PARIS — Friday afternoon in Roquette, but a five minute stroll from the Bastille, a show was quietly coming together. The seating plan was being executed, models were being walked in small groups over the runway path, and young mother stood swaying peacefully in hair and makeup breastfeeding her three-month old son. A far cry from the biggest tent circus that would sear into existence across town later that evening, but in its own way, the Olivier Theyskens Spring / Summer 2019 runway show was a reprieve for all weary travelers on the attritional journey that is Fashion Month. Not that the Dutch designer or anyone from his signature label would bill this show in political terms, that was for others to do. On the contrary, this was a show darkly beautiful in all its haunting fragility.

Leading the line for the collection was show opener, new mother Leila Goldkuhl, who gave birth to her son Felix in June. Leila returned to the runway some 10 weeks later for Raf Simons at Calvin Klein. Leila would then go on to make a runway appearance for Riccardo Tisci’s Burberry debut in London. In Paris, Leila’s done Dior and Chloé and Friday, she opened for Olivier Theyskens, but not before she breastfed her son Felix in between stages of cosmetic transformation overseen by hair stylist Eugene Souleiman and makeup artist Isamay Ffrench. With eyes darkened and a spindly branch in her hair as if she had woken from a slumber on the forest floor, Leila cut an arresting figure backstage with babe at her bosom. This would be a fine season for any model, let alone a new mother, but for Leila the extraordinary is made to look effortless. Same could be said for Olivier Theyskens on a what would prove a memorable, if not anticlimactic Friday. Also appearing in the lineup at Next were Tessa Bruinsma, and Mila Ganame.

Special note on the runway soundtrack mixed by Michel Gaubert, it featured forthcoming tracks by Ionna Gika.

Credits include: Client, Olivier Theyskens; Collection, Women’s Ready-To-Wear Spring / Summer 2019; Creative design and styling, Olivier Theyskens; Hair, Eugene Souleiman; Makeup, Isamya Ffrench; Music, Michel Gaubert; Casting, Patrizia Pilotti; Film, Damien Neva at Next Management.