Fashion, Fashion Week, Shows

Paris Fashion Week Highlights – Spring 2016

Can you believe that fashion month is over? I feel like it has gone simultaneously too fast and too slow. There’s some shows which I’ve been desperate to see for weeks and now that I’ve finally seen them I feel relieved. On the other hand, everything is a blur. I remember New York, I remember a few shows in Milan, I don’t remember London at all, and now we have Paris.

I’ve learned a couple of things this fashion month:

  1. The insta-girls don’t bother me. I don’t care that they’re only being used for their social media following. If they look good in the clothes that’s all that matters. I now follow Gigi Hadid and enjoy looking at her posts, even if they do give me extreme hair envy. I like her sister too.
  2. I am open to colour. I know that sounds really ridiculous, but for the past at least two years I’ve stuck to a palette of neutrals. That sounds so boring but I just did. For a while it was literally just black and denim. Now that I’m seeing some beautiful shades of pink and orange on the runways I want to wear them myself – take this beautiful watermelon at Alexis Mabille as a perfect example. I suppose you’ve got to look more vibrant in the summertime!
  3. Ruffles are destined to stay.
  4. Alexander Wang seems like oodles of fun. His final walk (or should I say hop-skip-and-jump) at Balenciaga was so playful and funny. I love when people are genuinely excited to do what they do.
  5. And finally, Paris is always a good idea. (But we knew that already, right?)

VIONNET

Vionnet is a historic house is often forgotten about when you think of the big names – Dior, Lanvin, Jean Patou, Chanel – and the reason for this is that they haven’t had a “big name” designer at the helm. That is until now, as Hussein Chalayan has been added to the team. He already designed their demi-couture as of the beginning of 2014, but now he also works on the ready-to-wear. The house itself has been bought by different owners a few times over the years. Madame Vionnet is the designer who was famed for the bias cut, a new body-clinging shape, that changed fashion in the 1920s, and that John Galliano reintroduced in the 90s. I think this collection was perhaps prettier than any that Elie Saab has ever done. There was a good mix of floaty and form-fitting gowns, and the show was full of red carpet looks that I cannot wait to see come awards season. There were some looks where I thought “that could be Balmain” or “that could be Saab”, but all of them had a slight edge which separated them from other designers. Soft and ethereal sum it up.

CHANEL

Of course this is a predictable entry on my list, but how could you fail to include it? Just when I thought Raf had the best set of fashion month at Dior, Karl did the airport terminal. Now an airport is perhaps my least favourite place to be – I only like duty free shopping and that’s all – but Karl made the mundane interesting. I thought it was funny how this was the second to last day of fashion month and flying home was probably the first thing on everybody’s mind – Karl, you tease! As always, there were a gazillion looks, many of which were repetitive, but you know that’s what the Chanel customer wants – a version which will suit her (and you have to remember that the customers are of all ages). I felt a bit overwhelmed when I first seen the collection because there was just so much, so many patterns, so many different fabrics but when I looked at each outfit individually I found elements which I really liked (not in every look but often there was a nice top with ugly trousers and vice versa). I really look forward to the Chanel pre-fall show and the film which will accompany it.

CHRISTIAN DIOR

Watching Dior and I gave me a real appreciation for Raf Simons that I didn’t really have before. Ever since, I’ve enjoyed seeing his collections. The set of this show was similar to his original couture set (the walls of flowers), except he took it a step further and built the entire dome out of it – I seen the most incredible gif-set on Tumblr of the set getting made up. I enjoyed seeing lots of simple daywear and, of course, beautifully tailored jackets, most with a nipped in waist reminiscent of the bar jacket but softer. There were some interesting, almost bubbled shoulders on jumpers and tops and sweet scalloped hems. Nothing revolutionary, no, but does all fashion need to change the world or should it simply clothe us?

And the rest…

I loved the rings and hoops on the skirts and dresses at Anthony Vaccarello. They somehow managed to avoid looking Pretty Woman-esque. The show got progressively better as it went on. The looks with the jeans were the best, in my opinion, and Camille Hurel looked insanely stunning wearing them. As terrible as it sounds, I hope Zara copy this collection.

This season’s collection was the first Galliano for Maison Margiela that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. I know there’s only been a few but I didn’t adore the rest. I liked the little touches of leopard print on the collars and there was a beautiful bodice on this navy top (it reminds me of something from medieval times, but in a wearable manner). The commercial pieces seemed to be at the start of the show with it becoming progressively less sellable, more collectors items by the end.

I find it quite sad that Kim Kardashian’s lack of attendance at Balmain was so widely commented on – she does not make the show. Once again, another collection by Olivier full of the silhouettes that he is working hard to make his own. You can tell when something is Balmain now, thanks to the huge social media presence of the brand on celebrities. I loved the cross over tops that have been prominent for the past couple of seasons, like this one or this one. The ruffled skirts were a little too flamenco for my liking. Judging by the hype around Balmain as a brand, the H&M collaboration will be a fast sell-out.

Mary Kate and Ashley certainly have a clear vision of their woman at The Row. I really do like the brand but I sometimes feel that there’s just too much fabric and the model is drowning in it. However, I loved these two looks – x, and the suit on the left, y.

The water-soluble paper dresses at Chalayan were insane. He knows how to create a memorable moment. This is one that will go down in history, just like his table dress from 2000. The moment is best enjoyed in video. A lot of the collection was rather nice too (lots of wearable pieces) but I think this just took the entire focus.

I thought this outfit at Paco Rabanne was cool. The trousers are marbled so subtly that upon first glance you might not even notice.

Alexander Fury best described Celine in his review for The Independent. He said it was “utility” in the sense that Philo was interested in making clothes that had a function in daily life. I don’t think I can say it any better because that’s exactly what it was. I adore this coat with the randomly placed buttons and also this jacket (I don’t think the full runway look would work in real life.

Martin Grant had great minimalist, clean shapes but there were some interesting twists. For example, the piping on this coat, the brushstroke/animal print pattern on this skirt, and the glittery feathers on this coat. I can imagine a lot of this collection will be in Harvey Nichols come spring.

I liked the ruffles on this one dress at Lanvin. I think they were done in a way that didn’t make them seem uber-girly, if that’s possible.

The fur stoles at Miu Miu are something I hope catch on, but maybe for the cold weather until April as opposed to in a summer collection (if they haven’t already). I hope to find an emerald green one soon.

Sarah Burton’s Alexander McQueen has never been my favourite show in Paris, but I did like quite a few looks from this collection. For one, I loved the jeans – something that you’d never expect in her show. Paired with the denim wedges and this insane top, this was my favourite look.

The scuba look of this skirt and top combo at Nina Ricci reminded me of the deceptive double-faced jersey at Prada last season, as did the colour. However, I liked the look and I think the top would be a good one to have in your wardrobe as it could be dressed up or down.

I really loved the exaggerated full skirts at Maison Rabih Kayrouz, with my favourite looks being this beautiful black dress (seriously black-tie party worthy, not that I’m invited to events like that) and this strappier but not dissimilar dress.

The Hermes collection was almost exactly how I’d like to dress. I think the review on style.com says more about it than I ever could.

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