The Most Distinctive Trends Seen at Paris Fashion Week

Fashion month’s grand finale delivered both thought-provoking and notable moments.

Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images

A cohesive train of thought was definitely in the air this season in Paris. Show notes spoke of freedom, women’s empowerment, and the inspiring spirit of how in 2020 wearing what you want, when you want, is more than possible. Jonathan Anderson and Maria Grazia Chiuri shared similar sentiments when speaking to the inspiration behind their Loewe and Dior collections respectfully, and Sarah Burton celebrated heroines for Alexander McQueen FW20. The runways were rife with historic references intended for the modern woman, and Nicolas Ghesquière even showcased his collection for Louis Vuitton against a backdrop of a 200-person costumed chorus.

Chanel Photo: Victor Boyko/Getty Images

Fashion indeed loves a dramatic, thought-provoking setting, especially in the age of Instagram, and water was a reoccurring theme for the physical sets themselves. At Balenciaga, models stomped across an apocalyptic watery scene in ominous black attire, while at Chanel, the runway was modeled after the mystical River Seine. This season was also the first that Chanel, under Virginie Viard’s direction, live-streamed the collection.

As for trends, black proved to be the new black as monochromatic looks opened almost every show. However, that’s not to say there wasn’t a healthy dose of bold color schemes, new patterns, and intricate embellishment, too, and designs true to the French house codes were a welcomed escape from reality. Other highlights from the eight days in Paris included Valentino’s inclusive casting and Miu Miu’s opulent theater stage. Now, as we bid adieu to another month of fashion that will define the trends for the next season to come, here are more standout looks seen in the City of Light.

The final walk at Louis Vuitton.
Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images

Back to School Argyle
Checks and heritage fabrics have been prominent in every city—especially iterations of a classic fall houndstooth—but it was argyle that notably made a return in Paris at Dior, Lanvin, and Miu Miu. Originally derived from a Scottish tartan, the diamond pattern today is associated with prep school uniforms and sportswear, and designers displayed inventive ways to dress it up or down.

Photo: Peter White/Getty Image
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Miu Miu
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

French Bourgeois 
There have been many styling interpretations of the bourgeois look at other fashion weeks, but no one captures the sophisticated nonchalance quite as masterfully as the French houses themselves. Celine delivered one of the best examples of this with '70s-inspired staples effortlessly paired together: wool suiting, neck-tie blouses, pleated midi skirts—the works. The true bourgeois style is all about attitude and we'll delve further into this topic with an exclusive editorial launching later this March.

Deep Purple
Given the powerful theme of the dressing for oneself, it seems fitting that shades of bright purple popped up throughout the week. Purple is associated with royalty, strength, and empowerment, and the deep hues were showcased on suiting, gowns, and everything in between.

Dries Van Noten
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Elie Saab
Photo: Victor Boyko/Getty Images
Saint Laurent
Photo: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Little Black Bow
The pussy-bow blouse is undoubtedly here to stay (you can get the look now via the Olivia Palermo Collection, too). However in Paris, the beloved bow concept became even more refined and pronounced. If you have a penchant for pretty ribbons, this is the standout look for you, as the romantic detail not only adorned the hair but also waistlines and collars in the collections of Giambattista Valli, Elie Saab, and more.

Sheer Genius
Barely-there mesh details and lace materials that blend delicate and edgy elements, were very popular on the runways this season.  Sheer pieces can lean prim or vampy, pending the wearer's choice of styling, and are gender-neutral as beautifully displayed at Valentino.

Photographed by Eva Espresso

Embrace the Cape
This superhero essential is now a bonafide outerwear essential to seriously consider next season. There were chic versions for the evening and cozy blanket-like iterations for every day, making a strong case to swap a coat out for this powerful silhouette instead. Plus, while abroad, Olivia donned a sneak peek of our sleek, Olivia Palermo Collection Pre-Fall version that will be available to shop within the upcoming months.

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