Jasmine Dunne

8 Oct

What We Remember from Paris Fashion Week: SS20 Trends and More

In a world rife with eyes analyzing our industry’s sustainability, inclusivity, and genuine appeal to the modern consumer, it feels like the catwalk is fighting more than ever to stay relevant. Some might even say fashion month, as a whole. But fashion bit back this Spring/Summer 2020 and has brought some extremely powerful characters, messages and performances to the forefront that we can only hope have cemented in some much needed change.

Climate-conscious sustainability

For now, we will hone in on Paris; a week full of impeccable style and unavoidable rain. In many cases, the shows were an honest display of the modern woman: putting sex appeal and practicality into comfortable dressing that also tailors to the needs of our planet. A brand that primarily showcased all of this was Stella McCartney — she gave us oversized luxury made for workwear, dinner-wear, party-wear, everything. Just one piece from this collection in your wardrobe could go a long way, which I can imagine was McCartney’s intention. Dior followed in the same climate-conscious vein by working with Paris-based environmental design collective Coloco, who replanted the trees on display at the catwalk in projects around the city.

As fantastic as these efforts may seem, it is important to remain restricted when praising these brands for taking on such basic responsibilities that should have been taken on years ago. At this point, sustainability should be expected in every brand — we should expect sustainability at the same rate that we expect high quality design every season. It’s important to note that things are changing, but the industry is only just beginning to dig itself out of a climate disaster that was largely initiated by the industry itself. There is still a lot of work to do, there is still a far way to go.

Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2020

Getting political

The environment wasn’t the only hot topic of the week — Balenciaga became a fast talking point after its ineffably fantastic casting, EU-blue set design, and jaw-dropping closing dresses. Start placing your bets on which celebrity will bag one of those looks for the Met Gala in May. It would come as no surprise, Demna Gvasalia gave us an out-of-this-world twisted fairytale ending to the show, with disproportionate facial features and dresses that looked sprung from a cartoon — in a nutshell, the ultimate show-stoppers.

On the other hand, he did also serve us a heavy dose of reality. Men and women in what seemed like security-guard style black suiting marched down the runway first, almost as if they were actual members of security, running around this mock European Parliament set up, before the real show began. It felt far away from fashion. But, our current political climate is no trend, and Gvasalia gave us opening looks that reminded us of that.

The female form and suiting

The power of the puff, the frill, and the simply divine feminine ran through Louis Vuitton’s Belle Époque-inspired collection this season. In a collection of just 49 looks we see clashing prints, textures and colors that scream energy and individuality. Nicolas Ghesquière is yet another designer reminding us of the power of the female form — each model was adorned with personality — we saw the tough, the soft, the extrovert, the introvert and quite a few stops in between, also.

Left: Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2020. Right: Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2020.

A trend that Ghesquière so beautifully showcased was one that has quickly become a key trend of the season: suiting. We’ve seen it everywhere from Alexander McQueen to Givenchy in the form of tight sexy waistcoats, baggy comfy trousers, and many funky blazers. This, to me, seems like a trend with longevity, because who doesn’t feel great in a suit? This season has really cemented a redefining of power dressing. Designers have made it clear that power dressing no longer means to dress like a man, it means to dress like yourself.

There’s a lot to say about what has felt like a nuts SS20 in Paris. There were extraordinary lows (specifically French comedian Marie Benoliel’s Chanel runway crash), wonderful highs, and remarkable efforts, that all made Spring/Summer 2020 a season to remember.

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