Politics and Floral Patterns 
Are Dominating Paris’s Fall-Winter Fashion

One month after Paris’ Haute Couture fashion shows, the city is once again in the limelight with the presentation of the Autumn & Winter 2017-2018 Ready-to-Wear collections. On the menu: eight busy days full of creativity and 82 very different fashion shows. This year, brands have explored unknown territories and themes– from politics to floral patterns– under the watchful eye of fashion journalists, bloggers, and fashionistas.

Photos: Yannis Vlamos

Unusual, lively and colorful, the Parisian creative frenzy has pulled out all the stops to offer us a new grand spectacle in the most beautiful venues of the capital. Highlighted by fashion designers’ inexhaustible imagination, French cultural heritage takes on a new lease of life, immersing us, for a few sumptuous minutes, in a marvelous alternative world: Ms. Ellery chose the Palais de Tokyo, Rihanna & Puma jazzed up the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and the Grand Palais became the launching pad for Chanel’s new conquest of space.

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Photo: Yannis Vlamos

Sonia Rykiel demonstrated her own definition of beauty at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, while Dior chose to depict the mysteries of the Milky Way at the Rodin Museum and Louis Vuitton rejuvenated the antique sculptures of the Louvre. The choice of such grand venues reflected one single mission in this year’s Ready To Wear lineup: designers highlighted powerful women with very different styles who, through their extravagant or understated look, define the spirit of the next season: an experimental and innovative approach to wearing floral and plant patterns in winter.

Photos: Luca Tombolino

Romantic, poisonous, graphic, or over-the-top, there were flowers of all shapes and styles in the new season’s collections– notably at Vivienne Westwood, Valentino, Giambattista Valli, Kenzo, and Louis Vuitton. 

Opting for a both romantic and bohemian style, Valentino’s designer Pierpaolo Piccioli chose the Salomon de Rothschild Hotel as the backdrop in which to unveil a collection promising softness and lightness despite the miserable winter weather. Here, fabrics and floral motifs blended in perfect harmony to create an ode to femininity and glamour.

Combining social justice with her famously punk attitude, Vivienne Westwood presented an eco-friendly and flowery collection in the intimate atmosphere of the Paris Le Grand Intercontinental Hotel. Always committed to a cause, the designer used fashion to put forth her concern for the environment and based her collection on the concept of recycling. (One of her dresses was made from excess packaging material, and plastic bottles were arranged in models’ hair to form large hats.) While Westwood’s fashion shows always create quite a stir, this one reflected the changes that are currently happening in the fashion industry: eco-chic is in, and so are the politics behind it.

Photo: Courtesy of Kenzo

Kenzo, meanwhile, opted for a Memento collection combining eccentricity and elegance. Mixing various bright colors, the brand chose floral patterns as a recurring theme. Quirky roses, discrete peonies, and arty cornflowers adorned the collection, which was aimed at bringing life and color to next winter. 

Plants, it would seem, never stop inspiring and fascinating designers: like fashion itself, they are ephemeral and their beauty never lasts, making each moment truly unique. For Stefano Gabbana, the reason for this association is simple: “For me,” he says, “Flowers simply express happiness.”

Check out more of our favorite floral looks for FW’17 in the gallery, below.

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