Day 2 of Paris fashion week was a sight to behold. Olivier Rousteing delved into Pierre Balmain’s expansive archives, while Dries Van Noten imagined the world where fantasy and melancholy reign supreme. Keep reading to discover more and make sure to check out our picks for day 1 here.
Here are our picks of the most memorable shows from Paris Fashion Week Day 2:
Olivier Rousteing, the captain of couture, lord of luxe, and sovereign of sparkles had taken the house of Balmain to its origins for the fall 2023 collection. And what did Pierre Balmain excel at? Tuxedos, stoic waistlines, siren dresses and caps. In any case, the embodiment of Rousteing himself was in each string – from the astutely gyrated lapels that created engaging (and welcoming) necklines, to the teal-blue moirée fable of gloves and a coat that coiled around the model’s shoulders, and the bows, jabots and neck scarves. Such a – dare we say– retrospective felt anything but archaic. Pierre Balmain’s signature tuxedo, for example, with larger-than-life lapels was reimagined in emerald mohair, while his signature A-line silhouette was festooned of a silk magenta blouse and a pleated skirt with vinyl panels.
Dries Van Noten
Dries Van Noten’s autumn 2023 collection was fashioned to please the eyes of the wearers and their most beloved confidants. Each piece, from the gold-brushed to the dainty flower-sprinkled creations, whispered tales of romance, of longing, and of enamoured contemplation. The pinstriped jacket, coupled with an asymmetric silk skirt and tall boots clamoured for attention from a newfound uniform. The 1930s-esque bias-cut dress, resembling a collage of oranges and lilacs, was Van Noten’s twist on a manic pixie dream girl.But it was that magnificent closing look that truly stole the show. A sheer dress flowing beneath a blouson jacket blanketed in patches of regal brocade emulated the noble grandeur of a Tolstoy novel.
Paco Rabanne is slowly expanding its oeuvre. The first show after the founder’s death, in many ways, signified new beginnings. Creative director Julien Dossena translated the house’s fascination with metal to fascination with texture. We began with fur – cropped sweaters, coats and an overall with an enticing collarbone-bearing neckline. For the dresses in the middle of the show, Dossena employed drop waists – whether in satin or sequin – and Dalí-esque prints (the artist was the close friend and collaborator of Rabanne himself after all). The astonishing finale consisted of chainmail, metal plates, and shimmering paillettes – a spectacle like what Rabanne himself had conceived in his 1960s show, “Twelve Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials”.
“Sleeves are out!” Nicolas di Felice proclaimed with his autumn 2023 show for Courrèges. The collection opened with an array of wonderfully put together coats, with the sleeves being sliced open, not unlike the feryaz’ garment of 17th century Russian nobles (albeit all less flashy). This season Felice also explored dramatic cocoon silhouettes. There was a story to the show as well – it could read as a symbol of breaking the cyber shackles of social media and unleashing the inner light (which was promptly depicted as round-shaped fixtures delicately placed into the cutouts of some of the clothes).