PARIS — The buzz is back in Paris, and buyers were feeling it this season.
Retailers cited the energy and excitement of having a packed calendar with shows and parties galore, the thrill of finding new talent, as well as designers focusing more on clothes and less on gimmicks. Paris Fashion Week — like those in New York, London and Milan — is in the midst of a vibe shift, moving from slouchy street style into a more tailored and refined moment.
“The aura is elegance, and the undercurrent is wearability — but nothing is boring about the more commercial spirit of the Paris collections,” said Rickie De Sole, women’s fashion director at Nordstrom.
Linda Fargo, Bergdorf Goodman’s senior vice president of fashion, framed it as a sartorial response to these uncertain times. “Getting dressed, actually very well dressed, has become the antidote to it all,” she said.
Few buyers would say if their budgets were up or down, but indicated that the excitement this season would carry over into increased orders, while others will better edit their offerings.
“We will concentrate our capacity to invest in collections that are both good in design and quality and drop brands that lack character,” said Eric Young, founder of Le Monde de SHC.
Monochrome and tone-on-tone dressing in muted colors was a major trend, with black, beige, camel and gray being key base colors, and pops of red as the “It” accent of the season as seen at Balmain, The Row and Valentino.
The skirt was a key piece in all its incarnations, from the slim pencil at Saint Laurent to the fuller shapes at Dior. Gone are the days of the “hemline index”: minis, midis and maxis were all cited as standouts for various buyers.
Retailers are also focused on outerwear, especially eco furs and extra-long coats, and accessories for special occasions.
RELATED: Fall 2023 Accessories: Highlights From Paris Fashion Week Presentations
Loewe was the hands-down favorite collection of the season. Victoria Dartigues, Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf’s merchandising director fashion and accessories, called it a “demonstration of pure beauty.” Many cited Jonathan Anderson’s inventive use of confetti cubes inside the Château de Vincennes as one of the best show sets of the week and the brand’s new tote was ticked off as a “must have” on many lists.
Daniel Roseberry’s first ready-to-wear runway show for Schiaparelli was also a smash, with many buyers citing it as a favorite collection, while The Row’s quiet luxury was widely hailed. Olivier Rousteing’s new silhouette at Balmain, which recalled the brand’s archives, also drew plaudits, as did his shift away from stadium-style productions to an intimate affair that focused on the clothes.
As Balenciaga recovers from controversy, Demna expressed the sentiment that fashion “can no longer be seen as entertainment” in his show notes. Few buyers cited Balenciaga as a favorite collection, but those who did felt his pared-back, celeb-less front row hit the right note.
Chitose Abe’s always inventive Sacai was another favorite, praised for her play with proportions, while Nicolas Di Felice’s Courrèges circles were a key collection for many, as well as being cited for its smoke and mirrors set. Sarah Burton’s return for Alexander McQueen was acclaimed for her masterful tailoring.
“Elegance is the word of the season,” said Beth Buccini, owner and founder of Kirna Zabete. “There was much less hoopla this week than usual and just beautiful clothes. It has been a refreshing shift. The designers want women to go back to the office in suiting and pencil skirts looking like a million bucks.”
Here, a roundup of buyers’ reactions.
Brigitte Chartrand, vice president of womenswear buying, Ssense
Favorite collection: The Row
Best show formats: Dries Van Noten left quite the impression. The percussive performance and the layered set together were incredible; it drew you right in. It was an ideal backdrop for a collection that delivered on a color palette, and perfectly tailored skirts and jackets, that I absolutely loved. Stella McCartney was also quite the production. The collection featured a neutral palette peppered with cruelty-free horse prints on two-piece suits, midi skirts and double-breasted jackets that bring us back to classic Stella.
Top trends: Tailoring, layering, transparency, trompe l’oeil, leather, long coats and the color red.
Must-have item(s): The patchwork at Dries Van Noten and the oversize coat at The Row.
New talent: Duran Lantink. I went into fashion week looking forward to seeing this collection and it did not disappoint.
Impressions of the week: “To elevate” is definitely the talk of the town as major brands focus on offering the best luxury products. The atmosphere was toned down and refinement took a big presence. Tailoring, simplicity and lifetime investment pieces are at the forefront.
Seville Chow, senior vice president, fashion, Lane Crawford
Favorite collections: Loewe and Dries Van Noten
Best show format: Balmain — Olivier Rousteing brought guests to an intimate and cozy “salon ambiance” to experience his new French style of luxury and quality. At Dries Van Noten, an angled giant mirror was set up on the stage to reflect the entire show. The models walked out from the audience aisles down toward the stage accompanied by a single drummer/percussionist. It was theater.
RELATED: Balmain RTW Fall 2023
Top trends: Multifaceted interpretations of modern tailoring, as seen at The Row, Dries Van Noten, Sacai and Valentino. Shearling. Forget the classic full-length coats and biker jacket linings — shearling panels featured with nylon and knits in hybrid patchworks, some reversible, all with a twist of design.
Must-have item(s): Dries Van Noten gold threaded tailored blazer; Loewe geometric giant foldable tote; Rick Owens recycled cashmere dress; The Row oversize cashmere coat.
Laura Darmon, buyer director and business development, ENG
Favorite Collections: Ann Demeulemeester without any hesitation. Rick Owens, Saint Laurent and Didu.
Best show formats: Ann Demeulemeester was simple, clean and very elegant. Simple lights on the models walking the runway; the focus was the clothing. Courrèges also had set up this very impressive smoking white box frame. It was working while the models were walking the show.
Top trends: It feels like all the brands came back to sleeker and elegant designs and silhouettes, true to their DNA and what they are good at doing the most.
Budgets up or down: Up. Collections felt very new and more expressive in a perfect balance of creative and commercial pieces.
New talent: A lot of great talents are among the LVMH Prize semifinalists. My personal favorite is the genius photographer and designer Gi Seok, who started his own namesake label Kusikohc a few seasons ago and which is gaining so much traction worldwide. Juntae Kim mixes historical patterns such as corsets with a modern twist in the fabric choices. This mix creates a new gender-fluid language, very elegant and unique. Charlie Constantinou has a very futuristic/technical aesthetic and does heavy innovation work on the fabric. The color palette and the texture play gives an organic feeling which is unusual for these types of brands.
Impressions of the week: A lot of boldness and creativity. The energy was there. Great parties too.
Beth Buccini, owner and founder of Kirna Zabete
Favorite collections: Saint Laurent, Loewe, Dries Van Noten, Sacai, The Row and Miu Miu.
Best show format: The Stella McCartney show at École Militaire with the horses performing while the models walked was just amazing. I’ve seen a lot of fashion shows in my lifetime, but never anything like this spectacle. It was absolutely beautiful, and the clothes looked great too.
Top trends: Tailoring/suiting, pinstripes, neutrals, simplicity, metallics — gold and silver, red, pencil skirts, kitten heels and corduroy.
Must-have item(s): Kitten heels from Miu Miu, pencil skirt from Saint Laurent, pinstripe jacket from Dries Van Noten and brush heels from Loewe.
Budgets up or down: Budgets are up, as we are in growth mode opening more stores.
New talent: We saw less new designers this season than I would have liked. It feels harder and harder for new designers to break into this economic climate of uncertainty.
Impressions of the week: A new formality has emerged, and we are loving it.
Victoria Dartigues, merchandising director fashion and accessories, Samaritaine Paris Pont-Neuf
Favorite collections: Loewe, Saint Laurent, Courrèges, Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Peter Dundas and Isabel Marant.
RELATED: Givenchy Women’s RTW Fall 2023
Best show formats: Dries Van Noten had incredible staging as the entire show reflected in a huge mirror behind the stage. Very immersive and dreamy. Acne’s fantasy forest was also a standout setup. Then Stella McCartney‘s horse show Monday morning almost distracted from the catwalk.
Top trends: The streetwear trend is definitely fading from the Parisian catwalks. We go back to a chic, elegant and luxury silhouette: very powerful, femme fatale. The new day-to-day combo is the pencil skirt and oversize blazer. Dries Van Noten, Saint Laurent or Victoria Beckham demonstrated the strongest silhouettes in this mood. Also, the pop of red is here.
Must-have item(s): Pencil skirts, oversize blazed with bold shoulder, tailored elongated overcoat in gray or white, oversize fake fur coat (almost every single show had its own twist).
New talent: Pressiat’s collection and his bourgeoise from the 16th arrondissement who ends her night in Pigalle. For her first show in Paris, Ukrainian designer Lili Litkovska showed a very strong and commercial collection. Burc Akyol, one of the LVMH Prize semifinalists, is super promising.
Impressions of the week: Paris Fashion Week ended on a super positive note, the daily wardrobe totally reenergized by a new tailoring proposition, a strong desire to dress up again after three years of pandemic. A working girl in a suit and stilettos or rebel in oversize fake fur flou coat — she is not afraid of anything.
Rickie De Sole, women’s fashion director, Nordstrom
Favorite collections: Courrèges, The Row, Dior, Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, Dries Van Noten and Alexander McQueen.
Best show format: Christian Louboutin’s 30-year celebration of the red sole at The Opéra Comique felt like being transported into a magical, plush, festive red jewel box. The performance choreographed by Sadeck Berrabah featuring the Neodance Academy was a spectacular, imaginative way to highlight the brand’s essence.
Top trends: Strong shoulders; pinstripe suiting; waist-framing silhouettes; faux fur and shearling outerwear; cozy comfort found in sweater dresses, cocooning shapes, layering and luxe knits; touches of grunge; monochromatic colors and lots of black on black; furry footwear; pointed pumps; red continues as an important pop color.
Must-have item: Chanel’s camellia accessories.
New talent: Off the runway, the Sarabande Foundation continues to bring new compelling designers like Pariser to the forefront.
Impressions of the week: The sentiment was that there is a definitive mood shift. We feel energized by strong, hushed trends and key pieces like polished monochromatic styling, the greatness one feels in a luxurious coat, the composed sway of a longline skirt or jacket. Good clothes are an encouraging portent of the season ahead and the positivity our customers will feel slipping into the fall 2023 collections.
Linda Fargo, director of women’s fashion, Bergdorf Goodman
Favorite collections: Schiaparelli, Alexander McQueen, Sacai, Loewe, Dior, Miu Miu, The Row, Dries Van Noten, Courrèges, Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Valentino and Off-White.
Top trends: Strong, stated tailoring leads the conversation. Wide and wider shoulders were undeniable. New ideas on skirt suiting were of interest and fresh. Reimagined and reconstructed tailoring felt best. Transformable and convertible clothing hit the tastebuds for more sustainability via versatility. “Daytime couture” or day dressing with elevated detailing and inherent drama served to differentiate collections from ho-hum. Black is the ground zero of fashion for fall 2023. Arresting, red punctuated numerous collections. Couture like sculptural silhouettes. Longer and leaner shapes. Fluid gender interplay.
New talent: A special shout out and gratitude to the LVMH Prize initiative for curating such an elevated and promising group of new talent.
Must-have item(s): The black strong jacket — pants and tie optional. Pinstriped tailoring. Dressed up accessories — top handle bags, sunglasses, gloves, headwear and hats, the red lip and hosiery. The embellished pointy toe kitten heel. Motos, blouson and bomber jackets. Oversize bow details.
Best show format: It was a welcome relief to attend shows [that] put the clothing at the center. Schiaparelli’s salon-style show simply playing a Sade soundtrack provided a perfect set to intimately appreciate the exquisite clothes. Balenciaga wisely struck the right tone, returning to the historical Carrousel du Louvre in a cleansing muslin-covered white space, without celebs, etc. The numerous elevated runways always are an oldie but goodie format — because they work at putting the collections right in the eye. On the other end, Dior’s “Avatar”-like world under the incredible organic sculpture by Joana Vasconcelos was amazing.
RELATED: Dior RTW Fall 2023
Impressions of the week: There was an impression of balance between reason and beauty, risk and safety. A pulling in and back to simply good clothing and design as the raison d’être of it all. The remarkable abundance of black as the predominant non-color choice allowed the clothes to speak in the basic language of line, silhouette and volume, while lending empowerment, simplicity and chicness.
April Hennig, senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, Moda Operandi
Favorite collection(s): The Row, Dries van Noten, Courrèges, Saint Laurent, Loewe, Sacai, Balenciaga.
Best show format: Stella McCartney’s moving portrayal of the profound relationship between animals and people drove home her sustainable ethos with memorable impact and showmanship. As seven Camargue horses cantered alongside models—guided by a trainer/horse whisperer—we were left breathless. Stella continues to be a pioneer in ethical fashion. In a similar vein yet featuring a different ilk of co-star, Coperni’s show shed light on how technology, people, and fashion are all inextricably tied. The robots on the runway moved with an animalistic quality, conjuring images of what may lie in our not-so-distant future—and the role that AI could potentially play not only in our industry but also our everyday lives. The theatrical performance at Louboutin unexpectedly combined classic opera and modern choreography to dramatic effect.
Top trends: Cozy outerwear continued to be a standout category, with ethical and emotional shearlings at Chloé leading the way. We are seeing designers move toward a modern vision of clean, polished minimalism throughout the market—Givenchy’s opening looks being one example. Rounded and sculpted shoulders, sharp and clean tailoring, and column silhouettes were prevalent throughout the Fall ‘23 collections, as were reworked menswear fabrications, like pinstripes and checks, and deconstructed details—which were at their most interesting rendered in feminine shapes. Touches of gold and silver metallics—or combinations thereof—were this season’s more sophisticated answer to last year’s flashier sequins and embellishments. Another trend story we are excited about is one defined by a regal, gothic spirit with glamorous and moody takes on eveningwear. The “Le Smoking” references from London and New York also continued.
Must-have item(s): The Salvador Dali gowns at Paco Rabanne are instant collector’s items and a striking homage to the kinship of the house’s late founder and the artist. The trompe l’oeil neck-tie mini dress that opened the Valentino show was an unequivocal hit. Corduroy cabans at Miu Miu, double-faced swaths of cashmere capes and coats at The Row, and the maxi coats at Balenciaga are just some examples of the covetable outerwear this season. Among the more unexpected standouts are the faux fur details on footwear—on the footbeds and uppers—which further enhanced the cozy feeling of the season. Vivier’s padded shoulder bag in candy pastels was a fresh update to the classic Viv Choc. More generally, the structured day bags that permeated the runways signify the overall mood of sophisticated polish.
Impressions of the week: This season we saw a welcome return to elegance, sophistication, and everyday wardrobing with pared-down collections offset by emotional allure—a balance that felt like an apt response to the world around us.
Tiffany Hsu, vice president womenswear, Mytheresa
Favorite collections: Saint Laurent, The Row and Rick Owens.
Best show format: Saint Laurent as always put on a highly luxurious show. The massive chandeliers perfectly echoed the minimalistic yet uber-luxurious collection. The Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood show at Hotel de la Marine where Queen Marie Antoinette was sentenced was pure opulence. The collection itself was a wonderful tribute to the late Dame Vivienne Westwood — it was an emotional and beautiful display. I also loved the Courrèges show with the reflecting mirror and the fog coming out on the stage. It was very powerful visually.
Top trends: We saw a lot of tartan as well as capes and long sashes. Saint Laurent, Rick Owens and Givenchy all showed beautiful maxi silhouettes. There also was a strong emphasis on tailoring featuring statement shoulders and hourglass silhouettes as seen at Balmain. And Ann Demeulemeester, Victoria Beckham and Loewe presented sheer elements that created a perfect contrast to the tailoring such as silk slipdresses, shearling and chiffon elements.
Must-have item(s): Loewe’s slouch boot and The Row’s oversize cape coat.
Jodi Kahn, vice president of luxury fashion, Neiman Marcus
Favorite collections: Loewe, Schiaparelli, The Row and Saint Laurent.
Best show format: As Saint Laurent explored a more classic look, recreating the Intercontinental Hotel ballroom (down to the exquisite chandeliers) where the house’s shows were held in the ’70s was very special. Similarly, I like the more intimate salon settings at The Row and Schiaparelli, where the clothes brush right by you, as opposed to stadium-style productions. There was also an interesting contrast at both Loewe and Givenchy, who erected stark white show spaces in grand, historically rich locations.
Top trends: A crafted elegance certainly anchored the week, with refined classics eclipsing more “viral” Instagram looks. In sifting through their own archives, there were some nods to a ’50s silhouette with full skirts, elbow-length gloves, high vamp pumps and trim pencil skirts. Red continued to energize as a key color (in otherwise neutral palettes), with the burst of color particularly impactful at The Row, Balmain and Valentino. And we loved to see skirts take shape as a key item — full, midi, pencil — all worked.
Must-have item(s): The giant geometric totes at Loewe — in different leathers and fabrications, I cannot wait to wear this supremely chic carry-all.
New talent: Ib Kamara’s space-bound Off-White was very strong; we were excited to see his unique POV take shape at such a special brand. Kudos also to Ludovic de Saint Sernin for starting a new chapter at Ann Demeulemeester: his signature gender-neutrality blends quite seamlessly with Ann’s dark romance.
Impressions of the week: There was undeniable energy in sunny Paris this week. Crowds have been enormous and shows have been packed. When it came to the collections, there seems to be a collective reset among Paris houses: a desire for more quiet elegance, refinement and understatement. In lieu of a “look” or specific trends, we saw the building blocks of quiet luxury: lots of black, sleek tailoring, luxe layers. Among some of the younger brands, there was an interesting exploration of fashion’s relationship with tech: models illuminated by their phone screens at Courrèges, and the unsettling dance between human and robot at Coperni.
Laura Larbalestier, fashion director, Harvey Nichols
Favorite collections: Loewe, Courrèges and Dries Van Noten.
Best show format: Loewe
Top trends: Without a doubt, the key item was a statement coat, preferably super-long or very cropped. Red has to be the predominant color of the season and was seen in nearly every collection. Leather is the prevailing investment fabric and was used from pants to jackets. The new silhouette is the long straight skirt.
Must-have item(s): Dries Van Noten long gray coat; Courrèges red dress; Loewe leather coat.
New talent: Swedish bag designer Venczel.
Impressions of the week: Overall, it feels like a very wearable season with a real return to wardrobing and a definite focus on investment pieces, which was a coherent theme across all the collections.
Elizabeth and Dominick Lepore, owners, Jimmy’s, New York
Favorite collections: Alexander McQueen, Comme des Garçons, Coperni, Georges Hobeika, Raisa & Vanessa, Saint Laurent and Victoria Beckham.
Best show format: The incorporation of family for the evolution of a brand from Georges Hobeika to Vivienne Westwood to Victoria Beckham made us proud as a third-generation family business. The future of fashion from robots sharing the catwalk, iPhones as an accessory or to displays of a lunar delivery, Paris transformed the predictable to many new and exciting things.
Top trends: Big shoulders, off the shoulder, padded shoulders…without an emphasis on the shoulder there isn’t an “It” top or jacket to almost any designer’s fall season. Sheer modernism of suiting.
Must-have item(s): Bell bottoms, skirts with interest, whether short and long or pleated on one side, opera-length gloves, strong shoulders, denim for evening, a white shirt and flower appliqués.
Impressions of the week: Coperni followed up on its painted dress viral moment with robots on the runway dancing along with the fashion house’s minimalistic designs. Intercepting fashion with technology and future, the Paris week displayed an ode to its history with an evolution of what tomorrow’s girl should be wearing. From outstanding oversize and voluminous outerwear to crystal and designed denim for evening, from day to night.
Simon Longland, director of buying — fashion, Harrods
Favorite collections: Saint Laurent, Schiaparelli, The Row, Loewe, Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen.
Best show format: Schiaparelli’s intimate salon presentation set the perfect scene for such a special collection. With such an intimate setting we were so close you could see the detail, workmanship and beauty of the collection, whereas Louis Vuitton’s hyper-modern staging in the historic grandeur of the Musée d’Orsay’s ballroom set the stage perfectly for the modern French wardrobe to unfold.
RELATED: Louis Vuitton RTW Fall 2023
Top trends: From many of the shows this season we saw a complete wardrobing being showcased, delivering an outfit for every occasion for true devotees. They ranged from sharp and tailored for day to gowns and embellishments for evening. Black is back and dominated a huge portion of the runways this season, with a noticeable thread of pink and red, with pops of color and texture.
Tailoring also played a huge role in many collections this season, most visibly in sharp, and sometimes boxy, silhouettes. Other trends included floor-sweeping overcoats with hemlines that have been extended dramatically from luxurious robe silhouettes to sharp, tailored pieces. I expect ankle-scraping, long line coats to be everywhere come autumn.
Must-have item(s): Tailoring is a must for next season, specifically the modern power suit, sharp and fitted and paired with a neatly fitted trouser or pencil skirts — à la Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton and Valentino. The floor-sweeping coats we saw in Milan continued here in Paris, and will be on many wish-lists and waiting lists next season. Soft, fluid leather trousers were one of the most versatile pieces to come from the season, so easy to dress up or down and incredibly versatile for a well-rounded wardrobe.
Alix Morabito, general buying and merchandising director for womenswear and special projects director, Galeries Lafayette
Favorite collections: Saint Laurent, Vivienne Westwood, Ann Demeulemeester and Schiaparelli.
Top trends: As Demna put it in his note for Balenciaga, “fashion can no longer be seen as entertainment, but rather as an art of making clothes.” This statement seems shared by most luxury brands that are looking into their heritage with a strong attention to product and savoir-faire. We’ve seen on podiums a very sophisticated and elevated silhouette with strong modern tailoring, very impactful outerwear and beautiful eveningwear. Among the most impressive evolutions are the homage of Olivier Rousteing for Balmain and the new Givenchy proposition by Matthew Williams.
Must-have item(s): Jackets were everywhere, and there were also many strong pieces like leather coats, bold shoulders, long menswear coats, cabans and big fluffy outerwear. There is a return to “classic” colors like burgundy, navy, gray and brown that contribute to the more sophisticated and almost bourgeois look. Red is without a doubt this season’s staple, whether it be in bright flashes or total looks. We also saw a lot of green, yellow, gold and bronze parts of the palette.
New talent: We were very touched by the work of Marie Adam-Leenaerdt, whose first collection shows a lot of promise. Finally, a few talents from the LVMH Prize caught our eye, such as Magliano, Burc Akyol or Anne Isabella, for example. At the Sphere trade show, we really appreciated the innovative concept and the easy good vibes of Alphonse Maitrepierre.
Impressions of the week: It has been a beautiful season that reminds us why we love fashion and PFW so much. After so many trend-driven fashion weeks, especially in September, it was important and so appreciated that brands take a step back and showcase beautiful craft and fashion.
Federica Montelli, head of fashion, Rinascente
Favorite collections: Loewe, Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Miu Miu, Paco Rabanne, Chloé, Courrèges, Ann Demeulemeester, Off-White and Vivienne Westwood.
Best show format: Stella McCartney’s horse whisperer performance by Jean-François Pignon was both a beautiful moment of entertainment and a reflection of our relationship with nature and animals, especially after seeing so much leather and fur on the runways.
Top trends: The strong trend on eco fur carried on from Milan, as well as black and red as the two top colors. The main focus was on eveningwear with a look that is rich, seductive, but classic and essential in the choice of colors, fabrics and shapes. Tall boots and sleek stiletto pumps were the shoes of choice, with maxi bags making an important statement and pushing away the mini-bags trend that has lasted for many seasons now.
Must-have item(s): Any black long dress with a slim silhouette and open back; pantsuits with fitted blazers and flared pants; floor-length coats. The two most unexpected items were Miu Miu’s beaded culottes and the long siren silk skirt at Ann Demeulemeester. My top picks for bags are the new “squeeze” hobo bag by Loewe and Miu Miu’s soft napa satchel.
New talent: In a season that speaks of evening and simplicity, we found the perfect draped jersey dresses at Atlein. Dentro’s inside-out bags were my favorite new accessories brand.
Impressions of the week: It was a very successful week, with many collections exceeding expectations and a busy calendar with a good rhythm of shows and presentations. The classy-chic vibe that pervaded Paris really gave the opportunity to shine to many designers that perhaps were more focused on finding a viral moment rather than concentrating on creating beautiful clothes. This is what matters to women in the end.
Bosse Myhr, director of womenswear and menswear, Selfridges
Favorite collections: YSL, Rick Owens and Junya Watanabe.
Best show format: Brands really dialled it up with set design this season. Dior and Acne both collaboratied with artists to create stunning environments that would rival major art galleries. The Saint Laurent mise-en-scène based on the Intercontinental Hotel in Paris, the location for the brand’s Haute Couture shows in the ’70s, was a further highlight. Alexander McQueen’s 360-degree immersive video installation was another highlight.
Top trends: Elevation, chic elegance dressing up rather than dressing down. A lot of designers immersed themselves in the finer things in fashion. Valentino’s black tie, collection, Balmain’s couture-inspired collection and a very elegant Givenchy collection were a few examples of this.
Must-have items: Must-have items this season will be a black, Rick Owens dress; a jacket from Junya Watanabe; a black coat from Givenchy, and a piece from the beautiful Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood collection.
New talent: Harris Reed’s theatrical collection for Nina Ricci made a big impact and we are excited about it. Beautiful models and fabulous gowns made for a great show. We also always make a stop at the Sphere showroom, [organized by] the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, as well as the LVMH Prize semifinalists’ showcase. There are a few designers we are keeping our eyes on.
Impressions of the week: It seems that Paris Fashion Week is truly and firmly back. Brands from all over the world are coming and showing their collections in varying formats, and it’s good to see the city back in full swing.
Amélie Nantois, womenswear buyer, Le Bon Marché
Favorite collections: Sacai, Dries Van Noten, Chloé and Paco Rabanne.
Best show format: The Dries Van Noten show in the concert room. With the artist on stage, models walking among us and all the mirrors, we could really see the collection and at the same time it was truly magical and poetic.
Top trends: Faux fuzzy fur coats, the color brown and tailoring.
Budgets up or down: They are definitely up.
Must-have item(s): Suits, a lot of outerwear and, of course, party dresses.
New talent: The outerwear brand Futura, from the talented duo behind Giuliva Heritage. Loved it.
Impressions of the week: We were finally back to pre-COVID-19 fashion week — a very busy schedule, everyone was here and it felt good.
Libby Page, market director, Net-a-porter
Favorite collection: The Row
Best show format: Whilst they were up against their own viral moment from last season, the robots in the Coperni show were a true indicator that this brand wants to be known as a truly innovative fashion brand.
Top trends: Nineties minimalism has been the mood of the season. From the refined tailoring at Valentino and The Row, to the slightly grungier take on the ’90s through Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s Ann Demeulemeester debut, this is a much-needed palate cleanser from recent seasons’ contrasts. I’ve also loved how red has been this season’s hue to love (quite literally): it’s strong, high-impact and will really pop for us online.
Must-haves: The Loewe Puzzle tote. This will be the must-have bag of next season.
Impressions of the week: Runway fashion has some great wearability to it this season.
Roopal Patel, senior vice president, fashion director, Saks
Favorite collections: Saint Laurent, Loewe, Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten, Dior, Chanel, Courrèges, Stella McCartney, Off-White and Sacai.
Best show format: From Maria Grazia Chiuri’s magical and surreal set of abstract floral sculptures created by artist Joana Vasconcelos at Dior, to the grand procession of models zigzagging reflected back to us in a mirrored auditorium at Dries Van Noten. Ibrahim Kamara’s “Lunar Delivery” show for Off-White transported us to the moon with a giant orb in the center grounding us. Loewe’s delicate and vivid confetti cubes that lined the runway were hard to resist touching. Mirrors were a big trend on the runways, creating optical illusions seen at Dries Van Noten, Off-White and Issey Miyake.
RELATED: Issey Miyake RTW Fall 2023
Top trends: Designers are always thinking ahead to see what the future holds. A sense of uniformity and iconic essentials was trending this week, from precision tailoring to power dressing, strong shoulder blazers and monochromatic suiting. There is a return to skirts in silhouettes spanning from minis and short hems to slim pencil and full styles. Red is the pop color of the season in a sea of black and gray. Additional key trends include silver metallic and shine, statement outerwear from toppers to shearling, textures, layering and feathers. Trends in footwear include statement pumps and an incredible lineup of boots.
Must-have item(s): A sexy power suit from Saint Laurent, and a trompe l’oeil dress and oversize tote from Loewe.
New talent: There was a stellar lineup of rising stars from the 2023 LVMH Prize semifinalists, including Luar, Diotima, Bettter and Burc Akyol.
Impressions of the week: The buzz, energy and volume of the last eight days has been at an all-time high. There is a shift taking place from over-the-top designs to a more wearable and approachable lineup of fashion on the runways, with elegant, sophisticated and polished looks that will inspire our customers to get dressed up.
Ida Petersson, buying director, Browns
Favorite collection: The Row
Best show format: We’ve been loving seeing more pared-back shows from designers where the clothes do all the talking. The most beautiful and emotional show was Andreas Kronthaler’s tribute to Vivienne Westwood.
Top trends: Chic, pared-back and tonal continues. We’re also seeing pencil or long skirts and a more covered-up approach in general. The lady is most definitely back. Leather is a key material, and denim is still prevalent.
Must-have item(s): Long leather coats dominated the runway and Coperni was one of our favorites. Other must-haves are a long pencil skirt with a zip from The Row, the makeup brush sandals from Loewe and their shearling Goya bag.
Budgets up or down: Level — we remain cautious despite the incredibly strong shows.
New talent: Paris was the season of house debuts and we loved both Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s debut collection for Ann Demeulemeester and Harris Reed’s new Nina Ricci woman. Off the runway, there was some really impressive talent at the LVMH Prize finalist exhibition.
Impressions of the week: Strong shows, a good balance of new and established designers and of course, show go-ers keeping the energy up despite going since January.
Maud Pupato, divisional merchandise manager womenswear luxury and designers, Printemps
Favorite collection: Courrèges
Best show format: Loewe’s confetti artwork installation in the castle.
Top trends: Red, roses, leather, denim and transparency.
Must-haves: A silk skirt, a leather oversize biker jacket, anything red, a rose brooch and maybe a new belly-button piercing.
Budgets up or down: Budgets are up.
New talent: We can’t really say that Ludovic de Saint Sernin is a new talent, but his debut at Ann Demeulemeester is definitely one to highlight.
Impressions of the week: Paris is at its most glamorous and it feels good.
Arielle Siboni, fashion director rtw, Bloomingdale’s
Favorite collections: Saint Laurent, Loewe, The Row, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Valentino and Louis Vuitton.
Best show format: We loved Stella McCartney, who presented an equestrian-inspired collection in a barn with live horses.
Top trends: It was a season full of tailoring: maxiskirts, cropped jackets and blazers with strong shoulders. Pinstripes was the pattern of choice, and we saw moto details on everything from maxiskirts to dresses. There was also an abundance of texture: shearling, velvet, lace, denim sportswear and boucle. The color red, maxi lengths and sheerness continue. Oversize handbags, namely clutches and totes. Pearls, crystals and studs in accessories.
Must-have item(s): Saint Laurent’s strong-shouldered blazers; Acne’s distressed moto jackets; The Row’s signature car coats; Courrèges maxiskirts; Alexander McQueen’s tailored eveningwear; Stella McCartney’s cropped jackets and lace dresses.
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New talent: Rokh was simply impeccable — very excited to see what’s next.
Impressions of the week: A welcome return to refinement, wearability and longevity in clothing. Less Y2K and of-the-moment dressing. Strong tailoring and outerwear continue to fuel this era of minimalism while touches of lingerie dressing and grunge/moto was the perfect take on femininity and toughness.
Joseph Tang, fashion director, Holt Renfrew
Favorite collections: Courrèges, Loewe, Sacai and Miu Miu.
Best show format: The stripped down elegance of Balenciaga that allowed the details in the collection to truly come through. The dystopian futuristic vision of Off-White shown through Ib Kamara’s second collection for the brand brought us to the moon and back.
Top trends: There was a dressed up sophistication throughout the collections with chic tailoring, structured outerwear and modern dresses at the forefront. The Row, Chloé and Dries Van Noten all exhibited this sense of elevated minimalism. Luxe leathers worn head-to-toe were seen best from Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Akris. A special mention goes to Stella McCartney who continues to use recycled fabrics and new innovations in sustainable materials.
There was a sense of dystopian fantasy in the collections, where designers took a more cerebral approach to their collections with an outlook of the future. Off-White, Rick Owens, Noir Kei Ninomiya and Acne Studios all showcased a vision of self-expression in the best way possible.
Must-have item(s): Leather maxiskirt from Chloé; Loewe oversize puzzle tote; The Row deconstructed Margaux bag; Miu Miu New Balance sneaker; Valentino chunky boots; Givenchy Voyou satchel; a gray tailored coat from Dries Van Noten.
New talent: It’s always inspiring meeting the LVMH Prize contestants — a special mention goes to Botter for their upcycled creations.
Impressions of the week: There was a thoughtful undertone in Paris this season, with designers showcasing their collections in more intimate ways. We are inspired by the creative energy coming out of Paris with designers empowering the zeitgeist of today’s youth culture. This fall season was all about layered separates with stealth sophistication as the undertone for the entire season.
Liane Wiggins, head of womenswear, Matchesfashion
Favorite collections: Loewe, Sacai, Givenchy, Rick Owens, Junya Watanabe, Schiaparelli and Ann Demeulemeester.
Best show formats: Loewe and the amazing installation of the beautiful, slightly saturated color-blocked cubes made of paper and leather confetti.
Top trends: Return to refined dressing without being too occasion-focused. Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Victoria Beckham all showed incredible chiffon, silk, semi-sheer blouses perfect for layering under blazers or paired with a great leather skirt. Overall we saw lots of monochrome and uniform colorways — camel, black, beige, gray and a return to no-fuss dressing but with a redefined elegance. Instead of the super slouchy, relaxed silhouette we saw a new redefined modern elegance that was not overtly sexy or flashy.
I personally love the strong outerwear we are seeing across the shows.
Must-have item(s): Brilliant gray sweaters from Givenchy, Victoria Beckham and Sacai’s deconstructed gray skirt and sweater. Loewe’s large origami tote bag and soft deconstructed boot. Brilliant coats from Givenchy, Isabel Marant, Junya Watanabe and Loewe. Rick Owens’ sportier swing jackets, Issey Miyake showed some great color block textured coats, Lanvin’s fitted riding coat, Ludovic at Ann Demeulemeester cut very sophisticated sharp coats, The Row’s outerwear was elegant and effortless and Alexander McQueen’s fitted silhouettes.
New talent: LVMH Prize semifinalist Johanna Parv.
Impressions of the week: Overall, the mood and the shows were more pared back than we have seen in recent seasons but designers are celebrating real clothes.
Eric Young, founder, Le Monde de SHC
Favorite collections: Shang Xia and Balenciaga.
Best show format: Dries Van Noten. I was impressed by the quality of the show and the talent behind it, and I can’t imagine what would happen if the big luxury conglomerates didn’t spend a lot of money on production or choose legendary landmarks, but Dries has always had his own way, and I was very impressed by the theatricality of the show. Courrèges. I haven’t been to Paris for three years, but this show made me embrace the real charm of the fashion capital again. It was so chic.
Top trends: Super long silhouettes. Although Saint Laurent has already introduced these shapes for several seasons, it is obvious that more brands are joining the bandwagon this time. Natural luxury materials. The concept of “buy less but buy better” is very relevant nowadays due to the economic environment or environmental concerns.
Must-have item(s): Jackets that reach the ground and have a strong sense of weight. Sneakers with technological innovations. Beautifully crafted but traditionally shaped handbags, such as those new styles at Hermès.
Budgets up or down: While everyone thinks the Chinese luxury market will rebound strongly, I think it’s going to take a little time. Budget-wise we are inclined to start with a flatline approach this time. We will concentrate our capacity to invest in collections that are both good in design and quality and drop brands that lack character.
New talent: Niccolo Pasqualetti. If this year’s LVMH Prize shortlist is a little watered down, take a look at Niccolo on last year’s list. He is a great find for me. I love the cosmopolitan feel of this brand that mixes a certain high-latitude countryside vibe with big-city life energy. Vaquera: Interesting and talented New York designers are a rare and endangered species. It’s a good thing I saw the Vaquera collection in person this time, otherwise, it would have been hard to believe I would have liked it so much just based on pictures of celebrities wearing the brand online.
Impressions of the week: It’s great to have everyone back at Paris Fashion Week. Not only the Chinese industry should come out as much as it can, but I also had the opportunity to have more exchanges here that were not possible in the last three years. Coming out of the pandemic we need a new brand mix, and a whole new perspective, and it is so necessary to be in Paris. There is no substitute for Paris to inspire and clarify the direction of fashion.
— Rhonda Richford, with contributions from Samantha Conti, Joelle Diderich, Lily Templeton, Jennifer Weil, Alex Wynne and Tianwei Zhang.