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The top ten trends from Paris Fashion Week autumn 20

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Last but certainly not least, Paris Fashion Week, which ran on 24 February-3 March, rounded off the autumn 20 calendar with shows from high-fashion heavyweights.

The packed schedule included plenty of drama, including Dior’s feminist statement under the eye of creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri. Models march onto the catwalk under giant neon protest signs that read “Consent,” “Patriarchy = repression,” and “When women strike the world stops.”

The set was made in collaboration with art collective Claire Fontaine and the show happened the day after US film producer Harvey Weinstein’s conviction for sexaul assault. 

Balenciaga’s dystopian show put the spotlight on the climate crisis. It led its audience to a pitch-black showspace which was waterlogged from the third row for a show in which its models literally walking on water, said by creative director Demna Gvasalia to represent petrol. Dramatic footage of nature at its most perilous was projected onto the ceiling – including raging fires and torrential rain.

We bring you the Drapers edit of ten trends to know from the Paris catwalks.

Glamorous grunge


Hedi Slimane looked back to the 1970s for the Celine catwalk, offering up a bourgeois take on bohemian dressing with romantic frilled necklines and midi-hemlines. These were shorter at Chanel, where a monochromatic show had a touch of the 1980s thanks to sheer patterned tights, lace and heavily layered, Madonna-esque jewellery. Meanwhile, the 1970s were also an influence at Chloé and Louis Vuitton, as seen in A-line coats and cinched shapes.

A walk on the wild side


Autumn 20 will have bite as the fiercest prints of the animal kingdom prowl – or slither – onto the catwalks. Oversized leopard print textured coats were seen at Miu Miu, Rochas and Celine, Louis Vuitton opted for sequinned tiger print, and contrasting python prints were on show at Dries Van Noten.

Fetish fabrics

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There was a resounding return of sexiness in the autumn 20 shows. It was a trend first seen in London and New York: Paris just amped up the oomph. Olivier Rousteing showed all-encompassing skin-tight latex suiting at Balmain – right down to the fingertips, as jackets and gloves merged into one item. The high-shine material was used in fitted pencil skirts and thigh-high boots at Saint Laurent, and again at Off-White and Balenciaga, while Mugler opted for all-over leather.

Checked out


The heritage pattern is back for autumn 20 – but not in its usual neutral colourways. Designers showed large blanket checks – from teal blue at Dior, which also featured plaid, school uniform-inspired checks, to brighter tones of orange at Vivienne Westwood, and pastel pinks at Ralph & Russo.

 Suited and booted


Oversized tailoring was seen on several of the Paris catwalks in delicate, spring-inspired colourways. Both Virgil Abloh at Off-White and Stella McCartney showed suiting that was slightly off-kilter: with blazers in skewed, asymmetric shapes. Jackets were back front and centre at Ralph & Russo and Altuzarra, and the trend for pale and interesting suiting continued at Givenchy and Y/Project.

Scarlet women


The catwalks were on red alert in Paris, as eveningwear in the bold, fiery shade proved an upcoming hit for autumn 20: from Balenciaga’s subversive, vinyl-laden Little Red Riding Hood, to more classic, feminine styles at Giambattista Valli and Valentino.

Teddy bears’ picnic


Function meets fashion for autumn, as multiple labels showed cosy, teddy-bear inspired textures for their outerwear offers. Fake fur and shearling textures in neutral shades were seen across the catwalks, and this trend is sure to give us all the feels for next season.

The long and short of it


High/low dressing took on a new meaning in Paris, as designers experimented with hemlines and trains. Alexander McQueen showed a regal collection of gowns that played with length, proportions and dramatic sleeves. Elie Saab showed a flowing, emerald dress cut short at the front, with a cascading train, while tulle dresses were neat and compact at Giambattista Valli.

Itsy ditsy florals


Not just for spring – delicate floral print was seen at Isabel Marant, and in contrasting colours at London-based label Rokh. These were amped up at Kenzo, where blooms in earthy tones were turned into an almost camouflage print – complete with matching bucket hats. Co-ordinating headwear was also on show at Vivienne Westwood, where florals were contrasted with oversized, streetwear-inspired shapes such as chunky hoodies and baggy tracksuit trousers.

Caped crusaders


Capes were first noted as a trend at New York Fashion Week – and are set to be style heroes for autumn 20. Neutral grey pieces were spotted across the board in Paris – from Givenchy’s elegant, puffed-shoulder style to a utilitarian duffel version at Paco Rabanne. Elie Saab showed tailored, black evening designs and Celine presented its bohemian spirit with checked and suede versions.

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