A Seasons’ Finale: A Look Back at Paris Fashion Week SS20
Words and images by Cassell A. Ferere, @cassellinc
Paris for Fashion Week is a dream, and the activity doesn’t let up. Especially during the considerable month’s worth of fashion events.
September is the “starting line” for the year of fashion to come, so to speak. It’s the time of year fashion is in full throttle as magazines still print up and promote their September issues.
A Seasons’ Finale: A Look Back at Paris Fashion Week SS20
There’s the back-to-school season, the end of vacation holiday leading right into the year-end holiday shopping season, where spending is always on the forefront. The 4th quarter is where it counts for all businesses.
Dashing away in an Uber wasn’t the best idea this season, as traffic was horrendous most days. Monday held the ceremonial funeral of the passing of the former French President Jacques Chirac. But walking the streets of Paris is somehow ideal, as you get a glimpse at some of the stylish people about town. September in Paris puts the icing on the cake, wrapping up the month.
Hosting tons of showroom presentations, shows, parties, and private dinners, Paris finds a way to do the “week” with a refinement of a traditional fashion atmosphere in the city of lights. With respect for the Millennial and Gen Z fashion purveyors, Paris Fashion Week is the most scenic backdrop for fashion influencers.
Shows & Showrooms
Besides attending shows like VictoriaTomas, Dawei, Nehera, Liu Chao, Shiatzy Chen, Mashi Ma, and Tatras, more so, you can find your way to showrooms and presentations, exploring collections up-close. It’s a special moment as you are greeted by the designer as they traverse through the story behind their brand and collection. Nothing to take for granted as the catwalks are the most desirable events. While the models go through their last preparations, impromptu interviews take place in the front rows, photographers capture the attendees entering the shows, press rush to the respective seating, and the occasional late arrival to build the anxiety in the room. As the music sounds, lights brighten and the show is on.
At The Shows
Stands out like Leonard Paris, with their ‘70s inspired aesthetic, came roaring down the runway on fiercely breathtaking, statuesque models. The clothes were psychedelic, displaying a floral design with a certain Miami flair. Heads bobbed as “Physical” by Olivia Newton-john played with enough force to wake everyone up from their morning drowse.
Agnes b. always holds the audience’s attention. This time, adding a winding runway which unveiled each look from beyond the bend, with agnes b. logo dwarfing the models coming around the corner. A live performance by French rapper Oxmo set off a melodic tune that memorized audience members. The Parisian aesthetic is always evident in the seams of agnes b., which are dear to her brand. We got café and garden furniture vibes mid-way through the show. Something she threw into the design of some of the garments including a scarf that was gifted to those seated at the runway show.
Shiatzy Chen was a winding runway of elegance, mixed in with the technical design of sportswear. Including bamboo in the Spring-Summer 2020 season designs, founder Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia says that it “represents the imagery of the East.”
This was evident in the intricate designs and patterns, which projected slim fits and lacey lingerie-like tops, fitted over with jackets and some short-shorts. The East meets West of design and culture, Shiatzy Chen subtly held on to its strong Taiwanese roots. Tsai-Hsia expresses her brand like the roots of bamboo, “deeply embedded in the ground; that is our brand inspiration.”
In The Showrooms
Showroom visits are where you can take a break from the fashion merry-go-round. Visiting brands, like; Lysandre G.L., Joseph, Ines de la Fressange, Yves Salomon, Yolan Cris, Mimii, time seems to stand still as the clothes hang in place for a detailed inspection.
Bode and it’s travel nostalgia inspired collection at the Americans in Paris showroom for the CFDA, and Mode: Moscow, where Russian Brands like Be.Li.Ve Studio with its colorful oversized cut garments and White Crow’s futurist tech-wear showed off their collections and displayed their aesthetic to buyers and press. The quiet showrooms were in great contrast to the loud murmurs of the runway shows held around town.
An opportunity to touch and feel each garment and accessory, to look at it and analyze, is a privilege as some items are still due to hit the shelves of your local boutiques. Oppose to watching it come and go — which is also cool to see how clothes wear in action — presentations are welcoming. With these incubators, designers and brands from all over the world have opportunities to show their collections — in Paris of all places.
The Rain Doesn’t Last
The weather wasn’t the clearest but that made for interesting style choice from the local and visiting crowd. As the day’s transition from cloudy to sunny, rain showers to chilled, dry nights, you had better brought a versatile wardrobe. Around town, at the cafés, restaurants, and shops, patrons were none the less ready for any fashion event or party.
Spending most of my time between vegan eateries like Wild and The Moon and Maisie Café, in between shows, you are susceptible to find models fresh off the runway or an influencer who has made a pit stop from gathering content. With events all over the city and the fashion crowd come out to play but it can be a marathon of fashion for one of the longer fashion weeks of the month. I’m sure everyone else enjoyed the 2 hours of sleep to be got after a night out.
No matter the season, fashion week in Paris is epitomes of the season. It’s the fashion mecca and is quite inspirational. It’s an honor to see those who come confident enough to showcase their style on the streets and at the shows. Taking my time in between each to get familiar with the brands and all the different people from all over the world through all the Instagram accounts I started following. I look forward to every season.
This article can be found at PAGE magazine.
On Instagram @cassellinc