Following a fully genderless, co-ed London schedule and a transportive, fantastical iteration of Milan Fashion Week, where will Paris Fashion Week take us next? The answer, it would seem, is everywhere. As a result of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic measures, brands that have previously shown on the Parisian schedule have taken us in all possible directions: there was Jonathan Anderson's 'Show on the Wall' for Loewe S/S 21, where guests were invited to wallpaper their own home courtesy of British artist Anthea Hamilton, a horror/sci-fi futuristic short film courtesy of moon crescent queen Marine Serre, a traditional lookbook shot by Heji Shin for Matthew Williams's first Givenchy collection, or a simple live-streamed catwalk show from Ms. Prada for Miu Miu.
Running from 1-9 March, the Paris Fashion Week A/W 21 womenswear schedule will include Gabriela Hearst's debut collection as creative director at Chloé (on 3 March). We're in for another round of 'phygital' shows - expect a mix of live-streamed catwalk shows, fashion films, and video content that straddles the middle ground between the two. The health situation in France remains severe; from 16 January 2021, a national curfew was imposed from 6pm-6am.
The curfew may be able to kill the fun, but it cannot kill fashion. Below, we've picked three of the most promising shows on the Paris schedule to mark in your calendar.
Marine Serre, Tuesday 2 March 09:30 GMT
Marine Serre's S/S 21 video, Amor Fati, felt more like a horror movie than a fashion film, and was so genuinely scary that YouTube marked it as age-restricted content. Taking its aesthetic cues from contemporary sci-fi classics like Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin (2013) and Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049 (2017), the film opened with an androgynous, nude figure being tattooed with the French designer's crescent moon motifs - we'd be unsurprised if this scenario were to happen in real life, considering how synonymous Serre's moons have become in popular culture. Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa, and both Kendall and Kylie Jenner have all worn Serre's designs, which brilliantly blur the lines between athleisure, couture, ready-to-wear and fine tailoring. Amor Fati depicts a post-apocalyptic, smog-filled world which the designer is set on combatting - she has sent anti-pollution masks down the runway in the past and is committed to upcycling unwanted jeans, bedsheets and recycled fabric to diminish fashion's detrimental impact on the environment.
Givenchy, Sunday 7 March 19:00 GMT
In a fashion landscape radically altered by COVID-19, Matthew Williams's aversion to video is mystifying. Perhaps the designer knows that being surprised by fashion is a rare thing - hence the lack of video, despite his much-anticipated debut at the historic, luxury French house of Givenchy. Is Williams simply over fashion film, or could there be something larger in the works? Playboi Carti modelled in Givenchy's latest campaign and rapped over Nick Knight's first accessories campaign for the house, while The Weeknd wore a custom sparkly red Givenchy jacket to perform at the Super Bowl half-time show earlier this month. Absence makes the heart grow fonder - something aptly demonstrated by Bottega Veneta in January when they deleted their Instagram, leaving a trail of internet furore in their wake - so, by giving us less, William's Givenchy has left us wanting more.
Miu Miu, Tuesday 9 March 13:00 GMT
Miu Miu is sticking to the traditional runway format during the pandemic, which is unsurprising considering the brand already has a decade-old fashion film empire of its own: Miu Miu Women's Tales. Last season, Lila Moss opened and closed the Miu Miu S/S 21 womenswear show in a glittery miniskirt and heels, soundtracked by the artificial noise of football cheer in a white, gymnasium-esque set. You would think group sports would be the last thing on anyone's mind during COVID-19, let alone Miuccia Prada's, but here was an ode to those formative moments of enforced exercise, experienced only in high school - an opportunity for teenage camaraderie that is currently missed due to the pandemic.
Cropped halterneck vests were paired with low-slung tracksuit bottoms (if you could even call them that), while more glamorous gem-encrusted tracksuit tops and lace up trainers with hidden kitten heels at the rear also appeared - these outfits seemed to be destined more for Equinox than the outdoor gym in your local park. Miu Miu's community of celebrities - Elle Fanning, Mia Goth, Paloma Elsesser, Chloë Sevigny and more - were writ large on screens featured on the set's walls, watching the show in real time while dressed to the nines in Miu Miu garb.
So, what are you waiting for? Take your front row seat to the Paris Fashion Week shows on SHOWstudio.com.