Paris fashion week SS24: the highlights

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“Paris is always a good idea”. As Fashion Week has recently reached its end, the immortal words of Audrey Hepburn come to mind. From Sarah Burton’s emotional farewell to Alexander McQueen, to the L’Oréal show being hosted at the foot of a sparkling Eiffel Tower, this year’s Paris Fashion Week was one to be remembered. We were dazzled and delighted by the City of Light, which provided the perfect ending to a glamorous fashion month. 

As for some runway highlights, Dior opened Fashion Week with a catwalk of loose-fitting, monochromatic looks, aiming to act as “a rejection of the fashion industrial system which dictates women must conform to an hourglass idea of perfection”, according to designer Maria Grazia Chiuri. Yves Saint Laurent also introduced a more pragmatic approach to fashion, with a catwalk of wearable outfits, most notably, jumpsuits. These particular jumpsuits helped Anthony Vacarello create a nostalgic homage to Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic 1968 Safari collection. While Chanel displayed a casual collection of flip flops, denim and colourful prints, that transported us back to the carefree relaxation of summer.  

Alexander McQueen’s runway styled an emotional goodbye with the colour of the season: red. As it featured Sarah Burton’s final collection after twenty-six years as creative director. Burton dedicated her final show to her team and “to the memory of Lee Alexander McQueen, whose wish was always to empower women”. Through this, and through her runway’s celebration of women of all ages, races and body sizes, Burton reminded the world that Alexander McQueen is a brand with a beating heart.      

through her runway’s celebration of women of all ages, races and body sizes, Burton reminded the world that Alexander McQueen is a brand with a beating heart

The 108 shows and presentations were attended by many fashionably dressed celebrities, who walked a catwalk of their own. At the Louis Vuitton show, Zendaya stunned in a dramatic, white gown, with a two-way zip that created a plunging neckline and a thigh-high slit. Gossip Girl fans were all over Penn Badgley’s “lonely boy” look in Valentino: a grey skirt and white shirt paired with a long, grey overcoat. Badgley contrasted nicely with Andrew Garfield, who donned a burnt orange blouse and a pink overcoat. Despite it being a womenswear runway, Badgley and Garfield stole the show.   

With the news of the city’s bed-bug infestation in mind, let’s hope the only things that will spread from Paris are the exciting trends that dominated the runways. Perhaps Valentino’s overcoats, YSL’s jumpsuits and the bold red of Alexander McQueen will inspire Durham students to add that little bit of je ne sais quoi to their wardrobe.

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