Dior’s Darlings
Creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri continued her quest to champion the female gaze at Dior, having successfully supercharged the French House with its feminist underpinning. This time she set out to reclaim the 1950s for France, the post-war era when Maison Dior changed both silhouette and what it meant to be a fashion business.

Looking at the grande dames of ’50s French society Édith Piaf, Catherine Dior (sister to Christian and member of the French resistance) and Juliette Gréco, Maria Grazia presented a collection that reimagined the house’s archive through clean lines, black boxy jackets and mid-length skirts. Originally designed by Yves Saint Laurent, who was Christian Dior’s assistant at the time, iconic shapes were given a modern makeover, rendered in tech, crinkled and quilted fabrics. The 1950s nostalgia was offset further by cinched-in denim and lug-sole boots; harmonising the old and the new.

Saint Laurent Shoulders
Anthony Vaccarello journeyed back to the ’80s era of power dressing for the Saint Laurent show held in a ballroom fit with decadent gold chandeliers (in fact on loan from the hotel Intercontinental!) with a valiant homage to the shoulder pad. In velvet, pinstripe and Prince of Wales check, jackets were given added shoulder oomph. Paired with skinny trousers, pencil skirts, satin plunge tank tops and the occasional pussy-bow blouse (carried over from his debut men’s collection earlier this year), Vaccarello's masterful tailored outwear was the star of the show. But will you stand shoulder to shoulder with this XXL trend, Saint Laurent insists that you must!

An intimate affair
Dries Van Noten’s softly romantic collection was a much-needed antidote to the drama and darkness of some of what we’ve seen so far . The designer aimed to celebrate the clothes we love and wear endlessly until they fall apart. The devil really was in the detail, fabric and fit, with clothes that looked lived in, patched together and mended to exist forever. Featuring pinstripe tailoring with raw hems; French lace embellished slip-dresses and quilt-like patchwork knitwear, Dries stripped away the polished veneer of what you might expect to see on the runway and instead presented a collection that looked belonged and cherished.

Remembering Rabanne
This season the house paid tribute to the space-age designer for the first Paco Rabanne show since the founder’s death last month at the age of 88. Creative director, Julien Dossena who has helmed the brand for a decade, continued his revived offering of cocktail looks for contemporary party-goers with chainmail, sequins and sculptural embellishments en masse.

Stand-out looks were floor-length evening dresses and skirts made from long shards of crystal that rustled as they shimmied down the runway. Sell-out shimmering evening bags, sure to capture the imagination of loyal devotees, featured throughout the collection and the show closed with a finale of five original Paco Rabanne metallic mini-dresses that looked as modern today as when they debuted in the 60s!

Shang Xia was electric
A decade on since Yang Li held his first eponymous show in Paris, the designer has forged a code of wearable but fresh wardrobe staples as he embarks on his third season as the creative director of Shang Xia. As one of the few Asian creative directors at an international brand, Yang Li draws from his heritage, with references to Chinese craft, last season adopting candy pastel colour combinations from watercolour traditions.

For AW23 his collection was an exploration of ‘duality’ and how symmetry and asymmetry coexist, offering a smorgasbord of expert cuts in mostly monochrome black, with fussy knitwear, circular cut-outs, asymmetric drapes and the occasional injection of lemon yellow, scarlet and lavender. The music fanatic soundtracked the collections to the riffs of a live electric guitar as models walked the runway in cut-out heeled mules and practical lace-up trainers. Another no-frills, expertly crafted collection from the designer paving a way for himself.