I want to start this off by apologising for the lateness of it all. I have been crazy busy over the past few weeks, and unfortunately this blog is always the thing that gets pushed to the end of the to-do list. I’ve been taking my midterm exams and also have just got back from a trip to New York. When I was there, I visited a great exhibition at the Museum at FIT which I think I may write another post on. However, this is about Paris Fashion Week so I’ll get back to that.
It is the end, and I am a little bit sad that it is all over. I feel like it has been a very long month. I can’t even remember most of the shows from New York Fashion Week to be honest. Now that even Paris is over, it feels strange. Fashion month is a frenzy, a seemingly neverending madness. But when it’s over, everything just stops. I feel like things go slowly again. And then new editorials, adverts, and whatnot come out, then it is pre-fall season, then it is fashion month all over again. As you know, fashion never stops.
Paris is always thought of as the best fashion week. It is certainly the most prestigious and well respected. It is thought of as the epitome of European fashion, and the fashion world in general. And I suppose that is true. When you think of all of the big name brands that showcase there, only Milan can rival it. When I look at the collections, I write down the names of the brands that I liked: in Paris there were 32, and that was with me harshly editing and going based on snap judgements.Let us get started, for the last reviews of the season, and as a warning, this may be a long one…
I think it is quite sad how the media focus of Riccardo Tisci’s work at Givenchy is rarely on the clothes, and often on the guests in attendance. Let me say this once and for all, the guests do not matter, the clothes do.
Riccardo Tisci is a great designer, and he has proven that time and time again, this collection being one of those instances. I didn’t see the whole “chola” reference (I’m guessing the gelled down baby hairs that FKA Twigs has been doing recently re-triggered this style) but I definitely get the Victorian thing. It was gothic without being extreme. The face jewellery, I could’ve done without as the clothes really spoke for themselves, they didn’t need gimmicks. The collection was almost entirely black and deep red and blue tones, which works for me, and featured velvet, lace, brocade, and lots of corsets that actually looked rather elegant and not at all trashy. There were plenty of stunning dresses, and many looks that I can’t wait to see in print. Whenever I look at collections I wonder what pieces will be used in their advertising. For this collection, I’m placing my bets on this dress (or either of the two that came after it), and this look, and perhaps one of the peacock feather looks – gelled down baby hairs and face jewellery included.
I fucking love Lanvin. I mean, how can you not? As a brand, it retains that old-time glamour and luxury without ever feeling dated. Alber Elbaz is a much loved designer, and there is good reason for it. For this collection, he looked back into the archives and found some things that inspired him, along with Morocco, his birthplace, which may be why some things look slightly vintage Yves Saint Laurent (he was heavily inspired by Morocco, visiting the country numerous times throughout his life). I think this collection took you on a journey, from the modern, more sportswear-like dresses at the beginning, to the shearling, bohemian-esque looks in the middle, to the abstract florals at the end. It was really a three-part story. Basically, I’m sold. I’d be a Lanvin girl if I could afford it, but really the closest I think I’ll get is a pair of their ballet pumps, which, by the way, are the softest and most cushioned ballet pumps I have ever encountered in my life. Oh, if only I had a pair of them, I might not even need a Lanvin dress… Although I wouldn’t say no to this beauty.
I think this may be my favourite collection out of fashion month in its entirety. It is stunning. Hussein Chalayan is a very fashion-forward designer, sometimes too ahead of his time for people to appreciate it when they first see it, but I think this collection was very clearly good, very obvious to see. I don’t know the big story or meaning behind the collection, so I am judging the clothes on face value because that’s all I’m really qualified to do – and I love them. The fur cuffs on suit blazers and the random slashes on trouser legs, held together with chains, and boxy blazers were all interesting touches that added to this collection. I wish Chalayan got more attention because he certainly deserves it.
I have to admit, Nina Ricci is a brand that I have never paid attention to. I’ve always associated it with perfume, not so much clothes. However, when I seen this collection, I perked up. You see, they have a new creative director and I think that change is definitely welcome. His name is Guillaume Henry, and he came to Nina Ricci from Carven, a brand that has been picking up popularity in recent years. (I’m still in love with this deer coat from Fall 2013.) For this collection, he definitely piqued my interest in the Nina Ricci brand and actually made clothes that I’d want to buy. Often when I see things on the runway, I like them but don’t think they could translate into my daily life. Sometimes I think “oh, I live in the wrong place” or “oh, maybe in 10 years time, I’m a little too young just now”, but with this collection, I felt like many of the pieces could seamlessly weave themselves into my wardrobe. There was a good selection of nice coats, some fur, pretty day dresses, and the odd pair of trousers dotted in too. I really did like this collection and I hope that Guillaume stays for a long time, because I enjoy his style. It fits with my own.
I cannot pretend I’ve never said a bad word about Sarah Burton, because I have, as has most other people who are fans of the late Lee McQueen. However, as she has said before, she did work with him for years and years so she really does know her stuff. For me, this was the first collection since she has taken over that I have really loved, that has actually hit a mark with me. Alexander McQueen is in the press again as the hugely popular “Savage Beauty” exhibit has just opened up at the V&A, which I’m guessing makes it a little bit more difficult for Sarah Burton as everybody wants to look back and relive the magic of Lee, and she definitely has huge shoes to fill. It must be awful being constantly compared to him, so I will try and refrain from doing that in the future. I can’t wait to see the exhibition, but I’m not going for another couple of months sadly… Anyhow, Sarah Burton designed a solid collection. There were ruffles that looked romantic, not dated. There was leather that looked wearable, not fetishistic or too biker. And actually, there were lots of pieces that looked wearable. I just wonder how much of this collection will make it into stores. Whenever you see Alexander McQueen in store, it is never anything like the runway – sometimes it seems like a completely different brand. I’d like to see some of this in my local Harvey Nichols, perhaps this coat?
And the rest…
At Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquiere seems to be working hard to carve a new house DNA. I like what he does, as do many other people. He is probably one of the most popular and influential fashion designers of modern times. I enjoyed the little spaghetti strap dresses this season, and also the beige pant suit which looked brilliantly tailored. Really, he deserves his status at the top of the industry.
I liked all the brown at Rochas. As I said before, I think in another fashion week review, I like brown. And tan, and beige, and camel, and most other shades of brown. It is softer than black. A couple of the looks in particular were really nice. For example, this coat and belted dress look, and also this fur coat with the pussybow peeking out from beneath.
I really love this coat at Leonard.
The Zoolander appearances at Valentino were actually a lot more exciting than the clothes in the collection, and I’m so glad that they’re making a sequel. Surely this high profile stunt will boost sales, or at least attention, for the Valentino brand. Don’t get me wrong, they were lovely clothes but I think they were overshadowed by all of the Zoolander hype. I love how Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller have been credited as Hansel and Derek Zoolander on style.com though, see fashion does have a sense of humour!
Until recently, I had never really seen Chanel clothes up-close in person. I’d never actually touched them and felt them, I’d only looked through glass. When I was in Bergdorf Goodman last week, I touched them for the first time, and now I get the hype. I always wondered how Karl Lagerfeld could put out collection after collection of 80+ looks, and if they were ever actually nice in person. Now I know they are even nicer. This collection was another one of those that, upon first glance, seems to be a whole lot of looks, many of which are similar. But I suppose the Chanel customer likes to have options. A few looks stood out to me (x, y & z). Also, the set was incredible. The whole brasserie set-up was immaculate and really set the scene. If Karl does one thing consistently right, it is set design: Impeccable.
Lemaire, designed by Christophe Lemaire, the former artistic director of Hermes, produced a brilliant collection full of streamlined silhouettes, and polished pieces. It was a demure kind of sexuality that the models emitted, nothing too outrageous. I’d wear these two looks if I could get my hands on them (x, y).
Anthony Vaccarello is the new Versace. That’s why he has been hired by Donatella. Out of his own collection, I really loved the brown suede used in this collared bomber jacket and also this dress with cut-outs, and also this super-sexy suit-like dress.
I wanted to love Balmain, because I usually do, but this time I didn’t. It was too much. However, I did like the opening look (mainly its top, I could’ve done without the pleated trousers and just had flowy trousers instead), this white coat (if it wasn’t belted shut, I didn’t like the styling), and this glitzy dress (although I can imagine that Kim K already has it on pre-order which ruins it for me a little bit. Fuck I was planning to stop talking about her…).
It has been said that Alexander Wang has finally come into his own at Balenciaga, and I think that I agree, but this season I just haven’t been a fan of Alexander Wang, not at his own line or at Balenciaga. I did see the dress that I included in my “wishlist” in person and it is as great as I expected. However, great is not what I’d call this collection. Yes, it referenced the archives which I suppose is good, but it just wasn’t as good as last season (which I loved), and also some of it was a bit too Raf for Dior. I liked this dress a lot though.
David Koma’s Mugler was sexed up, as always, but it didn’t seem old. I don’t think he needs to find new tricks because he has clearly developed a style that works for him. I loved the skinny pants this time around though (x & y), something slightly different than mini dresses. Hey, you all know I’m a Koma fan, I rarely have ill words to say.
This dress at Emanuel Ungaro was absolutely insane. The folds were just like a fan. I would love to see this in person and feel how it is like that.
And finally, as always, Hermes was flawless and refined luxury. I like this new creative director.