Balmain’s Fashion Show after Collection Theft and Sarah Burton’s Highly Anticipated Final Show for McQueen

After New York, London, and Milan (until September 25), it is now Paris’ turn to launch its fashion week. 107 houses are presenting their women’s ready-to-wear Spring-Summer 2024 collections, with 67 fashion shows and 40 presentations, from September 25 to October 3, 2023. For the Spring-Summer 2024 season, many houses are featured on the Paris Fashion Week schedule, with changes in designers such as Chloé, Alexander McQueen, Carven, Ann Demeulemeester, and AZ Factory. Italian house Marni and American brand Peter Do are among the new entrants on the official schedule, while Carven, Maison Margiela, and Mugler are returning.

The first day of the week is dedicated, as tradition goes, to young designers: Belgian stylist Marie Adam-Leenaerdt, known for her conceptual fashion for avant-garde women, opens the show followed by Victor Weinsanto, a former ballet dancer trained by Jean Paul Gaultier who launched his own brand in 2020 with “performance” shows. At the end of the day, Pierre Cardin, under the impetus of his nephew Rodrigo Basilicati-Cardin, presents a fashion show after a 25-year absence from the fashion week calendar, amid a dispute over the late designer’s succession. The succession is the subject of an investigation and complaints filed by the family and his great-nephew who succeeded him.

Among the questions is, what will Olivier Rousteing present for Balmain after his collection was stolen 10 days before the show? He has decided to go ahead with the fashion show despite the theft of 50 pieces intended for the show. Will we see the trend of nudity, transparency, and short styles that was spotted at London Fashion Week on the Paris runways?

It will be the last show for Gabriela Hearst at Chloé and for Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. “I feel proud and happy about the work I have done at Chloé and, above all, about leaving the message that a woman can do anything and have fun with it,” said the American-Uruguayan designer, who has been the artistic director since 2020, upon the announcement of her departure. For her first collection at Chloé in 2021, Gabriela Hearst made the bet of sustainable fashion by eliminating virgin synthetic fibers – such as polyester or artificial cellulosic fibers – and sourcing recycled, reused, and organic denim. What will she present for her last collection on September 28? British house Alexander McQueen and its artistic director Sarah Burton announced “the end of their collaboration” that began over 20 years ago. The 49-year-old British designer took over the reins of the Alexander McQueen house in 2010 after the suicide of its founder Lee Alexander McQueen, whom she had worked with for over 14 years. Her last collection will be presented on September 30.

Sarah Burton has “perpetuated Lee’s legacy, his attention to detail and his unique vision, while adding her personal and highly creative touch,” ​​praised François-Henri Pinault. Her imprint “will leave an indelible mark,” said Gianfilippo Testa, CEO of Alexander McQueen. What will Olivier Rousteing present for Balmain? Can you recreate a collection that was stolen 10 days before a fashion show? Olivier Rousteing, the creator of Balmain, will provide the answer on the runways on September 27. The fashion show is going ahead despite the theft of 50 pieces intended for the show: the van transporting them from Roissy airport to the headquarters of the Parisian house on September 16 was intercepted by armed individuals who fled with the vehicle. “My team and I have worked very hard. We will work even harder, day and night, just like our suppliers, but it is so disrespectful. I wanted to share this with you to remind you never to take anything for granted,” wrote Olivier Rousteing on Instagram. An investigation has been opened. It is an “exceptional” case given the number of stolen pieces, said Serge Carreira, lecturer at Sciences Po and specialist in fashion and luxury, while estimating that it is realistic to recreate the collection in time for the show. The stolen pieces are prototypes and the existing patterns would allow for the garments to be remade. “Balmain has workshops, they have subcontractors, a network of craftsmen. By mobilizing all available resources, it is possible to achieve this,” he emphasized.

It will be the first fashion show for Louise Trotter at Carven on September 30. “I feel honored to write a new chapter for Carven: a young French house that embodies a spirit of freedom, joy, and confident femininity. I am excited to respect Madame Carven’s legacy by creating clothes with a new simplicity that are both useful and beautiful, while being kind to people and the environment,” said the former designer for Joseph and Lacoste, who was also the president of the jury at the International Festival of Fashion in Hyères. “Louise Trotter is the ideal candidate to revive the Carven house” with her understanding of “what luxury and sportswear mean today,” emphasized Shawna Tao, CEO of Carven. The Carven house was founded by Marie-Louise Carven in Paris in 1945. Being a petite woman and having difficulty finding clothes, she created garments for women like her using modest fabrics such as cotton decorated with English embroidery. In 1950, together with corset maker Rose Lebigeot, Marie-Louise Carven invented the balcony bra. She passed away in 2015 at the age of 105. In 2018, Carven was acquired by Icicle Group, a Chinese fashion company founded in 1997 in Shanghai, and became ICCF (Icicle Carven China France) in 2020, but has struggled to regain its place in today’s fashion landscape.

It will be the first fashion show for Stefano Gallici at Ann Demeulemeester on September 30. French designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin, known for his ultra-sexy and gender-neutral fashion, was replaced six months after his appointment and after presenting only one collection for the house. Stefano Gallici, who has been working for the brand as creative director since 2020, will take his place. After studying at the IUAV University of Venice, specialized in architecture, he began his career in Antwerp and went through the Antonioli group, which acquired the Belgian brand in 2020. Being part of the famous Antwerp Six, the designer sold his eponymous brand founded in 1985 in 2013. “Stefano (Gallici) immediately showed strong creativity and a clear vision for Ann Demeulemeester. He represents the brand’s future-oriented DNA,” said Claudio Antonioli, the Italian owner of the Belgian fashion house. His first collection for the brand, known for its minimalist black and white aesthetic, will be presented on September 30.

It will be the first fashion show for Norman René Devera and Peter Movrin at AZ Factory on October 2. Founded in 2020 by Alber Elbaz, AZ Factory has evolved into a multidisciplinary platform supporting creativity and young talent. Each season, the studio entrusted the artistic direction to designers called “amigos.” For the Spring-Summer 2024 season, AZ Factory announced that the next collaboration will be with Norman René Devera and Peter Movrin, the duo selected by Alber Elbaz himself from the beginning, who have collaborated with all the Amigos so far. AZ Factory by Them is a celebration of AZ Factory’s roots and its future.

Throughout these two years, AZ Factory has discovered creators of different origins, genders, cultures, and ages, where the only common elements have been “intelligent fashion that cares” and true talent. Sometimes, you simply decide to stay at home and enjoy the wonderful family to which you belong. Love brings love.

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