Women’s fashion week: Paris plays musical chairs

Following New York, London and Milan, Paris will now step up to the plate to finish off the women’s spring-summer 2015 ready-to-wear marathon schedule. It’s a highly anticipated agenda that will stretch over nine days, lasting from Tuesday, September 23 to Wednesday, October 1, featuring the debuts of several young designers, the return of three brands to the official calendar as well as the departures of others, including Jean Paul Gaultier, who will present his final ready-to-wear collection.
Last March’s Christian Dior show in Paris for winter 2014-15 (Photo Pixel Formula)

Some 5,000 visitors are expected in Paris for the event, which will feature 93 shows, as compared with about a hundred in September 2013, plus a dozen off-schedule shows, and several presentations by designers from 24 different countries. The festivities will take place at the Palais de Tokyo, the nerve center of fashion week featuring 18 shows, as well as at other emblematic locations, such as the Grand Palais, the Palais des Beaux-Arts, the Espace Ephémère Tuileries, the Jeu de Paume, the Palais de Chaillot, the Arab World Institute, the Hôtel de Ville, the Docks en Seine, etc. 

Anthony Vaccarello will start the week off on Tuesday, alongside two new names making their debuts: the Japanese brand Anrealage at 5pm and the American brand Hood by Air at 8pm. A third newcomer, the Indian designer Rahul Mishra, meanwhile, will show on October 1. 

Wednesday, the 24th will feature Guy Laroche, Dries van Noten, Alexis Mabille and Rochas; followed on the 25th by Balmain, Carven, Nina Ricci, Rick Owens and Lanvin; while big names such as Christian Dior will present on Saturday; Celine and Givenchy on Sunday; Ungaro, Elie Saab and Saint Laurent on Monday; Chanel and Valentino on Tuesday; and Vuitton, Hermes and Miu Miu on the last day, Wednesday, October 1. 

Among the week’s other highlights: Loewe, which has returned to Paris, will hit the catwalk on Friday, September 26, its women’s collection designed for the first time by the Northern Irishman Jonathan Anderson. The Spanish leatherwear and ready-to-wear brand, which is owned by LVMH, is putting its faith into the talented designer, whose eponymous brand J.W.Anderson presented a collection replete with leather and oversized sunhats on September 13 during London Fashion Week.
Mugler is returning to the Parisian catwalks after a two-year absence. Here, its last show in Paris for winter 2013-14 (Photo Pixel Formula)

Thierry Mugler will also return to the Parisian catwalk Saturday, September 27, with its collection overseen by the Georgian designer David Koma, who also showed his own label’s collection in London. The Clarins-owned fashion house, which generates most of its profits from its fragrance business, aims to refocus on women's fashion while betting on the 28 year-old prodigy first noticed at London Fashion Weeks. 

Monday, the 29th will see the return of the Australian designer Martin Grant, who has been based in Paris since 1992 and who, after showing in the French capital for some time, has focused on presentations in recent seasons.

Another hotly anticipated show also on Monday: that of the French designer Julie de Libran for Sonia Rykiel, who has replaced Geraldo da Conceicao beginning with spring-summer 2015. The change will “perhaps signal the revival of the brand, which had saw its heyday in the 1980s and which has aroused sympathy of the public," said Serge Carreira, “Fashion and luxury” lecturer at Sciences Po Paris. 

Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski; who has worked for Margiela, Céline and The Row; has been named the new artistic director of Hermès beginning with fall-winter 2015, succeeding…Christophe Lemaire, the latter wishing to focus on his personal line. The designer will present her latest collection for Hermès this week. The show, scheduled for Wednesday, October 1, is a must-see.
Jean-Paul Gaultier says goodbye at the end of his fall-winter 2014-15 collection (Photo Pixel Formula)

But the hottest fashion show will undoubtedly be that of Jean Paul Gaultier, a show to take place at the Grand Rex that promises to be unforgettable. After 38 years of collections, the enfant terrible of French fashion is exiting ready-to-wear in order “to focus on haute couture and perfume." 

The Spanish group Puig, the majority shareholder of brand, has decided to end the men’s and women’s ready-to-wear lines since the company has been experiencing heavy losses. The company has declined to comment on the financial health of the fashion house. According to Serge Carreira, as quoted by AFP, the end of the license agreement with the Italian company Aeffe two years ago has complicated the situation. Until now, "the costs of developing and producing a collection were not borne by the house" Gaultier. 

Dominique Muret avec AFP

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