Paris Fashion Week ready to sparkle with array of new labels and creative directors
After New York, London and Milan, on Monday evening Paris will kick off the last stage of the women's Spring/Summer 2018 ready-to-wear collections' marathon. It is an eagerly awaited, exciting-looking week, with no less than five labels new to the Paris catwalks, a few big come-backs and a posse of rookie creative directors, whose shows will be scrutinised very, very closely.
About 5,000 visitors are expected to attend the 83 shows scheduled in the official calendar, the same number as last March, with a string of new entries compensating for the pull-outs. As it did last season, the Paris Fashion Week will run for eight full days, from Tuesday 26th September to Tuesday 3rd October. In addition, there will be a grand opening on the evening of Monday 25th September, with the Jacquemus show and party at the Picasso Museum.
The actual week will then start with a bang: on Tuesday 26th, Christian Dior will for the first time take an early slot at the beginning of the afternoon, ahead of Saint Laurent, scheduled for the evening.
All the hallmark labels of Parisian fashion, from Chanel to Balmain, Hermès, Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton will then roll out in the following days. Among them, the much-awaited show by Givenchy, which gave the event a miss last March after the departure of its Creative Director Riccardo Tisci. The French label's new collection, the very first designed by Clare Waight Keller, will be unveiled on Sunday 1st October. The British designer was at Chloé until last winter, having been in charge of style there for six years.
She was succeeded by Natasha Ramsey-Levi, who is being heralded as the true revelation of this Fashion Week, as the two shows organised by Chloé on 28th September promise to prove. Ramsey-Levi was the head of design for the women's ready-to-wear collections at Louis Vuitton from 2013 to 2017 under Nicolas Ghesquière, with whom she also worked for eleven years at Balenciaga.
Other labels making a catwalk come-back in Paris this session are Emanuel Ungaro, showcasing the work of its new Creative Director Marco Colagrossi on Friday 29th, Carven, which will do the same for Serge Ruffieux the day before, and Yang Li.
Two other high points of the week, awaited with much curiosity, are the debut shows by a couple of designers who have recently made it to the top of two major labels: Olivier Lapidus, who took over at Lanvin after Bouchra Jarrar's fleeting, two-season tenure, and Richard René, who is now in charge of style at Guy Laroche, which was led in the last three years by Adam Andrascik. Theirs are the must-see shows on 27th September.
At 10am on the same day, Lacoste will stage its return to the French capital after showing for 13 years in New York, at the same time launching the celebrations for its 85th anniversary.
From New York, two other names will be joining the Parisian event: French designer Joseph Altuzarra, who moved to the USA for his training, and there launched his own label Altuzarra in 2008. And Thom Browne, who will also be staging his maiden womenswear show in Paris, having first made his way there for the men's Fashion Week last June.
Another two brand-new labels will tread the prestigious Paris catwalks for the very first time. The first is Victoria/Tomas, founded in 2012 by Victoria Feldman and Tomas Berzins, who caught the fashion world's eye at the Hyères Festival in 2013. The duo have been selected for the Designers Apartement showroom and are passionate about leather, but have also added to their range with gusto in the last few seasons.
The second is Austrian label Wendy Jim, also launched by a couple, Hermann Fankhauser and Helga Ruthner, who have already presented their own collections in Paris. Another 27 presentations are announced by the French Haute Couture and Fashion Federation, including those of three labels who showed last season: Ellery, Maison Rabih Kayrouz and Nehera, which has recently changed its creative director.
Six labels have instead pulled out of the Paris calendar for a variety of reasons. Courrèges due to the departure of its designer duo of Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant. Véronique Branquinho has discontinued her label. Wanda Nylon is thinking about other presentation formats.
Paule Ka is not showing this season after the recent change in ownership. Its Creative Director Alithia Spuri-Zampetti has stood down, and Serge Cajfinger, who founded the Parisian label in 1987, is back at the helm.
A.P.C., which held a spectacular show-event last March to fête its 30th anniversary, has also withdrawn from the calendar, as did Barbara Bui.
But the Paris Fashion Week will be enlivened by a host of off-calendar shows and presentations, as well as by a huge number of parties and parallel events. From the public show organised on the Champs-Elysées by L’Oréal Paris, the Fashion Week's official sponsor, on 1st October, to the inauguration of the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, another of the week's highlights.
Not to mention the plethora of initiatives dedicated to emerging international designers: the 11 new talents selected by the Oxford Fashion Studio, who will show on 28th September; 'Americans in Paris', an event sponsored by the CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund; the designers selected by the Australian Fashion Chamber; 11 brands presented by the Berlin Showroom; Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD); the Swedish Fashion Now event at the Swedish Institute; and finally, the K-Fashion Project featuring young Korean designers, supported among others by the Tranoï trade show.
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