‘I Try Not to Look as if I’m Trying Too Hard’

A designer may appear on the runway for only 30 seconds at the end of a show, sometimes merely poking her head out from backstage to wave (Miuccia Prada, Phoebe Philo), sometimes doing a full catwalk canter (Michael Kors, Alexander Wang). Either way, they know people will be watching — and Instagramming. “We dress up and dress down on purpose,” said Roksanda Ilincic, a London Fashion Week stalwart. “We are all making statements.”

Here, 11 designers reveal what they will be saying this season, and why.

Olivier Rousteing, creative director of Balmain, Paris Fashion Week

What “I always stick to skinny pants and boots, sometimes with a jacket or white shirt depending on my mood,” Mr. Rousteing said. The pieces come from the previous men’s wear show. He likes to show skin because, he said, it gives him confidence, especially now that he runs the length of the catwalk. (At first he would only step out from backstage.) “Jackets can be formal and bland, so showing skin balances the formality,” he said.

Why “You always remember the designers with a strong identity, like Yves Saint Laurent or Karl Lagerfeld,” he said. And there’s the commercial consideration: “Customers buy what I’m wearing after the show, and pop stars will want it, too.”

Lucky Charm A charm bracelet including an evil eye from a Bali beach and a watch given to him by his father. “When you go on a runway for 30 seconds and receive some love and some hate, you want protection and comfort,” he said.

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