Our take on all the action from the last days of Paris Fashion Week.
Everyone got a front row seat at the Chanel AW16 Paris show with a single continuous row of chairs being the only set for the presentation, unusual for Karl Lagerfeld, with his previous stints being creating the Chanel airport and supermarket. It was a heavily embellished collection featuring the classic Chanel pieces: frayed chequered suits, towering tiers and frills and a never ending loop of Chanel pearls strung around almost every model’s neck. The first half was an array of pinks, from salmon to cerise, generating a cutesy vibe, which then transformed in to a more sensible winter colour palette in shades of camel, black-browns and cream. Everything was delivered with boater hats, flat riding boots and Choupette cuffs. Of course.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli don’t need any help being recognised for their undoubtedly gorgeous gowns. Their AW16 collection took its references from the dance world, more specifically the artistic movement of ballet that was most obviously spotted on a dress streaming in strips of nude silk as if it was an unravelled ballet slipper. Valentino’s signature layered sheer gowns with copious amounts of delicate beading came glinting down the runway in organza, glitter sprinkled tulle and velvet ruffles. A band of long military coats, black leather jackets and lumbering armoured boots produced a punk ballerina vibe to the collection of fluid dresses and pleated skirts however the tight slicked backed ballerina bun brought the dance spirit right back again, a fitting character for Valentino.
Paul & Joe
It was a catty affair at Paul & Joe’s Paris show on Tuesday where feline prints and masculine tailoring came in abundance. The first look came in the form of a flared denim suit with contrasting violet shirt, complete with a cat printed tie. The initials ‘P’ and ‘J’ were appliqued on to almost every piece, including an expressive bomber, along with doodles of metallic stars and balls of wool. Along with a striped silk mannish suit, came city shorts in camel corduroy and black and grey floral, double-breasted coats and brocade tunics, some featuring lambs wool shearling shoulder collars. Hardly the wardrobe of a crazy cat lady.
Iris Van Herpen
Hips were made wider and waists made thinner at Iris Van Herpen’s AW16 show where he created Alexander McQueen-esque silhouettes. The Dutch designer staged her presentation in front of giant light screens that acted as a double-edged mirror as the models paraded the catwalk. Van Herpen’s designs were created in a state “between reality and dreaming” using 3-D printers and featured laser cut hexagonal discs to create sculptural pieces that envisaged gun-metal armour. Other looks included high neck, circle shaped silhouettes and structured mini dresses fused from a miniature pleated bronze maze. Van Herpen may not be commercial but she definitely blurs the borders between fashion, art and industrial design.
It was all leather everything at Louis Vuitton AW16, with gloves, pants, overcoats and hats all appearing in the wet-look fabric. Nicolas Ghesquière is breathing new life in to the heritage brand after his stint at Balenciaga and this season he turned the Vuitton girl in to a badass. Patent pants came in midnight black and fire engine red, leather boots that laced up to the knee stormed the catwalk and a cropped layered trench created a broken up silhouette. Zips were on everything from the leather overcoats to the tiny, structured box bags that everyone needs as an accessory. Even the looks that involved dresses were round necked, sateen maxis with shoulder length leather gloves and hefty biker boots- as unfeminine as you can get. Silken prints of ropes and knots and zip legged trousers gave a subtle but cheeky nod to fetish. AW16 was about being sexy and knowing it, but not showing it.