Sep 19, 2016
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New creative directors bring renewal to Paris Fashion Week

Sep 19, 2016

With so many changes in top designers at the helm of France's biggest fashion houses, this season's Paris Fashion Week will bring a breath of fresh air to the capital. A change in creative director is a transformative time for labels, bringing a feeling of revival and renewal to the spring/summer 2017 season, underscored by wider changes currently underway in the fashion world.

Christian Dior - Spring-Summer2016 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula

Paris Fashion Week is unlikely to see many -- if any -- of the combined menswear and womenswear collections likely to be on the agenda in Milan, New York and London. The same goes for the "see now by now" concept. While fashion houses like Burberry and Tom Ford will bring their latest collections to stores straight after their runway shows, French fashion is resisting this revolution by continuing to operate on the traditional industry schedule for its upcoming round of shows.

However, the Parisian shows won't be without their own dose of upheaval. With creative directorship changeovers at many big houses, the French capital will be firmly in the spotlight. Some of the incoming designers' first collections for their new employers are eagerly awaited in the fashion world.

Dior, Lanvin, Saint Laurent

The upcoming Dior show will be a particular focus of attention, overseen for the first time by Maria Grazia Chiuri. A former co-creative director of Valentino, the Italian fashion designer is the first woman to take the reins of Dior's haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessories collections. The new ready-to-wear line is expected to mark a fresh start for the label, with particular emphasis on accessories, a domain in which Maria Grazia Chiuri notably excels.

Since parting ways with its emblematic creative director, Alber Elbaz, almost a year ago, Lanvin is also set to enter a new era in September. The label's Paris show, scheduled September 28, will allow Bouchra Jarrar, now heading womenswear collections, to showcase the full extent of her talent and to bring a feminine, modern touch to Lanvin's style.

The fashion world will also have its eyes on Saint Laurent this season, again due to a recent change in creative director. The upcoming show from Anthony Vaccarello, who replaced Hedi Slimane, will be especially eagerly awaited since his predecessor's style was so intrinsically linked with the spirit of the brand. What's more, his arrival has brought a few changes to the Paris schedule. Not only has Saint Laurent chosen to move its show to the first day of Paris Fashion Week, September 27, but Anthony Vaccarello also announced that he was putting work for his own label on hold, with no show in store for the Paris event.

Sonia Rykiel in the spotlight

The Sonia Rykiel show is likely to be emotionally charged at this season's Fashion Week. Scheduled October 3 -- barely a month after the death of the brand's eponymous founding designer -- the show could take the form of a final homage, both in terms of its staging and the pieces in the new collection. The show could prove a fitting farewell for this French designer who revolutionized fashion, liberating women from stuffy bourgeois looks and introducing a hint of relaxed chic that characterizes French style today.

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