Paris Fashion Week A/W 2023 Recent Highlights

Paris Fashion Week continued to impress with its vibrant displays of Renaissance art, various cultural inspirations, and showstopping looks.

Here are some highlights from ready-to-wear collections showcased this Thursday.

Givenchy’s collection showcased a blend of menswear tailoring and feminine touches, including pieces from the brand’s archives, resulting in “silhouettes from the past but updated for the present.”

Givenchy’s Evolution

Matthew M. Williams, previously known for his street and urban style, has taken a step towards a more feminine and elegant line for Givenchy.

During the fall show for the Parisian brand, Williams showcased black angular shouldered gowns and coats, demonstrating menswear tailoring that was perfectly complemented by feminine touches, such as sheer chiffon.

The collection also included pieces from Givenchy’s archives, including the founder’s fish motif, and presented multiple couture garments made by the famous atelier.

Williams, who has previously collaborated with artists such as Lady Gaga, brought a touch of razzmatazz to Givenchy.

In the latest collection, Matthew M. Williams further refined his creative vision for Givenchy, seeking to capture the same sense of clarity as his previous menswear show in January.

The bright white show space provided a similar feeling of renewal, and Williams again looked to the house’s founder and his “principles of elegance.”

This resulted in “silhouettes from the past but updated for the present,” such as a cinched-waist tailored jacket that could be transformed into a cropped dress, and oversized satin overcoats cut wide across the shoulders for a contemporary silhouette.

Graceful full-length dresses were reimagined in modern materials, from raw-edge sliced leather to sheer, body-hugging organza in bold shades of pink and green.

The collection still maintained Williams’ streetwear influences, with the designer noting that the impact of this style was part of “the dialogue between Parisian chic and American cool” that he has observed in recent seasons.

This is apparent in the idiosyncratic layers of sweatpants, distressed leather skirts and kilts, some adorned with D-rings and studs.

Williams’ latest collection for women was likely his most comprehensive yet, encompassing the “confidence, comfort, and empowerment” that he aimed to capture this season.

Chloé’s Renaissance Inspiration

Gabriela Hearst’s latest Chloé collection was inspired by Artemisia Gentileschi, a groundbreaking female painter from the 17th century.

Hearst incorporated Gentileschi’s spirit and determination into the collection, emphasizing the importance of women’s stories.

The silhouettes were influenced by the Renaissance era, featuring tunic-style gowns with bell or flared sleeves that narrowed at the waist, giving a contemporary edge to classic designs.

To maintain her sustainable credentials, the collection utilized low-impact wool gauze, creating an ethereal quality that represented feminine power.

The pieces also included fabrics inspired by Renaissance architecture, highlighting the craftsmanship of the Chloé atelier.

The standout piece of the collection was a multicolored tapestry dress with sporty straps, constructed with paneled images.

This piece was inspired by Gentileschi’s “Esther before Ahasuerus” painting and made by Chanakya International embroidery studio, which provides hand embroidery training for women from low-income communities.

The collection showcased a quiet feminist power with its long thick statement coats, flared textured pants, and flattering scooped-out shoulder details.

The giant A-line puffer cape and harlequin-style gowns added to the collection’s baroque influences.

Rick Owens’ Ancient World and Eco-Efforts

Rick Owens found inspiration for his Luxor collection from the vastness and scale of Egypt, where he spends his winters.

This season’s collection follows the same theme as his previous A/W 2023 menswear collection, showcased earlier this year.

Owens finds comfort in Egypt’s history, comparing it to the insignificance of contemporary discomforts.

However, he notes that there is a bitterness to creating the collection due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, and he emphasizes that fashion has a responsibility to remain stalwart and do its best in the face of crisis.

The Luxor collection had a brutal glamour that called for a respectful formality and sobriety, with moments of delicacy as reminders of what is at risk and at stake.

The clothes featured the simplest of shapes, including bulbous pads of leather that wrapped around the body and knit dresses sliced above the thigh and elongated on the sleeves.

The collection also included sculptural puffa jackets adorned with pink or black sequins and a dress covered in hundreds of dangling sequins that gave the appearance of feathers.

The runway was an industrial metal platform snaking through one of Palais de Tokyo’s interior wings, with models towering above attendees on vertiginous platform heels.

The soundtrack included a new song by Canadian musician Peaches, who became a muse for the season.

Owens admires Peaches’ intelligent lyrics and notes that her scrappy resistance and ferocity serve as an example more relevant than ever.

Owens’ eco-efforts included preparing the leather in this collection through “veg tanning,” which uses only vegetal and natural tannins.

The schedule for Paris Fashion Week A/W 2023, featuring new collections from other notable brands such as Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton, runs from February 27th to March 7th.

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Article In a Snapshot

  • Givenchy’s collection showcased a blend of menswear tailoring and feminine touches, including pieces from the brand’s archives, resulting in “silhouettes from the past but updated for the present.”
  • Chloé’s latest collection was inspired by the Renaissance era and Artemisia Gentileschi, featuring tunic-style gowns with bell or flared sleeves, low-impact wool gauze, and fabrics inspired by Renaissance architecture.
  • Rick Owens’ Luxor collection drew inspiration from the vastness and scale of Egypt and included the simplest of shapes such as bulbous pads of leather, knit dresses, and sculptural puffa jackets adorned with sequins, while also featuring eco-efforts such as “veg tanning” the leather.
  • Paris Fashion Week A/W 2023 will run until March 7th and feature many other high-end brands.

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