Paris Fashion Week: Why twinning is winning and faux is hot

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  • The DJ twins from Tokyo, the fugly trainer trend and everything else you need to know from the last stop of AW18 Fashion Month...

    Gare du Nord, Paris: the last stop on the epic month long tour of the capitals misleadingly called Fashion Week. The French capital is always the setting for some of the ‘wow-est’ moments of the month, to refresh our jaded eyes and chafed feet (although less chafed this season, thanks to the Fugly trainer trend, or dad trainers – as seen at Maison Margiela below). And AW18 didn’t disappoint. Here’s what we learnt at Paris Fashion Week AW18…

    Maison Margiela AW18

    The DJ twins from Tokyo

    The Paris Fashion Week AW18 street-style game is strong. The City of Light is, after all, one big Instagram opp – from the grand backdrops of the Louvre and the Grand Palais to the dappled light of the Jardins de Tuileries and the chic cobbled streets. And every season there’s always one style star who seems to be, literally, popping up for pics in front of every marble column. This season, it was two – the identical twins from Tokyo known to the Gram as @amixxamiaya. Their names are Ami and Aya Suzuki, and they’re DJs/models/on the list for every designer invite in town, thanks to their razor-sharp pink bobs and uncanny way with a quick change. At Chanel, they were dressed in red patent macs, electric blue polo-necks and plastic rainhats from the SS18 collection. A couple of hours later, there they were at Miu Miu, resplendent in complementary floral duster coats and crystal-strap Mary Janes. This clearly takes Wonderwoman changing skills – bet they’re not doing it in a phone booth (cute idea for a pic, though…?)

    @chanelofficial ??❣️ #CHANEL #pfw #twins

    A post shared by AMI(AMIAYA) (@amixxamiaya) on


    The Lady Returns

    No, no, we don’t mean the posh oldster magazine. We’re talking about the seductive spirit of classic Sixties films like Luis Bunuel’s Belle du Jour that wafted through some of the biggest shows. After a Milan filled with splashy, brash 1980s vibes and OTT sports references, the slinky elegance was a welcome note. At Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquiere persuaded the Louvre to give him the keys to its previously-closed Cour Lefuel. The giant marble space with huge bronze figurines of lions provided a sumptuous backdrop for his new Vuitton lady. After last season’s eclectic mish-mash of boxing shorts and embroidered tailcoats, this collection was a more cohesive lineup – knee length pencil skirts came in tweed and houndstooth check, with rows of buttons down the sides. There were softly curved shoulders and a pleated, tiered capelet detail finished off many of the tops and dresses. There were even chain-link belts, and skirts heavy with gold chain-link embroidery. Of course, Ghesquiere mixed in some edge – in the form of black leather, sweatshirt references and a series of coloured lace-front corsets, worn with skinny trousers.

    Louis Vuitton AW18

    Louis Vuitton AW18

    But Puffas Also Rule

    Trust Demna Gvsalia to make a mountain out of a molehill…on a set that resembled a skateboarders’ dream mountain, covered in graffiti, his models started out in skinny, draped 1980s body con dresses. They gradually accumulated outerwear as the show wore on. Pile after pile of sweatshirts, parkas, and puffas layered on top of each other until you wondered how they were still managing forward momentum. Elsewhere, Sacai’s Chitose Abe produced a standout collection full of her signature hybrid designs, including plenty of spliced parka and puffa details. Karl Lagerfeld got in on the act with the chic-est take – a slim-fitting black evening puffa, complete with gold buttons and Chanel braiding. Meanwhile, off the catwalk, the fugly dad trainer was everywhere – our own fashion director Jayne Pickering couldn’t be prised out of her platform Filas and Balenciaga’s Triple S (as well as rip-off versions of) was everywhere. Bliss for those poor tired Frow feet…

    Balenciaga AW18

    Faux Real

    The anti-fur lobby have been ramping up the protests in recent seasons – and luxury brands are listening. Claire Waight Keller’s slinky Givenchy show was inspired by film noir and the dark, gritty glamour of early 1980s Berlin nightlife. There were standout fur coats galore at Paris Fashion Week AW18 this time around – from leopard jackets trimmed with black leather, to luxurious long shaggy cream and black coats knotted at the waist with caramel leather belts. And they were all faux! This is a big move for a historic French house at the heart of European luxury. Chanel’s furry autumnal jackets were faux (the house no longer uses fur). Back in London, so was the floor-length rainbow cape modelled by Cara Delevingne at Christopher Bailey’s last Burberry show (a house that’s often been targeted by fur protesters). Apparently, producing faux fur fabric of a high enough quality for luxury fashion is more expensive than using the real thing. But that’s a problem for another day…the main thing is, this was a big move forward for Paris Fashion Week AW18.

    Givenchy AW18

    Chanel AW18

    Get Set

    Less of the pyrotechnics and flashy stunts – this season’s sets made use of the grandeur of beautiful buildings (like Vuitton’s Louvre coup) or created a thoughtful mood. Still jaw-droppingly extravagant, of course, but Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel forest carpeted in autumnal leaves and filled with trees was so tranquil, it really did feel like being in chilly Hamburg on a crisp early winter day. At the UNESCO building for Loewe, JW Anderson conjured up a cloistered drawing room feel with fireplaces and sculptures by Japanese artist Tetsumi Kudo. Props to Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen – each audience chair was literally wearing a chunky Arran-knit sweater, complete with personalised label. A lot comfier than the usual concrete seating – and all ready to be whipped off and worn out into the chilly night after the show. Now that’s thoughtful…

    Chanel AW18

    Balenciaga AW18

    Loewe AW18

    One of the week’s biggest talking points was Hedi Slimane’s Celine debut next season – what will the label be like under his grunge/muso/vintage-heavy direction? And where will Phoebe Philo-philes get their understated fix now? Stay tuned…



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