This year’s Fashion Week was indeed a historical one given the circumstances the current global pandemic has forced upon us.
The organisation process of runway shows had to be conscious of new sanitary mandates and social distancing regulations, which pushed fashion insiders to think out of the box and adapt to our new normal.
And on September 29th 2020, Fashion Night Couture rose to the challenge- with grace, adaptability and innovation.
Not only was this epic event a triumphant return to the runway, it was also the 10th year anniversary of the company.
So how does one celebrate an entire decade of exclusive fashion shows, brilliant designers, excellent craftsmanship, prominent media coverage and renowned venues?
With an amazing theme bien sûr! And this year, the choice was to honor the iconic designer, Mr. Yves Saint Laurent.
As the we all know, Mr. YSL is indeed a Couture legend whose work, passion and legacy are forever cemented in Fashion History as one of the world’s most esteemed designers.
YSL’s career trajectory is a success story that began when he was catapulted into the spotlight-as the young successor to Mr. Christian Dior upon the latter’s passing- and found himself at the helm of the Haute Couture House at the tender age of 21. By 1958, his first Dior collection was such a success that he was crowned the Prince of Paris by the international press and Parisians alike. He eventually branched out on his own, creating his eponymous Fashion House, which eventually opened the door to a ready-to-wear line; cosmetics, perfumes, jewelry, costume designs, a listing on the Paris Bourse, and to a host of awards, including the French Legion of Honor.
But Yves Saint Laurent was more than just his accomplishments and honors, the narrative that his life presented to the world is still relevant today and is ever more impactful during our current complex era.
The causes he championed and represented due to his life’s experiences such as women empowerment, equal representation and mental health, can be seen as staggering themes that were particularly strong this year.
According to recent studies, women’s careers are at stake now more than ever (due to caregiving duties during lockdown), the fight for racial equality is at the forefront of the global stage like we’ve never seen before, and now more than ever, the conversation on the importance of mental health is happening at all levels of our societies. Needless to say, the choice of YSL for the 2020 Edition of Fashion Night Couture is more fitting than ever.
The designers were thus presented with the creative assignment to innovate and modernise the classic codes of Mr. Saint Laurent, without losing their signature essence, highlighting the YSL ethos and staying connected to the beat of this new age’s rhythm.
Beyond the ornate and luxurious theads of his designs, Mr. Saint Laurent once said of overcoming difficult times: “I have known the prison of depression and the confinement of hospital. But one day, I was able to come through all of that, dazzled yet sober. His words show how one can come out of a hard season, stronger, wiser and still dazzle the world. And what a dazzle this year’s show has been in his honor!
The Yves Saint Laurent theme assigned by Fashion Night Couture was perfectly respected- and celebrated- by the designers.
So what exactly is the” YSL Look” ?
It’s the Parisian Rive Gauche aesthetic that was fostered and cultivated by YSL over the span of 50 years.
During Mr. Laurent’s golden career, he impacted the way modern women would dress: making tailored trousers a day-to-night essential, turning peacoats and chic trench coats into go-to pieces, putting city girls into safari jackets, leopard prints and most notably, making “le smoking“, the iconic must-have in every fashionista’s closet.
Needless to say, the bar was raised very high. And the challenge? Dutifully accepted by all 8 participating Fashion Houses.
The exquisite not-to-be-missed Fashion event featured talented and independent stylists and designers of the moment. Their creations will adorn 52 diverse models from all over Europe.
Below is the list of the fashion houses that presented their collections made up of 16 exceptional outfits including 3 in homage to the YSL theme. These on-the-rise brands of elegance, have dedicated their work ethic to upholding the traditional French savoir-faire and commitment to preserving this sacred artisanal heritage which is at heart of French couture.
So with no further due, the Journey To Lovely also celebrates these inspiring talents- their amazing journeys, commitment to excellence and ornate work:
1. READY LADY « MIEL ET FRAISE »
2. LC INCLUSIVE FASHION « RHAPSODY EN V »
3. GALAXIA KENNEDY « YOU AND ME FOR EVER »
4. SEVERINE M « RENAISSANCE »
5. MARIE FRANCE VERNABEL « CONNEXIONS »
6. K-RPEDIEM CREATIONS « LA TRAVERSEE »
7. LAURENT DOHET REMY « ALCHIMIE »
8. MIRA BELLE « BLACK AND WHITE »
During the intermission, the lovely Montmartre brand « MIRA BELLE» presented over 20 hats accompanied by the fabulous costume designer ALEXIANE DE MELLO.
The host of designers collectively paid homage to the Couture giant’s legacy by creating and showcasing stunning collections inspired by his legendary aesthetic, all while staying true to their brands’s DNA.
And to crown the show, there was even a YSL doppelgänger, who graced the runway and mesmerised the crowd!
The designers were able to create an inspiring YSL experience with their personal touch, full of creative and visual enjoyment.
Held at the prestigious Salon des Miroirs, a Unesco protected site, the 10th anniversary of Fashion Night Couture was a brilliant success thanks to the devoted and passionate work of the entire F.N.C. team, Factory Graff and the lovely Mrs. Keri-Lise Anderson.
Indeed, the organisers of this iconic Haute Couture event showed their unwavering commitment to excellence and bringing their vision to life. The fabulous function was held at the ornate and luxurious “Salon Des Mirroirs”, which is a UNESCO protected site and one of the most opulent architectural creations in the world.
A crimson-red runway carpet adorned the middle of the establishment, on which over 40 international models gracefully walked down, wearing the most fabulous designs inspired by Mr. Saint Laurent himself.
Furthermore, to the delight of all attendees, there was a post-runway showroom. This most pleasant new addition, allowed both the press and guests to connect, network and mingle with designers and get a closer look at their luxurious designs.
It was indeed an elegant affair that lived up to Fashion Night Couture’s commitment to true excellence, quality craftsmanship and showcasing reputable creative talents.
The Age of Covid has definitely ushered in a new era in the fashion world, and the organisation of runway shows has not been left unaffected. Indeed, it stands to question if 2020 will be the year of the digital fashion show with more and more designers presenting their collections via online broadcasts. The world as we know it has forever changed and the fashion industry, like every other industry around the globe, has had to adapt, pivot and change to accommodate the new normal. Fashion Night Couture has done just that with its online broadcasting option of the show and a whopping number of viewers had eagerly tuned in. Indeed, over 42,000 Internet users watched the show from the comfort of their personal spaces when the average viewership has been between 25,000 and 28,00, sending the servers in a literal frenzy!
That is an incredible feat for the Fashion Night Couture team and an immense virtual expansion, which highlights the fact that although the new Covid phenomenon has been difficult for many reasons, in all it’s complexities, it has still caused an historic cataclysmic effect where fashion brands are harnessing innovative methods and fostering amazing digital tools to bring their creative visions to life on the world stage.
So although the ongoing pandemic did pose a threat to the status quo of runway shows and the way in which collections are presented, it came with a blessing in disguise. It has resulted in the lovely gift of freedom, granting to both designers and consumers across the globe to opportunity to connect with each other on their own time. But moreover, much like Mr. Yves Saint Laurent has always championed, it has pushed the envelope on the democratisation of fashion, equalising the exclusivity of access to the shows.
And with the digital broadcast of the Fashion Night Couture event, the designers were able to reach more people than ever!
Conversely, because of the health risks of the ongoing pandemic, it was crucial to the Fashion Night Couture team that they uphold the State-sanctioned sanitary guidelines (safe distancing and masks), as well as limit the number of physical attendees by establishing an invite-only event.
Therefore, the honourable guests were handpicked and were in their own little world as they attended the live show in person. As they basked in the aura of excellence, beauty and creativity under the inspirational guidance of YSL, the attendees gleefully enjoyed the presence of the presenters, the media, the designers, the models and their teams. It was surely a joy to experience this level of high-quality presentation by eight of the most elegant French Fashion Houses to celebrate this landmark 10th Edition.
The phenomenal Fashion Night Couture Founders and their Team definitely did a wonderful job with this particularly special Edition.
Indeed, Mr. Noel and Mrs. Keri-Lise, the passionate media team and Factory Graff composed a winning team that has found the secret to organising critically acclaimed fashion shows, in luxurious settings and with state of the art media coverage.
Not only did this year’s Edition saw its online viewership explode with record numbers, it was truly an effervescent fashion juxtaposition of colors, structures, shapes and textures that in a decade of events, have become synonymous with the Fashion Night Couture’s modus operandi.
The 10th Edition was a true feast for the eyes, that not only displayed the current trends of Parisian fashion but definitely would have made Mr. Saint Laurent nod approvingly with his signature smile.
Indeed, Fashion Night Couture crowned their 10 year milestone with elevated inspiration and style. The esteemed establishment ultimately defined what luxurious fashion shows should express and raised the bar as true masters of the art of fashion.
The Journey To Lovely congratulates Fashion Night Couture on successfully executing their 10 year anniversary Edition. Bravo!
To conclude in Mr. Yves Saint Laurent’s now classic words:
“Fashion fades, style is eternal”
– Yves Saint Laurent.
What are your thoughts on the 10th Anniversary Edition of Fashion Night Couture?
How does Mr. Yves Saint Laurent inspire you? Are there any looks that stood out to you?
Share in the comments below!