This week, a look at the Paris Fashion Week shows that speak to the times, from the state of the economy and the fashion industry to the way people dress and connect. Scroll down to use Glossy+ Comments, giving the Glossy+ community the opportunity to join discussions around industry topics.
Models walking down a runway. It’s been done, and it continues to be done. But the designers that continue to capture the interest of fashion and beyond have consistently updated the ritual with elements that speak to the times. Paris Fashion Week has been awash with examples, inclusive of NYC-based Peter Do and Jonathan Anderson-led Loewe. And, based on the brand’s pregame moves, centered on building closer connections with its community, Louis Vuitton is expected to follow suit.
After showing in New York since September 2021, Peter Do’s Paris Fashion Week debut felt decidedly current. All at once, it reflected the way people dress today, the multi-project focus of the modern creative director and, to some extent, fashion’s emerging creative model favoring a rotating design collective.
Of course, styles by Helmut Lang, where Do was announced as creative director in May, were not incorporated into the show. But two of Do’s collaborative collections were. Among them were Banana Republic x Peter Do, with 10 looks plucked from the 28-piece collection that will be released in Banana Republic sales channels on October 10. The trench jackets and “City Coat” featured on the runway will no doubt be more affordable than the $4,200 outerwear currently selling on PeterDo.net. As such, the combined looks called to mind the high-low mix that’s long defined the preferred style of many Americans.
In addition, Do pulled in styles from his partnership with At.Kollective, the direct-to-consumer brand powered by Ecco Leather that specializes in small-batch products by respected designers — former Chloé designer Natacha Ramsay-Levi also has an At.Kollective collection. Do’s 13-piece At.Kollective collection, including leather sneakers, platform boots, handbags and ready-to-wear separates, is available for pre-order until Sunday.
Finally, speaking to emerging trends and current, values-based industry standards, Do’s genderless looks were worn by a racially diverse cast of models. But, before declaring Do’s show, in itself, “the moment,” it’s worth noting that — in keeping with a backsliding industry trend – it was clear that size inclusivity was not a consideration.
Arguably, the late Virgil Abloh was the designer best known for taking a boundary-free, culture-fueled approach to his work. And Pharrell Williams, his predecessor as Louis Vuitton’s menswear creative director, is following suit — which, considering his own body of work, was to be expected. For the coming-out party for his appointment, in the form of Louis Vuitton’s spring 2024 menswear show in June, Williams debuted a pop song he produced sung by a gospel choir he co-founded. Meanwhile, last week, as part of its Moncler Genius project centered on product collaborations, Italian brand Moncler released an outerwear-focused collection created with Williams.
It’s a safe bet that Williams’ designs for Moncler will not be appearing in a Louis Vuitton show. The presence of collaborations on runways is often a matter of forced compromise or necessity, issues LVMH-backed brands less often contend with. For example, among the reasons that Do’s 40-look runway was, in a way, a group effort of three companies may have been limited bandwidth or resources, considering Peter Do’s status as a young, independent brand. And that’s not to mention that Do is now pulling double duty, with new demands at Helmut Lang. Do could not be reached for comment.
Making a go of a fashion brand not backed by a conglomerate has notoriously been challenging. As a result, organizations including the CFDA have launched an increasing number of programs centered on granting designers support.
Backstage at the Tibi show in New York earlier this month, designer Amy Smilovic discussed the brand’s strict focus on ready-to-wear. While it has collaborated on handbags with Myriam Schaefer, it has not yet carved out sufficient focus to make handbags meeting the brand’s standards, so it hasn’t gone there, she said. Also in New York, during a showroom appointment, Another Tomorrow creative director Liz Giardina spoke about her decision to hold off on accessories until the brand can “do the right,” though her reasoning was more about the availability of up-to-par vegan leather. For brands making their runway debut this season, like Retrofête, the move has been motivated by the first-time opportunity to dress models from head to toe, following category expansion. Nearly as a rule, brands engaging in shoe collaborations this season don’t have shoes in their core collection.
At the same time, runway-timed collaborations often work to extend the spotlight to brands that have not yet earned placement on an official fashion week calendar — which is a goal J.Simone founder Jude Ferrari said she’s gunning for, for next Paris Fashion Week. Banana Republic, for one, has not held a spot on the Paris schedule.
Other brands that took a design-collective approach in Paris included Faith Connexion. Speaking with Glossy, the brand’s co-owner and founder, Maria Buccellati, said Faith Connection has evolved into a “multi-brand” that now focuses on “giving new possibilities to creatives.” To note: Lanvin showed this week, but its anticipated capsule collection with the rapper Future will not be presented until November.
Like Banana Republic x Peter Do, designer brands’ capsule collections with the likes of Crocs and Dr. Martens are often affordable, compared to the brands’ typical price range. As such, they fit into the popular high-low styling approach. And, considering the rise of resale, it’s arguably just a matter of time before brands bring seasons-old pieces to their seasonal runways. As she’s stated on multiple recent podcasts, highly influential Anna Wintour has encouraged high-fashion brands to sell pre-owned styles in their stores, which has become more popular among more affordable brands. Esprit sells vintage in its long-term SoHo pop-up in NYC, while J.Crew released a selection of vintage denim on its site last week. While availability of the styles would be limited, the move would provide a testament to the quality and longevity of a brand’s products, plus their ability to be mixed and matched for seasons to come.
In other predictions, Louis Vuitton’s spring 2024 show, scheduled for Monday, will offer viewers next-level accessibility. Since mid-September, the brand has rolled out a podcast, a Discord server and an Instagram broadcast channel, the latter two in the last four days. An early message in the broadcast channel, which is dubbed LV Circle and has attracted 360,000 members, reads, “Stay tuned to unlock the first peek at the #LVSS24 Show by Nicolas Ghèsquiere,”
Speaking of the way people dress, based on the Loewe collection he debuted on Friday, designer Jonathan Anderson has remained exceptionally in tune with Gen-Z’s dressing desires. While the look lineup — big on heavy, shin-grazing sweaters — could have been critiqued for reading as a fall collection, young shoppers’ love for oversized separates has held strong, sans seasonal bounds.
And finally, on the notion of what is “the moment,” runway looks created with virality in mind are trending. See: Christian Cowan’s furball. And the world’s most-followed celebrities, including Selena Gomez and the Kardashian-Jenner family, have been busy making the show rounds.