There is no city quite like Paris and no fashion is quite like Parisian fashion. I adore many cultures and cities and designers, but there’s just something about Paris that you can’t forget.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli have consistently created lovely collections since taking over from Mr. Valentino himself – Lots of dresses, fabulous splashes of classic Valentino red, and red carpet ready gowns.
Leather, velvet, silk, chiffon, lace, satin, and eyelet all made their way down the runway – Along with the occasion statement coat and jumpsuit. My favorite look was the gold brocade coat-dress that Hanne Gaby Odiele wore down the catwalk – Tres chic!
The Chanel show is always a dramatic, eclectic spectacle and this season was no different with solar panels, turbines, and wind farm-like backdrops.
This collection included everything from hula hoop handbags, stark black & white, youthful polka dots, bright jewel tones, traditional florals, 80’s style fingerless gloves, denim, rompers, suits, wide-brimmed hats, and strappy wedges. I especially liked the chunky pearl bracelets & necklaces, the polka-dotted strapless dress, and the cute Dorothy-inspired blue & white gingham.
The McQueen show is always something to look forward to with eye-catching, one-of-a-kind makeup, backgrounds, clothing, and accessories. No other designer can come close to the types of shows that Lee McQueen – And now Sarah Burton – Put on.
This season’s collection had an S&M beekeeper type of vibe with safari-style netting covered hats, bustiers, thigh-high stockings, harnesses & corsets, bustles, wide belts, and bee, wasp, and honeycomb prints. Excessive, rich, over-the-top, and utterly stunning.
Denim, interesting fabrics & textures, moody prints, and a mixture of silhouettes and lengths all gave the Miu Miu collection a fun but grown-up feel.
I love classic workwear style pieces so this collection was right up my alley. I adored the pencil skirts and sleek sheath dresses, and the retro vibe was to die for with killer furs, boat neck tops, visible pin-up inspired bustiers, leather gloves, slim pocketbooks, and long, demure jackets. J’adore!
“Deconstructed classicism” was the theme and it came to life in sleek separates and dresses done up in black & white, bold, vibrant jewel tones, and silky neutrals.
The collection was sleek and sexy, the pieces modern and wearable. The embellished prints were quite eye-catching but the sleek pieces in navy, black & white stole the show in my opinion. All of the looks above are amazing – I would wear them anytime, anywhere!
Yves Saint Laurent:
New name – Saint Laurent – retro vibe. The 70’s were back at YSL with leather, suede, fringe, wide-brimmed hats, and maxi lengths all evoking classic Yves.
The details of this collection were what caught my attention – The slim, cropped pants, the white piping on blazers, the patent t-trap heels, oversized bows at the neck, and opera-length gloves. I especially liked the pants looks and shimmering, two-toned caplet was the piece at the top of my Must Have list!
While the theme may have been the same, Riccardo Tisci’s sedated and minimal interpretation of Catholicism was a far cry from the extravagant opulence of the Fall 2012 Dolce & Gabbana show at Milan Fashion Week.
The pieces may have been stark – Done up in mostly black & white with severe cuts – But they were still dramatic and eye-catching. I adored the black & white frocks, the flattering tunic-vests, the subtle ruffles, and the thick metallic chokers.
The Stella show was bold in both color and silhouette – Her usual oversized, boy-meets-girl style got spiced up with wrap dresses, jumpsuits, and racerback tops.
The suits and the minimalistic pieces are always my favorite – Though the patchwork prints and cheerleader skirts last season proved that she’s got more up her sleeve. The safari-style tops were cute and versatile and the green she showed was right up my alley!
The LV collection was awash in checkered patterns, bright hues, and in a fun change of pace Mr. Jacobs had all of his models strut their stuff down the runway in pairs.
The mod feeling to the show was modernized by the eye-catching prints. The accessories were cute but minimally applied – Bow adorned headbands, checkered flats, and small patterned daybags. Fun, flirty, and oh-so-wearable. Just what Marc Jacobs does best!
The Chloe collection was primarily black and white with some splashes of burnt orange and fleshy pink throw in for good measure. Very French. Very feminine. Very Sweet.
The silhouettes ranged from oversized and exaggerated to romantic and womanly. While the colors, fabrics, and prints ran the gamut from black & white velvet to salmon stripes to sheer purple ruffles.
The Balmain collection brought to mind the 90’s with power suits, big shoulders, loud prints, thick belts, and plunging necklines. All with a Parisian, Balmain spin on them.
Stripes & checkers, bold yellow, oversized hoop earrings, metallic accessories, midriff baring tops, denim, and oversized blazers all had me checking the models faces to see if Cindy, Linda, Naomi, or Christy were there.
Raf’s debut collection for Dior was full of dichotomies – Stark but romantic, minimal but dramatic. He played with colors, prints, lengths, and silhouettes while still presenting a very Dior collection.
The suits and coat-dresses were my favorite, they came in different cuts and lengths, but were utterly chic and utterly timeless. The kinds of pieces that you invest in and wear for the rest of your life.
Previous Paris Fashion Week Collections: Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012, Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 Part I, Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part II, and Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion.
Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: Raf Simons, Hedi Slimane and the Tectonic Shifts of the Paris Fashion Establishment from Business Of Fashion, FabSugar’s Paris Fashion Week Diary, Precious Details from The Man Repeller, and Derek Blasberg’s A Photo Diary From Paris Fashion Week.
Which Paris Fashion Week show was your favorite? Do you like the classic, Paris Fashion Week institutions like Chanel and Valentino best or newer, more modern houses like Chloe and Alexander McQueen?
I know that you never thought you’d see the day, but this is the last runway update for the Spring 2012 shows. Enjoy!
Check out Lanvin from the front row like Garance Dore did here.
Style.com has a video of the Paris highlights here.
Photos from Style.com.
In a shocking upheaval in the state of fashionable affairs, Christian Dior fired its head designer of 14 years last week following a highly publicized antisemitic rant by the designer. If you Google John Galliano or Christian Dior you will find hundreds of blogs and news pieces discussing everything from JG’s intoxication during the video, to the state of the runway shows that were less than a week away, to who will replace him at the helm of Dior. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if there was a Lifetime movie or mini series in the works and I am confident that more than one biography depicting the rise and oh so dramatic fall of John Galliano will hit the shelves this year.
And while it is tragic to me that an individual in such an influential position has chosen to use his power to cause such devastation, especially in a day and age when his words were disseminated around the world in a matter of hours, I would like to focus on the fallout rather than the event itself. While JG’s publicist picked him up, dusted him off and spirited him away to rehab, as we all know is the protocol for celebrities these days, there were various results in the City of Lights.
Christian Dior immediately and unceremoniously fired JG. No second chances. No demotion. The CEO of Christian Dior has issued several public statements, including the following one moments before the Christian Dior Fall 2011 runway show on 7 March: “Such statements are intolerable because of our collective duty to never forget the Holocaust and its victims, and because of the respect for human dignity that is owed to each person and to all peoples. These statements have deeply shocked and saddened all at Dior who give body and soul to their work, and it is particularly painful that they came from someone so admired for his remarkable creative talent.”
The new face of Christian Dior’s Miss Dior fragrance, recent Oscar winner Natalie Portman, issued the following statement mere hours after the video was made public: “I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today. In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way.”
In the end, both the Christian Dior and John Galliano Fall 2011 runway shows continued as scheduled, a decision which was reached at the last-minute if the concern and panicked debate swirling around the internet in preceding days is any indication. An intimate salon showing of the John Galliano collection held an interesting surprise, though whether it was planned or inadvertent I doubt we’ll ever know, one of the models displaying the 20 looks proudly sported a Star of David tattoo on her slim arm.
There are opinions galore available on this subject and while I am interested in hearing yours, I don’t want to turn this site into a soapbox, so I will not be lecturing you on my beliefs.
What I wish to say on this topic is that despite the appalling statements that were made and the tumultuous circumstances resulting from them, I found at least some solace in the reactions of the public figures involved. No, I’m not so naive as to believe that PR played no role in the aftermath, but despite that factor I thought that the public generally reacted with the appropriate dismay. The front row at the Christian Dior and John Galliano shows were notably sparse, the Paris police are pressing criminal charges for racist comments, Christian Dior & Natalie Portman immediately condemned the designer’s views and extricated themselves from business dealings with him and every media outlet I have had access to has covered the story with, at the very least, a neutral stance. In fact, the only person that I heard loudly defend JG was stylist Patricia Fields, who brushed his words off as merely being theatrical (Daily Mail link).
That is not to say that there weren’t those who mourned this loss to the fashion world, like the young man in the first picture who carried a sign lamenting JG’s departure from the industry. But from what I read and heard, those who threw their support behind JG were very clear that they supported his creative genius, not his ideals or his actions.
In your opinion, did Christian Dior handle this situation well? What else could the house have done?
If you’re interested in a review and photographs of the two shows, please see the links below:
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.