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Life & Style

Paris Fashion Week highlights: Rosalia, women designers, stark contrasts

Published January 23, 2023
A life-like robot of artist Yayoi Kusama paining a window stands at the Louis Vuitton store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Photo: AFP
A life-like robot of artist Yayoi Kusama paining a window stands at the Louis Vuitton store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Photo: AFP
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PARIS: One of the buzziest menswear weeks in recent memory wrapped in Paris on Sunday. Here are some of the highlights:

Dior vs Louis Vuitton

Two very different approaches from two of the biggest houses, who built giant rival hangars on either end of the Tuileries Gardens that run through central Paris.

While Vuitton created an entire apartment full of primary colours and brought along Rosalia for a thumping performance on top of a car, Dior went with a starkly lit black runway and refined, sombre outfits, to the soaring music of German composer Max Richter and a small orchestra.

Rosalia performs in Louis Vuitton catwalk show at Paris Fashion Week

Both went down well, even if some complained it was hard to focus on the clothes at Vuitton while also watching Rosalia.

Justin Berkowitz, men's fashion director at New York department store Bloomingdale's said the Vuitton show was the funniest of the week, but he also praised Kim Jones's collection for Dior as "incredibly elegant with a new sophistication and sumptuousness rendered in a soft colour palette".

BTS, Chalamet, Usher

The celeb count was high this week, with the biggest crowds of screaming fans turning up outside the Dior show for a glimpse of J-Hope from Korean pop phenomenon BTS.

Timothee Chalamet was a special guest for Loewe, with artistic director Jonathan Anderson saying he epitomises the more daring approach to menswear that is seeing the sector take off.

"Fashion has never felt more exciting," Anderson told AFP. "The landscape is changing."

Omnipresent throughout the week was RnB star Usher, who was hard to miss with his new, bright-red hairstyle.

A veteran still excites

Rick Owens has been bringing his gothic, post-apocalyptic madness to the Paris catwalk for years, but he still excites the crowd, which this week included David and Victoria Beckham.

"Rick Owens continues to impress each and every season, developing new silhouettes, proportions and fabrications all while staying true to his singular and truly compelling vision," said Simon Longland, head of menswear and womenswear at British department store Harrods.

Emerging women designers

A quartet of women in their early thirties -- Britain's Grace Wales Bonner and Bianca Saunders, France's Marine Serre and US award-winner Emily Bode -- were among the hottest tickets.

Indian haute couture master dreams the 'impossible' for Paris

It was the first live show in Paris for Wales Bonner, inspired by black Parisian icons, and it showed off her "sharp tailoring... and charming details for a spot-on, personal collection", said Berkowitz.

Bode, hot off a CFDA menswear designer of the year award, returned to Paris for the first time since the pandemic with a vintage collection inspired by her mother's family that transformed the stage of the Chatelet Theatre into a scene from rural America.

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