The Download: Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2024
Loewe also looked to the past for its autumn/winter 2024 show. Inspired by American artist Albert York, the brand crafted intricate masterpieces, France

The Download: Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2024

Cutting through the chaos and overwhelming nature of fashion month, we distil the key insights from Paris Fashion Week.

The global fashion community gathered in Paris between 26 February and 5 March 2024 for the last stop in fashion month. Rick Owens and Coperni presented futuristic shows, while Balenciaga and Vetements looked to present-day popular culture as a point of reference (Team Jolie all the way). But at Vivienne Westwood and Rokh, the inspiration was unexpectedly found in the Renaissance.

Westwood’s Autumn/Winter 2024 ready-to-wear presentation was creative director Andreas Kronthaler’s ode to his and the late Dame Vivienne Westwood’s shared love of history. ‘I decided to look at late Renaissance costumes because I went to a Giovanni Battista Moroni exhibition in Milan which reminded me very much of the beginning of working with Vivienne,’ Kronthaler wrote in a statement.

Key Takeaways

: Paris Fashion Week merged history with modern designs. At Vivienne Westwood and Rokh, Renaissance-inspired elements were a prominent theme on the runway

: Balenciaga introduced sustainability through creative invitations, emphasising circularity and repurposing vintage objects while 90% of Stella McCartney's ready-to-wear collection was crafted from eco-friendly materials

: Designers like Hermès, Sacai, and Acne explored the concept of 'fashion as armor,' creating collections with utilitarian and protective elements

Presented alongside an eclectic performance of yodelling, axe-wielding and a bottom-drumming dance, the collection was centred around Renaissance-inspired codpieces, for male and female models alike, paired with period-bending conical breasts, platform boots and swathes of tartan – Westwood’s signature.

South Korean designer Rokh Hwang looked to both the High Renaissance and Romanticism to inform his work. The former for the ‘classical ideals of human form, focusing on perfection and harmony’ epitomised at the time, and the latter for its emphasis on ‘individualism and emotion, exploring raw human experiences and irrational aspects of existence’.

The resulting combination featured deconstructed trench coats paired with lace corsets and petticoats. One model walked the runway completely engulfed from head to foot in a tapestry representing a Renaissance Mannerist painting of a male angel.

Maxhosa autumn/winter 2024 lookbook, France
Maxhosa autumn/winter 2024 lookbook, France
MaXhosa autumn/winter 2024 lookbook, France MaXhosa autumn/winter 2024 lookbook, France

African fashion begins a new chapter in Paris

The only Africa-based brand on the official schedule, MaXhosa Africa, showcased its autumn/winter 2024 collection, My Conviction. Chief creative director Laduma Ngxokolo was making its debut at Paris Fashion Week, bringing a fusion of Xhosa (an ethnic group native to South Africa) tradition and contemporary design to the global stage.

The collection, a tribute to the brand’s 13-year journey, featured revamped elements from past collections, blending authenticity with innovation. ‘I revisited some of the ideas I had in the past and changed them a little bit,’ the designer told Haute Couture News – emphasising the importance of preserving African culture in contemporary fashion.

The event wasn’t just a runway show but a cultural event held at the Residence of the Ambassador of South Africa to France. During the presentation, Ngxokolo narrated South African folklore stories in an attempt to challenge Western perceptions of African fashion and promote the integration of culture into daily wear.

Reflecting on the global potential of African fashion, the designer told WWD: ‘I believe we, the African continent, stand a good chance to play a big part in the global value eco-system of the fashion business.’ With MaXhosa’s unique blend of tradition and modernity, the brand aims to make a lasting impact on the international fashion scene. Keep an eye on our Fashion section for our upcoming analysis of the African fashion market.

Opening her autumn/winter 2024 show, Stella McCartney presented the brand’s 2024 sustainability manifesto, France

New codes of sustainability

Fashion weeks are inevitably a time of excess and Paris was no exception. But if you looked closely enough, nods to new codes of sustainability were emerging.

Balenciaga set the stage before the shows even began, with an unusual invitation in the form of an eBay package. Inside, each guest unwrapped a unique vintage offering from creative director Demna Gvasalia, with an invitation reading: ‘The Winter 24 invitation is a random object found on eBay, the platform used by Demna to search for antique collectibles. These inspire the imagination of personal stories, which gives the objects a new life.’ The invitation acted as a creative endorsement of circularity, something Balenciaga would have done well to further incorporate into its catwalk show.

Meanwhile, Stella McCartney’s winter 2024 collection was presented as a ‘message from Mother Earth’ that it’s ‘about f*cking time’ to make some changes’. The designs drew inspiration from the draped, light dresses McCartney’s late mother, Linda McCartney, wore, as well as referencing the image of the girl boss through power suits with strong shoulders. This season, 90% of the brand’s ready-to-wear collection was crafted from sustainable materials such as Uppeal, one of the plant-based leathers redefining luxury. For more insights on materials, head to our analysis of Material Matters 2023.

Acne Studios autumn/winter 2024, France Acne Studios autumn/winter 2024, France
Acne Studios autumn/winter 2024, France Acne Studios autumn/winter 2024, France

Fashion as everyday armour

At Paris Fashion Week, designers turned clothes into everyday armour – or, as we coined on LS:N Global in 2023, Safety Fits. Rain might have been falling from the ceiling at Hermès, but the models were well protected. In her show notes, creative director Nadège Vanhée described the collection, The Rider, as one designed for an urban woman ready to brave the elements – brazenly riding a bike or a horse towards new adventures. Models were donned in head-to-toe leather, thick riding boots and studded dresses with small purses tied to their waist, ready for any chic combat.

Inspired by the quote ‘fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life’, Chitose Abe, founder and creative director of Sacai, also referenced the ‘emotional protection’ that clothing can afford its wearer. For Abe, this took the form of boxy silhouettes, oversized utilitarian jackets with high-necked tops peeking out and huge, inflated pockets.

Meanwhile, Acne’s collection was inspired by Estonian artist Villu Jaanisoo’s ‘mechanical’ treatment of objects. In the almost apocalyptic collection models wore full-length trucker denim dresses, Icelandic shearling coats and leather dresses with in-built armoured breastplates, accessorised with padlocks for earrings and gunmetal necklaces. As analysed in our New York Fashion Week download, utilitarian safety fits were featured in the collection of brands such as Helmut Lang and Tory Burch.

I believe we, the African continent, stand a good chance to play a big part in the global value eco-system of the fashion business

Laduma Ngxokolo, chief creative director, MaXhosa Africa

Strategic opportunities

: Explore the fusion of historical elements with modern designs. Consider creating collections that draw inspiration from different historical periods, such as the Renaissance, to bring a unique and timeless aesthetic to your brand

: Identify where unsustainable materials such as leather are used in your industry and begin experimenting with plant-based alternatives such as Uppeal

: Consumers and designers naturally turn to fashion to make a statement in the face of our looming permacrisis. Find inspiration in the Paris Fashion Week shows. How can you infuse activism into the mundane?

: Embrace the fusion of cultural elements in product design, not limited to fashion. Incorporate diverse cultural influences into products and services to appeal to a wider global audience while celebrating authenticity

Further reading

Discover More Big Ideas
Six Smart Glasses Innovations With Eyes on the Future

Big Ideas

Six Smart Glasses Innovations With Eyes on the Future

Meet the innovators redefining the wearable tech market with smart glasses that blend fashion, functionality and AI to transform daily life with in...
Design : Technology : Smart Glasses
Five Champagne and Wine Brands Exploring Provenance Retail

Big Ideas

Five Champagne and Wine Brands Exploring Provenance Retail

Moving away from the traditional store experience, champagne and wine brands are using authentic storytelling to disrupt how and where consumers vi...
Wine : Retail : Champagne
BoF Professional Summit 2024: Innovating Fashion’s Tech Frontier

Big Ideas

BoF Professional Summit 2024: Innovating Fashion’s Tech Frontier

Pioneers from the fashion and technology sectors gathered in New York to explore the tech-led trends shaping fashion innovation.
Luxury : Technology : Events
Regenerative Homes

Big Ideas

Regenerative Homes

Moving beyond net-zero carbon housing, eco-conscious architects worldwide are building sustainable homes by prioritising innovative materials, loca...
Architecture : Design : Sustainability
SXSW 2024 Debrief: A Transformative Era

Big Ideas

SXSW 2024 Debrief: A Transformative Era

Abundant innovation is on the horizon, but individuals face the challenge of adapting to rapid change. As SXSW showcases pioneers eager to advance,...
Technology : Marketing : Media
Skiing’s New Frontiers

Big Ideas

Skiing’s New Frontiers

Amid shifting snowfall patterns, the next generation of global ski destinations is emerging in unexpected locations, challenging traditional alpine...
Skiing : Climate Crisis : Travel
Retail Staff Futures

Big Ideas

Retail Staff Futures

There is a new chapter ahead for the retail workforce amid post-pandemic challenges, AI integration and consumers’ thirst for human connection.
Future Of Work : Retail : Technology
The Download: Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2024

Big Ideas

The Download: Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2024

Cutting through the chaos and overwhelming nature of fashion month, we distil the key insights from Paris Fashion Week.
Luxury : Fashion : Design
Mobile World Congress 2024: The Future of Connectivity

Big Ideas

Mobile World Congress 2024: The Future of Connectivity

Industry leaders, emerging start-ups and tech giants gathered at Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona to explore the future of connectivity in a...
Technology : Pop-culture & Media : Design
The Download: Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2024

Big Ideas

The Download: Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2024

Cutting through the chaos and overwhelming nature of fashion month, we distil the key insights from Milan Fashion Week.
Luxury : Fashion : Design
You have 2 free News articles remaining. Sign up to LS:N Global to get unlimited access to all articles.
BECOME A MEMBER
SIGN IN

What do we use cookies for?

We use cookies to enable the use of our platform’s paid features and to analyse our traffic. No personal data, including your IP address, is stored and we do not sell data to third parties.

Learn more