highlights from paris fashion week fw 2019 man repeller
Dispatch from Paris, Where the Bags Are Huge and the Bucket Hats Have Veils

If minimal maximalism was on display in Milan, and new ideas to chew on got softer in London, and New York was trying to tell me what to wear again (pls!), then one might assume that Paris will roll this all together, clean it up and present a finished product to make sense of all the fashion — like the best kind of editor — but, of course, it has not. It never does! Paris delivers what you least expect it will, taking the themes you think you’re discovering and turning them on their ends not to complete a narrative but to start a new one. Which can get exhausting at times, much the same way trying to group a lot of clothes from different designers who have different identities together is. So forget what I just said, there is no one narrative. Surrender to the mess and enjoy these highlights as informed by days one and two of the end of the band tour. Can you smell spring coming?


Here I have made myself believe that wearing a knit dickie over your coat is the ultimate way to fashion yourself as a “winter person,” when according to Jacquemus, an exaggerated knit jock strap over your pants, but under your blazer is the choice styling hack. Or second to ultimate because incidentally, a suit is only as good as the fabric flowers that you affix to it. Not pictured here, but worthy of note: handbags are definitely becoming gigantic again. Pictured here and worthy of note: fanny packs are now fanny sets. Never leave another thing at home again!

Marine Serre

Marine Serre called her collection a “safe zone,” referring the underground place where a community of friends — her models — live after the apocalypse. I know this not because I was there but because Mark Holgate’s stunning review for Vogue Runway told me. If that’s not a metaphor for the communities of interested and hopeful people being brought together by the current cultural climate, perhaps the inviting moire jumpsuit in lilac or traffic-sign-neon top/skirt combo are a better, more literal representation.

Christian Dior

Just when you thought we might reach peak bucket hat, Dior up and shows one with a veil affixed to it as if deliberately marrying the formality of wearing a veil to the casual, practical and often playful nature of a fisherman’s bucket hat, dutifully rendered in patent leather to make hair trouble in the rain a qualm of the past. Mirroring this contrast is a quilted work suit paired with dainty plaid kitten heels. Separately, lumberjack plaid wool dances into western territory with some chest-length fringe and one such cotton playsuit imagined as a tea skirt and short sleeve button-down worn with sneakers is paired with a pearl choker.

Saint Laurent

I recently bought a cotton T-shirt with shoulder pads sewn in and to my delight, Saint Laurent is pushing the same agenda if not in a somewhat more prescriptive, Carolyn Bessette-meets-Carmen-Sandiego-and-Claude-Montana kind of way, but I was actually going to say that the deluge of black wears rendered in so many different ways was a highlight until I saw the parade of neon desserts-as-dresses that closed the show. Talk about dancing across a spectrum.


All hail the new Lanvin, directed by former Loewe menswear designer, Bruno Sialelli. He mixes in leather details like tie closures on jackets with exaggerated sailor collars and plaid scarves as ponchos as coats and fair isle knit details to wear with suede boots, but I’ll take the flap-over hat and full silk-scarf look cut into a pair of track pants and a long sleeve shirt: the perfect transition from a balmy September morning to a crisp October night. If it gets too cold, that’s cool too — did you see those denim culottes styled over the silk pants?

Dries Van Noten

The unflinching highlight of a Dries van Noten show is that even though the clothes never feel dated, they’re not overly of the moment either. The suiting is omnipresent, the pops of specific color — royal hues of blue and orange and yellowish gold are refreshingly predictable. I never saw those platforms coming, but this is probably why the collection never seems dated. And as always, there is a styling tip to take home, for now I’m running with grey tights and matching shoes to pair with a sequined pencil skirt and cocoon-shoulder sweatshirt — giant handbag-meets-comforter notwithstanding.

Feature photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto via Getty Images; Runway photos via Vogue Runway.

Get more Fashion ?