Face masks, cathedrals and loungewear: a Paris Fashion Week like no other

Fashion month has almost come to a close, and if the new hybrid New York Fashion Week, London and Milan Fashion Week proved anything, it’s that even a pandemic cannot quell the creative spirit of fashion designers. Over in Paris, the spring/summer collections carry on being unveiled as planned, albeit with a few face coverings and tracksuits thrown in. Read on for the highlights from the week.

Maria Grazia Chiuri built a cathedral

PFW kicked off in grand style with the Dior spring-summer 2021 ready-to-wear show, with the designer creating a backdrop of stained glass windows in a Gothic style cathedral. For her new collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri took inspiration from the work of Lucia Marcucci (‘an emblematic figure of the Italian avant-garde who designed the show’s scenography).

Her aesthetics of collage and visual poetry were apparent in the patchworks of paisley and floral motifs, punctuated with lace fragments, and jewel tones of lilac, orange and ochre. Fluid dresses mixed in with soft kimonos and wide leg trousers for a collection that is the comfortable and stylish wardrobe the post-pandemic woman wants to wear.

Kenzo made hazmat suits look cool

There were bound to be stylish takes on protective gear this season, and Kenzo did not disappoint. Models were sent down the (outdoor) runway in elevated beekeeping hats and veils that matched their colourful outfits and bold prints. Creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista wanted to illustrate the relationship between human and nature, telling Vogue, ‘Bees are the regulators of the world. I find this idea very reassuring; both poetic and positive’.

Cecilie Bahnsen created a wardrobe for the modern nomad

Photo: Lana Ohrimenko

‘This season I had an image in my mind of a woman on a journey across a landscape – a symbolic wanderer,’ Cecilie said in her show notes. As such, her Spring Summer 2021 collection delivered the usual romance and moodiness we’ve come to expect, but with a twist.

Old styles (the open-back dress) were updated with new details, while new shapes were introduced in the form of an off-the-shoulder balloon shape statement sleeve. Dresses were styled over transparent ribbed knitwear and masculine tailoring, to ease them into everyday wear: relaxed but feminine was the name of the game. We also loved the label’s use of recycled fabrics, such as cashmere knit and faille.

Keep scrolling for more favourite looks from the runway too.