Paris Fashion Week: Fall 2013 primer

Models present creations by French fashion house Guy Laroche during Paris Fashion Week.
(Christophe Karaba / EPA)

PARIS -- With dozens of runway shows planned over nine days, the fall-winter 2013 season of Paris Fashion Week kicked off Tuesday. And there is a lot of news to follow this season.

The most hotly anticipated show is American designer Alexander Wang’s debut at Balenciaga on Thursday. I’m also looking forward to L.A.-based Hedi Slimane’s second ready-to-wear runway show for Saint Laurent, and Raf Simons’ second outing at Dior. (Simons’ Dior gowns dominated the awards show season, which ended with Jennifer Lawrence and Charlize Theron wearing Dior at the Oscars on Sunday.)


Several other up-and-coming designers who made a splash on the red carpet this season are also showing this week, and I’m interested to see their visions beyond a single spectacular gown. There’s Anthony Vaccarello (who dressed Jennifer Lopez in that leggy gown at the Grammys), Alexis Mabille (who dressed Zoe Saldana in the belted white gown with petal-trimmed top and asymmetrical hem at the Grammys), Zuhair Murad (who has dressed everyone from Kristen Stewart to Catherine Zeta-Jones in his maximalist, Mackie-esque sparkly creations) and Alexandre Vauthier (Michelle Dockery wore his high-necked cream and gold gown at the Golden Globes.)

These designers and more are part of a new generation of design talent coming of age at Paris Fashion Week, which also includes Damir Doma (known for his masculine-meets-feminine aesthetic; he worked early on with Raf Simons, but has now hit his stride with his own label), Maxime Simoens (global luxury conglomerate LVMH just invested in his brand) and Olympia Le-Tan, the London-born, Paris-based designer, famous for her “book cover” clutch bags, who will be showing her third ready-to-wear clothing collection here.

Like we saw at New York Fashion Week, denim and lower-priced, advanced contemporary collections are making a showing in the land of haute couture, including A.P.C., Vanessa Bruno and Isabel Marant. And Swedish denim-and-more brand Acne Studios will be holding its first runway show.

Cheap chic is even hitting Paris Fashion Week, with fast fashion giant H&M; hosting a runway extravaganza at the Rodin Museum, featuring (and perhaps trying to elevate?) its own collection.

Watch this space for my coverage.


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