It may have technically been men’s fashion week in Paris the last few days, but that didn’t stop many designers from showing womenswear as well, including Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisco, who sent Joan Smalls, Mariacarla Boscono, and Natalia Vodianova—fresh from giving birth less than a month ago—down his runway in couture. On a particularly packed day on Saturday, both Kenzo and Balmain presented both genders, and Dior Homme offered a darker turn for Spring 2017. Take a look at our exclusive backstage pictures below.
Inspired by the nightlife of both New York and Los Angeles—the show notes included a list of iconic clubs like Tunnel, Area, and Up & Down—Humberto Leon & Carol Lim had their boys and girls stride down the runway in packs, the better to showcase the collection’s themes, including graphic Nineties prints and bright neon hues. The vibe was appropriately youthful and vibrant, with short shorts, billowing parkas, berets, and long ribbed skirts. Set to pounding dance music, the show was more proof that Leon and Lim know exactly who their customer is and what he—and she—wants, something easy and interesting and, most of all, fun.
The invitation promised a fun fair, but the mood for Spring 2017 was hard and dark at Dior Homme. Kris Van Assche has always had a clean modernist streak, but this season he blended Eighties punk with a hint of bondage for a collection that had an almost threatening air, complemented by a set dominated by a black-painted roller coaster lined in colorful lights. The palette was predominantly black and white with notes of red, with oversized suiting and interesting details like the ropes woven through a jacket covered in grommets. Even the floral prints had a cold feel to them, looking like the cover of a New Wave album. Harnesses and straps added an S&M note, and the many buzz cuts were a menacing touch. As he prepares to celebrate ten years at the house—nearly a lifetime these days—Van Assche proved again that he knows how to take Dior’s history and keep pushing it in inspired new directions.
Oleg Ulrich, Ernest Klimko, Wilbert Eskildsen, Dylan Roques, and Hippolyte Simon
There was the usual power and glamour on the runway at Balmain, but Olivier Rousteing expanded his aesthetic for Spring 2017 with vibrant colors and new techniques like crocheting to go along with the expected metallics and shiny embellishments. The robes and jumpsuits had a relaxed softness, contrasting with the jewel-encrusted jackets that weighed several kilos each and sparkled with each step. The tasseled jewelry is sure to be a success, and the strong women’s looks ranged from bejeweled minidresses to sweeping floor-length gowns with ruffles and thigh slits that will be undoubtedly popular among the label’s many fans. Rousteing is rightly famed for his social media savvy, and it was clear that he knew what his followers wanted to see, a way of broadcasting strength and confidence that was equally engaging IRL.