Big Designers Shine at Paris Week

The famed Paris Fashion Week held the first of its semi-annual presentations from Jan. 17 to Jan. 26 with a variety of intricate designs and celebrities in attendance. Designer brands such as Dior, Chanel, and Schiaparelli unveiled new fashions for the winter/fall season. These outfits made waves with their unique and sometimes controversial design choices.

Dior presented their line of looks by designer Maria Graziai Chuiuri, who based them on the Black performer Josephine Baker. According to the Associated Press, Baker was a former Dior client who left the United States to find global fame in Paris during the 1920s. She fought for race, gender and nationality rights throughout her life.

According to Fashionista, many of these outfits were within the black-and-white color palette, including a touch of feminine influence and 20s elegance. Dior was commended for having half of their 60 outfits presented modeled by women of color, a step forward progressively for Paris Fashion Week.

Senior Greta Pryce, Vice President of the Fashion Club, discussed the influence of fashion and how adding meaning to it gives it more power.

“Fashion itself even in the material form is so influential and when you put meaning behind it, even a song or any artwork, it can definitely resonate with people even more than just the product itself,” Pryce said.

While Dior shined at Paris Fashion Week, they could not escape all controversy. Many people criticized Dior for their invitation to Russian influencer Yana Rudkovska, who was on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s list of cultural figures suspected of supporting Vladimir Putin.

Chanel was another famous luxury brand that debuted a new line of looks at this event.

According to The Guardian, designer Virgine Viard’s theme was a dignified Paris apartment.

Their presentation involved abstract plywood sculptures by artist Xavier Veilhand, that were in the shape of animals such as stags and birds. The models emerged from these sculptures in modest glitter tweed suits often adorning circus-like top hats and bow ties worn as chokers.

Schiaparelli’s line of clothing stirred up quite a large amount of controversy within social media. People were outraged over the inclusion of fake animal heads, with some citing it as a form of promoting animal cruelty. This uproar was ignited by Kylie Jenner’s large lion head sitting atop her shoulder.

While Pryce understood why those online would be upset by these looks, she also sees it through a different lens.

“They’re definitely just trying to get shock value out of the public and I think fashion week is supposed to be like this, like look at all the crazy stuff that is happening,” said Pryce.

According to the New York Times, designer Daniel Roseberry was inspired by some of the vices within Dante’s “Inferno” when creating these designs. He used the poem as a metaphor for the pressure he feels when creating new unique looks.

While Paris Fashion Week is an enormous event within the fashion world, it can easily be misunderstood.

“I’ve heard of it before, but I don’t look into it as much as I would want to,” said sophomore Julia Civetta. “I don’t really know what I’m missing, if I maybe spent more time making efforts to educate myself about it, I would be more interested in it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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