Despite the emergence of Asia and the Arab world in the fashion industry, Paris continues to hold its position as the epicenter of fashion, captivating designers and celebrities with its flair for drama and imagination.
Schiaparelli, which has been under the creative direction of American Daniel Roseberry since 2019, is a font of surrealist fashion fantasies. His cast of A-list models, including Amber Valetta, second from left, and Kendall Jenner, center, helps push things over the top (Jonas Gustavsson for The Washington Post) | Credit: The Washington Post
During this season, the Kardashian-Jenner family took centre stage, with several sisters and their matriarch, Kris Jenner, occupying front-row seats at shows like Victoria Beckham and Loewe. They even graced the runways of prominent brands, leaving their mark on the fashion week.
Designers this season displayed a keen eye for selecting renowned models for their shows. Shalom Harlow, known for her impeccable runway walk, mesmerised audiences at the Schiaparelli show with her glossy bob and captivating presence.
Jonathan Anderson’s designs for Loewe stood out for their conceptual nature, accompanied by the perfect choice of celebrity ambassadors. Anderson has an unparalleled ability to bring shocking and unconventional fashion into the mainstream. He also pays close attention to how a show translates online versus in person, skillfully manipulating dimensions and proportions.
Behind the scenes, photographers fiercely compete for the prime spots in the coveted “pit.” The seemingly tranquil and composed runway images that circulate for months after the shows are the result of intense jostling and strategic maneuvering.
While Paris Fashion Week isn’t all play and tricks, one daily source of excitement was anticipating where Kris Jenner would make her appearances and who would accompany her. At Loewe, she was seen seated next to Sidney Toledano, the CEO of LVMH, the parent company of Loewe.
Shalom Harlow backstage at Schiaparelli (Jonas Gustavsson for The Washington Post) | Credit: The Washington Post
He delighted her by showing several pictures on his iPhone.
Designers are always eager to incorporate celebrities into their runway shows for maximum exposure. However, as the week progressed, it became evident that Naomi Campbell remains the ultimate casting power move. Her iconic walk, serene smile, and timeless grace continue to captivate audiences more than three decades after her first Yves Saint Laurent show.
Many designers this season played it safe, opting for clothes that felt overly familiar or uninspiring. The element of surprise, delight, and innovation came from Comme des Garçons and its sister brands, Noir Kei Ninomiya and Junya Watanabe. These three labels are renowned for challenging traditional fashion conventions.
Yohji Yamamoto, who is personally my hero, recently celebrated his 80th birthday, yet his designs remain fresh and sophisticated. His loyal fans, some of whom have been collecting his pieces since the early 1980s, agreed that Friday’s show was one of his most exceptional presentations in recent memory. The collection paid homage to revered couturiers of the past, such as Vionnet and Saint Laurent, sparking deep conversations.
The Schiaparelli customer is no shrinking violet. Roseberry’s ready-to-wear designs, which sell at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, offer the finishing and feel of couture extravagance at a (slightly) lower price. (Jonas Gustavsson for The Washington Post) | Credit: The Washington Post
While menswear continues to gain prominence in fashion discourse, designers are well aware that creating impactful women’s clothing is crucial. The highly anticipated men’s fashion brand, Casablanca, made its debut on the womenswear calendar, signaling its recognition of the importance of catering to women’s fashion.
In addition to well-known celebrities, the clients who generously spend significant amounts at fashion houses each year are equally, if not more, essential. They play a vital role in the success of many brands and their influence cannot be underestimated.
French teenagers show an unparalleled love for fashion shows, eagerly gathering outside venues to catch glimpses of even remotely famous individuals. They enthusiastically scream their names and snap pictures with their phones.
Fashion week serves as an opportunity for designers to showcase their ambitions and make a statement. A runway show that is particularly dramatic or skillful can generate buzz among editors and influencers, sparking discussions about which prominent fashion brand might be observing an emerging designer. This was precisely the case after Glenn Martens’s Y/Project show, leaving many to wonder if he deserves a larger platform to showcase his talent.
Two guests at Loewe flex their matching adoration of Jonathan Anderson’s designs. (Jonas Gustavsson for The Washington Post) | Credit: The Washington Post
This month, there has been considerable talk about the lack of female designers at major fashion brands owned by conglomerates like LVMH and Kering. This discussion has given Stella McCartney, a sustainability advocate who operates her eponymous brand under the LVMH umbrella, additional attention. Her shows attract a star-studded audience, further elevating her profile.
Mugler presented one of the most exhilarating shows of the week, featuring a runway adorned with wind machines that sent fabric trains billowing through the air. The brand appeals to a fashion-forward Gen Z crowd that craves the nostalgic theatrics of ’90s runway shows.
The insatiable content creation machine never rests. Influencers not only post about the shows but also produce content centreed around their posts, fuelling the continuous cycle of fashion coverage.
Chanel, under the creative direction of the late Karl Lagerfeld, continues to be a major player in the fashion landscape. The brand’s shows command attention and draw in influential figures with their enduring legacy and iconic designs.
Virginie Viard, Lagerfeld’s talented protégée, has skillfully captured the essence of youthful freedom enjoyed by wealthy 19-year-olds, making Chanel one of the few brands to achieve this feat.
The fashion week crowd not only attracts celebrities but also entices numerous eager clients, who anxiously occupy the third and fourth rows (or the highly coveted first and second rows, if they’re exceptionally fortunate) while engaging in phone-assisted shopping.
Chanel takes great pride in its French heritage, a quality that resonates with fans from around the globe, who find it utterly irresistible. The brand’s unmistakable signatures, such as tweed fabrics, gold buttons, and chain-handle bags, have become iconic and widely imitated. Clients and VIPs proudly flaunt these luxurious Chanel elements, almost resembling walking advertisements for the most opulent merchandise in the world.
It seems that nearly every attendee is adorned in Chanel designs, creating a captivating visual spectacle.
Another notable presence this fashion season was Usher, who made numerous appearances at shows and appeared to be thoroughly enjoying himself. It’s no wonder, given the excitement and energy surrounding these events.
Balenciaga consistently eschews the expected celebrity attendees, instead embracing those for whom fashion is an integral part of their lives—a true embodiment of the fashion-forward lifestyle.

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