The spring 2017 runway shows started last month in New York with Tom Ford’s star-studded “see now, buy now” dinner-and-a-show, and ended Wednesday in Paris with Louis Vuitton’s futuristic disco. In between, there were designer debuts, editor feuds, headline-making models and one hell of a jewel heist. Here the takeaways, as told by The Hollywood Reporter.
1. Fashion Show Celebrity Circus Hits a Tipping Point
It was the jewel thing heard all around the world. When Kim Kardashian was robbed, bound and gagged at her hotel residence on Oct. 3 following high-profile appearances at several Paris Fashion Week shows and a handful of social media posts in which she could have inadvertently tipped off thieves to her belongings and whereabouts, it signaled a potential tipping point in the fashion show celebrity media circus. (The incident followed just a week after Gigi Hadid was assaulted on the street outside the Max Mara show in Milan by celebrity prankster Vitalii Sediuk, who also attempted to kiss Kardashian’s butt in Paris, before being tackled by her bodyguard).
Read More: Learn What Happened After Gigi Hadid Assault
Other celebrities may also start to think twice about attending the huge crowd fashion events in Paris and elsewhere, or at least how surrounding social media posts (their own or others’) could endanger their personal safety.
2. Tight Security the Trend that Won’t Go Away
Speaking of security, it was heightened in both Paris and Milan following the terrorist attacks in Europe over the past few months. Metal detector wands were in use at the entrances to most shows, and there were bag checks. At Chanel, held in the Grand Palais, there were airport-style X-ray machines for bags, and walk-through machines for guests. At Prada in Milan, security guards actually touched wands to guests’ stomachs, an invasion of personal space that left some in the fashion crowd feeling uneasy.
3. Street Style Stars Hit Snag
It was bound to happen sooner or later that new media and old media stars would clash during fashion week. That was the case at the Milan shows, when Vogue.com ran an online feature showing the street style scene outside fashion shows when in particular bloggers and Instagram stars are paid by brands to wear head-to-toe designer outfits to get snaps and Instagram likes.
In an online round table post, Vogue editors used the words “pathetic,” “embarrassing “and “sad,” to describe social media stars changing clothes in their car multiple times a day so they could use the sidewalk full of photographers as a personal runway.
The gist of the story? The men and women being held out as pantheons of personal style have actually killed it with for-hire practices designed to bait photographers.
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4. Fashion Meets Feminism
Designers took up the cause of feminism this season, from Prabal Gurung’s collection set to the late Maya Angelou reciting her poem “Phenomenal Woman” in New York, to the “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirt on the runway at Maria Grazia Chiuri’s debut runway show for Dior. There were power suits aplenty on the runways from Ralph Lauren, Balenciaga, to Givenchy.
Read More: The Details Behind Dior Fashion Show
There is a dollars-and-cents reason for luxury brands to be embracing feminism, too; women’s wealth is growing over men’s despite the wage gap. So women have more to spend potentially on luxury goods, and the Diors of the world want to make them feel good about doing it.
5. The NEW models
Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner may be the new supes, but they’re not the only ones in the game. In fact, some of the most provocative models of the season weren’t traditional models at all.
From Christian Siriano’s runway show in New York featuring 6 larger-sized models, to Tomas Maier’s multi-generational casting of Lauren Hutton and Gigi Hadid on the runway at Bottega Veneta, to Kenzo’s street-cast nude living statues in all shapes and sizes in Paris, several designers used their runway shows as platforms to communicate messages of inclusiveness and body positivity. British Vogue also made news this month for releasinga model-free issue of the magazine.
6. Millennials Rising
With flagging sales, luxury brands continue to scramble to figure out how to draw in the next generation of high-end fashion consumers. This season, they vied for their attention with casual accessible clothing, including jeans, T-shirts and swimwear (Dior, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney), sideways baseball caps (Chanel), and itsy bitsy entry point luxury item mini bags (Hermes, Valentino, Louis Vuitton).
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Sneaker brands Adidas and Puma made a big splash on the runways, too, for better (Rihanna’s Marie Antoinette themed Fenty show in Paris, Alexander Wang’s surprise Adidas Originals collection in New York) and worse (Kanye’s Adidas debacle on Governor’s Island, which reportedly led to his entire 30-member design team being fired.)
7. Seasonal Confusion
Fashion month started with much noise around the new see-now, buy-now phenomenon of showing in-season clothes on the runway, and harnessing the social media attention around shows to actually sell clothes, not just share images of them.
Tommy Hilfiger’s Gigi Hadid-starring show, fall collection and open-to-the-public carnival was a slam dunk, generating an 154 percent increase in sales for the brand that week, year-over-year. And Tom Ford stirred up a lot of attention with his star-studded see-now, buy-now dinner-and-a-show, though it’s not clear if it generated sales because the company doesn’t share figures.
And there’s still the issue of the retail seasonal calendar not syncing with the weather, fall coats landing in stores in August when it’s still beastly hot, for example, and swimwear in February when it’s frigid and cold. So, it’s no wonder that many designers seem to be giving their collections a trans seasonal appeal, most notably Miu Miu, where Miuccia Pradashowed swimwear alongside mink coats. How’s that for covering all your bases?
8. Fashion Under Construction
This season was marked by several high profile designer debuts (Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent, Bouchra Jarrar at Lanvin, Maria Chiuri Grazia at Dior), and one ghost collection, with Raf Simons too newly appointed to Calvin Klein to show.
The industry is still very much in flux and as brands try to figure out how to plot a future in a changing global economic and demographic landscape, and balance artisanal tradition with a new high tech reality and speed, the designer revolving door isn’t likely to stop turning anytime soon.
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