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The Best of Paris Fashion Week, in Pictures

By T: The New York Times Style Magazine Singapore

Louis Vuitton fall 2020.
 
Molly SJ Lowe
Louis Vuitton fall 2020.

The fall 2020 shows have come to a close in Paris. Here, our daily recaps and the most memorable moments from the runways, as captured by T’s photographers.

As the sun set on the day and on Paris Fashion Week, a curtain inside a glass structure set in the Louvre’s Cour Carrée was drawn back to reveal a grandstand populated by 200 singers clad in outfits ranging in origin from the 15th century to the 1950s. These were the result of a collaboration between Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière and the Oscar-winning costume designer Milena Canonero (who’s best known for her work with Stanley Kubrick and Sofia Coppola), as well as a nod to the coming Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “About Time: Fashion and Duration,” which Vuitton is sponsoring. With his runway collection, too, Ghesquière explored fashion’s unique ability to traverse time and space; there were puffer jackets paired with ruffled skirts, fringed and embroidered leather motorcycle gear and ornate bolero jackets worn over technical jumpsuits — clothes that married past and present, to be sure, while also feeling fresh and even futuristic.

Molly SJ LoweLouis Vuitton fall 2020.
Louis Vuitton fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweLouis Vuitton fall 2020.
Louis Vuitton fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweLouis Vuitton fall 2020.
Louis Vuitton fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweLouis Vuitton fall 2020.
Louis Vuitton fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweLouis Vuitton fall 2020.
Louis Vuitton fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweLouis Vuitton fall 2020.
Louis Vuitton fall 2020.

The set for the Chanel show was simple this season, at least compared to the brand’s recent recreations of a sandy beach and a row of Parisian rooftops. A mirrored catwalk surrounded by curvilinear white islets fulfilled the creative director Virginie Viard’s brief for a “runway show with no frame.” This stripped-back approach carried over into the clothes, which had a whiff of nostalgia for Chanel collections of the ’80s and ’90s. Models strolled out casually in small groups, seemingly immersed in conversation and wearing easy separates accessorized with dangling jewellery. A sweater embellished with a giant cross referenced jewellery Chanel commissioned in the 1930s while also evoking Anna Wintour’s first cover for American Vogue in November 1988. There were equestrian references, too — seen in the use of riding helmets, jockey silks and jodhpurs worn over tall boots — inspired by images of Coco Chanel with her racehorse and of Karl Lagerfeld dressed in a suit and riding boots.

Kevin TachmanChanel fall 2020.
Chanel fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanChanel fall 2020.
Chanel fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanChanel fall 2020.
Chanel fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanChanel fall 2020.
Chanel fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanChanel fall 2020.
Chanel fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanChanel fall 2020.
Chanel fall 2020.

At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton conjured up one of the season’s most poetic takes on protectionist fashion. Inspired by the people of Wales, with their courageous spirits and artistic heritage, she made a case for traditional quilts and woven blankets as symbols of refuge. Where others might have taken a literal approach, though, presenting oversized, cocooned silhouettes, Burton kept hers highly tailored. An asymmetric checked blanket dress was layered and belted over a skintight black leather bodice, while the motifs of an allegorical quilt fashioned, over the course of a decade, by a tailor in the mid-19th-century, were referenced in a highly patchworked black, grey and ivory flannel suit. Other testaments to the strength of craft came in the form of voluminous ‘poet-sleeved’ dresses in white or lilac cotton silk faille worn with leather harnesses, as well as a series of expertly cut swallow-tailed coats worn with tall leather boots.

Molly SJ LoweAlexander McQueen fall 2020.
Alexander McQueen fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweAlexander McQueen fall 2020.
Alexander McQueen fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweAlexander McQueen fall 2020.
Alexander McQueen fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweAlexander McQueen fall 2020.
Alexander McQueen fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweAlexander McQueen fall 2020.
Alexander McQueen fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweAlexander McQueen fall 2020.
Alexander McQueen fall 2020.

Giambattista Valli is never one to shy away from loveliness. An ode to Parisian style, his collection featured bows, tulle and floral-printed gloves. But just when those elements might have threatened to cross over into sweet territory, he complicated the tone of his looks ever so slightly. The show opened with a pale pink cape coat with epaulettes and neat rows of silver buttons — similarly, in several cases pearls were worn diagonally across the chest like the upper strap of a military belt, and flouncy minidresses were paired with chunky black leather boots. Elsewhere, the designer abandoned softer shades in favour of tailored black skirt suits more appropriate for the everyday than for a gala. And then there were the logo-printed denim pieces perfect for wandering around the city.

Molly SJ LoweGiambattista Valli fall 2020.
Giambattista Valli fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweGiambattista Valli fall 2020.
Giambattista Valli fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweGiambattista Valli fall 2020.
Giambattista Valli fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweGiambattista Valli fall 2020.
Giambattista Valli fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweGiambattista Valli fall 2020.
Giambattista Valli fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweGiambattista Valli fall 2020.
Giambattista Valli fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweGiambattista Valli fall 2020.
Giambattista Valli fall 2020.

The soundtrack at Glenn Martens’s Y/Project show definitely got audience members talking. What seemed to be chanting in an indiscernible language was, it turned out, the voices of various male flamenco singers, slowed down and meshed together. Some attendees found stillness in their intonations, while others declared them unnerving — especially as the volume increased and the chanting became less harmonious. Nonetheless, the warped voices aligned well with Martens’s designs, which, as usual, offered off-kilter twists on classic sartorial themes. He roamed between various eras, including the 1990s and the Belle Epoque, which revealed itself in corset-like tailoring and a long flared shirt dress in check plaid, cut open in the front to reveal a denim layer underneath. Dresses and shirts were sewn to appear almost aggressively tugged off the shoulder, while others swirled and wrapped around the body, creating uneven volumes. As always, there were Martens’s signature high-waisted V shapes, this time most pronounced in a black-and-white sequined jumpsuit.

Kevin TachmanY/Project fall 2020.
Y/Project fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanY/Project fall 2020.
Y/Project fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanY/Project fall 2020.
Y/Project fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanY/Project fall 2020.
Y/Project fall 2020.

With her latest collection, Sacai’s Chitose Abe set out to play with silhouette and explore how three-dimensional forms might look entirely different in motion. Using men’s suiting as her foundation, she created what appeared to be almost comically boxy pantsuits — several were complete with pleated trouser seams. As the models made their way down the runway, though, those crisp lines shifted to reveal that the pieces were actually flowy dresses and jumpsuits. Other riffs on masculine-feminine dressing included Chesterfield coats paired with satin dresses, and super-high-heeled boots with lug soles meant for walking. A series of looks featuring a starry print taken from actual NASA space imagery, meanwhile, suggested not just movement, but a destination.

Molly SJ LoweSacai fall 2020.
Sacai fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweSacai fall 2020.
Sacai fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweSacai fall 2020.
Sacai fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweSacai fall 2020.
Sacai fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweSacai fall 2020.
Sacai fall 2020.

Clare Waight Keller’s latest offering for Givenchy, which she titled Arthouse Heroine, embraced a sultry, cinematic mood. The collection progressed from languid suiting in muted tones and sculptural coats and capes in black or cherry red double-face wool, to sensual, voluminous silk dresses collaged together from a mix of printed and pleated fabrics, culminating with a dazzling crescendo of evening wear. This final section embodied a kind of Old World allure in step with the heritage of the house: There were faux-fur coats, a liquid silver sequin skirt and slinky black-and-white gowns festooned with tassels and feathers. Similarly glamorous were the elbow-length leather gloves and floppy felt hats — the latter an echo of the floor-sweeping headwear seen in the house’s haute couture collection — which concealed the models’ faces in shadow.

Molly SJ LoweGivenchy fall 2020.
Givenchy fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweGivenchy fall 2020.
Givenchy fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweGivenchy fall 2020.
Givenchy fall 2020.

Issey Miyake provided a much-needed dose of joy on Sunday morning. With his latest collection, the creative director Satoshi Kondo hoped to evoke the pure contentment of making things as a child — a feeling, he suggested, that unites us all. The show began when a procession of models dressed in white garments with oversize black seams emerged from human-shaped cutouts on a white paper backdrop — it was as though they’d walked off the page of a sketchbook. This playfulness carried through to a series of vivid colour-blocked knits that recalled the act of kneading modelling clays together, and to an assortment of matching pants and puffer jackets that could be transformed into various silhouettes using zippers. Kondo’s ideal of human connectedness achieved its most poetic expression during the finale, when the models walked in a kind of human chain, wearing multi-person sweaters and dresses that joined them to one another.

Molly SJ LoweIssey Miyake fall 2020.
Issey Miyake fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweIssey Miyake fall 2020.
Issey Miyake fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweIssey Miyake fall 2020.
Issey Miyake fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweIssey Miyake fall 2020.
Issey Miyake fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweIssey Miyake fall 2020.
Issey Miyake fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweIssey Miyake fall 2020.
Issey Miyake fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweIssey Miyake fall 2020.
Issey Miyake fall 2020.

At Hermès, a house that prizes impeccable technique, even the choreography was a feat of precision. Models in crisp whites and bold primary colours came weaving through a tightly configured course of standing equestrian poles (the sort used in show-jumping), nimbly avoiding collisions with one another. Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski’s collection expounded on the equestrian theme, homing in on the brand’s early roots, while also maintaining a minimalist bent. Along with polished duster coats, including one in buttery, beige leather, she presented sporty, solid-coloured polo dresses, trim leather-accented blanket coats and sharply-pleated midi skirts, most of which were paired with tall black leather boots that, if not actually destined for the stables, would be just as nice for strolling city streets.

Kevin TachmanHermès fall 2020.
Hermès fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanHermès fall 2020.
Hermès fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanHermès fall 2020.
Hermès fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanHermès fall 2020.
Hermès fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanHermès fall 2020.
Hermès fall 2020.

While attendance at Paris Fashion Week has waned under the shadow of the coronavirus, the Comme des Garçons show was as packed as ever. Rei Kawakubo sent out just 20 looks this season and each was accompanied by a different song — the varied selection included German opera and house music — which gave the experience a deliberately disjointed feel. These were highly sculptural garments — in monochromatic black or white, or color-blocked arrangements of acidic pink, red, green and blue — structured to sit apart from the body rather than against it. Several of the dresses, including a black leather A-line style and a white puffball creation, rendered their wearers effectively armless, while many of the models’ faces were shrouded by antique lace veils. “Is it not impossible,” Kawakubo asked in the show notes, “to make something completely and utterly new, since we are all living in this world?” Looking at the runway, though, it was clear that her own imagination is as limitless as ever.

Molly SJ LoweComme des Garçons fall 2020.
Comme des Garçons fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweComme des Garçons fall 2020.
Comme des Garçons fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweComme des Garçons fall 2020.
Comme des Garçons fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweComme des Garçons fall 2020.
Comme des Garçons fall 2020.

When Rok Hwang learned that his show would fall on the same day as his younger sister’s wedding in Seoul, the designer made the most of the unlucky circumstances, designing an entire Rokh collection spun from their childhood memories. To a soundtrack of dreamy ’90s-era grunge-girl anthems by Mazzy Star and Hole, models in an array of youthful-feeling floral prints (roses, daisies, lavender) strode between narrow rows of densely bedded Erica flowers. A couple carried skateboards in lieu of handbags, and there were also bubble-gum pink dresses, injections of glitter and leather overcoats featuring punkish chains, as well as more sophisticated daytime looks filled with British-feeling plaids and deconstructed trench coats. After all, the girl Hwang grew up with is now a working woman, one who is sure to be touched by this unique toast delivered from across the globe.

Kevin TachmanRokh fall 2020.
Rokh fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanRokh fall 2020.
Rokh fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanRokh fall 2020.
Rokh fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanRokh fall 2020.
Rokh fall 2020.

The Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood show almost always has a strong political message. This season, that message was repeated time and again by the New York-based musician Susanne Oberbeck, also known as No Bra (who was indeed topless). “The year is 2020, a change is happening,” she sang in a hypnotic, monotonous tone, “the year is 2020, a revolution is happening.” Kronthaler explained that he wanted to examine clothes as a means to expel dark forces, and to restore order. (He even hung garlands of dried chillies and garlic bulbs around the necks of several models.) The layered looks centred on sensual, draped dresses that came in lively graffiti prints, jacquard silks and shot taffetas that shimmered under the light of the chandeliers in the Hotel de Ville in Paris. Within this grand setting, the clothes appeared all the more mutinous, especially Bella Hadid’s bridal look, which was styled with a dagger that she unsheathed at the end of the runway.

Molly SJ LoweAndreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood fall 2020.
Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweAndreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood fall 2020.
Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweAndreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood fall 2020.
Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweAndreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood fall 2020.
Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweAndreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood fall 2020.
Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweAndreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood fall 2020.
Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood fall 2020.

Hedi Slimane, who is known for relentless consistency and exactitude, doubled down on the ’70s-era Parisian bourgeoisie codes he’s been instilling since arriving at Celine two years ago. In a glass-walled structure steps away from Paris’s historic Les Invalides complex, the designer sent out over 100 looks that included polished short suits and culottes, swingy long-sleeved dresses in patterned silks and platform stacked-heel loafers. He described the clothes as unisex, dressing male and female models in identical silk blouses, some with romantic flourishes such as ruffles or bow-tie necks, and rounding out the dandyish-rocker notes with leather jackets and hyper-skinny velvet trousers

Kevin TachmanCeline fall 2020.
Celine fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanCeline fall 2020.
Celine fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanCeline fall 2020.
Celine fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanCeline fall 2020.
Celine fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanCeline fall 2020.
Celine fall 2020.

Given the fandom that surrounds the creative polymath Virgil Abloh, it felt fitting that he held his Off-White show in an entertainment venue — and not for the first time. In Paris’s AccorHotels Arena, Abloh installed dismembered cars, which looked as though they’d crashed into the set, as centrepieces for the models to meander around. For the finale, a cascade of metallic confetti was released, adding to the spectacle of it all. As for the clothes, Abloh doubled down on cowhide in the opening looks, giving the collection a ’90s feel that was amplified by bucket hats, knit bras and a selection of tailored leather looks. And while there were also couture-like tulle dresses, one worn with camo-print combat pants, these looks were grounded by simpler, expertly cut suiting and outerwear, including a pair of plush evening coats in black and cream.

Molly SJ LoweOff-White fall 2020.
Off-White fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweOff-White fall 2020.
Off-White fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweOff-White fall 2020.
Off-White fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweOff-White fall 2020.
Off-White fall 2020.

You know you’re at a Rick Owens show when smoke machines are an integral component of the set — and when, through the haze, come models in body-clinging dresses with asymmetrical hems and thigh-high slits, towering platform boots and retro-futuristic sunglasses. Another play on scale took the form of exaggerated shoulder pads, some so high they could have doubled as head rests. Owens also offered more subtle allusions to athleticism, namely sporty tank tops and puffy comforter capes that resembled the foil insulation blankets doled out to runners after a race. Given Paris’s cold and rainy weather, they didn’t seem like such outlandish propositions.

Kevin TachmanRick Owens fall 2020.
Rick Owens fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanRick Owens fall 2020.
Rick Owens fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanRick Owens fall 2020.
Rick Owens fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanRick Owens fall 2020.
Rick Owens fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanRick Owens fall 2020.
Rick Owens fall 2020.

For Paco Rabanne, Julien Dossena looked to history, specifically to the medieval era, reimagining the brand’s signature chain-mail designs as protective armor for soldiers in the Crusades. Inside one of the surviving medieval halls of Paris’s Conciergerie, which has served as both a palace and a prison, models appeared in chain-mail dresses and knightly head covers — viewers could hear one look, heavy with metallic fringe, jingling from the other end of the runway — as well as embroidered tunics and bell-sleeved surcoats inspired by religious vestments. Starched ruffled collars and cuffs featured prominently throughout the collection, as did platform and knee-high combat boots, which kept the looks grounded in contemporary times.

Molly SJ LowePaco Rabanne fall 2020.
Paco Rabanne fall 2020.
Molly SJ LowePaco Rabanne fall 2020.
Paco Rabanne fall 2020.
Molly SJ LowePaco Rabanne fall 2020.
Paco Rabanne fall 2020.
Molly SJ LowePaco Rabanne fall 2020.
Paco Rabanne fall 2020.
Molly SJ LowePaco Rabanne fall 2020.
Paco Rabanne fall 2020.

At Maison Margiela, the creative director John Galliano again found inspiration in the traditional dress codes of the bourgeoisie, which he then went about reinventing. He zeroed in on such classics as culottes, pussy-bow blouses and Mary Janes, to which he added the house’s signature split toe style, and offered a whimsical take on clothes for leisure time spent outdoors: Brightly coloured neckties, for example, had the dual appearance of feminine bows and sporty neckerchiefs, and a number of the models carried wicker handbags that looked a bit like picnic baskets. The collection marked the launch of the brand’s new Recicla label, which consists of handpicked vintage garments that Galliano and his team transform into new forms. It’s an attempt to be less wasteful that also allows the designer to be entirely himself — because what is repurposing if not reinvention?

Molly SJ LoweMaison Margiela fall 2020.
Maison Margiela fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweMaison Margiela fall 2020.
Maison Margiela fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweMaison Margiela fall 2020.
Maison Margiela fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweMaison Margiela fall 2020.
Maison Margiela fall 2020.
Molly SJ LoweMaison Margiela fall 2020.
Maison Margiela fall 2020.

At Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello offered a provocative new approach to day-to-night dressing centred on high-gloss latex. The material came gleaming down the runway in various skintight forms — including belted high-waisted leggings, pencil skirts and thigh-grazing boots — which the designer offset with demure, bow-necked blouses and double-breasted blazers. The versatile looks provided an interesting twist on latex’s traditional associations with fetish culture and dominatrix attire (and for many showgoers contending with the intermittent rain showers in Paris that day, the waterproof material may have had an extra appeal). Further upending expectations, Vaccarello scaled back his typically heavy use of black and instead employed vibrant colours, including cobalt blue, fuchsia, purple and gold.

Kevin TachmanSaint Laurent fall 2020.
Saint Laurent fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanSaint Laurent fall 2020.
Saint Laurent fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanSaint Laurent fall 2020.
Saint Laurent fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanSaint Laurent fall 2020.
Saint Laurent fall 2020.
Kevin TachmanSaint Laurent fall 2020.
Saint Laurent fall 2020.

Reporting by Kin Woo, Laura Neilson and Alice Cavanagh.