Even in such vaunted company, however, two spaces stood out, in part because they aren’t included in any tourist handbook. The first was the Palais de Justice, the complex that houses the French equivalent of the supreme court, where Clare Waight Keller’s debut for Givenchy was held; the second the Russian embassy, where Comme des Garçons unveiled its collection. Neither institution had ever hosted a fashion show before, so it was everyone’s first time. — VANESSA FRIEDMAN, fashion director, Styles
Thom Browne Brought Us a Unicorn
It takes a lot to make the jaded fashion crowd go all wide-eyed and wobbly. But for his first women’s show in Paris, Thom Browne managed to do just that. First he dreamed up a — well, dream scenario, involving two young girls bedding down for the night. Then he threw in two space-suited Michelin (wo)men dancing down the aisles. Then he produced a collection of extraordinary technical achievement that featured attenuated silhouettes in traditional American fabrics (seersucker, tartan) woven almost entirely from tulle. And then he finished up with a Chinese dragon/unicorn that wobbled out behind its fairy godmother like a childhood fantasy come to life. Which, Mr. Browne said, pretty much described what fashion meant to him. At which point everyone was ready to wish upon a star. — V.F.
The Tech Lab Made Us Think About the Future of Fashion
What will the future of fashion look like? On Monday evening many in the industry gathered at the headquarters of Google on the Rue de Londres to find out.
In theory, they turned out to support Miroslava Duma at the official opening party for Fashion Tech Lab, her incubator, investment fund and philanthropic organization targeting new technologies. In practice, on the penultimate night of Paris Fashion Week, they also came to drink Champagne.
“This industry is waking up to the fact it can’t ignore innovation in the field anymore,” said Ms. Duma, surrounded by friends like Stella McCartney, Demna Gvasalia, Antoine Arnault and Maria Grazia Chiuri. “More and more brands have now realized that they need to embrace innovation, particularly when it comes to sustainability. The future is coming, whether we like it or not.”
To prove her point, a series of installations were on show for guests to see what could come next. Threads made from spider silk, upcycled yarn, stem-cell-engineered leather and diamonds sourced from above the ground elicited both curiosity and Instagram posts, as did a robotic barman, pouring mojitos ordered via tablets, much to the excitement of the crowd. — E.P.
A Beloved New York Designer Returned
Among all the big shows of the week, it’s is the small ones that sometimes have the most impact. Such was the case with the return of Andre Walker to Paris Fashion Week. The veteran New York designer staged a presentation on the stairs of Les Arts Decoratifs, where he showed a collection of clothing he originally designed between 1982 and 1986. The patterns were reconstituted from the original patterns, and three decades later seemed surprisingly au courant. There were blanket jackets (a collaboration with Pendleton) with beautiful cut sleeves, wrap skirts and dresses with folds. The mix of men’s and women’s looks signaled not only where Mr. Walker is coming from, but also where he’s going. — M.J.G.
A Different Kind of Fake News
The vertigo you get snapping between the actual world and the fashion world during the monthlong sabbatical from reality known fashion month can be intense. A terror attack in London, destruction in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Texas, hurricanes and flooding, a mass shooting in Las Vegas — meanwhile, frocks.
But the news creeps in, even to fashion. At Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia worked up newspaper prints. They’ve been around in fashion before — remember John Galliano’s famous newsprint dress for Dior? — but Mr. Gvasalia scrambled the script, filling his column inches with gibberish dummy copy and photos only of happy people. “I wanted happy news,” he said backstage. It’s a pipe dream: fake news. But still, you could dare to dream, if only for a minute. — M.S.
Undercover Brought Out Many, Many Twins
The Undercover designer Jun Takahashi is one of the great showman working in fashion. Staged at the 19th-century Le Grand Hotel in Paris, his show began with pairs of models who walked side by side, hand in hand under a spotlight.
Each couple wore looks that spoke to each another in some way: two identically cut V-neck shifts, one in T-shirt material printed with Cindy Sherman’s face, and the other made from scarlet red silk covered in embroidered sequin cats. Others wore voluminous short-sleeve track suits; matching brooches in monogram-style letters; and what were made to look like pearl earrings, but dramatically oversize and partially crushed, resembling dented Ping-Pong balls.
Mr. Takahashi created 32 looks like these before closing the show with five sets of real identical twins, dressed in matching blue and white Peter Pan dresses inspired by the Grady twins in the 1980 horror film “The Shining.” The complexity of finding, and casting, so many pairs of twin sisters was a serious feat, echoing one of Mr. Takahashi’s collections from over a decade before, for spring 2004, in which he also sent identical twins down the catwalk. — Alexa Brazilian, fashion features director, T magazine
Moncler Cheered Everyone Up Instantly
At the end of more than three weeks of fashion shows in different cities, the last day of Paris Fashion Week often brings with it a bunch of tired, overstimulated fashion editors waiting for sundown. However, at Moncler Gamme Rouge, weary faces brightened with smiles as Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” began to play, spotlights made giant disco balls glimmer, and a troupe of American “hiplet” ballerinas emerged in a conga line dancing to the beat en pointe.
The dance company was formed by the 66-year-old Chicago choreographer Homer Hans Bryant, whose fusion of traditional ballet and hip-hop has sent the internet aflutter. The girls performed in vignettes peppered throughout the regular run of show, for which the designer Giambattista Valli clad models in cozy heather gray “Flashdance”-style leg warmers, diaphanous white lace dresses and red, white and blue iterations of the French brand’s signature puffer. For the finale, the dancers high-stepped their way off the stage to the sounds of the Florida duo Black Violin, who, fittingly, mix hip-hop with classical violin and viola. — A.B.