Unveiling the Darkness at Valentino, Duran Lantink’s Ski Armour, Mugler’s Vampiric Essence, Zimmerman, Stella McCartney and Sacai

3 min read
Zimmermann Autumn Winter 2024

This season in Paris, we’ve witnessed a vivid mosaic of contrasts, yet themes of darkness and conflict persistently emerge, both subtly and blatantly. On Sunday, the somber elegance of Valentino’s ‘black widows’ stood in stark contrast to Duran Lantink’s exuberant and colourful ski armour, while Mugler’s theatrical allure drew from the brand’s vampiric archives.

The motifs of safeguarding and lamentation are palpable, reflecting the fashion industry’s navigation through a peculiar and transformative period.

All images: Spotlight/Launchmetrics.

Sunday March 3rd


Pierpaolo Piccioli’s fall collection for Valentino, dominated by an all-black palette, reflects the designer’s contemplative stance on current global sentiments. Embracing black, fashion’s quintessential hue, Piccioli delves into the theme of masculine-feminine duality, a hallmark of his creative narrative, by reinterpreting Valentino’s 1980s house codes. The collection subtly challenges traditional power dressing, blending suit jackets with sheer chiffon baby dolls and adorning micro tunic dresses with rose-like fabric whorls, encapsulating a modern take on executive chic. Signature Valentino ruffles grace sheer blouses paired with A-line skirts and biker boots, while ethereal evening gowns strike a balance between revelation and concealment, showcasing Piccioli’s adept manipulation of fabric and form to comment on the times.


Duran Lantink


Duran Lantink, after impressing at the LVMH Prize with his spring 2024 collection known for its bold exploration of shape, returned with an equally innovative fall collection. This time, he shifted his focus from the lightness of summer to the warmth of winter, incorporating ski sweaters, long johns, and wool socks, alongside sharp tailoring. Lantink continued to challenge conventional silhouettes, notably exaggerating shoulders and thickening torsos with padding in sweater dresses, jackets, and cropped leather or upcycled puffer pieces, aiming to redefine clothing presentation and identity.




Casey Cadwallader’s fall collection for Mugler, infused with theatricality and spectacle, diverged from the mundane to evoke joy and allure. Inspired by Mugler’s legacy and Zendaya’s viral robot suit moment, the show unfolded in three acts, blending drama with fashion. Spotlighted silhouettes of Precious Lee and Paloma Elsesser, alongside veterans like Kristen McMenamy, traversed the runway amidst dry ice. Eschewing daywear for evening glamour, Cadwallader revisited the brand’s ’80s vampiric essence, presenting a collection rich in sheer corsetry, molded leather, and a partnership with artist Ambera Wellmann. Her erotic, surreal paintings adorned skin-tight garments, embodying Mugler’s bold, seductive ethos.


Monday March 4th
Stella McCartney
Sacai AW 24 Photos Spotlight/Launchmetrics

Chitose Abe’s recent Paris showcase was a vibrant testament to her 25-year journey of deconstructive design, a craft honed under the tutelage of Rei Kawakubo, the visionary behind Comme Des Garçons. Abe made a name for herself for her ability to hybridize fashion elements, deifying conventional categorization. This 46-look collection, comprised entirely of dresses, was a profound exploration of this theme.

A trench coat revealed layers of checked silk underneath, a black field jacket was seamlessly combined with a crisp, white-collar shirt, and a pinstripe blazer merged with a windowpane plaid kilt, all crafted as singular garments.

A standout piece was the pantaboots, a bold reinterpretation of tuxedo pants with silk stripes, which upon closer inspection, were over-the-knee boots merged with trouser bottoms. It was a narrative of evolution, drawing on her roots in deconstruction to push the boundaries of design, promising exciting prospects for both fashion aficionados and retailers.