The History of Prêt-à-Porter
Prêt-à-porter originates in the smaller Parisian fashion houses of the 1930s, where designers first started to offer a limited number of ready-made clothes. The French couture scene, however, rejected this development at first. But, in the 1950s and 60s, prêt-à-porter fashion received broader attention with young designers aiming to create innovative, avant-garde clothes for all people to complement the eccentricity of haute couture.
Yves Saint Laurent was the first renowned French designer to present prêt-a-porter on the runway. The French fashion scene was shocked, yet prêt-à-porter soon earned and still enjoys great prestige in the global fashion industry.
Without further ado, here are some of the best looks from different shows:
Watching Vuitton's made us wonder, "What if all the innumerable eras that nourish fashion could come together here and right now?" Nicolas Ghesquière managed to do just that by fusing '80s ski jackets with '70s trench coats and '50s teddy boy style— equating this diverse mixture to the elegant modern look.
Karl Lagerfeld's often made us travel to hitherto unknown destination, as well as those we were already aware of. But Virginie Viard's Chanel has so far been a simpler, more back-to-basics vision of the label, and fall 2020 was her ode to a simpler take with a fresh perspective. Classic trousers became Chanel-approved breakaway pants, skirt suiting got more relaxed, and per Viard's past seasons, there wasn't a hint of volume in the mix, save for some Victorian-inspired puff and mutton sleeves.
There is something dark and religious about Demna Gvasalia's fall 2020 show for Balenciaga. Influenced by the designer's own youth in the Orthodox Church in Georgia, as well as the house namesake's Catholic upbringing in Spain, Gvasalia masterfully plays with volume and shape on top coats and dresses worn by models with mystical red-colored eyes. But it wasn't all doom and gloom as the brand showcased bright turquoise and red colors.
Sarah Burton's fall collection at Alexander McQueen was a love letter to and a celebration of bold, courageous women; it's only the latest chapter in the book she inherited since debuting her first solo collection in 2011.
Miu Miu's fall 2020 collection was clearly reminiscent of post-WWII fashion. Shown on many Gen-Z superstars, from Kaia Gerber to Storm Reid, the show aimed to exhibit "the enduring fascination of charm, an exercise in attraction—fashioning pleasure, and the pleasure that fashion can give."