ICYMI: tweed is back. Chanel’s Virginie Viard paid tribute to Gabrielle Chanel’s signature fabric, decking the Grand Palais Éphémère entirely in tweed, including the walls, the floor and individual seats. Even guests' tickets were rendered in the traditional Scottish fabric, enclosed with a booklet of photography of Scotland's River Tweed. 'I love working with it so much, I couldn't live without it at Chanel,' said Viard
Nearly every outfit had a tweed aspect, from the brand’s classic skirt suit to the various handbag styles rendered in multi-coloured tweed. Oversized blazers nodded to Chanel’s personal relationship with the Duke of Westminster, whom she often borrowed jackets from. 'There’s nothing sexier than wearing the clothes of the person you love,' said Viard. Both Scotland and England provided a source of inspiration to the French fashion house - the patent micro stilettos and mini dress silhouettes called to mind London’s Swinging Sixties. 'And very colourful record covers', added Viard. While the CC-branded rubber boots - both calf and thigh length - would make perfect Scottish staycation essentials.
The A-list Accessories
Flat, or flattish, shoes reigned supreme at Chanel, whose models wore either micro kitten heels or flat wader boots, with bouclé and knitted tights. The handbags came in all shapes and sizes, from miniature heart-shaped trinket enclosures - perfect for AirPods and little else - to classic shoulder bags. Vintage-inspired jewellery accessorised each look, from '80s inspired belly chains to multi-layered necklaces. Looking for an update on the ubiquitous head band? The individual hair slides.
The Front Row
Venus Williams - who also attended Givenchy - proved that tweed could look modern, directional even, with a fringed cape that fell over bleached and wide-leg jeans. Soo Joo Park wore a crystallised black bustier; Georgia May Jagger styled lace tights under a leather skater skirt. Rapper Abd al Malik sported a quilted leather jacket, while Kim Jennie, a singer and rapper from South Korea, wore an adorable pair of white socks with black platforms (the shoe of the hour in Paris).
SEE: The Highlights From Paris Fashion Week AW22
Louis Vuitton - staged in the rather grand Musée d'Orsay - was a who's who of Hollywood. Cynthia Erivo, Gemma Chan, Julianne Moore, Ava DuVernay, Joe Jonas, Sophie Turner, the list goes on, sat front row - while Hoyeon Jung, star of Squid Game, opened the show. 'She's a supernova,' said creative director Nicolas Ghesquière. 'We've known each other for a long time because she started out as a model. She is a very endearing person and I'm happy for her.' The clothes, meanwhile, were preppy and collegiate, with button-downs and ties, rugby shirts (as seen on Lous and the Yakuza), penny loafers and lace-up sneakers. Nostalgia-core is clearly still booming in Paris – even if our teenage years didn't look quite as chic.
In Stella by Stella - the latest collection from Stella McCartney - the designer mined the talented life of Frank Stella. The American painter and sculptor was one of the most important artists of his generation - and, in homage, McCartney's clothes were made for her women, 'creators and collectors', who want pragmatic staples as effortlessly wearable art.
As guests arrived at Balenciaga - a show which saw models walking through a simulated snow storm - each received a yellow and blue T-shirt, as well as a note from Demna. 'The war in Ukraine has triggered the pain of a past trauma I have carried in me since 1993, when the same thing happened in my home country and I became a forever refugee,' he wrote. While admitting that he considered cancelling the show - 'Because in a time like this, fashion loses its relevance and its actual right to exist,' - Demna decided against it. 'I realised that cancelling this show would mean giving in, surrendering to the evil that has already hurt me so much for almost 30 years.'
As well as his house signature - the woven fabric called aso oke from Nigeria, which this season was made into a delightfully fun fringed skirt suit and an elongated corset top - Kenneth Ize experimented with corduroy (splicing the fabric with leather on a skirt), velour and denim, with the hottest of hot pants worn with a collared jacket.
A sense of practical ornamentation was on display at Givenchy, where worn tees were styled with out-out leather boots and hoodies with pearl necklaces. Of his man and woman, Matthew M. Williams said: 'On the runway, both are grounded by a sense of reality.'
Schiaparelli's latest collection was inspired by a tablecloth. But not just any tablecloth, one that was hand-painted with the house's codes by Daniel Roseberry. 'Body parts, padlocks and keyholes, measuring tapes and bijoux were rendered in black ink on bone-white cotton - the finished canvas served as both that night's tablecloth at our dinner, and later, this season's creative jumping off-point.' What followed was a collection, in the disciplined colour palette of black and white, that sought out perfection. 'What was the perfect dress, the perfect sweater, the perfect coat? I wanted to know not just what made a piece perfect, but what makes it perfectly Schiaparelli,' said Roseberry.
Pink. That was the name of the game at Valentino, where the majority of the looks were a dazzling shade of magenta (Zendaya set the tone on the front row in the hottest of hot pinks).
The whip-smart elements of an equestrian uniform - the jodhpurs, the riding boots and the quilted jacket - were present and correct at Hermès.
For AW22, Andreas Kronthaler looked to the world of theatre. 'It's there where everything is possible. We need space where people express themselves freely without censorship. If you lose that, you don't have culture,' read the show notes, which also catalogued the designer's tapestry of references: The Golden Coach, a film by Jean Renoir, and Jean-Antoine Watteau's L'Enseigne de Gersaint. The result was a collection where each look was worthy of being pored over for much longer than the time it took to walk up and down the runway.
The 'thrill of kink' was felt at Loewe - where tactile fabrics such as leather, felt, latex, tweed, knit, silk and resin made for a tantalising collection of clothing as art. Minidresses were moulded into cars, a set of lips became breastplates, spike-heeled pumps decorated sculpted dresses and balloons were inflated on sandals. Genial.
Isabel Marant wanted to focus on the act of getting dressed as a 'simple and comforting gesture' for AW22. Cue Y2K references, including double denim, furry sweaters, gilets and sweatpants that were made for the woman who doesn't want going out to slow her down.
Gabriela Hearst continues to do things differently at Chloé. This season, she introduced a new way of structuring the creative process by choosing to focus on a specific climate solution - in this case, rewilding - as well as an overarching aesthetic reference (Franco Zeffirelli's 1973 film Brother Son, Sister Moon). 'Climate Success', a range within the collection that depicts landscapes as catastrophes such as forest fires, melting glaciers and droughts on prints, intarsia knits and hand-painted accessories, is in aid of a programme launched by Conservation International, the Indigenous Women Fellowship.
For AW22, Coperni presented a collection that was an ode to youth. 'It's a trip down memory lane but also an idea of what will be,' read the show notes. The catwalk, lined with grey lockers, became school hallways, 'a place where teenagers grow, constantly doubting themselves, searching for their personal style, a time when falling in and out of love, losing and finding, are the acts that mark their coming of age.' There were thigh-high socks, patent loafers, undone laces and the kind of cut-away minidresses that would fit right into the wardrobe department of Euphoria. Nostalgic and yet now.
Olivier Rousteing's models looked ready for a motocross rally at yesterday's show, with padded leathers, strapped closely to the body, that were made to last. But of course this is Balmain - so as well as being crash-proof, these 'leathers' were super sexy (minidresses with sculpted shoulders and short hemlines) and at times extravagant (ball gowns with breastplates).
For AW22, Johnny Johansson meditated on the art of 'emotional patchworking': 'When I was a kid, my journey into fashion started when I started cutting things up and putting them back together. This collection is about creating from what is around us, making something new from something familiar.' As well as literal interpretations - including a spectacular strapless ball gown made of upcycled denim patches - this also referred to the designer's method of stitching, mending and repairing. 'It is not destructive or anarchic – it is about the act of putting things back together.'
For AW22, Charles de Vilmorin found himself evolving towards 'classicism, a sense of mystery but also lightness,' for the woman who wears Rochas, 'at once strong and poetic'. He became enthralled with the idea of 'winter black', which was the dominant colour on the catwalk, gravitating towards its 'absolute precision'.
There were plenty of thigh-highs on the streets of Milan, but none quite like the pairs at Courrèges, where almost every single look was worn with a pair of spike-heeled boots that stretched all the way up the leg.
Victoria Beckham wore slick vinyl trousers on the front row at Saint Laurent; a show that looked to the wardrobe of Nancy Cunard, the activist publisher who dressed audaciously ahead of her time. The biker jacket - a hero of this season's street style scene - was elongated into outerwear; fuzzy coats were shrugged over wide-leg pants; and shiny tights were worn with buckled pumps.
With a front row like no other - Rihanna, Blackpink's Jisoo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Anya Taylor-Joy, Yara Shahidi - Maria Grazia Chiuri delivered a collection that was all about 'clever clothes'. Dior's Bar jacket was revamped using a technical fabric, thanks to a collaboration with D-Air Lab, and emerged with airbags on the inside of the iconic tailoring. Elsewhere, Chiuri gave us cult accessories in the form of knee-high rain boots, graphic compression socks and kitten heels with embroidered ankle straps. Oh, and don't forget the trend for corsetry, which made its presence felt in laser-cut leather and denim.
Off-White's tribute to Virgil Abloh - the visionary and trailblazer - opened Paris Fashion Week. RiRi watched front row; Serena Williams walked; and Naomi Campbell, wearing a top hat and crystal collar necklace that spilled over her bare skin, wore an outfit that encapsulated the designer's breathtakingly original approach.