PARIS FASHION WEEK SS2023 RICK OWENS, ISABEL MARANT
A Rhapsody of Design Brilliance! Visionary RICK OWENS Stuns with His Otherworldly Shapes and YOHJI YAMAMOTO Reminds Us Again Why He’s Such a Megastar. There’s Fun and Sculptural Jollification at ISSEY MIYAKE and Thought-Provoking Imagery at LOEWE While ISABEL MARANT’s Boho-Chic Silhouettes Effortlessly Transport Us to Far-Flung Shores. We Reckon That’s Plenty Reason to be Euphoric!
Image Credit Paris Fashion Week and Vogue
The exhilarating fashion marathon that is Paris Fashion Week keeps spewing out awe-inspiring thrills. And the high priests of high fashion, the likes of American stalwart Rick Owens, local French label Isabel Marant, Spanish brand Loewe, and Japanese heavyweights Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto have given these Spring Summer 2023 collections all they’ve got, each having produced exceptional and unique offerings, each doing what they do best: silhouettes, shapes and textures we’ve come to expect, anticipate and adore. And a few surprises too – the likes of refreshingly new colour combinations, a novel take on the classic pump and plenty innovation around textiles. Whether you’re into forward-thinking fantasy, high-brow design, the art of perfect tailoring or colour therapy, these collections aren’t only first class eye candy, they also give us plenty food for thought.
But let’s get down to business! Join us for a closer look at all the incredible gems Paris Fashion Week has had in store so far.
To a backdrop of smoke (Owens’ beloved trademark prop) and misty spray from a fountain in the middle of a swimming pool flanked by ancient marbled reliefs at the Palais de Tokyo, Rick Owens’ muses bravely traversed the marble steps on impossibly high footwear – an otherworldly spectacle, a wondrous parallel universe. And things got even more magical when age-defying, statuesque Cher also popped in for a look-see! A quintessential Rick Owens extravaganza was had, with the dramatic, the futuristic, the alien and the dystopian made to look exceedingly, well, ‘must-have-able’ – and also, believe it or not, extremely wearable. We loved the uber-exaggerated spacey shoulders, the latex, the snaking dresses with their wings and trains, the mantels & capes, the gritty bomber jackets, the floaty voluminous tulle gowns, the immense platforms … in fact, there was little that wasn’t extraordinary about this collection. Lacquered denim and cowhides treated with glycerin to give them a superb sheen (“like wearing gelatinous fruit roll-ups,” according to the show notes) put yet another spin on a collection that is definitely of the future, but equally of the here and now.
Watch Rick Owens’s 2023 show here:
A fingerprint as identifiable and instantly recognizable as that of Yohji Yamamoto is hard to find. In yet another signature, deliberately slow-paced show where – from the choice of runway music (he sings some of the songs in Japanese) to every single detail in every single look, to the way the pieces are styled and put together, this is unmistakably the work of one perfectionist master: Yohji Yamamoto. One can literally envision the genius designer tucking a curl behind a model’s ear, to be ‘just so’ before sending her onto the runway! His Spring Summer 2023 collection seems a tribute to so many of the tiny as well as broad brush details we’ve come to associate with this great man over the past four decades – the narrow-waisted silhouettes, the signature peplums, the Japanese origami inspiration, the sparing use of colour against a predominantly monochromatic palette, the perfectly balanced asymmetry, the deconstructivist ethos, the tactile lace and cutouts, the deliberate raw edges … This is Yohji Yamamoto in total control. To say that it is an awe-inspiring honour to witness, yet again, a genius at work, is an understatement.
Watch Yohji Yamamoto’s SS 2023 show here:
The ultimate queen of carefree boho chic, of cool and exotic 90s fashion, of the perfect bomber jacket & boiler suit and the sexy peasant’s blouse has done it again. It is a joyous collection, filled with promises of chilled Summer’s days on the beach, of balmy nights in rooftop bars and road tripping in surf-mobiles at the weekend. Marant has always managed to perfectly capture the mood of the moment … and the spirit of the Marant woman (the list of celebrities loving this brand alone is endless – think Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Moss, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Carlie Kloss etc.) who feels equally comfortable in the office sporting a Marant crocheted blouse and mini skirt at the boardroom table as she does after hours having kicked off her work stilettos and decanted into a pair of cargo pants and a strappy top. Sexy, easy-going and quirky, the collection showcased plenty variations on tiny skirts and shorts, strappy tops and vests, cute embroidered and artisanal dresses, oversized combat trousers (Marant was sporting one of these herself at the show) and strappy safari waistcoats, boiler suits, bomber jackets and a spectacularly sexy white crocheted one-piece swimsuit. Suede jackets, sequin and metallic swishy dresses, lace, gauzy knits, silk chiffon, patchwork and macramé all vied for position in a show that made us jump for Spring & Summer joy.
Watch Isabel Marant’s SS 2023 show here:
A sad day for the global fashion world in August 2022 saw the passing of the inimitable designer, with creative director Satoshi Kondo stepping in to head the design team and continuing the ethos of the great Miyake who saw design as something that “evokes surprise and joy in people.” Miyake’s trademark sculptural pieces, some knitted and others woven, with their pleats and asymmetrical and often very feminine silhouettes, were all there to be marveled at. Colour combinations/blocking were inspired and fresh, most notably so the emerald green and black, red and camel/turquoise, and yellow and slate grey ensembles. Naturals and nudes also featured in a collection that is not only exceptionally joyous, but also exceedingly wearable and contemporary. Satoshi Kondo and the design team have most certainly done master of pleats, Issey Miyake, proud, this is a collection one can dance in, and jump for joy one will – just as the great man intended.
Watch Issey Miyake’s SS 2023 show here:
Since JW Anderson took over Spanish design house Loewe in 2013, he’s been transforming the brand into a uber-successful, modern powerhouse of desirable must-haves, season after season. A designer who likes to push the limits, this Spring Summer 2023 collection seems inspired by the qualities and 3-D shape of the exotic and poisonous anthurium flower with its suggestive sexual shape. Sculptural, alluring and dangerous, Anderson chose to give us plenty food for thought in putting this controversial and ambiguous motif at centre stage. Many singular pieces – simple black trousers, little black and red flair skirts, etc. were juxtaposed against and shown as accompaniments to the oversize flower. Tiny, colourful baby-dolls and architectural dresses with structural hip extensions, draped mini dresses and romantic gowns with contrasting bows and draping are part of a collection that most certainly makes a very memorable statement: who is the Loewe woman who dares to wear these bold ensembles? (Note the quirky, oversized ‘Minnie Mouse’ pumps!)
Watch the Loewe SS 2023 show here: