Paris designers ‘up game’ to compete with Simons and Slimane

Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane’s debuts means other the labels will compete to hold the most thrilling show

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It’s not just us who are on tenterhooks and ridiculously excited for the mega Paris Fashion Week that is about to unfold across the Channel. Designers who have been at the top of the high fashion game for years are just as psyched to see the collections of Raf Simons for Christian Dior and Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent, respectively.

Karl Lagerfeld adores the drama. He told WWD; ‘I think it will be an exciting season in Paris. It is needed!’ he declared. ‘It’s stimulating and both [Simons and Slimane] are people I like a lot with a lot of talent.’

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Likewise, the ever-magnanimous Alber Elbaz of Lanvin said; ‘I think it’s going to be a fashion moment in Paris. . . I think it’s something that a lot of people are feeling and thinking about, and I love competition because it moves me forward.’
He added; ‘You know, I’m not a jealous person. I’m only jealous of people who can eat and don’t gain weight,’ he continued. ‘It motivates all of us to work harder and find solutions.’
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Industry insiders, like Ron Frasch, of Saks Inc.’s in New York believe the double debuts at Saint Laurent and Dior will have an effect on the other highest placed fashion houses; ‘Everyone’s going to be looking not to be outshone,’ he said. ‘You’re talking about super-competitive designers. Believe me, they’re going to want to up their game.’

Dior and YSL are keeping details about their shows under wraps. Dior confirmed its show would be in a structure it is erecting at Place Vauban, at the foot of the gold-domed chapel at Invalides. Sources said Saint Laurent’s is likely to be held at Grand Palais, but a spokeswoman said she could not confirm the location.

And it’s not just the two new designers who are under pressure to perform in the coming week – apparently model agencies are dealing with minor headaches since competition for models is intense, with some designers booking top walkers for four to five hours before their shows. ‘No designer wants to be told they can’t have the girls they want,’ said one source. Slimane is also said to have lined up a pack of new faces who will walk exclusively for Saint Laurent Paris.

Stay tuned to ELLEuk.com as we bring you every twist and turn . . .

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