Paris Fashion Week is showcasing 107 houses over 9 days

Paris is the epicenter of the global luxury industry this week, with Tuesday marking the first major day of ready-to-wear shows. Powerhouses Saint Laurent and Dior are among 107 brands showcasing their spring-summer 2023 collections at Paris Fashion Week. Here are some highlights so far:

Dior’s Nostalgic Palace

Guests including Natalie Portman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rosamund Pike and Emma Raducanu gazed curiously at a decaying palace set inside an annex of the Tuileries Gardens. Through Renaissance doors, faded wooden cornices and vines over lower columns reveal the mystery of a bygone era.

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The brand explained: Based on Dior’s headquarters on Avenue Montaigne, the set was also inspired by Catherine of Medicis, the Renaissance queen who moved to the Tuileries in the 16th century. His famous gardens and a palace were built on the site which have since been destroyed. Catherine also brought heels, corsets and Italian Burano lace to the French court — picked up by Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri in this thoughtful show of 84 looks, heavy on black and white.

Dancers perform alongside ribbed corsets, high Renaissance waists and lashings of lace around the dusty palatial runway.

Despite contemporary features like shiny fabrics and utilitarian toggles, Chiuri’s aesthetic rarely deviates from the history books. And great effect – it made for Dior’s strongest show in the season.

Heavy (15)80s Renaissance ruching and ruffles went under a skirt topped with a black “chainmail” vest that might have been worn to the YMCA in the (19)80s. An LBD was gloriously anachronistic with a skirt that ballooned out like a full skirt top, but reined in with playful toggles.

Boater’s Stomping Sneakers

Sartorial Tuesday meets aquatic at the show co-editing boater’s crisp lapels, boxy jackets and poetic cutaways. They are wearing brightly colored suits.

Statement stomping sneakers — again, in vibrant colors — contrast with trendy suit-wear sometimes sporting marble lines to evoke the tentacles of sea creatures.

Distressed double denim continued the underwater vibe on a male model who walked down the runway with a blue knitted mask over his full face and transparent globules in his hands. It made him look as if he had been attacked by a jellyfish. Or Rushemi Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh’s show could be another dig at the coronavirus pandemic.

YSL is all about sexy hoods

Dramatic ’80s shoulders, column silhouettes — and hoods — built from the late Yves Saint Laurent’s heady days at the Parisian stalwart’s Tuesday evening show, all set to wink at the Eiffel Tower.

The house’s founder deftly turned the “capuche” into one of his most iconic styles – originally inspired by the cylindrical sheath donned by dancer Martha Graham for her 1930s choreography Lament. So Saint Laurent would probably have looked fondly on the offering of designer Anthony Vaccarello, who took this hooded style and ran with it — or strutted — with it.

A ’90s refinement muted ’80s hoods that came in muted or caramel tones — also reminiscent of the colors of that proud era. This hood formed the base silhouette of many pared-down ensembles, contrasted with statement gold earrings or large wooden bracelets, and oozed sex appeal. Heavy open wool coats and regal trenches, which graced the floor, framed a rectangular window through which pants could be seen in some clever fashion theater. Elsewhere, figure-hugging jersey short turtlenecks evoked an aesthetic that screamed sensual pleasure.

Vaquera brought the Stars and Stripes to Paris

A flash of American funk swept Paris for Monday’s installment of Fashion Week — a day reserved for up-and-comers. Bhakera, who rose to fame wearing a US flag gown with a huge train in New York five years ago, moved across the pond this season and was a highlight.

Designers Patrick DiCaprio and Brian Taubensee mixed their edgy styles with looks that went more commercial for spring-summer. Distressed denim, the punk exuberance of Vivienne Westwood’s head day and corsetry and lashings of Americana references – like a loose shiny biker jacket – often define the sellable 31-look display.

The US flag made its runway return, here as a sheer shawl that led to a magnificent ballooning parachute skirt.

Lancome’s life is beautiful

The first major party of the season celebrated one of Paris’ most iconic perfume and cosmetic brands: Lancôme. A stone staircase covered in colorful lights led VIP guests, including model Naomi Lenoir, to the palatial Petit Palais venue on the banks of the Seine on Monday night.

Owned by L’Oréal, this season Lancôme celebrated the 10th anniversary of its best-selling French perfume “La Vie Est Belle” – or “Life is Beautiful”. Victoria’s Secret model Sara Sampaio partied at the famous art museum in a black mini with frills.

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