Sep 20, 2019
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Paris Fashion Week reveals high-powered nine-day programme

Sep 20, 2019

After New York, London and Milan, Paris closes the marathon of women's ready-to-wear collections for Spring/Summer 2020. The French capital's fashion week, which kicks off on Monday, looks sure to be intense, boasting 76 runway shows, just like last season. 

Patou is making its big comeback this season. - ph Marc Hibbert

This season's event will be welcoming some of the world's biggest luxury labels, including Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Celine and Saint Laurent, as well as an intriguing list of newcomers, with four new brands making their debuts on the Paris runways and a new creative director at Issey Miyake. On top of this, other highlights include the relaunch of the historic Patou brand by luxury giant LMVH. 

More than 5,000 visitors are expected in the City of Light from 23 September to 1 October, when they will descend on the French capital to discover the latest trends and innovations for Spring/Summer 2020. As well as 76 runway shows, the fashion week's official programme offers a plethora of presentations and special events, while a wide range of incipient labels eager for exposure will also be trying their best to stand out from the crowd amidst a multitude of parallel off-calendar shows. With so much going on, it'll be hard to know where to look first.

Three young brands are joining the chosen few, having managed to get their ticket onto the official show calendar: Mame Kurogouchi, Kimhékim and Kwaidan Editions. The trio participated in last season's Paris Fashion Week as part of the programme organised by France's Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. Mame Kurogouchi kicks things off on Monday 23 September, at 6 PM. 

Designer Maiko Kurogouchi, who founded her label in 2010, is part of the new generation of Japanese designers coming to Paris in search of international exposure. Little known to the mass market, she has already consolidated her career in Japan, where her brand is a well established and recognised label. Having trained at Issey Miyake, Kurogouchi deftly mixes traditional savoir-faire and new technology through innovative technical fabrics, creating a simultaneously luxurious and poetic wardrobe. 

Chanel - Cruise Collection 2020 - Womenswear - Paris - Pixel Formula

Her show will be followed at 7 PM by that of Kimhékim, the Korean label launched in 2014 by Kiminte Kimhékim. Having graduated from Studio Berçot in 2009, this designer trained for a further two years under Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga. Currently working with some 50 distributors, Kimhékim also draws inspiration from the traditional attire of his homeland to create original neo-couture collections. 

As for Kwaidan Editions, the label will close Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday, 1 October. Established by Léa Dickley of France and Vietnamese-American designer Hung La in 2016, this London-based house was a finalist for the 2018 LMVH Prize and has already attracted the attention of a number of hip multi-brand retailers around the world. The design duo and married couple met at Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts and worked on a series of collaborations with big-name labels before founding their own brand. Kwaidan Editions channels a dark, cinematographic aesthetic, which is perhaps to be expected, considering that the label is named after the spookily fantastical Japanese film Kwaidan, by Masaki Kobayashi. 

Aside from these newcomers, Paris Fashion Week also promises a handful of other unmissable events, such as the relaunch of Patou. Bought by luxury conglomerate LVMH in 2018, this historic fashion house, formerly named Jean Patou, stopped operations in 1987 and will now be making its comeback under the direction of Guillaume Henry, the French designer who worked on the relaunch of Carven, before moving on to Nina Ricci. His first collection for Patou won't be revealed at a runway show, but curious fashionistas will be able to see it at a rather more discreet presentation scheduled for Wednesday, 25 September. 

Another high point this season will be the Issey Miyake show on Friday, 27 September, when the first collection of Yoshiyuki Miyamae's successor as the Japanese house's womenswear designer, Satoshi Kondo, will be revealed. 

Fashion week attendees also won't want to miss the Chanel show on 1 October, where designer Virginie Viard will present her first ready-to-wear pieces for the label, having already sent out Cruise and Haute Couture collections earlier this year. A lot of buzz has been generated around Schiaparelli too: following his Haute Couture show in July, Daniel Roseberry, who succeeded Bertrand Guyon last spring, will send out his debut ready-to-wear collection for the brand on Sunday.

Finally, fashion week attendees should keep their eye out for Yang Li's return to Paris on Saturday, 28 September. Under the creative direction of its eponymous Chinese designer, this underground London brand usually shows in the French capital but opted out of Paris Fashion Week in February in order to conduct an original experiment. The "Automatic Show," as it was known, involved the brand revealing its collection through the Instagram accounts of some 20 fashion personalities, each of whom were asked to take a photo of themselves wearing one of Yang Li's new outfits.

Mame Kurogouchi gets the ball rolling on Monday - DR

On the other hand, there'll be no Jacquemus this season, as the brand will be showing its women's and menswear together in its designer's native Provence in June, as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations. Busy with its ongoing transition, following its change of creative director from Carol Lim and Humberto Leon to Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Kenzo will also be absent. 

Elsewhere, after two shows in Paris, Marques'Almeida, headed by design duo Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, has moved back to London this season. Cyclas is another surprise absence. The brand founded by Japanese designer Keiko Onose in 2016 made its official Paris debut in March of this year after many seasons of off-calendar shows in the French capital. This season, following reports that the designer has left her brand, its name is nowhere to be found on the calendar.

Still, there'll be no time to hang around at this Paris Fashion Week, with a number of unmissable events being organised, including "A Tribute to Karl: The White Shirt Project," an hommage organised by Carine Roitfeld. The project involves a range of celebrities, including Cara Delevingne, Tommy Hilfiger and Kate Moss, reimagining the German designer's iconic white shirt, on display at the Karl Lagerfeld boutique at 194 boulevard Saint Germain.

Another noteworthy event is the presentation from Coperni, which will be taking an innovative approach with a show at the Apple Store on the Champs-Elysées. The second collection from Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer will be revealed on a video wall, as the designers explain their work to the lucky few who managed to sign up for the event in time. 

Aside from Coperni and Patou, other shows presented as part of the Fédération's programme include Joseph, under the creative direction of Susana Clayton; Nicolas Lecourt Mansion, winner of Andam's 2019 Creative Label Prize; and Calvin Luo, a new arrival from New York. Not to mention the return of Nehere and the arrivals of Nanushka, founded by Sandra Sandor in Hungary in 2006, and Belgian-Argentine designer Juan Hernandez Daels' label, Sadaels.

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