Paris Fashion Week’s Queen Bees-------
After three cities and hundreds of shows, Paris fashion week is where the most influential designers crystallize the season’s message and the major models stalk the runways. Miuccia Prada certainly delivered on the latter yesterday with arguably the best cast we’ve seen this month at Miu Miu. The lineup was bookended by Raquel Zimmermann, who opened, and closer Karen Elson. In the mix were plenty of other catwalk veterans including Malgosia Bela, Iselin Steiro, Jessica Stam, Hilary Rhoda, Delfine Bafort, and Diana Dondoe. It was a refreshing cap to a season that, for the most part, lacked big-name models. On that note, Miu Miu also illuminated some of the top newcomers including Irina Kravchenko, Marine Deleeuw, Esther Heesch, and Manon Leloup (pictured), who each had impressive freshman seasons. We’ve had our eye on Kravchenko since she opened Alexander Wang during NYFW, and the edgy redhead truly blasted off in the City of Light, where she opened Haider Ackermann, Viktor & Rolf, and Sacai and also walked Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Valentino. Meanwhile, Deleeuw’s Paris highlights included Céline, Balenciaga, Dior, and Chanel—out of all the fresh faces, Deleeuw won the numbers game with 36 shows total. After skipping New York and London, Heesch kept the momentum from her Prada debut going with turns on top Paris runways, including Valentino (which she opened), Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Céline, Chanel, Chloé, and Dries Van Noten. For her part, Leloup did many of those same top shows (15 total in Paris), and both opened and closed Nina Ricci.
Saint Laurent was another highly anticipated moment that delivered on noteworthy newbies. Grace Mahary closed the show and also did Balenciaga, Givenchy (where she was an exclusive last season), Balmain, and Isabel Marant earlier in the week. Hedi Slimane also plucked Kristen McMenamy’s daughter Lily as an exclusive, and she turned up at Chanel the next day. Others at SL included Juliana Schurig, who built upon her success from the first three weeks in Paris, walking Lanvin, Giambattista Valli, and Alexander McQueen, among others; Magdalena Jasek, who opened Céline and did Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and Viktor & Rolf; and Alexandra Martynova, who we first saw as a Calvin Klein exclusive and really capitalized on her androgynous appeal in Paris, closing Dior and also showing up at Rick Owens and Alexander McQueen, among others. Overall, it was a season full of promising newcomers who will be top contenders for the season’s forthcoming ad campaigns.