Fashion week dispatches: Soho House Paris, Coperni and Ye
The main attraction on the calendar, Paris, didn’t disappoint with a season of massive parties, powerful shows and drama to spare
Wednesday 5 October 2022 By Billie Bhatia
Paris Fashion Week – the last stop on the fashion month circus tour – is the one where all the influencers and editors pull out their biggest and best moves. The street style steps up to five outfits a day, the crowds of screaming fans reach new and dizzying decibels, and the guest list goes full A-list. And this season, as an added accoutrement, Paris Fashion Week (PFW) served drama. So much drama – the good, the bad, the magical, the great, and the downright ugly.
Kicking off with the great: Coperni. According to my Instagram feed (and likely yours), the relative newbie to the schedule won Paris Fashion Week. Bella Hadid’s lithe, lone figure being spray painted into a fitted, white dress (while simultaneously dropping a masterclass in posing) captured a hungry fashion week audience for a solid 15 minutes (miraculous in itself), and days after the event continued to be the ‘OMG, were you there?’ moment around the French capital. (Of course, that is before it was aggressively usurped by YZY S9, but more on that later).
Along with dresses in spray cans, the front rows have also been serving with a capital ‘S’. While there was no Rihanna pregnant in a negligee at Dior, there was Doja Cat sandwiched between Janet Jackson and Erykah Badu at Thom Browne. Iconique. Kate, Hailey, Zoe, Rosie and Carla brought in the big crowds around Trocadero for the Saint Laurent super show. Always held under the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower, this time Anthony Vaccarello upped the Instagram ante with an orchestra and a fountain just in case Paris’s most famous monument at night wasn’t a big enough content draw. The show was a masterclass in oversized tailoring and celebrity RSVPs.
Above left: Bella Hadid at the Coperni SS23 show
Above right: Anna Wintour, Doja Cat, Erykah Badu, Reuben Selby and Maisie Williams attend the Thom Browne Womenswear SS23 show
Then there was Mr and Mrs Peltz-Beckham at mum Victoria’s first Paris catwalk show. Taking a leaf out of the old Posh and Becks playbook, the newlyweds arrived in matching noughties-inspired, low-slung denim and black knits, and what can only be described as intense hand holding. At Valentino there was an entire block decked out in Pier Paolo Piccioli pink, except for Zendaya who naturally was in new season before the models were in new season.
But it was earlier in the week at Acne Studios that there was a front-row news story so great, even my auntie in Durham was asking me for the tea. As guests filed in to sit on giant, pink, satin beds we were treated to a one-hour wait (word is there was an eyewear sitch) before guest of honour Kylie Jenner draped in a grey dress with bug-like sunglasses arrived. She completed this look with an A-list essential: a beefy security guard awkwardly wedged in the second row (the shame) with shoulders up to his ears.
At Loewe (where she was only 37 minutes late, snaps that’s an improvement), Jenner made her second front-row appearance (this time with four security guards in tow) next to Anna Wintour and a very chill Dan Levy, who came is so low key he arrived straight from a run. The clothes were great, the accessories even better – get your orders in now for the puffy Cinderella-esque court shoes – and in an unexpected turn of events, Jonathan Anderson managed to make the awkward, strangely sexual anthurium flower that took centre stage at the show very en vogue.
It’s during Paris Fashion Week that my friends starting texting, ‘So, what are the trends?’ And for once the answer was easier to explain than, ‘A subverted take on the state of the world, mixed with a commercially successful streetwear and accessories offering’. This season is all-out party. A sartorial riot, if you will. Thigh-high splits that render underwear obsolete, bum-skimming miniskirts, waistbands so low it brought back early noughties PTSD, and 4,822 crop tops. See, a riot.
Brooklyn and Nicola Peltz Beckham and Zendaya at Valentino’s SS23 show
One trend I’m personally petitioning for to be over is the need for outdoor shows in October. As great as you were Givenchy, sitting on a soaked through piece of cork for 45 minutes in my new satin skirt was not it. But back to partying, of which after the sombre affair of London and the business mood in Milan, was very much needed. Hailey Bieber kicked off proceedings with a room full of beautiful people at Caviar Kaspia (where else?) with a soiree to launch her collection with Wardrobe NYC. Dressed in shades of beige, the crowd smashed through the iconic jacket potato and caviar entrees, before moving on to shots of Belvedere straight from the bottle à la 2008. At Kenzo, Doja Cat performed TikTok banger after TikTok banger to a Ruinart-fuelled room. And coincidentally in Kenzo’s former home, Kaia Gerber hosted a Sunday night chill sesh to celebrate her much anticipated collection with Zara.
When models weren’t hosting parties, Soho House Paris was the fashion pack respite of choice. Chill enough to do some actual work (I know, such a drag), but filled with buzzy atmosphere as soon as the sun set – 10 cocktails for €10 will do that to a thirsty crowd – that once we were two Moscow Mules and a Penne alla Vodka down, there was no dragging us out. Not even on a Monday night.
The last three days of Paris are the most heavyweight of the entire season. The running order includes Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Miu Miu, Valentino et al. Brands that ordinarily would dominate the news cycle with breaking fashion moments, but the only words on anyone’s lips (even during Louis Vuitton’s show that was so good it warranted a standing ovation for the finale) were: Yeezy Season 9.
Above: The courtyard and Cabaret Room at Soho House Paris
In a surprise show on Monday night, Ye showcased his latest collection – a series of oversized jersey shirts, jackets and boots in his preferred neutral palette. In an interview with Vogue Business, Ye commented that in this collection ‘we have the opportunity to come together to express who we are’. According to the ‘WHITE LIVES MATTER’ emblazoned tees worn by himself, conservative pundit-pal Candace Owens and a Black model, Ye has expressed that he is problematic, dangerous and courting controversy for the sake of clickbait.
I can’t attest to what the intention of this stunt was – did he really just undermine the most important movement of our generation on a global platform? If he has previously said he believes slavery was a choice, does he actually support this deeply disturbing sentiment of white supremacy? Did he really dress a Black model in this slogan to the soundtrack of young members of the Donda Academy singing gospel music? As editors and friends of the brand walked out of the show, the Ye drama has only spun to new and extraordinarily worrying levels.
Filing out of Paris Fashion Week, which overall has been an uplifting and fun (OMG, I missed the fun) season, a sour taste has been left in my mouth. Fashion has always pushed boundaries, created new narratives and probed you in uncomfortable places, but it has also long been complicit in bad behaviour. If anything comes from this supposed ‘moment’, I hope it’s that fashion, and everyone in it, checks themselves before they entirely wreck themselves.
Louis Vuitton Spring 2023 show at Paris Fashion Week