Paris Fashion Week Mixes The Visionary With The Classic

The proverbial “they say Paris is best in spring” may perhaps ring true this week. As a former Parisian, I am seriously missing the city this week. Right now, nous sommes en train de Paris Fashion Week (PFW). Some say that the city’s sparkly allure has started to dull in comparison to the displays in London, New York, Milan and Tokyo. However, the rumors must be false, because the industry’s favorites have once again come out in full force to sit front row.

The week started with Simon Porte Jacquemus debuting a colorful collection featuring what appears to be a popular trend in high fashion — the mini bag. The tiny accessory, known as the Chiquito, is available for $500 in a diverse range of bright hues. Each one could fit in the palm of your hand, and could barely hold a single Tic-Tac, the diamond earring Kim Kardashian lost in Bora Bora or a single Juul pod; the list could go on. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw notorious tiny-bag collector Gigi Hadid sporting one on Instagram or as an addition to her Met Gala ensemble.

As one of the larger and more globalized fashion houses, the Dior show had a star studded attendance. Karlie Kloss, Jennifer Lawrence and Cara Delevingne all sat front row together. Kloss was wearing one of the new graphic T-shirts from the collection, emblazoned with the phrase “sisterhood is global.” This is one of the many feminist slogans that appear in the collection.

Dior is most likely capitalizing on the success of their shirt from 2016 that stated “We Should All Be Feminists,” which was worn by several celebrities to the first-ever Women’s March. Besides the graphic tees, the other pieces in the collection are reminiscent of the silhouettes that established the fashion house to the canon of style.

Of course, we’re only halfway through the week, with so much more to come. The Chanel show hasn’t happened yet (at the time this article was written), but it is easy to predict the show will have some aspect of homage to the late Karl Lagerfeld who died on Feb. 19. Smaller, yet equally as important, fashion houses such as A.P.C. have yet to debut their new collections, but it is those shows that I find the most fascinating. The more quintessentially French designers of smaller brands are often more reliable in predicting or setting trends. While the huge global companies are masters at showing avante garde pieces that are often more art than clothing, each season, smaller design houses produce the clothes that will shape style for the next season.

Bar the specifics, PFW is a nod to the Paris of our dreams: the Paris where Coco Chanel rises from the grave and fits you for a custom tweed suit. The Paris where a handsome Frenchman or Frenchwoman sweeps you off your feet. The Paris where you dance the night away in an underground jazz club. The Paris that we doodle and daydream about is personified in the style displayed at Fashion Week.

Paris is where couture was born and where it continues to flourish each season in the window displays along Avenue Montaigne. I am wistful for the time I spent there rushing around the city on the metró, pausing only to smell the fresh baguettes or peer into a shop window. The ever-present excitement and anticipation for the next adventure are always just around the next corner.