Paris Fashion Week gives a round-up of the upcoming trends for Spring/Summer ’19 confirming minimal opulence, revamped outerwear and the return of nets and crochets.
Despite being christened as the ‘Ville Lumière’ or in layman terms, the City of Lights, Paris stands for much more being a forerunner of the high-fashion industry. The city comes alive every season during the Paris Fashion Week as it marks the end of major fashion weeks for the season while confirming several bygone trends of preceding fashion weeks. These days of pure fashion contribute to make a significant chunk of revenue for the fashion and apparel industry of France, which amounts to about US $ 15,627 million in 2018 as per statista.com.
With even the Parisian streets enveloped in couture, the money-makers of the industry are the heritage fashion houses that branded the city as one of the most influential fashion capitals of the world two centuries back. Right from ‘haute-couture’ legacy fashion houses like Dior, Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton, to the newcomers who are here to stay such as Chloé, Rochas, Céline and Balmain, the list of fashion’s most coveted entities housed by France is never ending.
The bigwigs of the ever-dynamic French fashion industry witnessed several changes of varying nuances this year and made headlines globally. The biggest instance of this feat is the return of Balmain to the couture runways as per Creative Director Olivier Rousteing. Céline, which was rechristened to Celine by newly appointed Creative Director Hedi Slimane, was subjected to serious criticism due to its ‘clean slate’ approach as the brand loyalists saw a drastic change from an effortlessly feminine brand of predecessor Phoebe Philo to a ‘black and sleek, not Celine-like’ guise by Slimane.
The runways this year saw fashion that was ‘made for masses’ as the designers chose the ramp as a platform to convey fashion that was less about individual competition and more about the cause of cross-generational unity. Innovation celebrated a confluence with couture tailoring and craftsmanship with a sense of individuality signature for each designer. John Galliano at Maison Margiela upheld the concept of equality for all genders, Balmain united runway and technology as they transformed the venue into screens spanning 360 degrees, Dries Van Noten played along the modernist lines in cut-throat sleek silhouettes drenched in sequins of the new age, while Sarah Burton revamped classic Victorian gowns with tulle, lace and Celtic leather for Alexander McQueen. The Milanese brand, Off-White by Virgil Abloh, pulled off its athleisure-meets-couture element successfully despite being away from home.
Fashion catered to the diversity of consumers to provide trends that were an amalgamation of modern and vintage strokes juxtaposed intellectually together on the canvas of ramps – there were takes on ’90s classics such as black coats and sandal-tights, extravagant opulence showcased in minimal manner and several takes on fishnets and crochets. Here’s our edit of the trends spotted at the Paris Fashion Week S/S’19.
1. The Black Coat
The inevitability of resurgence of black was an avoidable affair, as Black was the new Black this season for Paris. Adding to the magnitude of the return was the trend of black coats as several designers played with the classic piece via diversified silhouettes, surface designs, prints, structures and value addition.
Ranging from power shoulders and cinched waists, the black coats were constructed using dense fabrics such as vinyl, velvet, heavy polyesters and knits. The most common trait of all were contrasting lapels as well as asymmetrical cinched waists. The trend was anointed as a Spring 2019 staple due its ability to be modified into its most complex versions yet stand trendy in its simple form.
2. Minimal Opulence
As mentioned above, fashion was for masses this season; even the very dramatic brands such as Balmain and Dior stayed restricted this season. Thus, the biggest trend that emerged out of the fashion week was the extravagance portrayed through minimalism. There was a stoic balance between silhouettes and materials- if one was ostentatious, the other complimented it with sheer simplicity.
Rich, luxe fabrics were used with heavy embroidery and value addition sequins and applique only to create sleek and straight silhouette garments. On the contrary, grandiose silhouettes with ruffles, flounce and radical, bold pattern modifications for shoulders, waist etc, were made using plain-sailing fabrics like georgettes, chiffons and sheers. In fact, a tulle-laden large skirt was paired with an activewear t-shirt by Off-White for S/S ’19.
3. Bicycle Shorts for All
Starting off as an extremely short version of shorts, the trend of shorts in almost every kind of ensemble took a turn of gradation as bicycle shorts are now here to stay. The sudden influx of these knee-length fitted shorts was not just limited to casual attires and athleisure as per convention as it was seen in occasion, outdoor, even formal attires this season.
A more elevated approach taken for the trend were crisp tailored shorts coordinated with jacket in plaids, tweeds, rexine and cargo materials with utility pockets. Coordinated sets in prints or solids were also present in significant numbers.
4. The Net Effect
Vacation culture has imbibed itself in the lifestyle of most of the consumer base to escape the corporate reality even if it is through clothing. The’80s hippie style peeped through the collections in the form of abundance of yarn manipulations- fishnets, crochets and cut yarn layers.
This ‘net’ effect was achieved using a plethora of techniques such as simple knotting, crochet knitting and effective use of cutouts in floral motifs.
The layering of several net fabrics from dense to loose knits was a recurring characteristic creating outfits. In fact, Maria Grazia Chiuri presented several such garments for Dior, where she extended a mere fishnet into a high-cut dress with fringed hems.
5. Sandals Meet Tights
Shoes with tights are always considered synonymous to the’90s era of minimalist fashion, but the Parisian runways saw a twist to the trend with tights and socks being paired against sandals, chunky or strappy, in a manner that was far away from minimalist.
Not just limited to thin mesh fabric, the tights were now in extravagant fabrics such as shimmer polyesters and embroidered satin. They were set to contrast the footwear and attires or to complement them being strewn in tones in gradation to that of the ensemble. In fact, more progressive brands such as Courrèges stuck to their narcissistic signature by showcasing skin-tone tights slammed with the brand’s logo with miniskirts and flat sandals.
6. Modern Corset Silhouette
Corsets have been emblematic of a very restrictively feminine figure, but the contemporary designers are taking the corset silhouette to a level that speaks about feminine body with a bold and empowering edge. The models breezed through the Parisian runways wearing garments that cinched perfectly at the waist but had exaggerating pattern.
Power shoulders set against flattering Celtic leather waist-belts with peplum extensions, dramatic structured circular shoulders with cinched waists, chunky rectangular jackets set against fit and flare dresses along with coatdresses with caged waists defined the trend for S/S ’19 in Paris.