Parisian transport strike causing chaos for men’s fashion week

Paris men’s fashion week began Tuesday with the
French capital in the grip of a 41-day transport strike that has already
led to
the cancellation of one show.

The men’s collections dovetail into the elite haute couture shows next
week, with the French label Christophe Josse so hit by the chaos that it was
forced to bow out.

“We found ourselves unable to present our collection,” the label said,
because of the delays which strikes caused with their suppliers.
As the elaborate haute couture creations are all made laboriously by hand
in small workshops in and around Paris, the brand said it had no choice but
to
pull its show.

The US label RR 331 had earlier given up its highly-coveted haute couture
slot, although they denied that the French strikes had anything to do with
their decision, saying “we will be back in Paris in July”.

With many models and fashionistas criss-crossing Paris several times a
day
by taxi or metro in normal circumstances, the French fashion federation has
doubled the number of buses it is laying on between shows.

Even so, with up to 12 shows a day in the official line-up and many more
outside it, the gridlock on the city’s streets is likely to be highly
disruptive.

Infamous transportation strike in Paris laying stress on AW20/21
fashion week

A top stylist, who declined to be named, told AFP that the strikes
were
causing havoc in an industry where last-minute changes mean teams sometimes
work around the clock to have clothes ready for the runway.
“Getting around has become a nightmare. It all adds to what is even in
the
best of times an extremely stressful situation,” she added.

Some of the temporary staff she hired for fashion weeks — often from
Italy, Spain and Belgium — were reluctant to travel to the French capital
to
work given the rail disruption, she added.
There were signs, however, Tuesday that the record-breaking strike over
pension reforms may finally be easing.

Paris fashion week men’s dwarfing the numbers of the other big three
weeks

Despite the industrial action, Paris still dominates the fashion
landscape,
with the 53 official men’s runway shows overshadowing Brexit-hit London,
Milan and
New York.

Men’s fashion week kicked off Tuesday evening with the edgy Chinese label
Sankuanz’s heavily punk-inspired show thick with “Break the wall” slogans.
American West Coast rappers were later out in force for the Paris debut
of
Rhude, the label founded by Philippines-born designer Rhuigi
Villasenor.

The show began with taiko Japanese drumming, with Los Angeles-based
Villasenor telling AFP that he was out to create clothes that were
practical and “timeless that will live through the ages and trends”.

Abloh designs two collections and art show in Paris

But the frenzied merry-go-round of shows and presentations to
begin today with big-hitters like JW Anderson, Raf Simons, Valentino and
the hyperactive American Virgil Abloh.

He will stage his own Off-White show 24 hours before he unveils his
collection for Louis Vuitton, which he also designs.
With his millions of followers, Abloh has already won the week’s social
media war by sharing images of a Louis Vuitton clock that ticks backwards
in a
countdown to his show which he has sent out as an invitation to the
event.

He described it as a “literal piece of time” and fashionistas are already
calling it a collector’s item.
“The clock is rewired to spin backwards,” he said. “There’s a metaphor in
that, but also, as they say, ‘A broken clock is right twice a day’.”

As well as his two fashion shows, the
architect-turned-artist-turned-designer is also opening his latest
art/furniture show at the Kreo gallery in the French capital.(AFP)

Sankuanz AW20/21, Catwalkpictures

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