The Trends Of Paris Fashion Week Were A Marriage Of Beauty And Function

Eliza Huber
·5 mins read

Paris Fashion Week is always the apex of fashion month, with its next-level street style, unparalleled lineup of runway shows, and celebrity-packed front rows. And while international travel limitations may have resulted in some of its usual crowd being forced to watch from home, for the most part, COVID-19 didn’t hinder fashion from taking over the French capital this week with trends just as standout as years past.

At Rick Owens, Marine Serre, Rokh, Maison Margiela, and more, the bleakness of the last seven months was transformed into something beautiful. Big shoulders, face coverings, and gothic colors, silhouettes, and backgrounds made for fashion that was an escape. Not an escape from reality (after all, our reality is pretty dark right now), but rather, an escape from the faux normalcy that so many designers have been pushing for this season.

On a lighter note, lockdown trends continued to show face, just as they did in New York, London, and Milan. Oversized, slouchy silhouettes were prevalent at The Row, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, and Schiaparelli, as were deconstructed pieces — found at Christopher Esber, Ellery, Coperni, and more — which had us pulling out our scissors and sewing machines mid-virtual show to break apart one piece and transform it into another. Shoulders were big and bulky at Louis Vuitton, Isabel Marant, and Givenchy — a sign that designers, too, want to keep people six feet apart at all times. (The shoulders could also be a symbol of power and confidence, as they were for women following the Great Depression in the ‘30s.)

The week’s shows also acted as a reminder that fashion can still be fun and whimsical, despite everything going on in the world. At Miu Miu, Miuccia Prada presented micro-minis paired with sporty zip-ups, all of which were brightly colored and youthful. Midriffs were out to play at Coperni, Chanel, and Christopher Esber.

Click ahead for our favorite trends from Paris Fashion Week.

<h2>Face Coverings</h2><br>Surprise, surprise: Similar to <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/09/10025987/fashion-face-mask-nyfw-trend" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:NYFW, face masks" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">NYFW, face masks</a> made an appearance at Paris Fashion Week. While not every face covering included this season is effective against the spread of COVID-19 — Chanel’s black veils, Maison Margiela’s red tulle masks, and Paco Rabanne’s sequin hoods, though all very pretty, not exactly medical-grade — they were a sign of the times.<br><br><em>Paco Rabanne</em><span class="copyright">Photo Courtesy of Paco Rabanne.</span>

Face Coverings


Surprise, surprise: Similar to NYFW, face masks made an appearance at Paris Fashion Week. While not every face covering included this season is effective against the spread of COVID-19 — Chanel’s black veils, Maison Margiela’s red tulle masks, and Paco Rabanne’s sequin hoods, though all very pretty, not exactly medical-grade — they were a sign of the times.

Paco RabannePhoto Courtesy of Paco Rabanne.
<em>Rick Owens</em><span class="copyright">Photo: OWENSCORP.</span>
Rick OwensPhoto: OWENSCORP.
<em>Maison Margiela</em><span class="copyright">Photo Courtesy of Maison Margiela.</span>
Maison MargielaPhoto Courtesy of Maison Margiela.
<h2>Oversized Fashion<br></h2><br>If we had to name off one trend that’s made the biggest impression during all of fashion month this season, it’d be oversized, slouchy clothing. It was in New York, London, and Milan, so, of course, Paris wouldn’t dare be left out of the mix. At Louis Vuitton, trench coats slouched, pants puddled, and everything was heavily cinched at the waist with a big belt. The same was showcased at The Row, where big Oxford shirts were layered over even bigger T-shirts, which were then paired with pants that were, you guessed it, big. Along for the ride were Balenciaga and Schiaparelli, which included baggy suiting and casual wear, alike. <br><br><em>The Row</em><span class="copyright">Photo Courtesy of The Row.</span>

Oversized Fashion


If we had to name off one trend that’s made the biggest impression during all of fashion month this season, it’d be oversized, slouchy clothing. It was in New York, London, and Milan, so, of course, Paris wouldn’t dare be left out of the mix. At Louis Vuitton, trench coats slouched, pants puddled, and everything was heavily cinched at the waist with a big belt. The same was showcased at The Row, where big Oxford shirts were layered over even bigger T-shirts, which were then paired with pants that were, you guessed it, big. Along for the ride were Balenciaga and Schiaparelli, which included baggy suiting and casual wear, alike.

The RowPhoto Courtesy of The Row.
<em>Louis Vuitton</em>
Louis Vuitton
<em>Schiaparelli</em><span class="copyright">Photo: Daniel Roseberry.</span>
SchiaparelliPhoto: Daniel Roseberry.
<h2>Deconstruction</h2><br>Pre-lockdown, we likely wouldn’t have grouped deconstructed fashion with the DIY movement. But now that we’ve spent the majority of 2020 indoors, cooped up with nothing to do but make things and study the lifestyles of cottagecore-enthusiasts on TikTok, we can’t wait to take a cue from Christopher Esber, Ellery, ROKH, and more, and start hacking apart our wardrobe items to turn them into something entirely different. <br><br><em>Rokh</em>

Deconstruction


Pre-lockdown, we likely wouldn’t have grouped deconstructed fashion with the DIY movement. But now that we’ve spent the majority of 2020 indoors, cooped up with nothing to do but make things and study the lifestyles of cottagecore-enthusiasts on TikTok, we can’t wait to take a cue from Christopher Esber, Ellery, ROKH, and more, and start hacking apart our wardrobe items to turn them into something entirely different.

Rokh
<em>Maison Margiela</em><span class="copyright">Photo Courtesy of Maison Margiela.</span>
Maison MargielaPhoto Courtesy of Maison Margiela.
<em>Ellery</em><span class="copyright">Photo: Marie Deteneuille.</span>
ElleryPhoto: Marie Deteneuille.
<h2>Dark Times<br></h2><br>Brands like Rick Owens, Marine Serre, and Maison Margiela are known for their somewhat dystopian aesthetics, but, this season, things felt especially dark at their shows. The same went for Balenciaga and ROKH, too. And it should’ve. Things aren’t going too well for the world right now, and while most designers this season spent their time in quarantine designing colorful, escapist collections full of bright prints and high fashion loungewear, we knew we could count on Demna Gvasalia, Rick Owens, and John Galliano, among others, to be straight with us — but to also do so in an exceptionally beautiful way. <br><br><em>Rick Owens</em><span class="copyright">Photo: OWENSCORP.</span>

Dark Times


Brands like Rick Owens, Marine Serre, and Maison Margiela are known for their somewhat dystopian aesthetics, but, this season, things felt especially dark at their shows. The same went for Balenciaga and ROKH, too. And it should’ve. Things aren’t going too well for the world right now, and while most designers this season spent their time in quarantine designing colorful, escapist collections full of bright prints and high fashion loungewear, we knew we could count on Demna Gvasalia, Rick Owens, and John Galliano, among others, to be straight with us — but to also do so in an exceptionally beautiful way.

Rick OwensPhoto: OWENSCORP.
<em>Rokh</em>
Rokh
<em>Marine Serre</em><span class="copyright">Photo Courtesy of Marine Serre.</span>
Marine SerrePhoto Courtesy of Marine Serre.
<h2>Big Shoulders<br></h2><br>Back in the ‘30s, designers like Elsa Schiaparelli began adding shoulder pads and bubble-like sleeves to dresses and outerwear as a way to make women feel confident and powerful — which, in today’s political landscape, is just as important as it was then, post-Great Depression. With that, it makes total sense that Matthew Williams would showcase strong shoulders for his debut at Givenchy, and that Rick Owens would follow suit. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Isabel Marant, and Balenciaga also presented big, slouchy shoulders in their spring collections. <br><br><em>Givenchy</em>

Big Shoulders


Back in the ‘30s, designers like Elsa Schiaparelli began adding shoulder pads and bubble-like sleeves to dresses and outerwear as a way to make women feel confident and powerful — which, in today’s political landscape, is just as important as it was then, post-Great Depression. With that, it makes total sense that Matthew Williams would showcase strong shoulders for his debut at Givenchy, and that Rick Owens would follow suit. Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Isabel Marant, and Balenciaga also presented big, slouchy shoulders in their spring collections.

Givenchy
<em>Balenciaga</em><span class="copyright">Photo Courtesy of Balenciaga.</span>
BalenciagaPhoto Courtesy of Balenciaga.
<em>Isabel Marant</em><span class="copyright">Photo Courtesy of Isabel Marant.</span>
Isabel MarantPhoto Courtesy of Isabel Marant.
<h2>Micro-Minis</h2><br>Mrs. Prada continued to fight against bulky, layered-on fashion with the reintroduction of micro-mini skirts and -dresses at her Miu Miu show. And like the equally revealing midriff-baring tops, minis were popular across the board, with ultra-short bottoms also presented at Giambattista Valli, Hermes, Isabel Marant, and Coperni, among others. You heard it here first: 2021 will be known as the year of the gams. <br><br><em>Miu Miu</em><span class="copyright">Photo Courtesy of Miu Miu.</span>

Micro-Minis


Mrs. Prada continued to fight against bulky, layered-on fashion with the reintroduction of micro-mini skirts and -dresses at her Miu Miu show. And like the equally revealing midriff-baring tops, minis were popular across the board, with ultra-short bottoms also presented at Giambattista Valli, Hermes, Isabel Marant, and Coperni, among others. You heard it here first: 2021 will be known as the year of the gams.

Miu MiuPhoto Courtesy of Miu Miu.
<em>Giambattista Valli</em><span class="copyright">Photo Courtesy of Giambattista Valli.</span>
Giambattista ValliPhoto Courtesy of Giambattista Valli.
<em>Coperni</em><span class="copyright">Photo: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images.</span>
CoperniPhoto: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images.
<h2>Midriffs</h2><br>For the last seven months, we’ve spent a majority of our time in lockdown wearing loungewear sets and pajamas, packing on as many layers as possible to protect us from the uncertainty of the outside world. According to Miuccia Prada, that’s not the case anymore. Instead, come spring of next year, the layers are coming off. At Miu Miu, Chanel, Christopher Esber, and Hermes, midriffs were out for all to see, with bra tops and cropped sweaters galore, all of which were paired with low-rise, ‘90s-esque bottoms. We’re here for it. <br><br><em>Chanel</em><span class="copyright">Photo Courtesy of Chanel.</span>

Midriffs


For the last seven months, we’ve spent a majority of our time in lockdown wearing loungewear sets and pajamas, packing on as many layers as possible to protect us from the uncertainty of the outside world. According to Miuccia Prada, that’s not the case anymore. Instead, come spring of next year, the layers are coming off. At Miu Miu, Chanel, Christopher Esber, and Hermes, midriffs were out for all to see, with bra tops and cropped sweaters galore, all of which were paired with low-rise, ‘90s-esque bottoms. We’re here for it.

ChanelPhoto Courtesy of Chanel.
<em>Miu Miu</em><span class="copyright">Photo Courtesy of Miu Miu.</span>
Miu MiuPhoto Courtesy of Miu Miu.
<em>Hermes</em><span class="copyright">Photo: Victor Virgile/Getty Images.</span>
HermesPhoto: Victor Virgile/Getty Images.

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

Milan Fashion Week Was A Lesson In At-Home Fashion

These NYFW Trends Are A Sign Of The Times

Telfar Won NYFW By Announcing A Collab With UGG