Paris Fashion Week trends: anti-minimalism, flats, tribal

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Bye-bye minimal at Céline

Ever since Phoebe Philo’s 2009 debut at Céline, the general trend at the cutting edge of fashion has been towards a sleek, sporty minimalism. It’s an aesthetic that has dripped down steadily onto the high street too with labels like COS and Zara aping the French luxury label’s pared-back designs. But how many crisp white shirts can you sell a woman before she wants something a little more wild?

This season Philo broke her code at Céline, providing plenty of color, aggressive brushstroke-style prints, and cool reinforced cut-outs. Where Philo goes, others follow; expect plenty more labels to be copying the British designer’s turn.


A continuation of a noticable trend seen in the Resort collections which were unveiled this summer: designers sent out plenty of collections with models in flat shoes. Simon Porte Jacquemus teed off the trend with plimsoll tennis shoes, while the step-dancing models at Rick Owens wore the US designer’s minimalist sneakers, created in collaboration with Adidas earlier this year.

Marc Jacobs’s flat biker boots for Louis Vuitton and Haider Ackermann’s pointy shoes both mined similar dark leather vibes, while Issey Miyake and Givenchy both served up sporty-luxe sandals. Expect to see plenty of chic flat shoe options hitting stores next spring.


While combinations of sheer, floral and lace finishes also dominated in Paris (as they had in London, Milan and New York), there was an interesting shift towards a futuristic tribal feel. At Givenchy the models’ faces and outfits reflected a kind of post-apocalyptic fusion of African and Asian influences — draped shapes over bodycon dresses, crystal covered faces and woven details.

Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton mixed references to Celtic, Zulu and Aztec cultures with futuristic laser cuts, geometric prints and bizarre metal helmets, and Italian brand Valentino also seemed to head off on an imaginary journey through lost lands and cultures. Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli provided central Asian prints and woven finishes with a costumey twist.


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Written by Amalia Mytilineou

Amalia is an English Literature student currently living in London. With a love of all things couture, she always has something to say about the latest fashion, art or film event.

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