Paris Fashion Week: Shorter, but intense
After New York, London and Milan, Paris will be the last stage in the Autumn/Winter 2017-18 women's ready-to-wear collections' marathon. It is an eagerly awaited fashion week, though it seems somehow less exciting than the previous September session, with its surge of new creative directors.
The official calendar features 83 runway shows, compared to 91 in September 2016, and about 5,000 visitors are expected. For a variety of reasons, 12 labels will not be showing, so that the event will last eight and not nine days, each of them packed with an average of twelve shows, from Tuesday 28th February to Tuesday 7th March.
The heavyweights of Parisian fashion, from Chanel to Dior, Hermès, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, will all be there, with the exception of Givenchy, which decided to take a breather after the departure of its Creative Directer Riccardo Tisci, and will present its collection to a select group of buyers only. Emanuel Ungaro too had to cancel its show, its manufacturer's financial problems preventing the French label from assembling the collection in time.
Other labels have left Paris to show in London this season, such as Chalayan and Roland Mouret, which celebrates its 20th anniversary, or in Milan, like Vionnet. Carven will hold a presentation only, as it is going through a transitional phase after appointing a new Creative Director, Serge Ruffieux.
Six other labels are no longer part of the official calendar: five of them have eschewed runway shows to hold presentations or performances instead (Olympia Le Tan, Aganovich, Yang Li, Yde and Dorhout Mees), while Lucien Pellat Finet has opted for only one mixed show per season, which he staged last January.
However, Paris will host four new names this season, and also welcome back Swiss label Akris, which had exceptionally showed in New York last September and has now rejoined the Paris calendar, to show on Sunday 5th March.
Another highlight will be the exceptional show-event by A.P.C., scheduled on Monday 6th March at 6 pm. It marks the 30th anniversary of the French label founded by Jean Touitou in 1987 as Atelier de Production et de Création (the production and design workshop), renowned for its minimalist style and timeless cuts.
Also remarkable will be the last show by departing designer Clare Waight Keller for Chloé, on Thursday 2nd of March.
Last but not least, the Fashion Week will welcome three new entries. Chinese designer Uma Wang, who formerly showed in Milan and will feature on 3rd March, as well as two emerging French labels, Jour/Né and Atlein.
The former showed off-calendar in the last two years, and will join the main event on 28th February, on the week's opening day. The Paris-based label was launched with the Spring/Summer 2015 by Léa Sebban, Lou Menais and Jerry Journo, and it is positioned in the contemporary segment, its everyday wardrobe enhanced by directional and couture touches.
Atlein was founded in 2016 by Antonin Tron, 32, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp who worked for Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Balenciaga. It was recently short-listed for the LVMH Prize and won the ANDAM First Collections prize last year. The label is distinctive for a minimalist style with a penchant for pleated jersey fabrics, and will show on Thursday 2nd March.
The Paris Fashion Week will also be alive with parties and parallel initiatives. One of the stand-out events will be the H&M show on 1st March, featuring a 'see now, buy now' collection for the first time.
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