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What Josephine Baker would love about Paris Fashion Week 2020

Paris fashion week 2020  was a series of magnificent runway shows.  Designers including Hermes, Balenciaga, Valentino, Givenchy, Alexander Mcqueen, Chanel, Lanvin, Christian Dior, Balmain, Nina  Ricci, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and YSL are only a few of the many design houses that were represented. Rich colors and innovative silhouettes as well as classic styles were the featured theme throughout each runway show. 

While there are too many shows to review each and every one, we will highlight two of those brands that Josephine Baker wore back in the day - Chanel and Balmain. BBS knows she would look glamorous in their designs today.  Also, Versace which was founded in 1978  is one brand that inspires our BBS brand and one that we imagine Baker would adore.   

Chanel made headlines with its final adieu to Karl  Lagerfeld who died in February. Virginie Viard took the reins as the designer for this collection that didn’t disappoint.  It included a set that resembled the rooftops of the Rue Cambon. The models strutted in tweed playsuits, tiny silk shirts, coatdresses, bell shaped skirts, high waisted cropped denim pants with chain belts and low

or flat heeled shoes.  One outfit resembled something CoCo herself would have worn on the Riviera in the 1920’s. While Chanel’s designs are always recognizably classic, seeing models with afros and cornrows made this fashionista smile.

Balmain’s collection with Oliver Rousteing was spectacular.  He used pearls to adorned women’s shirts; molded them into leather and added them as a modern update to the classic denim jean. (Josephine loved pearls). One of the goals for this show was to bridge the past with the present and Balmain is known for being sexy, glamorous and edgy.  Some may think the designs in thieir haute couture show were a bit too much for even the savviest fashion- conscious woman. What do you think? Checking out the ready-to-wear line may provide a number of toned down looks if it’s in your budget or you just want to splurge. 

The Versace brand which is also known for bright colors and bold design did not disappoint.  Like Balmain who delivered a signature logo bag, Versace also showcased the new Versace Virtus handbags in different shades and sizes.  The show which was held in a location with a pantheon inspired ceiling and a bronze sculptured palm tree set the tone for a fabulous show with a surprise ending.  In addition to the vibrant colors as well as black (that is never basic) the company added it’s iconic logo to their signature handbags. 

Donatella’s surprise at the end of the show was Jennifer Lopez.  Wearing the reinvented jungle print from years ago, she looks almost better now than she did 20 years ago when she wore it to the Grammy's.

Since we can’t go out these days we can only admire these fabulous fashions hanging in our closets or from the videos we see or in the pages of a magazine. Since there’s nowhere to go, perhaps none of these clothes will be out of style when the pandemic is over, but rather clothes that defined a wrinkle in time.

Pictured above; Baker in Dior, J. Lopez in Versace and looks from Balmain (bottom right)

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