6 Reasons Why Paris Fashion Week Dominates Over Others

March 22, 2019 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Serving up unpredictability, freshness, and provocation, Paris Fashion
Week continues to cast a shadow over Milan, London, and New York. Its
runways reveal much of what we’ve seen over this fashion month to be
nothing but expensive clothes, just more stuff. In the era of
landfills, labor abuses, and lazy consumerism, Paris Fashion Week reminds
us that we should expect more. Here are the reasons for Paris Fashion
Week’s supremacy.

It appreciates the wisdom of age

Historical allure and craftsmanship passed down through generations are
qualities that pretenders to Parisian sovereignty can only dream of as they
bat about marketing buzzwords such as “heritage” or “iconic.” Hermès,
founded in 1837, is the oldest fashion house still in operation, originally
producing saddles and equestrian supplies, now creating endless waiting
lists for its five-figure Kelly and Birkin bags. Following closely behind
is trunk maker-turned luxury streetwear player, Louis Vuitton, founded in
1854, which through an out-of-leftfield collaboration with Supreme and bold
recent hire has maneuvered itself to the forefront of fashion and the
center of youth culture. Chanel, founded in 1909, remains untouchable under
Karl Lagerfeld. Balmain (1945), Christian Dior (1946), Givenchy (1952)
Saint Laurent (1961) are all going strong despite their founders being
gone. Paris is also awakening its sleeping beauties: the 1903 house of
Poiret was reopened and dusted off for fall under design direction of
Yiqing Yin, and this week it was announced that Jean Patou is to be
relaunched under the direction of Guillaume Henry, formerly of Nina
Ricci.

Gucci SS19, Catwalkpictures.com

It boasts the most must-see reveals

During menswear week, all eyes were on what Virgil Abloh would do at
Louis Vuitton, and how Kim Jones would raise the profile of drowsy Dior
homme. Similarly now for womenswear, we look forward to Yolanda Zobel’s
debut at Courrèges and of course the return of the enigmatic and
super-successful Hedi Slimane for Celine. Already lined up for fall we
anticipate Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh’s collection for Nina Ricci
and, who knows, might we finally be welcoming a new creative director to
fill the hotseat at Lanvin?

It poaches with the promise of prestige

In recent seasons, Paris lured Rodarte, Proenza Schouler and Altuzarra
away from New York, but this season Gucci, the goiello of Milan’s
crown whose multi-faceted brilliance has reflected across all of Italian
fashion, decamped to sparkle in the city of light. It’s worth noting that
the Camera Nazionale de la Moda, Italian fashion’s governing body, chose to
leave Gucci’s name on Milan’s official show calendar, a tacit admittance
that there is no show without Michele’s Punch.

It is multigenerational

Young and old, arriviste and old guard, all sit at the same table in
Paris. 26-year-old Marine Serre has only two seasons under her belt but is
already the darling of Paris. Simon Porte Jacquemus who launched his brand
at age 19 has become a legitimate purveyor of modern riviera chic.
Meanwhile London is flooded with youthful energy but it seems to snuff out
the life of the establishment (Paul Smith, Nicole Farhi, Aquascutum), and
in Milan there continues to be an adult’s table and a children’s one at
which sits Marco de Vincenzo, Stella Jean, Arthur Arbesser. The names
Arbesser and Armani are only spoken together when explaining that the
former trained under the latter. Milan’s young blood cannot seem to ascend
in the hierarchy.

Dries Van Noten SS19, Catwalkpictures.com

It doesn’t sell its soul when it sells shares

Dries Van Noten fans, anxious that Puig’s majority investment would
change the label’s winning recipe, breathed a huge sigh of relief on
Tuesday. Money did not mutate the magic, and the Belgian who has made a
successful business from asserting his independence has evidently welcomed
the injection of capital while rejecting any change of artistic vision. The
news that American company Michael Kors Holdings, now rebranded Capri
Holdings, has purchased Italian giant Versace strikes similar fear into
many hearts but perhaps with more just cause as Versace has struggled to
grow sales, often running at a loss, despite its lauded collections. Will
the dynamic sex appeal of the gilt medusa, the epitome of heady aspiration,
be dulled by a heightened focus on tawdry commerce?

Marine Serre SS19, Catwalkpictures.com

It captures the now

Marine Serre’s entirely upcycled collection entitled Hardcore Couture,
in which she applied couture techniques to materials that she found for 2
or 3 euro, demonstrates that while Paris’s snooty nose has traditionally
been in the air, it also has boots on the ground. While the city’s fashion
output isn’t as synonymous with streetwear as New York or London, it
divined gold by snagging high-profile streetwear designers such as Abloh to
guide its premier luxury label directly into the open arms of awaiting
millennials. Consequently Off-White appears on this fashion week schedule
sending an atypical array of athletes and sports stars down the runway.
Further evidence that Paris is burning is Rick Owen’s spiky-armored females
stalking around a flaming pyre bearing torches on the same day that the
U.S. is consumed with Christine Blasey Ford delivering her testimony
alleging sexual assault against Trump’s supreme court nominee. Or John
Galliano’s collection for Maison Margiela, accompanied by the slogan “There
is no such thing as normal” which decimated that convenient little bridge
known as “gender fluid” and took us directly to the land of “genderless.”
Now there’s no going back.

Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for
the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.

Gucci SS19, Catwalkpictures.com