“A new dimension of elegance.” This phrase, spoken by Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga, stands symbolic of the turn for the better we felt in Paris. Fashion has a position as a platform for processing the way of the world. The world is in a mess. In this turbulent and nervy week for women, the question was this: Who had the presence of mind to put forward constructive—hopefully kind and inclusive—statements which could rise above the din?
The link between the 10 designers on this list is that the young and the senior alike overcame aggression and divisiveness, and brought a sense of cross-generational unity to the fore. Progressive thinking centered on refashioning the Parisian values of tailoring and dressmaking. That, and the creative integrity of the personal point of view.
Dries Van Noten spoke about “couture, but not in a retro way.” John Galliano at Maison Margiela applied all his couture-learned knowledge to a vision of genderless equality. Rick Owens’s fiercely inventive skills cut a wardrobe for superwomen.
In the end? There was an overarching positivity in seeing designers enjoying applying themselves to clothes to make people feel good. It took intellectual effort, honed skills, innovation, playfulness, and a refreshing sense of reality.