Couture Week runs on a different schedule than the regular fashion seasons. Because clients order directly from the brands and designers don’t need extra time to collect orders from and ship stock to retailers, you don’t get the six-month lead time between the show and the season in which the clothing is intended to be worn.
Resort and pre-fall shows are always harder to pin down than the spring and fall shows that take place during the global fashion week circuses, but as the in-between collections become ever more important to designers’ bottom lines, the hype around them (and the availability of photos of the collections) has increased exponentially.
Yesterday, someone asked me what I thought about the new crop of Louis Vuitton bags from the brand’s Fall 2016 runway, and the first thing that sprang to mind was, “Well, there’s a lot going on.” I don’t mean that in a bad way (the collection is often excellent), but it also means I don’t know where to start.
Givenchy very rarely uses handbags on its runways, but I’m glad I checked in on its Fall 2016 runway show just in case. The brand featured just one new bag style in several different crocodile colors, and if Riccardo Tisci is willing to put it front and center on one of Givenchy’s biggest days of the year, you can be that you’re about to see this bag everywhere.
Just when you think Karl Lagerfeld is going to zig, he zags. The legendary creative director has spent half a decade showing his Chanel collections in ever-more-grandiose stage settings in the Grand Palais, ranging from an arctic tundra complete with trucked-in iceberg chunk to a Chanel-themed supermarket filled with branded items that weren’t even part of the collection.
Balenciaga is one of the many brands that’s had turnover at the top of its creative hierarchy recently, but unlike Dior and Raf Simons or Lanvin and Alber Elbaz, the brand was quick to name Alexander Wang‘s successor: Demna Gvasalia, a Louis Vuitton designer during both the Marc Jacobs and Nicolas Ghesquiere eras and one of the founders of obsessed-over Parisian indie brand Vetements.
Interim studio design teams, like the one leading Dior until the brand decides on a replacement following Raf Simons’ departure, are in a precarious position. They’re charged with keeping the house running and keeping customers interested, but they can’t do anything too audacious or interesting, lest costumers get irritated when a new creative director arrives and the slate is wiped clean.
It’s not every day that Vogue dubs a brand “the avant-garde competitor of Hermès,” but that’s exactly what the magazine said of the Loewe Fall 2016 show in Paris on Friday. Based on the collection photos and the brand’s work under Jonathan Anderson so far, there’s a compelling case that the magazine is right.