Written by THOMAS ADAMSON – AP Fashion Writer
PARIS (AP) – Men’s fashion week in Paris was in top form on Wednesday with a second day of runway shows that touted a dynamic season and presentations featuring brands such as Dior, Vuitton, Issey Miyake and Givenchy, which quickly returned after the pandemic.
Here are a few highlights of the fall 2023 – winter 2024 fashion shows:
BLUEMARBLE EXPLORE IDENTITIES
Bluemarble counts celebrities such as actor Timothee Chalamet and singer Justin Bieber among its fans. Some amused fashion editors in the front row asked if designer Anthony Alvarez was making a statement with his fall fare about how religious the French brand has become.
His stunning display inside America’s cathedral was a quintessential melting pot of streetwear, tailoring and cross-cultural, rural references.
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Alvarez, who was born in New York and has Filipino, Spanish, French and Italian roots, uses his myriad identities as a stylistic rehearsal. The brand name itself is global, borrowed from the iconic photograph of Earth taken by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972.
Faded blue jeans and bright yellow loafers paid homage to that decade on Wednesday. The eye-catching gray marl knit featured the brand’s name etched into it and led the way for countless shaggy, multi-colored retro looks that looked part Woodstock, part mythical Yeti.
But there were also clever moments, such as the mask motifs that appeared on relaxed sweaters and suggested questions about the nature of true identity.
COOL RETENTION BY BIANCE SAUNDERS
Bianca Saunders’ third show in Paris had a minty fresh vibe.
It came from a minimalist, often oversized aesthetic that effortlessly bounced between cultures and subtly channeled her British and Jamaican origins.
Flashes of color, like a bright neon blue T-shirt, met an otherwise pared-down collection that was cool precisely because of its restraint.
The first look, a look at a tailored suit, infused with clean, sanitized lines to design minimalism, or what the house says Saunders “addresses the tension between tradition and modern.”
Other moments were fun and thoughtful, like a giant stone gray coat worn by a model with bangs that fell over his eyes.
Saunders, winner of the Andam award, is one of only a handful of womenswear designers to be a welcome addition to the Paris calendar.
SAINT LAURENT CHANNELS BLACK
The house that redefined women’s fashion with men’s tuxedos in the 1960s has gone in the opposite direction this season.
Designer Anthony Vaccarello translated the long, dark, elongated silhouettes of Saint Laurent’s women’s wardrobe into a gender-fluid and aesthetically precise fall display.
Still, the black-laden 46-piece collection was sometimes weak on new ideas.
Leather coats in the style of “Matrix” that spread on the floor, with recognizable Vaccarello’s exaggerated shoulders, found their place with slicked back hair and sunglasses, but also tuxedo coats and collars tied in luxurious bows that are associated with the era of new romanticism.
A shiny, black leather bow contrasted with a matte black wool coat was typical style for the Belgian designer, but still one of the highlights of the show.
The front row was notable, and included French actress Beatrice Dalle, who wore an oversized tuxedo and peeked out from under black shades.
Jenna Ortega, star of Netflix’s hit series “Wednesday,” was photographed arriving in a black hooded dress.
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