Sunday, 16 October 2011

today i love... the best of pfw

Just realised I hadn't yet posted my round-up of Paris Fashion Week... oh well, better late than never! I didn't even do one on Milan: I always think I'm going to, but never get around to it. Frankly, I just don't get excited by any of the Italian designers; the flashy, exuberant glamour of the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Roberto Cavalli just don't do it for a minimalist aficionado like me. So I thought I'd just move on to Paris, because there certainly were a good few shows taking place in the French capital which floated my fashion boat. One of the talking points of the week was the debut show by none other than Kanye West, and let's just say the fashion crowd weren't exactly impressed by his bling-tastic designs... However, he did provide a stellar front row which included my all-time fashion icons the Olsen twins (see below for what they were wearing). It was also the first Chloé show since previous creative director Hannah MacGibbon handed over the reins to Clare Waight Keller, and I have to say I didn't love the collection. But luckily fellow Brits Phoebe Philo and Stella McCartney could, as ever, be relied upon to show the French how it's done. So here's my round-up of the best in Parisian chic for S/S'12...


My favourite shows:

Why I loved it: It's almost impossible not to love Chanel, isn't it? Karl Lagerfeld can always be relied upon to produce a beautiful, dramatic show as the cherry on the cake that is Paris Fashion Week (and a stellar front row). This season it was an underwater wonderland. Karl added interest to what was quite a classic, light collection in simple structured shapes with design details such as zig-zag piping, frayed edges, pearlescent finishes and zips. He accessorised with flat shoes (!) in shiny silver and simple strappy sandals. It all felt very fresh, glowing and fun, with flashes of iridescence referencing Karl's apparent muse, the mermaid.
Colour palette: White; black; silver; pearl; metallic aqua blue; peach pink.
Trends: metallics; monochrome; tailoring; iridescence; ruffles.

Why I loved it: It's Stella's understated minimalist elegance which keeps her die-hard fans coming back each season, but this collection the designer tiptoed outside of her usual comfort zone. A slightly sporty aesthetic showed hints of mesh peeking out from the tops of dresses and beneath trouser suits in crisp block colours, while a motif of waves breaking against the shore added a touch of lightness to many pieces. Combinations of textures like mesh, satin and lace met on simple one-colour dresses, while daring patterns of gingham, checks and paisley broke the mould a little. It was all less uniform and less masculine than Stella has been before, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Colour palette: White; black; cobalt blue; red; dove grey; grass green.
Trends: Sportswear; tailoring; mismatched patterns; mesh; monochrome.

Why I loved it: Aside from the horrible crucifix necklaces (a real fashion hate of mine), this was a lovely elegant eveningwear collection. Beautiful draped Grecian-style dresses flowing off the body; diaphanous layers over sleek bodysuits; impeccably cut dresses with sparkling snakes curving up the frame; tailored separates in simple monochrome; asymmetric pieces in rich jewel colours.
Colour palette: Black; navy; terracotta; white; dove grey; lilac; sky blue; yellow gold.
Trends: Evening elegance; tailoring; monochrome; sheer/mesh; sleek separates.

Why I loved it: Phoebe Philo's Céline show is always one of the highlights of Paris Fashion Week. Sometimes it can be a slow burner for me: I don't immediately love the catwalk collection, but by the time the season in question comes around, I am won over. This time, however, I needed no convincing. Quite a wintry show for spring/summer, Phoebe showed crisp structured separates in warm, rich shades punctuated by stark white. There were structured shirt dresses, leather t-shirts, wide-leg trousers with mesh overlay, cocoon-shaped jackets and peplum tops. A very uniform collection, with hits of shiny black leather on tees and jackets providing texture amidst strong, sharp tailoring.
Colour palette: White; black; forest green; burgundy; scarlet; grey.
Trends: Tailoring; sharp, structured shapes; leather; monochrome; mesh; minimalism.


My favourite front row looks:



... And my favourite show of the whole season? It has to be 3.1 Phillip Lim.

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  1. Nice post!
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