By Eshan Shah
Clearly, fashion has saved the best for last this Spring/Summer 2017 (SS 2017) season, with an 80s revival in Paris! While ‘l’affaire Kardashian’ was a sombre moment, the shows were high energy and otherwise designed to make a statement. Washed out tones may have dominated the runway, but an effervescence pervaded the shows in accents of neon pink and magnificent magenta. Paris Fashion Week (PFW) was also marked by a number of design inaugurations, most notably including Anthony Vacarello at Saint Laurent and Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior.
Picking up steam from previous seasons, the high fashion reinterpretation of 80s grunge was best captured at the Saint Laurent show. Bold and boxy blazers fiercely contested the normalized female silhouette, completely abandoning any attempt to accentuate an hourglass figure. The non-conformist Saint Laurent women rocked a fantastic takeaway: bad-ass black leather jackets layered over washed out boyfriend denim.
Maria Grazia Chiuri’s creative directorial debut with Dior similarly referenced her predecessor (Hedi Slimane) while boldly paving a new path for the fashion house. Tying her show together through fencing, prepare for clean, white, quilted silhouettes to flood the scene in upcoming seasons. The message here is clear: whimsical-pleated tulle can be paired with anything. Celebrating the feminine touch of Dior, Maria also payed homage to Galliano, provocatively re-interpreting the ‘J’adore Dior’ slogan on to read as ‘J’adior’ stamped across bags, ankle straps, and bra straps.
Likewise, throughout the week, fashion continued to adopt a new role: taking on a social responsibility and putting forth a message to consumers. And this message was often brazenly stamped on graphic tees to avoid miscommunication, including “We should all be Feminists” at Dior, and “No leather and no fur” at Stella. Stella’s show pushed the bill even further, by continuing the movement away from a traditional fashion show and captured PFW’s feel-good moment with an empowering flash dance finale. In addition to the utilitarian-inspired monochrome looks sent down the runway, Stella gave a resounding endorsement of the new world of socially-responsible fashion.