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Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Kennedy Yanko, Reginald O’Neal, and Cajsa von Zeipel

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Courtesy of Christian Wijnants.
Photo by Ines Manai, courtesy of Isabel Marant.
Photo by Ines Manai, courtesy of Isabel Marant.
Courtesy of Jil Sander.
Courtesy of Jil Sander.
Courtesy of Altuzarra.
Courtesy of Altuzarra.
Courtesy of Givenchy.
Courtesy of Givenchy.
Courtesy of Altuzarra.
Fashion

Paris Fashion Week FW21: Givenchy, Isabel Marant, Jil Sander, and More

By Pearl Fontaine

March 8, 2021

With Paris Fashion Week nearing its close, we’re sharing details on the Fall/Winter 2021 collections shown by Givenchy, Isabel Marant, Jil Sander, Christian Wijnants, and Altuzarra.

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Courtesy of Givenchy.

Presented via video, Givenchy’s Fall/Winter 2021 runway show was captured in a shadowy, cavernous venue where models were illuminated by traveling spotlights that followed their path across a puddle-filled floor. A sense of mystery and urgency was underscored by Robert Hood’s compelling instrumental soundtrack, as we saw the season’s new looks emerge by color—first a series of all-black garments, followed by hues like white, light neutrals, and pops of red. A bridge between ideas of classical, radical, and practical dress offered a thrilling tension, exemplified in a diverse compilation of elements like sculpted knitwear, large statement outerwear, sleek tailoring pieces, and a play on pairings of ample garments with barely-there styles. Highlights of the collection creative director by Matthew Williams included a long gauzy gown wrapped in stripes of black braided material paired with shoulder-length gloves, a strappy bra top worn with fitted black pants and a feather-lined shoulder wrap, and a white and tan look featuring gem-studded pants and a glossy red iteration of the season’s new balloon-like platform footwear.

Open Gallery

Photo by Ines Manai, courtesy of Isabel Marant.

Isabel Marant’s inter-era exploration saw influences like the spirit of the 1960s, the 1990s Gabber scene’s techno mood, and a psychedelic sea of colorful florals influencing its Fall/Winter 2021 collection. Captured in a film work by Simon Cahn, shot within an industrial setting on the outskirts of Paris, there were versatile designs that merged ideas of masculine and feminine alongside day and night. Shapes from across decades and borrowed from the menswear wardrobe were invigorated through prints and fabrications—like outerwear-turned-dresses and a prairie silhouette interpreted as blouses, mini dresses, and long gowns. Looks we’re still thinking about included a knit dress in cream featuring shaggy puffed shoulders and multiple textures accented with a thick black studded belt, a pair of high-waisted shorts belted over a double-layered pullover with sporty details worn with western-style boots, and a dress with tiny buttons up the front and a tie at the neck imagined in hot pink shiny leather. 

Open Gallery

Courtesy of Jil Sander.

Offering a physical embodiment of the word “fearless,” Jil Sander’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection put change in a positive light, marking now as a time for freedom and individuality. Each of the designs spotlighted attentive details like ornamental jewelry, a bold print, an embellished collar, or a pop of color—enough to catch the eye without taking away from the contemporary silhouettes. Cuts were mostly roomy, while some featured a soft cinch at the waist or a loose hugging of the body—seen across designs like a lingerie-reminiscent slip dress with delicate lace cut-outs up the side and a dress with a long, pleated skirt in a red and white checked print. Though slightly understated, the accessories were not to be overlooked, like statement gold link jewelry, clean-lined leather handbags, and a pair of boots with pointy toes and metal embellishments across the top.

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Courtesy of Christian Wijnants.

Given the opportunity to access the closed Antwerp Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Christian Wijnants proposed the way one might fill the space in its Fall/Winter 2021 collection. Exaggerated, elongated, and voluminous silhouettes referencing the Flemish Primitives and Baroque paintings that have long been the designer’s inspiration made up the season, designed to fill the museum like art. Imagined in a palette of rich, varied hues selected to embody an exploration of the space’s many rooms, we saw florals that looked like ancient tapestry, stripes fashioned after chevron wood floors, and shapes nodding to those that might be found in the designer’s favorite paintings. Pieces we loved included a dress in ornate black floral styled with platform leather clogs, a knit set in black and white stripes with a brown bomber coat, and a series of messenger bags in quilted puffer material.

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Courtesy of Altuzarra.

Informed by the journey of a chrysalis into a butterfly, Altuzarra’s latest designs were captured by Christopher Davis in a moody video work that saw the looks living in an interior setting, shot in a sequence that mimicked the insect’s transformation through the use of gradient light. Elegant, thoughtful, and a little unorthodox were words that came to mind when we saw the season’s silhouettes, alluding to imagery like cocoons (seen in garments very appropriate for the season, like long, chunky knit coats and designs that incorporated folds and draping of extra material) and wings—executed through fluid fabrications, billowing sleeves, and long hems. Standout elements of the season included the series of printed dresses made from an up-close look at butterflies’ patterns; the soft takes on the house’s signature suiting, like a lavender two-piece with clean lines and long, roomy pants; and a series of furry flats, which laced up the tops of the feet.

brandsFall/Winter 2021Paris Fashion Week

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