Paris Fashion Week Debuts by Valentino, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and more
Though the Spring/Summer 2024 Paris Fashion Week presentations have reached an end, we’re still reminiscing on what we saw. Join us as we look at the latest debuts from Valentino, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Miu Miu, UNDERCOVER, and Mugler.
Alexander McQueen’s Anatomical Musings Meet Notions of Regality
Alexander McQueen’s final collection by Sarah Burton, “Anatomy II,” was one of regality, poise, and bodily suggestion that pulled from inspirations including the female anatomy, Queen Elizabeth I, the blood red rose, and the artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. The Paris Fashion Week runway show encompassed striking looks from start to finish, each arresting the attention of onlookers with sanguine accents, unfurling folds and petals, sculptural integrity, armor-like facets, and other textural adornments and delights that ensured the wearer would be the center of attention. Standout looks included a crochet sweater dress in skeletal white with intricate floral details, a nude gown with anatomical red embroidery reminiscent of a network of blood vessels, and a suite of crisp tailoring with details like slices of fabric missing, dashes of red fringe, and sections of structural leather.
Valentino’s Paris Fashion Week Presentation Celebrated the Feminine Body
Pierpaolo Piccioli’s designs for “Valentino: L’École,” celebrated the feminine body through looks that conveyed a comfort in one’s own skin, whether dressed in garments that show off the figure or pieces that conceal it. Personal sensuality and the choice to present one’s body as one wishes was the basis for a carefully sculpted, three-dimensional kind of mesh made of baroque motifs of fruit, animals, and foliage that sat at the forefront of the collection, composing entire garments and giving the impression of being both naked and fully clothed at once. This technically finessed material choice was applied to styles from shirts and dresses to denim pants and duster coats and was juxtaposed by pieces employing ample fabric usage—like romantic capes and draping or long gowns with gilded motifs. Ensembles were accompanied by solid, unmissable accessories with an elegant sensibility, like flat shoes, chunky eyewear frames, and handbags with details like woven leather outlays or thick straps and slouchy shapes. The runway show during Paris Fashion Week featured a performance by FKA Twigs, fully capturing the ethos of bodily comfort represented in the collection.
Paris Fashion Week Highlights from UNDERCOVER Light Up the Runway
Jun Takahashi’s designs for the UNDERCOVER Spring/Summer 2024 collection “Deep Mist” were oozing a mysterious surrealism brought on by entrancing transparencies. The season’s shapes were rooted in the classics—tailoring, bomber jackets, trousers, and dresses with fitted bodices and fuller skirts—but uniquely updated with an inside-out framework that allowed viewers a peek at what’s usually only seen by the wearer. Zigzag stitching and inner seams became the outer armor of jackets, their pockets imagined in sheer fabrications, revealing their contents; pants and shorts were all-sheer or made with outer layers of gauzy silk chiffon, as was shirting, like a series of Oxford button-ups. The Paris Fashion Week runway show came to a memorable end when the lights went out to make way for a series of mini dresses with ballooning hems, which were illuminated from the inside, revealing skirts filled with menageries of flowers and butterflies.
Miu Miu Brings a Rationale of Beauties to Paris Fashion Week
Moments of beauty and the joy of living flowed through Miuccia Prada’s concept for Miu Miu’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection, “A Rationale of Beauties.” Filling the Paris Fashion Week runway was a lively palette and slightly collegiate feelings—not quite childish, but not quite mature—featuring a variety of shapes, styles, and references from the past and present. Giving the impression that enjoying the moment should take precedence over a polished appearance, the collection featured looks with a kind of casual composure. There were bandana tops and low-slung trousers, micro skirts with blazers and sweaters, unstructured skirt-and-jacket sets in textured fabrications, and boxy shifts in tactile jacquards. Looks were styled with large-framed glasses, thick leather belts, and flat shoes like sneakers, leather Oxfords, and nylon cord sandals.
Mugler Reveres Powerful Creatures at Paris Fashion Week
Mugler’s Casey Cadwallader connected a type of power in women and the creatures that inhabit the depths of the ocean, revering both in an eloquently compelling Spring/Summer 2024 collection. Putting the lines and curves of the body on full display, the feminine form was empowered through garments executed with plays of tension and release, sharp geometry and organic movements, iridescent sheers, and architectural tailoring. High-fashion nods to octopus, urchins, and jellyfish came in the way of 3D-printed corsets that looked like glass, heavy fringes falling to the floor, and sequin and feathered pieces that appeared to float down the runway. Looks we’re still thinking about include a black skirt with a sculptural resin pannier and a sheer, one-shouldered top, a corseted body suit with trails of billowing silk in ombre from black to pale beige, and a barely-there blazer dress with a nude structured underlayer and thigh-high footwear.
Paris Fashion Week Debuts from Balenciaga Pull from Personal Inspirations
A personal array of thoughts, influences, and inspirations helped Demna to conceive the Summer 2024 collection for Balenciaga. This sentiment was reflected not only in the designs, but in the runway show itself during Paris Fashion Week, which featured a cast of personalities from across the world, chosen by the designer. There was Demna’s mother, a mechanical engineer, stylists, actors, visual artists, skaters, the house’s own Chief Creative Officer, and the designer’s husband, musician BFRND. Staged in a theater with a backdrop of red velvet, the collection heavily relied on deadstock fabrications and upcycled garments, offering elevated but pragmatic staples with a flare of the dramatic—like trenches made from other trenches, streamlined shapes with a particular standout detail (like a long black gown with a plissé pleated element), and sartorial archetypes and streetwear in inflated proportions. The presentation progressed from casual to formal, ending with a lace-trimmed bridal look that featured a ballgown silhouette and a long blusher veil, made from combining upcycled elements from seven existing wedding gowns.