a sense of warmth and cosyness. Long, fluid overcoats crafted from the house's iconic tweed paid homage to the languid silhouettes of the 1920s, while chunky knitted skirts, cable-knit sweaters, and sumptuous shearling jackets exuded a timeless allure suited for the autumn-winter season. Coated faded denim lent an air of effortless elegance, complemented by a series of ethereal ruffled gowns adorned with whimsical illustrations of 35mm film and cinema tickets. However, it was the oversized sun hats, elegantly fastened with decorative hat pins, that left the most indelible impression, serving as a poignant reminder of Chanel's millinery origins and establishing a symbolic link between Viard and her iconic predecessor. As two designers separated by a century, Viard's homage to Chanel's enduring legacy resonated deeply, epitomising the timeless allure of the House of Chanel.


Rok Hwang's latest collection unfolded within the lavish confines of Hôtel Mona Bismarck on the banks of the River Seine, marking a journey through time and artistic epochs. Drawing inspiration from the high Renaissance and Romanticism, the South Korean-born designer embarked on his most ambitious exploration yet. Intrigued by the contrasting ideals of these two periods, Hwang merged classical notions of human form and perfection with the raw emotion and individualism emblematic of Romanticism. This juxtaposition manifested in his signature mash-up aesthetic, where deconstructed trench coats transformed into dresses adorned with ruffled petticoats, and denim skirts were elevated with dramatic twists of velvet reminiscent of classical drapery.

Tapestry motifs painted Renaissance prints across sheer tops and dresses, evoking the rich textures and colours of the era's artwork. One standout look featured a model enveloped in jacquard fabric, resembling a living tapestry plucked from the walls of a grand estate. Adding to the collection's collage-like ambiance were flourishes of faux fur, cascading like long, trailing scarf-like adornments. Each garment spoke to Hwang's mastery of layering and texture, creating a visual feast that seamlessly melded past and present. With this collection, Rok Hwang invites us to explore the interplay between history and modernity, tradition and innovation—a testament to his boundless creativity and ability to transcend temporal boundaries.


Chitose Abe delved into the profound concept of emotional protection through clothing in her latest collection, drawing inspiration from the immortal words of renowned fashion photographer Bill Cunningham: "Fashion is armour to survive the reality of everyday life." This sentiment guided Abe as she explored the transformative power of garments to shield and empower their wearer. True to her signature hybrid approach, Abe elevated the concept of hybridization to its apex, epitomising her belief in the fusion of disparate elements. Central to the Sacai collection was the notion of "one-piece" dressing, where jackets and coats seamlessly transitioned into dresses. The opening looks featured outerwear crafted into abbreviated A-line silhouettes, resembling mini dresses when paired with boots—a testament to Abe's innovative interpretation of versatile dressing. This theme persisted throughout the collection, as the same silhouette emerged in shirting, tailoring, and knitwear, showcasing Abe's mastery of unified design.

Texture and adornment played pivotal roles, adding depth and character to each ensemble. Fuzzy webbed and pom-pom knits exuded tactile warmth, while pearls and brightly coloured shearling accents provided whimsical touches of embellishment. Abe's meticulous attention to detail transformed each garment into a statement piece, offering both physical and emotional protection to the wearer. In Abe's world, fashion becomes more than mere clothing—it becomes a shield, a source of strength, and a reflection of personal resilience. Through her innovative designs, she empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of everyday life with confidence and grace.


Pierpaolo Piccioli's illustrious tenure at Valentino has been characterised by a masterful exploration of colour. Thus, this season's departure into the realm of 'Le Noir', an exquisite collection rendered entirely in black, marks a bold departure. "Black is the uniform of democracy," echoes the Charles Baudelaire quote adorning the collection notes, a sentiment embraced by Piccioli as he draws inspiration from luminaries such as Mark Rothko and Constantin Brâncusi. The runway unfolds as a chiaroscuro canvas, where classic silhouettes seamlessly blend with haute couture intricacies. Witness Mona Tougaard effortlessly donning a perfectly tailored sleeveless top paired with impeccably cut trousers, complemented by the subtle drama of a gently creased leather opera glove. Each ensemble narrates a story of timeless elegance, while intricate millefeuilles of sheer lace ruffles cascade delicately against the skin, transforming black into a kaleidoscope of hues.

Piccioli's creations evoke a sense of reverence, with delicate hooded gowns reminiscent of a somber yet graceful figure in mourning. "Black can challenge and explode stereotypes," Piccioli reflects through the collection notes, encapsulating the essence of his vision. "As Baudelaire intimates, black holds within itself its own democracy." Indeed, day and evening blur into a seamless continuum, as precious silhouettes and exquisite embellishments redefine reality. Each shade of black becomes a testament to its infinite nuance, offering a spectrum of sophistication within a singular hue. With 'Le Noir', Piccioli unveils a monochrome symphony that transcends boundaries, inviting fashion aficionados into a world where elegance and democracy converge in timeless harmony.


Albert Kriemler's latest presentation at Akris unveils a captivating exploration of duality, where the interplay between shadow and light, simplicity and complexity, protection and projection takes centre stage. Inspired by the concept of 'duality', Kriemler orchestrates a symphony of contrasts that resonates throughout the collection. Drawing inspiration from the captivating photograms of Switzerland-based artist Katalin Deér, Kriemler seamlessly integrates these symbolic motifs into his designs. The ethereal prints, reminiscent of hidden beauties breaking into the light, adorn diaphanous dresses saturated with rich, vibrant hues, serving as a visual representation of the collection's thematic essence. "I discovered the photograms of Katalin Deér at Art Basel," reveals Kriemler. "Their analogue nature, capturing hidden beauties emerging into the light, resonated deeply with me."

Beyond the artistic influences, Kriemler's collection offers a meticulously curated wardrobe that reflects the complexities of contemporary life. Tough outerwear and sharply tailored pieces stand in juxtaposition to softer layers crafted from organza, silk, and sequins, embodying the inherent contradictions and routines of modern existence. At Akris, innovation meets tradition as Kriemler pioneers the use of digital photo prints on fabrics, a technique he first introduced in the early 2000s. This fusion of analogue artistry and digital innovation serves as a testament to Kriemler's visionary approach to fashion, elevating each garment into a work of art. In this collection, Albert Kriemler invites us to embrace the beauty found within the contrast, to celebrate the harmony that exists between opposing forces. It is a testament to the transformative power of fashion, where light and shadow intertwine to create a captivating narrative of elegance and sophistication.


For Demna, the thrill of receiving an eBay parcel at his doorstep serves as a catalyst for creative exploration. The collection itself exuded an air of eclectic sophistication, mirroring the endless scroll of possibilities inherent in the auction site. "One-minute designs," as Demna aptly coined them, took centre stage, with DIY dresses meticulously crafted from a collage of disparate garments, reminiscent of the challenges witnessed on the iconic television show, Project Runway. Throughout the showcase, Demna reaffirmed his commitment to his distinctive aesthetic, characterised by disheveled faux fur coats, avant-garde face-shielding sunglasses, and oversized corporate tailoring juxtaposed with nods to subculture. Chains and studs adorned garments, echoing a rebellious spirit that permeated the collection.

"This show had to represent me and my style," Demna declared backstage. "This is the aesthetic I've been cultivating for a decade, and I intend to continue pushing boundaries as long as I remain in the realm of fashion." Balenciaga's A/W 2024 presentation served as a testament to Demna's unwavering dedication to his unique vision, seamlessly blending elements of nostalgia, innovation, and rebellion into a spellbinding tapestry of style.


The highly anticipated debut collection from Irish designer Seán McGirr at Alexander McQueen dazzled attendees as they journeyed to a disused tram shed in Paris' 13th arrondissement on a Saturday evening. The choice of venue, reminiscent of those favored by the late Lee McQueen, particularly evoked memories of "The Birds," McQueen's S/S 1995 show held in a warehouse in an un-gentrified King's Cross. For McGirr, this iconic collection served as a poignant starting point, igniting his journey at the revered fashion house. Drawing inspiration from McQueen's groundbreaking work of the 1990s and early 2000s, McGirr endeavored to infuse his debut with the fierce energy and raw creativity synonymous with the legendary designer. Referencing iconic collections such as A/W 2001's "Voss" and McQueen's final masterpiece, "Plato's Atlantis," McGirr skillfully channeled the spirit of innovation and rebellion.

The collection showcased an all inclusive array of garments, from T-shirts resembling shattered glass—a personal nod to McGirr's broken iPhone screen—to sculptural dresses crafted from materials akin to car chassis, binding models in a bold statement of strength and vulnerability. Sharp, pitched-shoulder tailoring accentuated by twisting leather ties exuded a sense of daring sophistication, while oversized knit sweaters paid homage to McGirr's Irish heritage with a nod to traditional Aran sweaters. Embracing a DIY ethos, McGirr's designs exuded an eclectic energy, evoking the spirit of experimentation reminiscent of his days as a student. The collection's occasional chaos seemed intentional, reflecting a desire to challenge conventions and embrace the ethos of anti-politeness championed by McQueen. Backstage, McGirr articulated his fascination with McQueen's subversive approach to fashion, emphasising the importance of embracing outsiders and challenging mainstream ideals. As the show concluded with the haunting strains of Enya's "Orinoco Flow," speculation arose about McGirr's future direction. Could his native Ireland become a wellspring of inspiration, akin to McQueen's exploration of British history and folklore? The fashion world awaits eagerly as McGirr continues to carve his path at Alexander McQueen, fueled by boundless energy and unwavering resolve.


In a captivating display of artistry and innovation, Hermès transformed its runway into a spectacle of rain and movement for its A/W 2024 showcase. As guests gathered in Paris' early March drizzle, they were greeted by a stunning theatrical trick: gallons of water cascading from the ceiling, creating a sparkling downpour that enveloped the specially built space. Yet, amidst the deluge, models strode confidently on either side of the runway, ensuring the integrity of the meticulously crafted garments remained intact. Creative director Nadège Vanhee aptly christened this season's collection 'The Rider,' capturing a palpable sense of resilience and adventure. Inspired by the image of a woman in motion, Vanhee imbued the designs with a tougher outlook, infusing each piece with a sense of dynamism and purpose.

Studs adorned poncho-like overcoats and sculpted knit dresses, adding a touch of edge and attitude to the collection. The raised collar of a leather overcoat evoked the spirit of a motorcycle jacket, albeit reimagined in Hermès' signature minimalist style. Throughout the showcase, nods to equestrian and country pursuits abounded, from zip-up leather riding boots to quilted jackets and enveloping roll-neck sweaters. "Astride a horse or a motorcycle... boldly she rides on," declared Hermès, encapsulating the essence of the collection. Each garment spoke to a sense of freedom and movement, inviting the wearer to embrace the thrill of the journey ahead. In 'The Rider,' Hermès celebrates the indomitable spirit of the modern woman, weaving together elements of strength, style, and adventure into a seamless tapestry of luxury and sophistication. As the rain falls both outside and inside the venue, the spirit of resilience shines through, reminding us that even in the face of adversity, the rider rides boldly on.


In an eclectic fusion of Austrian folk traditions and avant-garde fashion, Andreas Kronthaler's latest collection unfolded against the backdrop of a surreal performance by Simon Mayer's Sons of Sissy. Yodelling, axe-wielding, and bottom-slapping dances set the offbeat tone, serving as both the centrepiece and soundtrack to Kronthaler's eclectic showcase. Backstage, Kronthaler revealed the genesis of his collection, citing a Giovanni Batista Moroni exhibition in Milan as the initial spark of inspiration. Fascinated by the elegance and austerity of Moroni's portraits, particularly the doublet-clad figure in the late 16th-century painting "The Tailor," Kronthaler embarked on a journey through history while seeking to push boundaries forward.

The result is a collection that marries historical references with Kronthaler's distinctive imaginative flair. Codpieces, ruffles, and bows abound, transformed into contemporary statements through Kronthaler's visionary lens. Meanwhile, hallmarks of Vivienne Westwood's iconic aesthetic continue to permeate the designs, from towering platform boots to billowing silhouettes and swathes of tartan. Yet, amidst the historical nods and eccentric flourishes, Kronthaler remains steadfast in his commitment to innovation. Tartan is sliced away into mini kilts, while staff-wielding models, including the likes of Sam Smith, command the runway with undeniable panache. "We always talk about history and historical figures, and I went back to that this season, even as I wanted to move ahead," Kronthaler explained post-show, encapsulating the essence of his creative vision. In this theatrical odyssey, Kronthaler invites us to explore the intersection of past and present, tradition and innovation, weaving together a tapestry of whimsy and sophistication that defies convention and delights the senses.


Kei Ninomiya's A/W 2024 collection, aptly titled 'Iridescent,' captivated audiences with its whimsical spirit and liberated use of colour. Against a backdrop of a cranking soundtrack and fairground-style announcer, models bounced down the runway in Ninomiya's typically intriguing creations, each one a testament to his mastery of sculptural silhouettes and avant-garde design. This season, Ninomiya embraced a newfound sense of levity and play, infusing his garments with a kaleidoscope of colours and textures. Across A-line constructions, rainbows of crystalline feathers, pinwheel flowers, and clear geometric motifs danced in harmony, evoking a sense of nostalgic whimsy reminiscent of 1970s crochet. However, Ninomiya's interpretation was decidedly modern, with solid motifs resembling stained-glass windows, adding a touch of ethereal elegance to the collection.

As always, Ninomiya's designs left spectators guessing, as the enigmatic designer refused to reveal the materials or techniques behind his creations, maintaining his status as a fashion alchemist. Instead, he offered a succinct statement on the season, echoing the ethos of the Comme des Garçons group to which he belongs. "I chose to focus on creating something new using different colours and textures, and play with the reflection of light," he explained. In 'Iridescent,' Ninomiya invites us into a whimsical wonderland where innovation meets imagination. Each garment is a testament to his boundless creativity and avant-garde vision, leaving an indelible mark on the world of fashion.


Junya Watanabe's latest collection, unveiled on a drizzly Saturday morning at Elysée Montmartre, is a masterful exploration of the beauty found in the juxtaposition of clothing and sculpture. Against a backdrop of geometric triangular cutouts and protrusions, Watanabe presents a collection that seamlessly merges quotidian garments with sculptural elements, creating a visual feast for the senses. The show opens with overcoats punctuated by geometric interruptions, setting the stage for a journey through shape and texture. Classic high-neck sweaters, wool trousers, and skirts are transformed by sculptural adornments, adding depth and dimension to familiar silhouettes. Leather takes centre stage, with experiments ranging from thick, protective folds that loop around the body to tasseled strands and mock-croc motifs.

The exploration of shape continues with twisting puffer jackets that defy convention, while a series of floral dresses layered beneath deconstructed coats exemplifies the contrast at the heart of the collection. Each ensemble is a study in balance, where traditional elements collide with avant-garde sculptural forms, creating a harmonious interplay of opposites. The collection reaches its crescendo with the introduction of black chain-adorned mules, a collaboration with sneaker brand Hoka. A testament to Watanabe's commitment to innovation and collaboration, these mules are sure to become a coveted item among fashion enthusiasts when they hit stores later this year. In Junya Watanabe's world, fashion becomes art, and sculpture becomes wearable. With each garment, he invites us to reconsider the boundaries between clothing and art, embracing the beauty found in the contrast between the two.


Issey Miyake's latest collection, aptly titled 'What Has Always Been,' speaks to the innate instinct of clothing the human body. Designer Satoshi Kondo eloquently articulated the season's inspiration in a letter left on attendees' seats, emphasising the spontaneous yet deliberate act of dressing and the intimate connection between hand and fabric. The collection unfolds as a tribute to ancient dress codes, where wrapped, draped, and intricately layered silhouettes evoke a sense of protection and envelopment against the elements. Complex pleated garments, shrouding the wearer in ceremonial elegance, recall traditions of old while imbuing the collection with a timeless allure.

Throughout, moments of lightness and play, synonymous with Issey Miyake's design philosophy, emerge through expert use of colour and painterly prints. Each garment is a canvas, exploring the depths of what has always been, capturing the essence of tradition while embracing the spirit of innovation. "We explore, feel, and grasp what has always been, nothing more and nothing less," concludes Kondo, encapsulating the collection's ethos. In this exploration of instinct and tradition, Issey Miyake invites us to reconnect with the elemental essence of clothing, celebrating the timeless art of dressing the human form.


Jonathan Anderson's latest womenswear collection for Loewe transcended the boundaries of fashion, serving as a platform to showcase the works of reclusive American painter Albert York. In a bold move, Anderson transformed the Chateau de Vincennes showspace into an exhibition hall, where 18 of York's pastoral landscapes and studies of flowers and animals were on display, marking the largest exhibit of York's work outside of the United States. Anderson's choice to integrate York's paintings into the collection was deliberate, rooted in the concept of context and luxury. He contemplated the juxtaposition of York's bucolic paintings, aimed at capturing the essence of paradise, against the opulent backdrop of Upper East Side apartments. This theme of juxtaposition extended into the collection itself, with hazy floral prints drawn from historic ceramics juxtaposed against extraordinary 'caviar' beaded garments evoking eagles, dogs, and asparagus.

"I like the idea of craft becoming something else," Anderson explained, highlighting his fascination with historical craft and its application beyond traditional contexts. This theme of subversion continued throughout the collection, with upper-class dress codes reinterpreted in Anderson's idiosyncratic style. Etonian dress coats were elongated to trail on the floor, cable-knit sweaters and ties were paired with high-waist trousers adorned with oversized, near-futuristic studs, creating a vision of aristocratic dressing with a twist. "The aristocrat is almost a foreign thing now," Anderson mused, reflecting on the caricatured nature of upper-class society. Through his collection, Anderson challenges traditional notions of class and wealth, turning tropes on their head and inviting viewers to reconsider the familiar in a new light. In this fusion of fashion and fine art, Anderson blurs the boundaries between the two worlds, creating an immersive experience that transcends conventional expectations.


Givenchy made a triumphant return to its historic couture salon on Avenue George V, unveiling its first womenswear collection since the departure of American designer Matthew M Williams in December 2023. In the wake of Williams' exit and amidst swirling rumours about his successor, the house's design team stepped up to create an interim collection that paid homage to the iconic designs of house founder Hubert de Givenchy. Renowned for his association with legendary women, most notably Audrey Hepburn, Hubert de Givenchy's legacy served as the cornerstone of inspiration for the A/W 2024 collection. The team sought to evoke a sense of sensuality and suspense, envisioning a dressed-up wardrobe for contemporary cinematic muses. From draped and sculpted gowns to modern riffs on the classic tuxedo, each piece exuded an air of timeless elegance and allure.

Embellishments took centre stage throughout the collection, with extraordinary beading adorning the opening look, a testament to Givenchy's synonymous with Parisian craftsmanship. The show culminated with a modern bride, portrayed by American model Amelia Gray, who graced the runway in a delicately feathered gown complete with an in-built veil, evoking a sense of ethereal beauty and romance. In a nod to Givenchy's storied history and commitment to luxury, the collection showcased the house's enduring legacy of sophistication and refinement. As the fashion world eagerly awaits the announcement of the new creative director, Givenchy's interim collection serves as a testament to the enduring allure of timeless elegance and cinematic glamour.


Daniel Roseberry continues to redefine Schiaparelli's ready-to-wear offering in its third season, with a clear vision of creating fully formed, hyper-exclusive collections that elevate everyday staples to Schiaparelli settings. Described by the American designer as a complete wardrobe infused with moments of surreal adornment inspired by house founder Elsa Schiaparelli, each garment exudes an air of sophisticated eccentricity. Roseberry's ready-to-wear collection seamlessly blends archetypal garments such as blazers, slacks, double-breasted overcoats, denim shirts, and jeans with whimsical embellishments. Buttons and buckles take on surreal shapes, resembling eyes or shells, while neckties appear like plaits of hair, adding a touch of avant-garde flair to classic silhouettes.

"It's made for every day, not just the rare, precious moments of life when only couture will do," Roseberry explains, capturing the essence of the collection's ethos. With a distinctly 1980s mood, each piece is designed to be versatile and wearable, suitable for every occasion and setting. As Schiaparelli's ready-to-wear offerings continue to captivate, Roseberry invites wearers to embrace the unexpected and revel in the curiosity and admiration elicited by each uniquely adorned piece. From the streets to the soirées, Schiaparelli's ready-to-wear revolution promises to turn heads and spark conversations, ensuring that every wearer is asked, "Excuse me... where did you get that piece?"


Julien Dossena's latest collection for Rabanne is a testament to the beauty found in the unexpected and the unmatched. Embracing a myriad of influences, from grunge and art school aesthetics to vintage finds and 1970s graphic design, the French designer infuses the collection with a freewheeling energy that delights in the clash of elements. Layers abound in Dossena's vision, with fuzzy cheetah print sweaters, houndstooth overcoats, plaid blazers, polka-dotted skirts, checkered knits, and chainmail cami tops coming together in a glorious pile-up of textures and patterns. Each look is a kaleidoscope of possibilities, born from an indescribable longing for everyday originality.

Dossena describes the collection as a "matrix of possibilities," where the pleasure of discovery is akin to finding a cherished piece in a vintage store or stumbling upon hidden treasures during an eBay trawl. This sentiment is epitomised by the pairs of tights adorned with delicate metal petals, studs, and chainmail disks, inviting the wearer to embark on a journey of exploration and self-expression. In Julien Dossena's world, fashion becomes a canvas for creativity, where clashing patterns and unmatched styles converge to create a symphony of eclectic elegance. With each piece, he invites us to embrace the beauty of individuality and celebrate the joy of discovery in the everyday.


Chemena Kamali's debut collection for Chloé marks a triumphant return to the essence of the Chloé woman, capturing the spirit that first captivated her two decades ago. Presented in a former telephone exchange on Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, Kamali's vision for the Parisian house pays homage to the brand's iconic aesthetic while infusing it with a modern sensibility. "I want to bring back the feeling I had when I first stepped through the doors here 20 years ago and fell in love with the Chloé woman's spirit," explains the German designer, who began her design career at Chloé under Phoebe Philo. Drawing inspiration from Karl Lagerfeld's influential tenure at Chloé in the 1960s, Kamali channels the breezy, bohemian aesthetic that has become synonymous with the brand.

Fluidity reigns supreme in Kamali's collection, with brilliant riffs on the sheer ruffled dress and recurring caped motifs nodding to Chloé's defining silhouette. Accessories play a key role in capturing the collection's eclectic mood, from handbags adorned with banana hardware to golden snake jewelry and looping Chloé signature belts. "This collection is about intuition, freedom, and an instinctive female energy," Kamali emphasises. "It's about a Chloé with a sense of nostalgia that mirrors the times we are living in and anticipates how women want to feel today. It's about what feels right." With her debut collection, Chemena Kamali breathes new life into Chloé, reimagining the brand's heritage for a modern audience while staying true to its essence of effortless elegance and feminine allure. The Chloé girl is back, and she's as captivating as ever.


Once again, Rick Owens welcomed guests into his revered 'concrete palace'—the former French Socialist Party headquarters nestled in Paris' Place du Palais Bourbon, which serves as both home and creative sanctuary for the designer and his wife Michèle Lamy. Amidst the sparse, industrial space adorned with Owens' signature monolithic furnishings and artworks, attendees gathered for a glimpse into the designer's latest creation. Describing his home as "insulated, isolated, removed, and remote," Owens explained that the choice of setting was a deliberate move towards human closeness—an intimate gesture amidst the chaos of the times. This mood of intimacy permeated the collection itself, evoking a sense of protection against the elements.

Knitted alpaca 'spacesuits' enveloped the body in luxurious softness, while twisting, padded forms sculpted around the torso in Owens' distinctive style. Infusions of strange glamour, inspired by Owens' childhood enchantment with opera, manifested in the collection's extraordinary closing looks: a series of cage-like gowns crafted from tangles of sequins. These avant-garde creations, while daring and unconventional, hinted at a glimmer of hope—a beacon of light amidst the darkness. Through his artistry, Rick Owens invites us to embrace intimacy, find solace in the face of adversity, and dare to dream of a brighter future.


Acne Studios unveiled its latest womenswear collection against the backdrop of enormous rubber armchairs and stools, crafted from recycled car tires by Estonian artist Villu Jaanisoo. These unconventional furnishings set the stage for a collection that explores the dichotomy between toughness and elegance, with a focus on leather, denim, and the human form. Rooted in the brand's DNA, leather and denim took centre stage in sculpted, industrial silhouettes that exuded a sense of mechanical precision. Moulded leather overcoats and dresses evoked the imagery of armoured chest plates, while denim pieces were treated to create a distressed, oily effect or smeared with rust—a nod to Acne Studios' edgy aesthetic. Creative director Jonny Johansson explained, "I've always been drawn to leather and denim. It's the spirit of Acne Studios." He emphasised the symbiotic relationship between these two fabrics, which has been a cornerstone of the brand since its inception.

Despite the tough exterior, the collection also embraced a surprising softness. Elongated jersey dresses and Henley-style T-shirts offered the comfort of loungewear, while chunky-knit hooded dresses exuded cosiness fit for a Swedish winter. Johansson's signature juxtapositions between toughness and sweetness were evident throughout, creating a dynamic and multifaceted collection. Elegance emerged in the form of faux fur coats, ladylike handbags, and "lampshade" gowns—a playful riff on traditional haute couture silhouettes. Johansson aimed to challenge the archetypal codes of women's fashion by infusing them with Acne Studios' distinctive aesthetic. "This collection is about the juxtaposition of an elevated femininity and a biker attitude," Johansson explained. By confronting traditional fashion norms with the brand's unique identity, Acne Studios continues to push the boundaries of contemporary womenswear.


Nicolas di Felice's latest Courrèges collection was unveiled against a backdrop of a gently swelling installation, accompanied by the sound of a person's breath—an intriguing setting that perfectly complemented the designer's vision. Described as a musing on "symmetry and sensuality," the collection embraced the simplicity of primary shapes while continuing Di Felice's coolly reduced aesthetic for the French house. Drawing inspiration from the geometry of a square-shaped scarf, Di Felice explored the idea of contorting simple forms into a myriad of possibilities. Clean-lined square-shaped tops and dresses hung effortlessly on the body, seemingly defying gravity with their strapless and backless designs—held in place by sheer fabrics that added a touch of illusion.

As the show progressed, silhouettes evolved into sinuous and twisted forms, cleverly wrapping around the body with ties and twists of fabric. The final looks, some revealing underwear-style details beneath, evoked a sense of a woman disrobing—an intimate and behind-closed-doors mood captured through delicate feather appliqué, a rare flourish of adornment from the designer. Nicolas di Felice's exploration of symmetry and sensuality at Courrèges showcased his mastery of minimalism and understated elegance. By infusing clean lines with subtle twists and illusions, he presented a collection that celebrated the beauty of simplicity while hinting at the allure of the unseen.


Anthony Vaccarello transformed two vast circular rooms into intimate boudoirs, draped in emerald green damask reminiscent of Saint Laurent's historic haute couture salons. This seductive setting served as the backdrop for a sensually charged show that explored the concept of transparency—a theme that Vaccarello masterfully rendered through his latest collection. In an ode to the intimacy of the boudoir, Vaccarello blurred the lines between garment and skin, creating sinuous, gauzy gowns that draped around the body like delicate undergarments and hosiery. Inspired by Marilyn Monroe's iconic 'naked' dress, the collection exuded a nostalgic glamour, with touches of faux fur and a palette reminiscent of powdery makeup hues.

For those seeking a more modest allure, impeccably crafted caban-style overcoats and fluid, wide-shouldered tailoring provided elegant cover-ups. Vaccarello's clever tendency to riff on singular silhouettes or ideas was evident throughout, offering a glimpse into the designer's future direction. "Anthony Vaccarello reminds us of what once was at the centre of fashion by rendering it invisible: clothes," stated the house in collection notes. Through his expert craftsmanship and innovative design, Vaccarello created a collection where fabric evaporated like mist, leaving only the allure of the human form—a true tribute to the art of seduction.


Maria Grazia Chiuri delved into the liberating spirit of the 1960s for her latest Dior collection, drawing inspiration from the era's revolutionary shift towards ready-to-wear fashion. This pivotal moment in fashion history, marked by the emergence of ready-to-wear lines from Parisian couture houses, symbolised a democratisation of style, allowing women to access luxury clothing beyond the confines of haute couture salons. At the heart of Chiuri's A/W 2024 collection was a homage to Miss Dior, the womenswear line launched in 1967 under the direction of Marc Bohan and his assistant Philippe Guibourgé. Embracing the liberated dress codes of the era, the collection featured effortless yet elegant silhouettes, including reinterpretations of the classic trench coat and abbreviated skirts. Clean-lined tailoring and tabard-style tops evoked the essence of everyday glamour synonymous with the Miss Dior line.

Chiuri's exploration of the Miss Dior legacy culminated in the collection's closing looks, adorned with shimmering surface embellishments, metallic tassels, and crystal webbing—a nod to the craftsmanship of the Dior atelier. The mood of liberation permeated the collection, echoing Christian Dior's vision of dressing all women for any occasion. During the show, models navigated sculptures by Indian artist Shakuntala Kulkarni, reflecting Chiuri's ongoing collaboration with female artists. These armature-like figures, created from cane, symbolised a juxtaposition of clothing, protection, and transformation—a theme mirroring Chiuri's interrogation of femininity throughout her tenure at Dior. In Chiuri's vision, the Miss Dior collection became a symbol of pluralistic, autonomous femininity—a moment of creative freedom that resonated with the spirit of the 1960s and continues to inspire contemporary interpretations of elegance and empowerment.