paris fashion week fw19

7 Things You Missed at Paris Fashion Week FW19 | by Jessica Michault

Jessica Michault

Fashion month is over and it ended on a high note at Paris Fashion Week with a number of amazing, thrilling and heart-wrenching shows. Jessica Michault, our SVP of Industry Relations, is bringing you this quick summary of the biggest highlights. Not only will you get a rundown of all the must-know stats from Paris Fashion Week FW19, Jessica also has the scoop on the top ranking brands according to Media Impact Value™ algorithm (MIV®).  Read below for the full update:

7 things you missed at Paris Fashion Week FW19

1. Karl Lagerfeld’s Fashion Adieu

There is no denying that when he arrived at Chanel in 1983 Karl Lagerfeld put his stamp on the brand. During his 35 years with Chanel, he not only repositioned the brand's status, but he also made the name 'Chanel' become synonymous with chic French style, and in the process made himself a household name. For his final ready to wear collection at the house, before he passed away last month, Lagerfeld decided to take his audience on a journey to an Alpine mountain village; this spectacle resulted in an outstanding $11.2M in MIV and over 3.8M engagements, making it the second most impactful show at PFW.

Down the thick white snowy catwalk, Cara Delevigne opened the show in an outfit that perfectly summed up the heritage Lagerfeld left behind. The black and white long tweed checked trouser suit and coat, worn with a décolletage full of pearls, was both sophisticated and smart. And, Delevigne walked with purpose as she wore it;  as always, Lagerfeld wanted to create clothing for women who had somewhere to be. By the end of the show,  just like a bright pristine morning after an overnight snowfall has transformed the world, the audience was left speechless and transfixed. Fashion will never look like this again.

2. Saint Laurent Takes the Night

Designer Anthony Vaccarello unveiled a Saint Laurent collection that was a feast for the senses. His presentation was an impressive display of how powerful a show can be when set, sound, and style come together to almost act as one. Against a mirrored wall that lit up with a light show that moved in perfect rhythm with the entrancing music, the models walked out to see their reflection racing out in front of them, almost as if they were being pulled into the future. And the future looks very bright indeed at Saint Laurent, especially considering the impressive final section of the show that saw models wearing clothing designed to glow under blacklight.

Their after dark outfits and dayglow accessories were so bright that the models themselves almost vanished from view, making the clothing appear as if it was almost floating down the catwalk, the models becoming fashionably dressed phantoms. It all made for an unforgettable collection that firmly cemented Vaccarello’s place as the leader in the luxury party outfit race. Saint Laurent was the 4th buzziest during #PFW, after Chanel and Off-White. 

3. Celine Takes Stock

Hedi Slimane turned to the Celine of old for his latest fashion show for the house. We are not talking about #oldceline, rather the bourgeois roots of the brand from the late 1970s and early 80s. Think Lauren Hutton, Marisa Berenson, Cheryl Tiegs or Gia Carangi. Models who loved to wear culotte trousers, pleated knee-high skirts, high leather boots, logo scarves and luxe gold gowns for nights spent dancing at Studio 54.

Always one ready to give the social media its fashion moment, Slimane started off his show with a model set inside a lightbox that slowly descended from the rafters of the venue to the catwalk floor where she promptly took to the catwalk as if on a mission. And Slimane also looks to be on a mission as well. A designer who is known for his love of vintage fashion, he has set his sights on making his Celine an ode to the early heydays of this house. It’s a choice that worked very well for the designer this season.


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4. A Valentino Love Letter

Coming off of a powerful, inclusive haute couture show, designer Pierpaolo Piccoli presented a ready to wear collection that was all about spreading the love. From the book of poems called Valentino on Love (that was placed on every guest’s seat), and the love message by poet Robert Montgomery lighting up the backdrop of his catwalk, to the dramatic images of a lovers embrace sculpture that became the leitmotif of the collection: all of these elements focused on the most powerful emotion in the world – Love.

Finding a great collaborative partner is also a sort of love affair, and it’s a creative space that Piccoli is very comfortable in. He spent years collaborating with Maria Grazia Chiuri at Valentino before she took over at Dior and this season he teamed up again (after working together on the most recent Valentino menswear show) with Jun Takahashi of Undercover. Together they brought to life the prints of roses, poems and celestial imagery that were emblazoned on the dresses, gowns, and coats in this collection. It all made for a collection that was brimming over with love - that of a designer in the prime of his career and of an audience that was thrilled to bask in the glow of his adoring creative gaze. The Valentino show was the 7th highest earner of MIV for Paris Fashion Week FW19.

5. Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney has long been an advocate for creating sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion. But this season she doubled down on her determination to make clothing that is impactful to wear but also leaves as little impact as possible on the planet. To this end, she created some of her outfits by upcycling fabrics from past collections to create graphic patterns along the neckline of a dress, or to construct the beautiful final graphic patchwork coat. She chose the viscose she used in her show from a sustainably certified forest in Sweden and the DIY accessories, which included long earrings made out of colorful paper clips and necklaces fabricated from rubber bands, also showed how beautiful things can be crafted out of almost anything.

Besides the clothing, McCartney challenged her audience, which included Oprah Winfrey, to support her rainforest conservation project. She asked them to dedicate a tree to a loved one to help raise awareness about the endangered Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia which is being cut down to the tune of 150 million trees a year to make fabric. It all made for a feel-good show that also just happened to be filled with outfits that will look very good on. Stella's eco-friendly show made it to 10th place on the list of highest MIV generating brands. 

6. Dior

At Christian Dior, designer Maria Grazia Chiuri continues to focus her fashion on female empowerment. She uses her runway as a platform to educate and inform women about the great female artists and activists of our age. This time, before the show was even underway she had the Italian conceptual artist Tomaso Binga, a woman who used a man’s name to sign her work in the 1970s as a visual protest to male privilege in the art space, read a poem in Italian about feminism wining over patriarchy. All the while, images of her naked body were spelling out the letters of the alphabet along the walls of the show space.

The first look down the catwalk was a slogan t-shirt that said "Sisterhood is Global", referencing another feminist activist, Robin Morgan, who was also in attendance at the show. The message was the title of her second-wave feminist book. Chiuri’s choice to shine a spotlight on leaders of the feminist movement each season has been very successful for the designer. That, along with her continued supply of designer clothing that is both fashionable and functional, was the reason why Dior came out on top at Paris Fashion Week with the biggest MIV, at $17.4 million!

7. Haider Ackermann

In the future when the fashion world looks back on the style of this decade one of the key takeaways will be how much blurring and sartorial cross-pollination went on. Not only is the idea of seasonal dressing falling to the wayside, so is the idea of trends. But even more importantly there is a blurring of both sartorial codes, as streetwear and tailoring blend together into a new sartorial hybrid style of dressing. This naturally leads to blurred gender lines, and no designer has better walked the line between the sexes then Haider Ackermann - a point he proved perfectly with his latest collection that was a mix of male and female models, with natural makeup and their hair slicked back exactly the same, it was almost impossible to tell who had a Y chromosome and who didn’t. Even better, the outfits looked just as good on whichever model was wearing them. This idea of interchangeability of garments and to a certain extent, gender felt very much of the moment. 

Haider Ackerman


See the full collection on GPS Radar and gain access to downloadable galleries of all of the other collections from fashion weeks around the world, via this link.

Header photo: Celia Abejón

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