Bonjour MCLV readers
Paris fashion week was dark and elegantly gothic this season, and I don’t just mean the clothes. At Dries Van Noten the models slunk through a cavernous cathedral-like space that brought out the opulence of the collection. At Mugler the models (including Lady Gaga) were barely visible through a dim forest of columns erected for them to snake through. Even Chanel presented its dark hued collection against a gloomy and evocative postapocalyptic background. In Paris I felt that, even more than in New York, London or Milan, you were truly transported to another time or place for the duration of the show. There is really no question why Paris remains one of the reigning fashion capitals.
As you know the line-up in Paris has increased dramatically over the years, especially with British heavy hitters like Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen (RIP!) and Gareth Pugh moving their shows to Paris. As such, I will not be providing a review of each and every show, rather my goal will be to present to you some of the major trends and themes present throughout.
Gareth Pugh's futuristic black body armor inspired designs and strappy stiletto combat boots showcased beautiful stitching, especially through the upper body, and an overall flattering line.
The Dries Van Noten show was a whirlwind of colors, patterns and fabrics. Rich gold embellishments, billowing silks and a unique mixture of cuts really made this collection stand out.
Zac Posen was uncharacteristically restrained with his second Paris collection and the results were streamlined and beautiful clothes, most of which could easily have walked right off the runway and onto the streets of Paris.
The Nina Ricci show was unabashedly romantic. A predominately black palette was mixed with splashes of creamy pastels, floral headbands adorned the heads of the fresh-faced models and the skirts boasted nipped waists and slim cuts.
No one does rock n' roll chic quite like Balmain. Citing Ziggy Stardust as an inspiration - as did Dries Van Noten - you could see Mr. Bowie's glitz, glitter and glamour sprinkled throughout the collection.
The Givenchy show was a testament to the dualities inherent to both life & fashion: a traditional pencil skirt was presented in sheer black fabric, cheerleader-style mini skirts were done in black leather and pretty printed pieces were edged in bold black patent leather.
Phoebe Philo presented another very wearable collection for Celine, filled with slim fitting trousers and beautiful outerwear, including cropped bombers, swing coats and ankle-length driving coats.
In addition to the ubiquitous draping gowns in exquisite fabrics, I thought the Lanvin collection boasted some truly eye-catching accessories: wide-brimmed hats, saddle shoes, riding boots, structured handbags and ornate collar-style necklaces.
I thought that the Akris show was gracefully minimalist while simultaneously luxurious. This camel colored, drop-waisted, aviator inspired look was gorgeous, especially the buckle and collar details.
The YSL show was spectacular, the clothes prim and buttoned up, but oh so sexy. Traditionally conservative fabrics and patterns played against short skirts, knee-high boots and cheeky sheer blouses.
Valentino was similarly right on trend showing ladylike silhouettes deconstructed into something sexier and edgier with sheer panels, lace insets, high boots, leather trim, studs and feathers, among other adornments.
Against a backdrop of scorched rocks, steam and dramatic music, Chanel presented a collection that touched on the boy/girl trend, as well as showing beautiful cocktail frocks, gowns and pantsuits, all seemingly aimed at a younger demographic. I adored this look with the cropped, jewel-toned knit jacket over a button-down boyfriend cardigan with pockets.
Miu Miu showed great outerwear and dresses, but what really caught the eye were the prints. Dandelions, wildflowers and birds adorned the flattering dresses, worn with armored Mary Janes.
Louis Vuitton was all about military-inspired attire and showing off miles of leg in short shorts, minis, coat-dresses and sheer skirts. And don't forget the patent leather Mary Janes!
Things to look for in stores or drag out of the depths of your closet for fall? High-neck blouses, outerwear in bold hues, camel & white basics, cocktail dresses with interesting details (think lace, sheer fabrics & (faux) leather embellishments), structured handbags and Mary Janes.
If you make one purchase for this fall I would suggest a pair of Mary Janes, both Milan and Paris proved that this style will be pervasive. Basic black or navy, patent leather, stilettos, exotic skins, bright colors, chunky heels… They all made an appearance!
As you may have noticed neither the Christian Dior nor the John Galliano show were reviewed/discussed above. Given the media frenzy surrounding both lines, as well as Mr. Galliano himself, I would like to devote an entire post to these shows. So please keep an eye out if that is of interest to you.