Masks may still be the crucial accessory, but Paris Fashion Week comes to life from Monday with live catwalks after a long pandemic hiatus.
Dior, Chanel, Hermès and Louis Vuitton are some of the biggest names putting on parades in the flesh at one of the biggest fashion newspaper events of the year, which runs through October 5. .
“We are delighted with their return and the presence of other major brands,” Pascal Morand, president of the French Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion, told AFP.
“We feel this appetite for the physical, for the show,” he added.
The live shows follow similar returns to London, Milan and New York Fashion Weeks this year, after much of the designer world moved online last year thanks to Covid.
But to remind that the pandemic is not yet over, the face covering will be mandatory at all shows this week in Paris.
And a majority of the 97 houses registered for Paris Fashion Week – around two-thirds – stick to online presentations of their spring-summer 2022 women’s collections.
Others were eager to get back on track.
Givenchy will hold its first real podium presentation by its new American artistic director Matthew Williams, who has brought an element of street style to the historic French brand.
Nigerian Kenneth Ize, favorite of supermodel Naomi Campbell, will kick off on Monday with a show at the Palais de Tokyo.
Other names to watch out for is Balenciaga, who recently made waves with her controversial all-black head-to-toe covering worn by Kim Kardashian at the Met Ball in New York City.
Saint Laurent is also back with a live show, despite being the first major label to leave the official Parisian fashion calendar when the pandemic struck.
The legendary French house was rebelling against the frantic pace of the fashion calendar, which had led several big names to rethink their strategies even before the pandemic.
Among those absent is Celine, whose artistic director Hedi Slimane argued that the traditional calendar was “obsolete” in the age of social networks.
Off-White, the brand of American star designer Virgil Abloh, has not appeared for several seasons.
And Stella McCartney, a big luxury brand within the French group LVMH, is not appearing this week either, although she has not given a reason.
Paris Fashion Week will end with a tribute to Israeli-American designer Alber Elbaz, who died of complications from Covid in April.
Last year’s shows were largely held online, although some houses – including Dior and Chanel – hosted limited and distant live shows during the fall lull of the pandemic.
© 2021 AFP