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Series: Guidelines for Things & People #14: Paris Fashion Week 24SS

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Mai Tsunoo / Design Writer
Mai Tsunoo / Design Writer

After graduating from Keio University's Faculty of Environmental Information, she worked for a manufacturer and served as an assistant to design engineer Shunji Yamanaka from 2012 to 2016. Subsequently, she spent a year in Scotland and is now working as a freelancer.
While searching for expressions to convey what needs to be conveyed, she writes for media outlets like "Nikkei Design" and handles exhibition composition and copywriting.
Her main works include the composition of the 70th-anniversary exhibition of the Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo, "The Possible Future of Science and Design" (The National Art Center, Tokyo·2018), and writing for "Insect Exhibition - Design Model" (21_21 Design Sight, 2019).
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In September of this year, Paris ushered in another fashion week season. It was an opportunity for each brand to announce their Spring/Summer 2024 collections. Like last year, I made a point to attend some of the brand's shows and presentations. Amidst the jazzy atmosphere, there is a sense of caution around the city.
By the way, the atmosphere of Paris Fashion Week is really different from Milan Design Week. I feel that while Design Week is generally open, Fashion Week feels very exclusive. Generally, only certain invitees can attend shows and presentations, and in the case of popular brands, it's like a game of musical chairs with the invitation seats. Famous celebrities are invited from all over, and out of the venue, a fashion photographer waiting with a camera on the tip of their hearing information.
While there are VIP and press sections at Milan Design Week, many of the exhibitions are free and open to students and the general public, creating a festival-like atmosphere in the city. I have even had conversations with taxi drivers about the exhibitions I've seen.
On the other hand, despite hotel prices skyrocketing and restaurant seats being fully occupied during Fashion Week, the reality is that people in the city are unaware of what is happening where. I found this interesting difference, perhaps due to the nature of the industry, and although I'm not a fashion writer, I spent my time leisurely amidst the frantic pace of buyers and magazine editors attending various shows.
This year also gave me the chance to see the shows and presentations of CFCL, Mame Kurogouchi, and ISSEY MIYAKE. Amidst the dizzying biannual cycle, the designers and brand planning teams bring new themes to Paris every time.
The theme for CFCL's VOL.07 was "Knit-ware: New Land." The concept draws on a contrast between an endless desert and digital spaces, with references to both the sunlight pouring onto the dry earth and the near-future technology. The venue featured silver-colored flora, artworks by Toshihiko Mitsuya, an artist based in Berlin, evoking the presence of an as-yet-unseen oasis.
Having been involved as a copywriter again this season, I was quietly pleased at the success of the new show.
The theme for Mame Kurogouchi's 24SS was "Fragments". The show and presentation were held at Ogata Paris in the third arrondissement.
This season, drawing on the pottery and techniques of Imari ware as the source of inspiration, Kurogouchi herself made numerous visits to Arita City in Saga Prefecture to help transpose her vision onto clothing.
A shirt-dress with a floral pattern embossed on it, referencing a characteristic technique of early Imari ware called "Yokoku," where clay is pushed into a mold to bring out a pattern, was chosen as the first look.
© 2023 ISSEY MIYAKE INC. Photo: Olivier Baco
© 2023 ISSEY MIYAKE INC. Photo: Olivier Baco
The name of ISSEY MIYAKE's Spring/Summer 2024 collection is "Grasping the Formless―Until the Invisible Form Becomes Visible". The abstractly close impression of forms emerging from ideas that attempt to capture contourless elements in nature, or fleeting incidental phenomena, were expressed in the clothing.
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