The year 2020 feels like a pivotal moment in time for humankind. Technological advances over the past few decades have allowed for the exchange of intersubjective realities at an unprecedented level, and subsequently the world’s economies have become more interdependent than ever before. There are seemingly endless advantages to these developments, yet there are also global responsibilities and challenges that accompany such growth and threaten to overwhelm us. As we look back at the Top 10 Fall 2020 Fashion Shows, it is apparent that each house has its own idiosyncratic vision of the future. Yet they all communicate a message of strength and hope as the most effective ways to combat the challenges ahead, and champion a spirit of unity as the method for finding solutions to problems such as climate change and global inequality.
The Top 10 shows communicated their messages of strength, hope, and unity through house codes and also through the designer’s unique vision. For many such as Celine, Burberry, and Valentino the message manifested in a blending of traditionally masculine and feminine looks through collections that subverted traditional gender codes, and this included a mix of female, male and non-binary models on the runway as well. Louis Vuitton and Rick Owens presented a vision of the future in which technology will be the antidote, with innovations that are designed to protect. Prada, N°21 and Fendi looked to find strength in the power individuals (…or in the case of Fendi, in the inherent duality of “potent femininity”), serving as a reminder that only through self-actualization can individuals make impactful contributions that serve the greater good. Maison Margiela addressed climate change head-on with upcycled fabrications that were breathtaking, proving that sustainable clothing can be exquisitely luxurious. Lastly, Gucci brought forth an opus exploring the concept of youth with whimsical references to early stages of the ego’s development, in striking juxtaposition to tear-streaked eye-liner running down the faces of the child-like models. Seemingly a metaphor for Generation Z, who will inherit the world that Boomers and Gen-Xers and Millennials bequeath, it felt like a call-to-action for the grown-ups to get it together and start implementing solutions before it is too late. As the Top 10 Shows espouse: strength, hope, and unity are the essential tools that will enable humankind to manifest a future in which fair and ethical treatment exists for all of the planet’s citizens.
Here are The Impression Top 10 Women’s Paris fashion shows of Fall 2020 season as selected by our Chief Impressionist, Kenneth Richard.