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Paris was spirited away by miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki has a dreamy imagination. Creating magical worlds in which spirits watch over forests, shapeshifting is second nature and everything feels like a really intense acid trip, the genius Japanese director continues to prove that weird and wonderful is the best way to be. With the release of his final film, The Wind Rises, today, we look back to Paris Fashion Week, where fairytale characters and curious creatures took to the catwalk, captivated audiences and captured our hearts.

Text Francesca Dunn
Photography Mitchell Sams

  • soot sprite

    Soot Sprites, or Susuwatari, are pitch black little beings with big eyes and long, thin legs. The species that walked for Gareth Pugh was the rare and beautiful white variety - see how she gleams! Susuwatari live in dark places with groups of friends, dine on Kompeitō candy and turn to dust when touched. Mischievous in nature, if they detect goodness in you they will act kindly and cause you no harm. Be nice, be smart, be pure of heart!  

    garethpugh.com  

     

     

    Gareth Pugh: A/W 14

  • radish spirit

    Not much is known about the illusive Radish Spirit. Also known as Oshira-sama, this chap made a brief appearance in Miyazaki's Spirited Away when he took a trip to the bathhouse for a spot of relaxation, lift riding, and partying. We met him again in Comme de Garcon's line up of wayward beauties and beasts. 

    comme-des-garcons.com 

    Comme de Garçon AW14

  • Chihiro

    Chihiro Ogino is a sulky ten year old girl who gets Spirited Away by Chloe and inadvertantly enters the spirit world. Her greedy mama and papa get turned into pigs by bad witch Yubaba and she's forced to work in the bathhouse in order to free herself. Her loose pink robes are the bathhouse uniform, and come complete with ribbon tie.

    chloe.com

    Chloe autumn/winter 14

  • princess mononoke

    San, or Princess Mononoke is a human girl raised in the forest by wolves and gods. She has a deep hatrid for humankind and disguises herself in a hooded white fur with matching boots. A true warrier, she fearlessly leads great armies of giant boars into battle in order to protect her home. At Alexander McQueen they almost perfectly replicated the whole notion of San, even down to the show set.  

    alexandermcqueen.com

    Alexander McQueen AW14

  • forest spirit

    Although taking a different form to the magical forest spirit in Princess Mononoke, Vivienne Westwood's nature godess is certainly just as powerful. Shrouded in plants, the elegant creature wears strings of berries around her neck and feathers in her candyfloss hair. Her rosy cheeks and red-stained lips are a picture of health and loveliness. I have a sneaking suspicion that Dame Viv is secretly a forest spirit too! 

    viviennewestwood.co.uk

    Vivienne Westwood autumn/winter 14

  • totoro

    Totoro of My Neighbour Totoro is a big friendly spirit who lives in a huge camphor tree. When two little girls (Satsuki and Mei) discover the sleepy Viktor & Rolf monster, it's time for cuddles, tickles and roaring contests. He's so fluffy I'm gonna die!

    viktor-rolf.com

    Viktor & Rolf autumn/winter 14

  • catbus

    Meeeooowwww! Running along telephone wires and through fields in small-town Japan, a Magic School Bus / Cheshire Cat hybrid provides an alternative bus route for those who believe. With striped Chloe fur, a crazed smile and lots of legs, the Catbus takes sisters Satsuki and Mei on a journey like no other. 

    chloe.com

    Chloe autumn/winter 14

  • howl

    "I give up. I see no point in living if I can’t be beautiful." A total dreamboat and anime pin-up, Howl is a confident, charming man who lives in his very own moving castle. He proudly wears his red Paul & Joe cape with the collar popped and his blonde locks flowing in the breeze. When his girl gets cursed and transformed into an old lady by a jealous witch, in true Beauty & The Beast fashion Howl realises that there's more to life than looks and breaks the evil spell. 

    paulandjoe.com

    Paul & Joe autumn/winter 14

  • ponyo

    "I love Ponyo whether she's a fish, a human, or something in between!" I'm 100% sure that everyone's favourite new redhead Natalie Westling IS Ponyo. When the goldfish princess is caught by a little boy, he keeps her as his pet and she falls hook, line and sinker for him. Betraying her Sea Wizard father, she kisses her captor, transforms into a narcoleptic human and everybody lives happily ever after. Westling's seasweed dress at Valentino was pure Ponyo.

    valentino.com

    Valentino AW14

  • no face

     

    No Face changes shape as his greed grows and grows. When he's not eating fellow bathhouse guests and vomming evil black sludge, he preocupies himself by making disturbing noises at poor little Chihiro. No Face is a mysterious monster and a major creep. An altogether more beautiful No Face was chanelled at Yohji Yamamoto, with a rainbow scarf shining bright through the dark look. 

    yohjiyamamoto.com

     

    Yohji Yamamoto autumn/winter 14