With advancing technology, artificial intelligence, and ChatGPT on everyone’s minds lately it’s no surprise that Paris Fashion Week came with digital gimmicks galore and plenty of viral moments. From light-dependent fabric and robot dogs to 3D printed latex, Paris looked to the future with cutting-edge techniques and called back to the past with hints of 90s minimalism and trends of simplicity and craftsmanship.
Let’s take a look at some of the most memorable shows and debuts from Paris Fashion Week Fall 2023.
The Danish duo Julius and Victor Juul pride their brand on high-tech materials and utilitarian designs, and this season they took it even further – sending a professional stunt-man down the runway on fire. The rest of the 35-look collection brought interesting silhouettes as always – focusing on modular garments strategically using zippers. Sticking within a natural color palette, reflective materials and textures are used to create bold looks within the dystopian collection. Ski masks, sunglasses and hooded accessories kept the models practically anonymous – and very extraterrestrial looking. Tight-knitted garments and adaptable modular puffy outerwear created great juxtapositions in shape and took us into Heliot Emils obscure fashion fantasy.
Pants? A thing of the past at the Miu Miu show, models hit the runway with side swept and undone hair – gone are the ultra mini skirts, replaced with jeweled briefs, knee length sheer skirts, button up cardigans and 60’s silhouette mod minidresses. Miuccia Prada gave us classic wool skirt suits and tailoring with occasional athletic wear and bomber style jackets to dress down the preppy collection. Fun polka-dot patterns, flower appliqué and bright colour blocking all give a retro vibe to the collection while staying within a mostly neutral colour palette.
Chanel’s rich history with the camellia flower was the focus of the show, incorporating it into the set, monograms, applique, prints and accessories throughout. Lace knee length leggings and shiny leather perfectly balanced the softness of floral patterns and dainty accessories. Boyish silhouettes were seen in long bloomer style shorts and knee length rompers paired with riding boots. Although there were youthful touches throughout the show, as a whole there was a rebellious grunge feel to the overall theme of the collection.
Models at the Courrèges show came down the runway, eyes glued to their phone screens – wearing blazers, hoodies and jackets altered so their arms can easily hold their devices. The digitally inspired show soundtrack played an AI voice and the designs leaned on simple shapes, reflective and sheer materials. Round cutouts created asymmetry in different looks and oversized round metal necklaces, pendants and details filled negative space to create harmony between the collection. Accessories were kept simple; structured handbags, minimal clutches, sunglasses and opera gloves for a bit of drama.
Anderson plays with reality yet again in his newest collection, demanding the viewer to take a closer look at the printed garments seemingly blurred or glitching before their very eyes. Structure and simplicity in craftsmanship are the core of the collection, elegant draping, and slouchy garments give the collection an extremely relaxed vibe, and skintight silhouettes rarely appear, giving Anderson room to explore how shape can be manipulated in molded apparel. Accessories are oversized and lack structure kept minimal to let the reality-bending garments shine.
The notoriously technology-based label has created viral moments in the past, but this season they brought robots. Their latest showmanship included bright yellow robot dogs, who interacted with models during the presentation. The collection included bejeweled blazers, coloured tights, fur coats, and skimpy scarf tops paired with simple black tailored garments to feature classic silhouettes subversive with draping techniques and altered illusions of shape.
Possibly the most captivating and high-tech presentation came from Japanese designer Kunihiko Morinaga’s Anrealage where blank white outfits revealed patterns and colours when exposed to a UV light, appearing as though they were being printed on the runway. One of the most colourful collections from Paris Fashion Week, bold and mismatched prints were delightfully fun and youthful in comparison to the mainly neutral themes of other collections.
The experimental label explored sporty chic in its newest collection, including motorcycle jackets, hooded shirts, boxing boots, and tube tops. Models looked as if they stepped out of a video game, rocking fingerless gloves, sunglasses, and miniskirts with their moto boots – evoking a dystopian mad-max biker chick aesthetic with bandage detailing and fur accessories. Puma provided revamped vintage styles of lace-up boots and sneakers accompanied by crossbody bags for the runway providing a retro touch to the ultra-modern collection.
Institut Français de la Mode
To open fashion week the Institut Français de la Mode invited their class of 2023 students to present their latest works. Over 130 looks graced the runway – featuring the prospective talent of emerging designers in Paris.
Eugene Oh presented a 3D-printed dress and utilized artistic techniques in fabric manipulation, using unconventional materials and distressing to create differences in texture.
Ju Bao presented “Annihilation” which featured beautifully distressed denim pants, crochet, and knitwear using techniques developed by the designer.
Carla Bore transported us to a fairytale world, with evening wear that appeared to look wet with sheer paneling and wrinkled distressed fabric.
Eun Pyo Hong closed the show with her bridal looks inspired by 16th-century Dutch Renaissance paintings, complete with cake-shaped bags and hoop skirts with knit and lace details.
The handmade latex label presented sleek and sexy monochrome and metallic looks – made from transparent latex, including opera gloves, catsuits, evening gowns, trench coats, bomber jackets, and draped tops with occasional Swarovski crystal jeweled pieces and 3D printed catsuits and dresses.
Sydney Goldhawk is a Freelance Stylist currently living in Toronto.
With a love for all things vintage and runway, her perspective draws heavily from her fascination with the synchronicity she observes between modern aesthetics and references to the past.