Fashion Week brings another layer of chaos to Paris

Paris Fashion Week returns tomorrow, bringing some much-needed light relief to a country in the throes of political chaos.

Menswear week runs until next Sunday, followed immediately by the haute couture shows until June 27.

France has been in turmoil since President Emmanuel Macron called surprise legislative elections after a surge by the far-right in European polls.

But for fashionistas, the biggest issue might be getting around Paris, which is also finalizing preparations to host next month's Olympic Games, with a tenfold increase in traffic congestion due to road and site closures.

The Olympics have brought the menswear and couture weeks forward from July (womenswear takes place in September).

With fashion already working at a punishing pace, that has forced some houses to abandon this season, including Olivier Rousteing's Balmain, which told AFP it had pulled out at the last minute.

Valentino and Givenchy are also skipping this week's shows.

As for the big names who are appearing, hip-hop mogul Pharrell Williams will continue his high-profile leadership at Louis Vuitton, marking a year since his ultra-lavish debut show when he took over the Pont Neuf bridge and painted its paving stones gold.

But the highlight will be a mega-party organized by Vogue on June 23 bringing together the doubly lucrative worlds of sports and fashion.

Several top brands will display collections, including Dior, Jacquemus, Hermes and Balenciaga, each paired with an Olympic discipline from athletics to breakdancing.

While Valentino awaits the debut of its high-profile new creative director Alessandro Michele (formerly of Gucci), Givenchy is still looking for a lead designer since the departure of Matthew Williams...

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