The inspiration behind Paris fashion weeks top looks

Activists all over the world are struggling to make their voices heard and fight for what they believe in. They can’t seem to get their messages across in an effective way. Maybe they need to find a more creative way to speak to the world. But who would have thought that a group of models and some bold outfits would do just that?  

Paris fashion week marks the end of the long traveling circus of models who bounced from city to city each week to walk in some of the biggest fashion shows of the year. From New York to Milan, and now Paris, the world is starting to get a better understanding of what is behind each designer’s inspiration. Many of the high-end designers stepped up and used their creativity as well as their platform to bring to focus on some important issues currently taking place in our world.  

Balmain Model struts down the runway resembling a Ukrainian soldier. (photo credit:

With all of the terrible chaos occurring between Russia and Ukraine, designer brand Balmain brought the situation to center stage. On Wednesday, March 2, the models put on a moving performance to pay tribute to the Ukrainian soldiers desperately fighting for their country. Balmain used dancers to showcase some of their exquisite outfits and added hats that resembled soldier helmets along with thick boots that no doubt looked like combat boots. 

Some of the models even strutted down the runway in silver bodysuits mimicking full suits of body armor.  The dancers performed a routine where they fought one another to the chilling sound of drum music and spread chills through the crowd as they were encompassed by the overwhelming feeling of conflict and war. But the routine ended with the strong message of peace over conflict when the two lead “soldiers” kissed at the end. It was certainly a moment that will not be forgotten and that made Olivier Rousteing’s collection stand out. 

Balmain used their catwalk to bring attention to the biggest news story in the world at the moment, but the brand Chloé shed light on a topic that is discussed every year but is still a growing issue. Creative director Gabriela Hearst used her collection to focus more on climate change and conservation. The collection is supposedly based on the concept of rewilding, which is the restoration of land to its natural state as well as the repairing of ecosystems. 

The designer made sure her message was heard through little details from the show. The soundtrack the models walked to began with a slow jungle-like rhythm that incorporated chirping crickets, the light beat of a drum, as well as sounds of rustling grass. As the show continued the music gradually became more upbeat and lively. The music indicated how the ecosystem was being restored as time went on. 

Another minor detail that indicated a theme in the show was hidden amongst the bags some of the models carried. If you watch closely some of the models clutched bags with portraits of icebergs and polar bears on them. A few models even made their way down the runway in an outfit that showed an ecosystem sewn in only black and white color but on the back was the same image but crafted out of an array of different colors. One of the last details that symbolized the repair on the ecosystem was the fact that much of the collection was made out of over fabric.

Coperini model representing teenage rebellion in a redesigned school blazer. (photo credit:

It seems that Balmain and Chloé decided to touch on more pressing topics that are currently seen in the news media today. Coperini decided to speak more towards the struggling youth by having their collection center around the theme of rebellious youth. Many of the outfits seen represented teens breaking the school dress code and bringing their own style to their school attire. Models walked in nontraditional school blazers that had been turned into capes coming up over the model’s heads almost as a representation of teens hiding from their struggles as well as attempting to hide their looks from their peers. Some other outfits showed models wearing traditional schoolgirl outfits with mini skirts and high socks but with an angst spin on them such as incorporating leather and a more provocative style. There were even dresses that seemed to represent prom dresses except they were skin tight and restyled to fit the theme with slits.   

It wasn’t just the outfits that seemed to give off this defiant and high school theme but the setting of the show also greatly contributed. The models strode down the runway to a 90’s soundtrack taking breaks to allow for a voice to make an announcement over the “loudspeaker” like a typical high school morning announcement. The venue was also lined with metal gray lockers behind the audience. It was loud and clear that the actions and style of a disobedient teen were on the mind of Coperini’s style director. 

Saint Laurent model makes her way down the runway in a simple black dress accented with large and chunky bracelets. (photo credit:

Saint Laurent joined in with the other brands to use their platform to highlight a subject they feel is important. The brand centered its whole collection around the style of British writer and political activist Nancy Cunard’s style. Cunard used her position as a wealthy upper-class citizen to help in the fight against racism, still a heavy topic today. Saint Laurent took on the racism side of things by using a bland color palette of black, brown, and silver to depict a variety of skin colors. Cunard was also known to wear chunky jewelry so the collection featured many large and chunky pieces of jewelry to accessorize some of the outfits. The jewelry pieces included rings, bracelets, and necklaces all as a way to recognize the works of Cunard.  

While the other designer brands used their settings to go along with their theme, Saint Laurent broke the trend with other plans in mind. They made sure their show stood out from the others by making their show’s venue probably the most stunning with the lit-up Eiffel tower on display in the background. They may not have stuck to the theme of their outfits but certainly took the crowd’s breath away and pulled attention towards their show. 

As the models take their last steps on the runway for Paris fashion week closing out fashion month, critics are buzzing with a newfound appreciation for each cause the designers supported. It may not be just enough to bring an end to each of these matters at hand, but at least it is one step closer to turning the public’s eyes in that direction.