What happened in Paris? The French-based Fashion Week digital presentations were all about the right mix between elegance, glamour and excess

Text by: Elisa Carassai and Gilda Bruno
Cover picture: Rick Owens Gethsemane FW21 women collection, screenshot from catwalk video

Cecilie Bahnsen 

Playing with her usual house codes and revisiting quilted fabrics, florals, coupè and drawstrings and pleats, Bahnsen presented a collection that perfectly summed up the evolution of her pathway as a designer. It was a sort of tromp o’leil experiment, where materiality perfectly blended together with femininity.



Neutrals, but make them classy! For his 21 FW digital runway, titled Him (Love yourself first), Creative director Kiminte Kimhekim proved to us that it takes no more than a few black and white nuances to absolutely rock a fashion show. The drums playing in the background throughout the catwalk were nothing but the cherry on top of the designer’s iconic “cake”.   

Marine Serre 

Unveiling its latest styles through a two-part documentary and a book, Marine Serre stayed true to her eco-futuristic core by showcasing a collection made up of resistant leather coats and trousers sporting Serre’s signature moon motif. 



Ottolinger’s digital presentation fused digital realism with tactility. Bulky, outerwear in bright yellow and khaki shearling stood out as the perfect items to snuggle in next season, while deconstructed knitwear pieces were interwoven within each other in true Ottolinger style.



Christelle Kocher’s meticulously crafted collection merged the best of urban style with a club-inspired atmosphere and the intriguing charm of a genderless fashion community. 

Acne Studios 

Duvet dressing meets pastoral dreamscape at Acne Studios. Floral nightgowns are paired with distressed dressing gowns and fuzzy pyjama fabrics, in an effort to create the perfect lockdown countryside escape wardrobe.


Dries Van Noten 

An exploration of volumes, textures, and contrasting tones, Dries Van Noten’s 21 FW collection challenged the audience with an almost theatrical dance performance that appeared to homage some of Lars Von Trier’s most controversial masterpieces, all accompanied by the trip-hop sounds of Massive Attack’s Angel: no, it couldn’t have got any better. 


Paul Smith 

The King of British fashion revisited some of his most acclaimed items, including sheepskins, coats, and coordinated sets, in a digital lookbook that served as the living proof of his ever-green style. Paul Smith takes you on a journey through the subcultures that have signposted his career, remixing icons of British clothing design for a new generation.

For autumn/winter ’21 Paul Smith takes you on a journey through the subcultures that have signposted his career, remixing icons of British clothing design for a new generation.


Oversized balloon jackets, puffed sleeves, ribbons, and preciously-decorated collars turned Patou 21 FW collection into a celebration of l’élégance à la française (French elegance), where fashion dares to experiment with exaggerated volumes, contrasting colours, and oversize accessories to pay tribute to the most playful and genuine aspects of beauty. 


Rick Owens 

Suspended between the sacred and the profane, Rick Owens’ 21 FW digital runway “Gethsemane” saw models walk on water wearing skin-tight leather bodysuits, capes, and tailored jackets; no dummies, we don’t mean it literally, but you should have got the reference. For this season, the American designer gave femininity a new face within the framework of Venice’s lido, where exaggeratedly voluminous padded shoulders turned bodies into “architectural bulldozers” set free from fear and anxiety while mocking the stereotyped portrayal of manhood. A character-fueled reaction to the uncertain times we’re all living through, the collection portrayed a woman capable of rising up from dread to regain full control over her life. 


“The Loewe Show Has Been Cancelled,” read the headline of the broadsheet newspaper created by Jonathan Anderson for the brand, one of his many successful artefacts created for the Spanish luxury house during the pandemic. The show might’ve been cancelled but this collection was one of the best ones presented by the British designer: a collection characterized by bold, striking hues, quilted coats, draping and lapels, floating bangs and oversized tassels, daring silhouettes.


Issey Miyake 

Fire, earth, water, and air seemed to be the leitmotivs of Issey Miyake’s 21 FW collection. In “As the Way It Comes to Be,” the fashion house delivered an elegant and flawlessly crafted portrayal of womanhood combining shapes, patterns, and earth tones in what came across as a celebration of the cyclical essence of nature. 



Kevin Germanier knows a thing or two about the value of beads. And indeed, his collection was all about sparkle and shine, an ode to the value of craftsmanship and the joy of having fun with clothing, in an off-kilter outrageously glam way.


Yohji Yamamoto 

Yohji Yamamoto’s garments, mostly black-coloured coats, and maxi dresses occasionally draped at the hips, gently caressed the models’ bodies as they made their way on the catwalk. The only touches of colour being contrast stitches and rare red details. Mixing gothic and punk references, the designer presented the audience with a woman who knows exactly who she wants to be. 


Isabel Marant 

Fresh, young, and jaunty are the three adjectives that pop into your mind while looking at Isabel Marant’s latest collection. For her digital presentation, the designer gathered inspiration from retro-inspired silhouettes and materials, among which stood out vividly-coloured leather, fringed knitwear, and flowery organza, to exemplify her personal take on fashion.