5 things we learned from Paris Fashion Week

Written by Naomi May

From a viral spray-on dress at Coperni to a Kanye-led mudslide at Balenciaga, Paris Fashion Week never fails to disappoint. 

In case we needed any more confirmation that fashion was back after a series of pandemic-related hiatuses, the recent spring/summer 2023 season has provided a bounty of evidence.

From colour and texture galore in Copenhagen to the return of big names on the schedule in New York, brands have used this season to reassert their ethos and DNA to the industry and the world, and few cities’ showcases have exemplified this re-emergence more so than Paris.

The final week-long showcase in the fashion month calendar, Paris Fashion Week attracts industry sentinels and gatekeepers alike to celebrate the upcoming collections of some of the fashion realm’s most exciting and talked-about brands.

This season has been no exception. From a new recruit to the Balmain army to a mudslide of a show, quite literally, for Balenciaga – this is everything you need to know from Paris Fashion Week.

Coperni makes magic (and history) with Bella Hadid

Bella Hadid made magic by having a dress sprayed onto her body at Coperni’s Paris Fashion Week show.

Never one to shy away from a potential moment of virality, it was Coperni’s final act at its spring/summer 2023 show that truly cemented it as a brand of the future. Bella Hadid took to the runway in little more than a nude thong, before scientists from London-based company called Fabrican began spraying her with what initially looked like off-white spider webs, which instantly dried to form a layer of fabric. The brand, known for its fusion of science, ingenuity and fashion, made history with the technological showcase, as Hadid proceeded to lap the catwalk one last time in the dress that, moments before, was just spray in a bottle.

Cher joins the Balmain army 

Cher made her Paris Fashion Week debut at Balmain’s spring/summer 2023 show.

You better Believe it (sorry), when we say that Cher – our favourite mononymous star – took to the runway at Balmain to close the brand’s spring/summer 2023 show to the booming soundtrack of her own classic, Strong Enough. Her appearance was nodded to at the beginning of the showcase, dubbed the Balmain Festival, with a clip of Cher on screen, saying: “All of us invent ourselves. Some of us just have more imagination than others.”

Dior takes inspiration from 16th century royals

Dior’s spring/summer 2023 collection took inspiration from bygone regal eras.

“Each Maria Grazia Chiuri collection is about opening up room for the creative imagination,” the brand penned in its show notes for a collection that drew inspiration from Catherine de Medici, the 16th century queen of France. Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, nodded to the intricate connection between de Medici and fashion, believing her to be one of the first to understand the power of what she wore.

Balenciaga comes back down to earth  

Balenciaga’s spring/summer 2023 show saw models trudge through a mudslide.

Marking his first outing as a runway model, Kanye West set tongues wagging in Paris as he opened his longtime collaborator Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga show. Set against an apparent mudslide, Balenciaga’s spring/summer 2023 collection was intended to be a continuation of last season’s offering, which featured models struggling through a runway in a blizzard. After the snow comes the mud. The intention was to show that, no matter what life hurls at you, you must always keep moving, and keep walking ahead.

Stella McCartney embraces Crayola brights

Stella McCartney’s show was packed full of Crayola bright shades.

The message at Stella McCartney was loud and clear: prints were rendered redundant as the designer endorsed bright, juicy bursts of colours that were plucked straight from the Crayola playbook. Suits were canary yellow, dresses were crafted in shades of teal and jackets were proffered in zesty apple greens. Held at Centre Pompidou, the national museum for modern art, McCartney’s collection was the most conscious yet, with 87% of it being deemed “sustainable”.

Images: Getty; courtesy of brands

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