A creation by Anthony Vaccarello for Fall/Winter 2013-2014. Vaccarello is one to watch this season.
©AFP PHOTO/FRANCOIS GUILLOT

The runway shows kicked off Tuesday September 24 in Paris. Here’s what’s creating the buzz in the city of light.

NBD (no big debuts)

For the past two seasons the story has hung on one or two major league fashion debuts, with new creative directors stepping up to the plate at big-name fashion houses.

Last season Alexander Wang showed his debut collection for Balenciaga, and the pressure was on, as the young New York City-based designer went head-to-head with Nicolas Ghesquière’s 15-year-long legacy at the
Parisian house.

A year ago it was Raf Simons at Christian Dior and Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent who were facing their first ready-to-wear shows as the recently installed designers at two of fashion’s biggest labels.  

This season it’s different; while there will still be pressure on the big names to deliver, things seem a little more settled. Expect to see designers loosen up a little as they get into their groove.

Diversity
When Naomi Campbell and Iman, two of fashion’s biggest-ever icons team up to tell you off, you know you’re in for trouble. A bubbling furore over castings that has been building since the first fashion shows kicked off at the beginning of the month in New York City will reach boiling point in Paris.

So who’s in the firing line? Designers and brands who seemingly refuse to use black or mixed race models in their shows. In response Iman founded the Diversity Coalition with former model-agent-turned-campaigner Bethann Hardison, and Naomi Campbell has also joined the fight.

Céline, Chanel, Saint Laurent were all criticized by the Diversity Coalition for a lack of black models in the run up to this Paris fashion week, and it remains to be seen how they’ll respond with their castings.

The trio of black fashion legends are already happy with the results of their lobbying in New York City: “(this season) there were six black models in Calvin Klein, there were none last year” Campbell told Channel 4 News.

Belgians
“Name a famous Belgian” was once a famous joke, but once again in fashion, it’s a high time for some success stories from the low countries.

While many of the previous generation of Belgium-born talent (also known as the Antwerp Six) are still on the scene, it’s the country’s youngest designers who are getting the most buzz.

Christian Wijnants will be showing his second season in Paris since he won this year’s International Woolmark Prize and great things will be expected from the former assistant to fellow Belgian legend, Dries Van Noten.

Anthony Vaccarello’s runway presentation has been one of the hottest shows in Paris for a couple of seasons now, with a catwalk packed with A-list models, and some of the slinkiest, sexiest dresses around. There will be added focus on his designs as the rumors swirl about an upcoming collaboration with Versace Versus. – AFP RELAXNEWS