Paris Fashion Week has kicked off with a bang. The joyful and revolutionary debut of Marni, the bold feminist statements of Dior, and the convergence of international stars and designers crafted a symphonic narrative of innovation, tradition, and bold expression. Kylie Jenner drew crowds at Acne in a figure hugging red dress, and screaming fans descended outside Christian Dior’s Jardin de Tuileries venue as global stars like Jenna Ortega, Jisoo, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert Pattinson filed in.
Christian Dior, led by creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri, set a powerful tone with anti-sexism and anti-capitalism themes. Using the mesmerizing video art of Elena Bellantoni as a backdrop, Dior blended potent feminist messages with precise designs and streamlined, active tailoring, rejecting the oppression of fashion’s “hourglass idea of perfection.”
The influence of suiting was apparent in the collection’s classic black and white tones — adding a level of severity that is unexpected from a spring/summer collection. Meanwhile, floor length dresses, through sheers and laces, revealed as much as they covered. True to theme, these evening gowns combined primness with a rawer sensuality.
Sitting front row were Chinese stars like actor and dancer Karry Wang, actress Dilraba Dilmurat, and KOLs such as Mr. Bags and Yuyu Zhangzou. As models (many of them Asian) made their way down the runway, digital screens lit up with the Bellantoni's ironic images and accompanying words: “Your body is poetic, your body is political,” “Not Her,” and “Capitalism won’t take her where she really wants to go.” It's a punchy way to start off fashion week with, but also a reminder that fashion is supposed to serve women, and not the other way around.
By contrast, the hero show of the next day was undoubtedly Marni, which appeared on the PFW schedule for the very first time. This was another star-studded front row: including Usher, Erykah Badu, and Chinese actresses Bai Lu and Yu Yan. The colorful, well-heeled style crowd was befitting of creative director Francesco Russo’s quirky, juxtaposed aesthetic that pays homage to ateliers and craft.
Russo’s latest collection was a daring defiance of prevailing fashion trends, favoring joyful expressions and vibrant contrasts over precision and uniformity. Skinny ‘70s muses in colorful stripes and flares, 3D butterfly collages, experimental unisex dressing, and avant-garde sculptural pieces showcased Marni’s eclectic approach and were a testament to the boundless joy of fashion.
Russo shows that dopamine dressing is still wanted in fashion and, we’ll dare say, needed. This was a collection that was as refreshing as it was revolutionary. After many runways of classic codes and precision in Milan and Paris so far, Marni’s playful explosion of color, texture and shape was a wonderful, heart-skipping beat for a slightly drama-starved fashion crowd.
Caroline Hu is on a stratospheric rise: The New York-based Chinese designer landed her first show on the coveted official PFW schedule — meaning being officially invited by the French Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. Hu’s pieces were a beautiful ode to distance versus intimacy and expressive femininity, symbolizing an intertwining of vulnerability and strength with her use of laces, tulle, and exaggerated volumes.
Designers like Celine Kwan, Yat Pit and Yeung Chin from Hong Kong brought their visions to the French capital, adding diverse textures to the fashion tapestry. Meanwhile, Ukrainian designer Lilia Litkovska offered a sophisticated take on tailoring, reflecting her familial legacy in textiles and tailoring as well as a harmony between thoughtful elegance and craftsmanship.
A favorite among China’s high-net-worth consumers, Delvaux presented pieces that were a vibrant amalgamation of heritage and innovation. The Belgian handbag brand intertwined Norse mythology with identity symbols, offering luxury aficionados pieces that were as covetable as they were colorful.
A vibrant, colorful artist collaboration with Gen Z fine artist Kasper Bosmans touched on motifs, flags, crests and symbolic markers of identity. Asian KOLs like Taiwan’s Kiwi and China’s Sonya Luo were seen flocking to the showroom to rub shoulders with Bosmans and the brand’s CEO Jean Marc Loubier.
So far, Paris Fashion Week has unfurled with stars, style, and significant messages. As it unveils more in the coming days, we’re hoping for a continued blend of cultures that underscore fashion’s role as a powerful medium for change, expression, and dialogue.