Paris Fashion Week A/W 2013: Overview

Paris Fashion Week 2013 was certainly a week of firsts, with Alexander Wang’s eagerly anticipated debut at Balenciaga and high street giant H&M stepping up to the catwalk to showcase the affordable fashion we all know and love amongst the heavyweights of the French fashion arena. Paris was bursting with timelessly classic shapes and cuts that are bound to see us through a glamorous A/W ahead.

Dries Van Noten Paris autumn/winter 2013

This is the season of the coat and investment is a must – a whole array of shapes and styles were offered up but the oversized jacket came out tops. Think big shoulders and even bigger lapels as seen at Carven in elegant greys and Loewe in sumptuous shearling and leather. Yet we mustn’t rule out the collar-less completely; Kenzo went full throttle with numbers in electric blue and cherry red leather, lavender fur and opulent brocades, leaving us spoilt for choice come the winter chills. Fur – if that’s your thing – appeared to make a strong comeback too with numerous designers taking on the controversial fabric; from subtle linings at Hermes to full blown patchwork skins crawling their way onto maxi skirts at Gaultier, fur is a huge story this season.


 Personally I am thrilled to find slinky sheer frocks will be carrying us through nicely to next winter, Elie Saab and Gaultier blew us away with beautifully billowing maxis that would make anyone strut like they’re on the catwalk. Midi pencil styles were all over Givenchy, embellished with florals, ruffles and rhinestones topped with luxe sweatshirts, balancing out perfectly all the peek-a-boo sexiness going on below the waistline.

Although many designers sent their models down suited and booted, a wonderfully ethereal range of lounge wear diffused its way through the scene. Dries van Noten’s effortlessly cool sheath dresses and pyjama stripes were paired with luxuriously embroidered robes, cinched in at the waist, keeping the look chic versus sleepy. Most dreamy of all were the floral silk slips and velvet gowns peeking through woollen coats, seen at Louis Vuitton. The look was set off by pale skinned-smoky eyed-cropped haired models that seemed to lure us into some hazy 1930s utopia, even with an appearance from Kate Moss. On the more bohemian side of this trend emerged Vivienne Westwood, who cloaked her models with bold printed capes, resembling prized blankets collected over a long exotic journey. Hermes gave us a more time-honoured version, perfect for getting cosy by a winter fire.


The colour palette for the season was muted, no surprise for Autumn/Winter. Neutral tones and a whole lot of black dominated the scene, but turn to blues to ignite a spark in your outfit. Chloe and the ever cool Acne, broke up the darkness with hues ranging from celestial to outright electric. Special mention to Hussein Chalayan wowing all with his 2-in-1 dresses that sent gasps through the online fashion community, and who were in fact not so fond of Slimane’s grunge turnaround at Saint Laurent Paris. Paris as ever did not fall short of expectations and somehow with the previous season already behind us, these looks will have us lusting after the cold again in no time.

Amrit Santos


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