September’s Paris Fashion Week will feature 92 houses, and 37 live shows
September’s Paris Fashion Week will feature a total of 92 houses, as Paul Smith and Raf Simons return, and scores of brands plan physical shows and events, according to the provisional calendar of the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.
The nine-day season which runs from Monday, September 27 to Tuesday October 5, will debut with LVMH Prize finalist Kenneth Ize, the exciting new Austro-Nigerian designer, and end with a unique celebration to the late Albert Elbaz, in a show by his fledgling fashion house AZ Factory.
In between major global marques such as Christian Dior, Balmain, Hermès, Balenciaga, Givenchy, Chanel, Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton will all stage live shows, albeit before reduced audiences.
All told, 37 houses are currently listed as planning live runway shows – a major increase in any French season since the pandemic took hold early last year. While 32 plan to hold physical presentations with mixes of videos, still life and live models in by-invitation-only spaces. All digital events will be broadcast on the Federation’s official platform, which was radically updated and modernized in the past several years.
Considering that last March only two houses actually staged live shows in Paris – Hermès and Coperni – the announcement that almost 40 will stage runway shows in the upcoming season represents a remarkable turnaround for the French season, and very good news for the Federation.
The Federation, which governs high fashion in France, stressed in its release that all the houses listed on its calendar must “comply with the recommendations of the public authorities. Health pass will (stet) be mandatory.”
Since Monday, the French government made health passes mandatory for some two million workers, covering all staff who work in cafés, cinemas and on public transport, as the government grapples to convince a+ final minority of the public to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Paris will also welcome two new happening French brands onto the schedule – Botter and Ludovic de Saint Sernin – and also Shang Xia, the Chinese luxury marque, in which Exor, an investment vehicle of Italy’s Agnelli family, acquired control from Hermès last year.
The season will witness the much-anticipated debut at Rochas of Charles de Vilmorin, the 24-year-old wunderkind who has already staged his own couture collection for his eponymous brand. While great attention will be focused on Ann Demeulemeester, where the founding designer returns to the catwalk, after retiring in 2013. The show will mark Ann’s first collection since the 2020 acquisition of her house by Italian fashion entrepreneur Claudio Antonioli.
Other brands returning to Paris, the single most important women’s fashion season on the international calendar, are Agnes B., Lacoste and Ungaro.
That said quite a few celebrated major and independent designers will still be absent again – such as Saint Laurent, Celine, Off-White, Alexander McQueen, Sacai, Comme des Garçons and Junya Watanabe.
Two American brands that had been showing in New York – Thom Browne and Altuzarra – have returned to the American season, which starts three weeks before Paris.
Four young brands will also stage officially sanctioned presentations: Alexandre Blanc and Minuit from France; Didu, a genderless label from China and Lecavalier from Canada.
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