It's like the fashion designers of Paris came together (virtually via Zoom) to decree one giant anti-loungewear campaign for autumn/winter 2021—and I'm so glad they did.
Providing the very opposite to the comfortable, easy, athleisure-led clothes we've all been leaning into over the past year, French brands are putting a firm stop on that for the end of this year, providing cooler-than-ever workwear options, outrageous party dresses and the kind of loud daytime looks that we would never have imagined on the streets of this fashion capital pre-COVID. But that's what being restricted and trapped in one's rotation of leggings can do; many of us are now dreaming of something more joyful, more elaborate and more agenda setting to wear when life stops being "unprecedented" and monotonous and just starts being more full again. Ball gowns down the pub? Yes, please! Shocking pink suit for the office? You betcha.
Below, you'll find five trends coming directly from the Paris Fashion Week collections—from bouclé jackets reborn at Schiaparelli to the fanciest of frocks from Paco Rabanne, there's a lot here that I love and want to wear already. So for inspiration, I found a few available-now alternatives if you can't wait to strip off the trackies and put on the ol' razzamatazz for a trip to Tesco.
1. BOUCLÉ JACKETS
Photo:Courtesy of Schiaparelli
Bouclé the fabric originates from France, so it's no wonder that the curly-tweed jacket continues to be an item the Parisian brands do so well. Schiaparelli's artistic version is an heirloom piece in the making—truly magnifique.
Photo:Courtesy of Isabel Marant
Isabel Marant pairs it with loose-fit jeans—a sure sign of what will be the street style adoption of this trend.
Photo:Courtesy of Longchamp
Suiting but make it casual—that seemed to be the aim for many fashion houses in Paris. The trick? Adding in a roll-neck instead of a fussy blouse. Longchamp also ticked the box for vibrant pinks, a trend that is continuing well into next year.
Photo:Courtesy of Nina Ricci
Nina Ricci's '70s mood set a tone that reverberated around Paris—there's more than a nod to this decade going on at many of the brands, so look out for flared-trouser silhouettes in the future.
3. SPARKLY FROCKS
Photo:Courtesy of Paco Rabanne
I'm in love! I need to be invited to something fabulous at the end of the year so I can have an excuse to wear a glitzy dress covered in chain mail, pearls and crystals like these beauties from Paco Rabanne.
Photo:Courtesy of Isabel Marant
Even Isabel Marant—a pro at casual—has added in some very shiny, festive options. Side note: I've also seen paisley bubbling up as the next big print trend.
4. PARISIAN PURPLES
Photo:Courtesy of Loewe
Purple is perhaps the most divisive of colours, but some of the world's leading designers—such as Jonathan Anderson for Loewe—are backing it for autumn. When mixed with black, yellow and blue, it looks offbeat and cool rather than frumpy.
Photo:Courtesy of Jil Sander
Jil Sander's mauve coat is a really dreamy piece and would be very welcome in our current spring wardrobes.
Photo:Courtesy of Coperni
We've been talking about it a lot lately, but PFW has confirmed it: Miniskirts and dresses are back. Coperni's chic little black number will never look outdated.
Photo:Courtesy of Chanel
Minis came through strong on the Chanel runway, and I particularly liked the idea of wearing them with an unbuttoned longline jacket like this.
Photo:Courtesy of Lanvin
Over at Lanvin, there were very fabulous lamé versions for those nights out we're all waiting for…