Sofia Achaval de Montaigu’s Paris Fashion Week FW ’23 Diary



Sofia Achaval de Montaigu attends the Christian Dior Womenswear Fall Winter 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week (Getty Images)

The Daily Front Row‘s perennially chic correspondent Sofia Achaval de Montaigu has been soaking up the glamour in Europe. Below, she fills us in on all the highlights and the unforgettable moments that took place in Paris during the Fall Winter ’23 show schedule. 

Paco Rabanne

This was the brand’s first show since its namesake founder passed away last month. The collection, created by Julien Dossena, was called “Chasing Dreams” and it was a true homage to the late designer’s greatest hits, such as the Icon 1969 bag. The show began with knitwear, and slowly but surely, crystals, sparkles, feathers and the trademark metal creations began to show up. These eventually gave way to iterations of the famous aluminum mini dresses. This season, there were also five printed dresses with Salvador Dali’s work; explained by videos played by the brand which revealed the relationship between the designer and the surrealist artist. We could also see lingerie-style lace cutout dresses, but without a doubt, the most spectacular moment was when the evening wear emerged, in a wide selection of silver and gold. One of the designs that caught my eye the most was a long gold dress with metallic fringes that moved alongside the model creating a sparkly effect with the runway lights. The show took place at the Museé d’Art Moderne in Paris, and sitting in the first row was an array of celebrities like Jemima Kirke, Lisa Rinna, Pierre Hardy, and Jean Paul Gaultier, among others.


Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior’s creative director, paid homage to Christian Dior’s sister, Catherine Dior, in a collection named “Valquiria Miss Dior.”. The Jardin des Tuileries was transformed by a textile installation with lights created by Joana Vasconcelos, which incorporated woven fabrics inspired by the brand’s historical archives through fabric sculptures, which resulted in a feminine yet strong ambiance. The ’50s-inspired offering alluded to Catherine’s specialty: flowers. Dior’s sister was a florist and a botanist, and Chiuri’s offering was a floral collection in dark tones, where black was the dominant hue. The line included suits with the trademark New Look silhouette for modern women. In addition, shirts with rolled up sleeves were combined with midi skirts and sleeveless crewneck dresses with embroidered black stones had transparent detailing which made the underwear come through, while long angora sweaters were also teamed with midi skirts. Dior’s show is one of the most highly-anticipated ones so it was no surprise to see a great crowd, including Stella Banderas, Charlize Theron, Gal Gadot, Antonia Gentry, and Maisie Williams.


(Courtesy of Dior)

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen presented its latest collection created by Sarah Burton at Cour du dome des Invalides, where a crowd of fans awaited the arrival of celebrities like Eddie Redmayne, Elle Fanning, Evan Mock, Shygirl, and Sadie Sink. At the venue, projections of what looked like red orchids were seen over the walls that surrounded the guests, hinting at what was to come. At that moment, Naomi Campbell opened the show with a black siren floor-length dress with a princess-style neckline, completed by a big silver earring. Tailoring is always a strong point, and this time we saw double-breasted dresses and men’s leather trousers and oversized shirts. Corsets were also seen combined with dresses with voluminous skirts and smart trousers. A look that stood out was a black and white one-piece with a deep neckline and accentuated shoulders, combined with little silver earrings and rings, which dazzled all of the attendees. Models walked to the beat of the soundtrack of Alexander McQueen’s FW 1998 show, called “Ring of Fire,”, but interpreted backwards. Among the accessories, silver and individual earrings and little handbags with metallic straps stood out.


Valentino’s latest proposal had tailoring as its main axis. The venue chosen to present “Valentino Black Tie” was the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild. The collection presented several designs under a classic color palette where black and white were the protagonists, but it also included pink, green, yellow, and red. Pierpaolo Piccioli turned ties into a key item to include not only in shirts or suits, but also to team with classic little black dress, mini and maxi skirts, trousers, and even shorts.  Feathers were present in all of my favorite looks, such as a black and white matching set that included a mini skirt and a white shirt. A black blouse with big white polka dots was another major moment on the runway, combined with a skirt with a daring slit that left the leg bare when walking. Square toe leather boots and dark sunglasses completed all the looks, creating a perfect mix of masculinity and femininity. In the front row, Brooklyn and Nicola Peltz Beckham were the focus of the photographers’ attention, followed by Nick and Priyanka Chopra Jonas and actress Florence Pugh.

Louis Vuitton

The entrance to Louis Vuitton’s show was a true display of celebrities, among which was Zendaya who captivated everyone in a matching animal print shorts and blazer set. She was followed by other celebrities like Sophie Turner, Urassaya Sperbund, Antonella Roccuzzo, Pharrell Williams, Emma Stone, and Jaden Smith. The show took place in a hall from the Museé de Orsay, whose Beaux-Arts decoration offered a counterpoint to the installation created by Philippe Parreno and James Chinlund, which reproduced one of Paris’ cobblestone streets. In addition, sound designer Nicolas Becerril created a soundtrack that mimicked car honks, plane sounds, dog barks, and high heels against the floor. This collection was inspired in the ever-moving Parisian life. This idea was strengthened by the models, who walked quickly down the runway wearing maxi coats, ’90s skirts, and extra large scarves while earthy hues and grays dominated the color palette. One of the standout looks was a pair of straight trousers with strategic cutouts over the knees and smoking collar coats with big shoulder pads. Oversized sweaters had little belts over them to accentuate the waist; my favorite being a camel cross blazer, black leather leggings, and a yellow bag.


Chanel presented its new FW ’23 collection at the Grand Palais Ephémere, which held a double circular runway with a huge 16 petal camellia at each end, creating a perfect stage. For this collection, the inspiration was the heroine from the ’60s film “Who are you, Polly Maggoo?” and it included a series of long coats, flared trousers, and woven jerseys in black and white.
The first look was one of my favorites: a long, straight cross lapel coat with a white camellia print over black little squares, making it clear that this collection would be all about clean basic cuts and a lingering vibe between the ’60s and Chanel’s traditional spirit. Without a doubt, the star of the collection were the wide-leg flared trousers in wool, combined with knitted jerseys decorated with pom poms and geometric prints. Sure to be a must-have, the knee-length boots and lacy stockings offered a sense of rebellion to the pretty looks. Flowers were also present everywhere: embroidered, on buttons, in earrings, and in mini handbags. They were even there on the models’ hair, styled in a half ponytail. There was a camellia in each seat as a present for each guest, among which were celebrities like Charlotte Casiraghi, Penélope Cruz, Zoe Saldana, Gala Gordon, and Imán Perez.

Miu Miu

Paris Fashion Week came to an end with Miu Miu’s presentation at Palais d’lena. Almost 50 screens were located over the walls and columns, projecting the construction of the set for the show, and a white tube of light and a matching iron backdrop. Artist Jeong Geum-hyunh collaborated on the collection designed by Miuccia Prada, with Lotta Volkova as the stylist, who had Emma Corrin wearing a camel jersey and a paillette golden culotte walking down the runway, in an outfit completed by black socks and orange shoes. Mia Goth’s participation in opening the show was another big moment for the brand. On the runway, we saw classic fabrics such as velveteen, tweed and leather, combined in a perfectly balanced way with sheer fabrics, sequins, and colored socks. Other clothing items like bomber jackets, blazers, coats, and even suits with exaggerated necklines gave the collection a youthful vibe. In terms of color, Miuccia Prada chose very vivid ones: blue, fuchsia, orange, purple, and yellow. Monochromatic looks, in particular an orange-hued one comprised of a midi skirt with matching socks, a blouse embroidered with flowers, brown shoes and glasses, gave the collection an intellectual feel. Flat shoes were another highlight, and we saw them both with shoelaces and with buckles, complementing serious and sporty looks alike. Paillette underwear was the true star of the collection, and after the show, Miuccia Prada said: “I love it! If I were younger, I would go out in panties!” The hair and make up was left natural, even leaning towards tousled bed hair, created from balloon static for more of an “undone” look. Sitting in the front row were Jessica Alba, Lena Mahlouf, Brooklyn and Nicole Peltz Beckham, Poppy Delevigne, and Shalom Brune Franklin.

Until next time! 

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