THE BEST AND THE WORST IN PARIS FASHION WEEK 2023/2024

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THE BEST AND THE WORST IN PARIS FASHION WEEK 2023/2024  

The fashion industry is strictly linked to the cinema world, each season many actors and actresses are asked to wear new garments for important brands, becoming the best advertisement for luxury marks. This article is not a list of the actors and actresses who have worked as ambassadors during this edition of PFW, instead, the main focus is going to be the catwalks alongside the newest collections presented during this special week. 

The Paris Fashion Week has just ended on October 3rd, 2023: they have been seven days filled with excitement and extravagance. Fashion marks have shown us what they are made of, exhibiting new fabulous masterpieces, leaving all of us astonished. Let’s have a look at the Best and Worst runaways in this unforgettable PFW 2023/2024. 

THE TOP 3 BEST RUNAWAYS 

Among the many famous runaways, every brand was able to leave a mark in fashion history. It was difficult to choose the top 3 best ones, the list is really reductive and it should include many other shows. 

1. RICK OWENS 

When talking about avant-garde in fashion the name of Rick Owens must come to our minds. Even if his style has been described as rebellious and bold, ignorant eyes have perceived it as weird. As a matter of fact, extravagance is usually badly judged, but Rick Owens has really presented a masterpiece with this show, described as a “post-apocalyptic” performance. The catwalk has been carried out with a creepy feeling, enabled through color powder and music, providing a theatrical scene for the viewers. The looks are original, something alternative to what we are used to seeing in luxury brands’ catwalks. The looks are in line with the location, the colors change from dark ones, such as black or brown, to bright colors, especially fuchsia and yellow. This contrast also adds a sense of loss to the performance. The show has also been compared to a scene from the TV series The Last of Us, giving a clearer idea of how majestic the catwalk has been. 




2. LOEWE

The aim of this new collection launched by Loewe is to focus on details. The brand had already expressed its main value in the Spring collection presented last year at the PFW 2022: innovation.  

Loewe is taking hold in the luxury fashion industry thanks to his creative ideas, which are very different from the classical taste of many maisons such as Dior or Yves Saint Laurent. This new collection has been designed by Jonathan Anderson, yet the accessories and details are the ones that stand out in Loewe’s looks. It is not a coincidence that Lynda Benglis is the mind behind the jewelry design, in fact, she is also the artist who created the six bronze sculptures, essential characters in the show. The sculptures are in line with the jewelry pieces, made both in gold and silver: knotted and bright. 

The most iconic pieces of clothing, which will make the brand history, include the top formed by many little crystal flowers (the top has been shown in white and green, as well as in white and gold) and one long carding with giant gold buttons at the center. These buttons are in harmony with the sculptures too. Loewe’s popularity is also due to its marketing campaigns and the choice of its ambassadors. Recently 88-year-old actress Maggie Smith has become a model for the brand, sponsoring one of the latest pieces of this collection: the Paseo bag. Many celebrities were present in the first lines of the show, enhancing Loewe’s visibility on social media: Emma Chamberlain, Kit Konnor, Emily Ratajkowski, Kris Jenner, and so on. 




3. MIU MIU 

The Spring/Summer 2024 Miu Miu collection presents new ways of combining different garments: sportswear, evening items, and swimsuits; showing that creativity is the main tool to give life to stunning outfits. Possibilities will always be endless. After their success in past runaways, low-raised miniskirts continue to lead the way of the Miu Miu collection; only now they have a new modern touch. Some of them are not meant to be elegant, in fact, they were meant to be sporty. One of the most iconic looks of this edition reveals low-raised bermuda double shorts, joined with an elegant coat and sandals.  

Miuccia Prada is the mind behind the looks, she wanted to mix beauty with a modern point of view. The location is also a key factor in sending this vibe and the artist Sophia Al-Maria did a great job choosing the inside of Palais d’Iéna. Thanks to the collaboration with OMA, she was able to transform the inside of the place into an unreal technological universe in order to give a sense of modernity. This perception of avant-garde helps the audience to fully take part in the show. 




   

THE TOP 3 WORST RUNAWAYS 

Each brand always tries to express its values through its collections and, it is fair to admit that each one of them succeeded in doing so in this edition of PFW 2023/2024. It takes great courage for all fashion designers to follow their ideals, regardless of judgments and critics. That is to say: having a misunderstood collection, doesn’t affect the whole spirit of a brand.

1. BALENCIAGA 

It comes as a shock for all fashion addicts that the Balenciaga Spring/Summer Collection 2023/2024 has been one of the less appreciated. The cleverest choice made for this runway was asking Demna’s friends and relatives to become Balenciaga’s models for this show. Demna is currently the brand creative director and he personally asked his family to be part of the show, for instance, his mom (Ella Gvasalia) was one of the models walking on the catwalk. Among the known figures who had this amazing opportunity, we find Cathy Horyn, one of the most famous fashion critics of all time, who happens to be Demna’s close friend.

Nonetheless, is this idea a sort of escamotage to hide the fact that Balenciaga’s looks were a bit boring? Most of the outfits have already been seen on past runways and the sporty items gave an already-perceived vibe. It might be true that many people had high expectations of Balenciaga since it was one of the first innovative luxury brands that stood out among old-fashioned ones. But it seems that it has now been overcome by more original fashion houses, such as Rick Owens.  

In conclusion, even though the new inclusivity made possible by Demna’s beautiful idea was brilliant, Balenciaga still needs to find the spirit he had in the early years of his career. 



2. MAISON MARGIELA

Maison Margiela opens up again a crucial question that has divided stylists in past years: is fashion art? 

John Galliano’s looks are true pieces of art and each item has something to say, but nowadays many stylists are confirming that the fashion industry must provide authentic garments. Such a statement says that fashion is not art at all, since its purpose is to produce actual wearable garments. We can all admit that Maison Margela’s plastic skirts, dresses, and britches are entertaining and captivating, but who is gonna actually wear them in everyday life? Everyone has their own opinion on this topic, hence many viewers really liked John Galliano’s style; nonetheless, critical reviews have been exposed as well. All in all, Maison Margiela did a great work putting on stage an eccentric catwalk, yet it has not been appreciated by critics. 



         

3. COMME DES GARÇONS 

The emerging French brand Comme Des Garçon leaves everybody amazed with its new collection, which basically includes extravagant colorful items. Following the previous debate, it is clear that for Rei Kawakubo, fashion is indeed art. She is a Japanese fashion designer who has brought a piece of Eastern style to the Paris Fashion Week catwalks, introducing a new point of view in Western culture. It is still difficult for older generations to fully understand Kawakubo’s perception, while her outfits seem to be really loved by young people.  

To sum up, right now the fashion industry is divided into innovation and usability of clothes. 

It is also true to say that some brands are expected to remain traditional and classical in their styles, such as Dior or Chanel. They both have their iconic style and, consequently, we expect them to never change. We might be the reason for their anti-dynamic philosophy, we are not giving them the opportunity to evolve and come up with something new. On the contrary other brands, especially the most recent ones, are associated with extravagance and we search for innovation in them. This idea could possibly put the working teams under pressure because they always need to have genial ideas. Truth is we always need to put a label on everything and everyone, in order to have a sort of order in our minds. Yet, aren’t we limiting ourselves and others with these labels? 



By Costanza Alberti 


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