Autumn/Winter 2021 highlights: Valentino, Longchamp, Chloé, and Loewe
Paris Fashion Week AW21 is now in full swing; our third highlights roundup includes some of the best shows from the city so far, namely Valentino and its dramatic collection, Longchamp’s equestrian-inspired presentation, Chloé’s first collection under creative director Gabriela Hearst, and Loewe’s refreshing format.
Watch the shows below:
Set inside Piccolo Teatro di Milano, the Valentino AW21 show was an “almost punk gesture” during the pandemic. While the colour palette may be subdued, the collection was anything but. Creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli amped up the drama with a collection of looks that put the House’s excellent craftsmanship in the spotlight.
Playing with different textures, layers, and silhouettes, the ensembles range from chic tailored looks (the eye-catching blazers and capes are a must-have) to feminine flouncy dresses. In between the line-up, were a few metallic get-ups that spruce up the glamour. But the one thing they all have in common? The designer’s use of “irrepressible scissor stroke to draw a short silhouette”. As the show notes states, the collection is “an identity that reflects in a new generation", and we have no doubts about its appeal.
For Longchamp Autumn/Winter 2021, creative director Sophie Delafontaine had two separate references for the show and the collection. The former—held at the Battesti riding hall in Paris—is inspired by the brand’s very own racehorse logo, while the latter is an ode to renowned French interior designer Pierre Paulin.
The looks were equal parts sporty and feminine, as there were a plethora of fluid separates that are juxtaposed with equestrian-inspired knee-high boots. Elsewhere, slouchy suits in peony-pink and grey corduroy stole the show. The bags, were, of course, one of the main highlights, and this season, all its signature pieces were given an update. There’s the iconic Le Pliage that’s reinterpreted in padded, quilted lambskin and the Roseau that’s accented with an acetate toggle and chain. But the most talked-about of them all goes to the Brioche (yes, named after the French pastry), which features wave-shaped quilting inspired by the lines of a Pierre Paulin chair.
The Chloé AW21 show is creative director Gabriela Hearst’s debut collection for Chloé, but there’s also another reason to celebrate: the date also marks the French Maison’s founder Gaby Aghion’s 100th birthday. From Gaby to Gabi, while the line continues to champion the French brand’s Bohemia spirit, the looks were injected with the modern femininity (and sustainability) that can be found in the latter's eponymous label.
Some of the notable elements include the ceramic button—the collection’s starting point—that can be found on ready-to-wear pieces, jewellery, and handbags; the scalloped detailing which was derived from a cotton pique dress by Gaby Aghion in the ‘60s; and the puffer-meets-poncho outerwear, dubbed the puffcho, in multicolour stripes that are a nod to the current designer’s Uruguayan heritage.
There’s no denying that Loewe has been one of the most innovative when it comes its virtual presentation formats. Following ’Show in the Box’, ‘Show on the Wall’, and ‘Show in a Book’, this AW21, the brand presented its latest womenswear collection via ‘A Show in the News’.
With a bold headline that reads “The Loewe Show Has Been Cancelled”, below, the content highlights the people and the location behind the collection, before 45 looks—modelled by Freja Beha Erichsen—splashed across the inner pages. When it comes to the ensembles, creative director Jonathan Anderson tuned up the volume this round, putting exaggerated silhouettes (almost avant-garde like), bold colours, and graphic prints on centre stage. Alongside imagery, the printed matter also includes an extract from novelist Danielle Steele’s new book, The Affair.
In the show notes, Anderson wrote that because fashion can be easily consumed by all, with online showcases, images can be fleeting. However, “there is a tangibility to a newspaper, giving the fantasy of fashion a physical presence.” We can’t wait to see what’s next.