If anyone understands the power in embracing the future, it's Karl Lagerfeld. This is a man who regularly expresses his dislike of dwelling on the past and has practically turned the act of looking forward into a sport. He's also the king of Paris Fashion Week experiences. Whether it's his ready-to-wear catwalk, long held in the Grand Palais, or his traveling cruise extravaganza, his Chanel shows are world famous for their elaborate, spare-no-expense sets.
For autumn/winter '17 those two skill sets merged in a Chanel experience for the ages that will most likely go down in the history books. It was a show that not only offered new tweed suits and bags to aspire to own, but also some unexpected life perspective: when the world begins to feel small, simply look up.
That's what we were all forced to do as a 35 meter high rocket ship, complete with two launch cabins, two satellite antennas and smoke and lights, took off 10 meters towards the ceiling.
It seemed perfectly fitting for this week, after NASA discovered seven new life-supporting planets, and just days before the Oscar-nominated hit film Hidden Figures landed in Paris movie theaters (its producer Pharrell Williams ironically sat front row.) In a word, it was a moment, one that captured the zeitgeist and delighted the normally poker-faced fashion crowd in the building.
The space theme also suited the clothes well, adding a youthful spirit to the house's icons: tweed suits and dresses done with metallic threading, coats and jackets done in spacey, astronaut silver leather, and cap toe lady boots covered in sci-fi glitter.
Miu Miu also had an otherworldly feeling, though one rooted in the Seventies. In a space literally covered in purple fur (the catwalk, the stairs, the pillars, all of it) with hip hop blasting so loud, the mirrored walls shook and Miuccia sent out a line-up of looks that centred around the coat.
Her's were in bold colourways, shaggy faux and real furs and flamboyant pimptastic shapes. It echoed a loud and proud outerwear trend that's been spreading this season from Marc Jacobs to Dries van Noten. Other standouts included her graphic shirt and trouser sets, glamorous and yet youthful and cool.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Ghesquière created a different kind of immersive experience for Louis Vuitton's latest collection, which was set inside a sculpture atrium in the Musée du Louvre — the first time the museum has ever hosted a runway show.
His show was filled with updates on trademark shapes and pieces he's established for the house (his trim jackets and cropped tailored trousers and sleek leather coats, for example.) This was a wardrobing collection (despite the romantic works of art that served as backdrop) with practical, wearable pieces for work and play.