Fashion files: Our top picks from Paris Fashion Week FW21

From Gabriela Hearst’s debut at Chloé to Miu Miu’s show on the snow-capped mountains of Cortina d’Ampezzo, we round up some of the highlights from the final city of FW21 Fashion Month:

Peter Do

Photo: Peter Do

New York-based designer Peter Do founded his namesake label in 2018 and has quickly become a rising star in the industry. With experience at both Phoebe Philo’s Celine and Derek Lam, Do’s strength lies in precision tailoring. His previous collections showcased his mastery in strong, streamlined daywear, but for FW21, he shifts the emphasis to streamlined separates with even a bit of embellishment. Daytime shirt and skirt combos were offered up with lace inlays, while shape-shifting tailoring came in the form of shirts that would morph into capes and coat-collared shirts. For those looking for cool, paired-down eveningwear, Do’s feather-accented slip gowns and coats may be just the thing. 

Christian Dior

Photo: Christian Dior

In a time of much-needed fantasy and escape, Maria Grazia Chiuri looked to fairy tales when designing her new collection. It’s clear that her Dior girl has gotten a bit together around the edge – the show opened with bold, dark ensembles of skirt suits, leather cut-out pinafore dresses, and the house’s cannage motif embroidered on functional outerwear. It was a reflection of the times – things you’d want to wear right now. But also, just like in a fairy tale, things can take a turn for the better – a happily ever after, if you will – with the collection’s finale dresses in layers of pleated tulle. In an array of bright and pastel hues, it was perhaps the uplifting spirit that we all will need to hang on to for just a little longer. 


Gabriela Hearst titled her debut collection at Chloé “Aphrodite”, and applied the same sustainable practices and commitment to the greater good that she did to her own eponymous label. Dresses, capes, and other winter-friendly outerwear were crafted in modern, feminine silhouettes with bohemian twists. Hearst adopted the motto “new isn’t always better” and made a statement by repurposing the house’s iconic Edith bag from the early 2000’s-strips of leftover cashmere and wool, and also partnering with Shelter Suit, an NGO that provides shelter for the homeless through outerwear made entirely out of upcycled materials. 


Photo: Chanel

Virginie Viard set the Chanel show this season at Castel, a Parisian nightlife institution that was frequented by the likes of everyone from Salvatore Dali to Mick Jagger. The narrow nightclub space provided a stark contrast for the runway looks – the collection was a play on duality and contrasts. Cropped and form-fitting ensembles were worn under ankle-grazing, oversized coats, while sparkling, cropped tweed ensembles revealed sultry sheer layers underneath. Saloupette-ski suits (courtesy of Coco Neige – the house’s recently revived ski line) would be welcomed by the ski-enthusiasts, as would the duo-tone boots in faux fur (for those who are only dreaming of a vacation in the snow, myself included).

See also: Fashion cover: Eau là là! It’s Chanel N°5

Miu Miu

Photo: Miu Miu

Miuccia Prada took Miu Miu to new heights by staging the FW21 fashion show 9,000 ft above sea level. Models, dressed warmly in oversized puffers, faux fur coats with matching knee-length boots, gloves and clutches paraded down the snowy mountains of Cortina d’Amepzzo for the show. The house’s signature embellished mini dresses were layered with wooly knits and thick-soled boots. A footwear trend that can’t be missed – chunky faux fur boots seemingly made an appearance on several runway shows this season. You’ll be sure to see them in a big way in the coming season. 


Photo: Schaiparelli

Creative Director Daniel Roseberry has really found his footing at the surrealist house of Schaiparelli. Fashion enthusiasts such as Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian have all been sported wearing his jaw-dropping designs recently and it’s easy to see why. He goes big with the silhouettes (and shoes), while traditional wardrobe essentials, such as white shirts, little black dresses, and cream coloured knits are served up with unexpected detailing and embellishments –nothing is off-limits, from surrealist emblems (locks, florals, doves) to almost every body part imaginable. 

See also: Fashion files: Tod’s Fall/Winter 2021 womenswear collection

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