Loewe Mixes Fashion with Giant Confetti Cubes at Paris Show

A model presents a creation from the Fall/Winter 2023/24 Womenswear collection by Jonathan Anderson for Loewe during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 03 March 2023. (EPA)
A model presents a creation from the Fall/Winter 2023/24 Womenswear collection by Jonathan Anderson for Loewe during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 03 March 2023. (EPA)
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Loewe Mixes Fashion with Giant Confetti Cubes at Paris Show

A model presents a creation from the Fall/Winter 2023/24 Womenswear collection by Jonathan Anderson for Loewe during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 03 March 2023. (EPA)
A model presents a creation from the Fall/Winter 2023/24 Womenswear collection by Jonathan Anderson for Loewe during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 03 March 2023. (EPA)

Fragile half-ton cubes of colored confetti lay on Loewe’s white runway at Paris Fashion Week. Ushers desperately tried to guide guests including Jamie Dornan, Naomi Campbell and Catherine O’Hara around the blocks fearing the decor would disintegrate at the slightest brush. Sometimes, it partially did.

The highly creative show itself by Jonathan Anderson – that used feathers, and satins and velvet — continued the theme of reduction and ephemeral impressions.

Here are some highlights of Friday’s fall-winter 2023-2024 ready-to-wear shows in Paris.

Loewe is sublime

For fall, the brand’s lauded Northern Irish designer continued his exploration of pared-down and reductive styles — where a single garment often comprised the entire look.

Loewe described it as "an idea of elementality: one piece, and that’s it, reduced to the bluntest shape possible."

The touchstone of the Old Master painters, as seen in Anderson's men’s collection, was felt here again with collapsed leather Renaissance boots and use of satin, silk duchesse, velvet, crystals and feather.

The pastel-rich collection's feathered pieces were the most original: The plumes were unusually wide and placed across garments like a shell. They came as a downy covering on a buttery white top with some feathers jutting out haphazardly, or on thick texture blue-gray flared pants evoking an anthropomorphic bird.

One pale blue gown appeared to be simply a length of satin draped from the chest from a big gold ball. Elsewhere, the idea of fashion or life itself as ephemeral and ever-moving was conveyed through blurred prints on loose gowns, which sometimes resembled an X-ray.

They were, the house said, "about putting into focus what may seem unclear right now." It's clear that Loewe under Anderson’s creative eye has become one of the most anticipated collections in the industry.

Color blocking

In perhaps the most original take on color blocking ever seen at Paris Fashion Week, Loewe collaborated with Italian artist Lara Favaretto to create literal blocks of color. Twenty-one confetti cubes standing 90 centimeters (35 inches) high and pure in deep reds, blues, yellows and greens impressed guests.

O’Hara, who watched the show beside US Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, exclaimed "Wow look at the blue" as a guest evaded security to pose by one cube — triggering a crumble of confetti flakes.

"I was kind of hoping one would dissolve in the show, as there’s nothing really holding them together," O’Hara told The Associated Press. "Isn’t that crazy?" O’Hara said Anderson’s designs showed "completely original ideas, fresh, without being new for new sake."

"They were the most unusual silhouettes and shapes but still were flattering," she added.

Issey Miyake's square

A fusion of music, dance and theater awaited at the Japanese techno-fabric-loving house.

A live marimba percussion performance opened the show at the Chatelet Theater, one of Paris’ most prestigious stages. The show took the idea of a music score, or a canvas, or a piece of fabric being square – and explored this theme of squareness.

"The collection engages with this rational shape ... to develop garments of striking forms," the house explained. It said its aesthetic was based on "a new iteration" of the unfilled space.

Three-dimensional "canopy" gowns folded down like paper origami. Square motifs were knitted horizontally and vertically — hitting a high on a stretchy green gown with a stretch lozenge shaped front. Creative looks included gowns made with cutting edge technology to shrink woven yarn to a unique texture.

Valli gets eclectic

A Balkan and Eastern aesthetic permeated a sparkling, and sometimes eclectic, display from Italy’s Giambattista Valli.

Tight ethnic waistcoats mixed with ruffles, gold buttons, 60s minidresses, florals, floaty tulle, thick tweed, black leather biker boots, shades, gold banded waists and even menswear looks.

The best designs were those with a simple Balkan flavor — such as one fluttery, off-white column dress with diagonal banding. It was accessorized with ethnic pear-shaped earrings.



Dior’s Mount Olympus: A Sporty Couture Homage to the Paris Games

Models present creations by Christian Dior during the Haute-Couture Fall/Winter 2024 show as part of the Paris Fashion Week in Paris, on June 24, 2024. (AFP)
Models present creations by Christian Dior during the Haute-Couture Fall/Winter 2024 show as part of the Paris Fashion Week in Paris, on June 24, 2024. (AFP)
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Dior’s Mount Olympus: A Sporty Couture Homage to the Paris Games

Models present creations by Christian Dior during the Haute-Couture Fall/Winter 2024 show as part of the Paris Fashion Week in Paris, on June 24, 2024. (AFP)
Models present creations by Christian Dior during the Haute-Couture Fall/Winter 2024 show as part of the Paris Fashion Week in Paris, on June 24, 2024. (AFP)

Dior staged an homage to sport on the eve of the Paris Olympics on the grounds of the Musée Rodin on the first day of Paris Couture Week on Monday.

The show let the sumptuous, lightweight silks — georgette, taffeta, tulle, and sporty jersey — speak for themselves, draped elegantly over the body.

Here are some highlights of the fall-winter 2024 collections:

Athletes old and new

The walls were lined with dazzling artworks of athletes by Faith Ringgold, a feminist artist who died in April. Designer Maria Grazia Chiuri used fall’s couture as a stage “to pay a fitting tribute to all athletes ... from antiquity to the present day.”

On the runway, Grecian-style draping evoked the original Olympics. The nod to antiquity echoed the Italian designer’s penchant for historical influences.

Jersey fabric, an unconventional couture material, was handled poetically. It cascaded down the model’s body in loose, fluttery segments, with a twin leather belt to define the waist.

Mosaic embroidery on skin-tight tank tops added a contemporary twist, seeming to sculpt the bust. Sandals adorned with pearls sported crisscross straps up the leg.

The nicest looks were the simplest. An ecru lightweight wool gown seemed like a single whoosh of fabric, hanging whimsically and loosely from the shoulders. It had an unexpected cowl back. This simplicity with an element of surprise is quintessential Chiuri, who has said she often finds elegance in restraint.

Serena Williams marveled and applauded from the front row.

Van Herpen breaks the mold

Iris van Herpen presented her couture as sculptures in what the house called a “profound shift” in the Dutch designer’s trajectory.

“For a long time I’ve been working on expanding people’s perception of how fashion and art can be symbiotic,” van Herpen said. She compared her techniques in couture, such as draping directly on the mannequin, to sculpting.

“Even though we call one practice ‘haute couture’ and the other ‘art,’ to me, it’s one universe,” she said.

Van Herpen unveiled her collection amid her new large-scale, monumental pieces at a “hybrid" show. They were crafted with innovative techniques on tulle surfaces and suspended via steel tubes.

While preparing her retrospective in Paris' Musée des Arts Décoratifs that recently closed, van Herpen realized a longstanding ambition to delve into sculpture and painting. Her new works, developed over a year, reconnect with nature and the freedom of slowing down. Her move to a tranquil residence outside Amsterdam fostered this idea.

“The little transformations that happen every day fiercely inspire me,” she said.

The fall couture dovetailed with similar themes. Gravity-defying, slowed-down silhouettes and ethereal draping embraced the couturier’s signature three-dimensional printing and silk folding. The Umwelt and Aeromorphosis gowns featured a gradient of pearls mimicking cyclonic sculptures, while the transparent Ataraxy dress, sculpted with a heat gun, captured the sense of floating away. They held a Renaissance-like feel.

Honoring Japanese craftsmanship, the Sensorium dress was crafted from obi fabric, which evoked a sense of spirituality and peace.