Next spring, it will be 1993 – in fashion years, at least.
That was the news from Givenchy, where the designer Clare Waight Keller named next season’s collection NY Paris 1993. The entrance to the show was lined with liveried waiters who handed each guest a Givenchy-stamped paper bag containing a single salty New York pretzel.
On the catwalk, baggy jeans were worn with high-heeled mules, stonewashed denim skirts with bare knees and calf-length boots. Kaia Gerber, daughter of 90s supermodel Cindy Crawford, wore a satin bra top and black leather.
After reading Allison Yarrow’s 2018 book 90s Bitch: Media, Culture and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality, Waight Keller found herself looking differently at that decade. “The book made me realise how sexualised women were in that era, and how little we recognised that at the time – and how what happened then led to where we are now. The fashion of that era is so raw. You had a slip dress on, a bra top – you were almost naked.”
Waight Keller wanted to revisit the era but with a more enlightened outlook of “liberated femininity”. Hemlines became longer, fabrics got tougher. “More armoured,” as the designer put it backstage. A modern sensibility prompted Waight Keller to source surplus 90s jeans languishing in a warehouse outside Paris, and upcycle them into this season’s denim. A jeans revival is emerging as a theme at this Paris fashion week, after Hedi Slimane’s Celine collection gave a starring role to 1970s style flares.
Earlier on Sunday there were many strange things about Balenciaga’s catwalk show. The inflatable puffer jackets, which swelled high above the shoulders to give models the silhouette of Gru from Despicable Me. There was also a lurid blue stage set inspired by the European parliament and credit cards were worn as earrings.