Paris- la crème de la crème of the fashion scene. Whilst London has street savvy style portrayed throughout the catwalk, Paris has an elegance that surrounds its whole mind set. It is where the designer houses all want to show at- to get placed FROW here is like being knighted by the Queen- the Queen of Style, obviously.
With Parisian chic the only accessory to been seen in throughout the week, there really is no space for clumsiness or lacking in effort…and that is just outside. Inside, on the catwalk and backstage is where the magic really does happen. From the bated, smoky-thin-cigarette-breath of the first publically displayed collection by the new Creative Director at YSL (or Saint Laurent Paris as he controversially renamed it in June) Hedi Slimane and Raf Simons over at Christian Dior, to Chanel’s bicycle rimmed new ‘It’ bag (only at Chanel) checkboard chic at Louis Vuitton, relaxed luxe with Stella McCartney (and an Olympic FROW to match) homage to 80’s icons at Jean Paul Gaultier, flounce and curve at Givenchy, crowns of glory at Commes des Garcons and beekeeper elegance over at Alexander McQueen; you certainly wouldn’t mess with Paris. Here’s FashionBite’s Top 5 PFW SS13 moments on the catwalk:
Whether you loved or loathed the collection by new Creative Director Hedi Slimane (a certain fashion critic at the New York Times, Cathy Horyn who has already made an enemy out of Oscar De La Renta, was not allowed to attend the show and her negativity on the capsule was clear, as was Slimane’s open letter of bitterness toward her.) But it was hard to get away from the hype surrounding him and the renamed design house. In the dramatic blacked out runway, Slimane’s immaculate styling was evident. Seventies shapes and Stevie Nicks gowns with a distinct rock edge that had previously given him the seal of approval at Dior Homme (and the skinny silhouette to match, with even Lagerfeld famously losing weight to fit into one of his infamous suits). With a stella FROW cast from Kate Moss, Vivienne Westwood and Diane Von Furstenberg, it will be interesting to see how the mix reviews progress for the label in the future.
And meanwhile over at Dior, the same hype was being aroused. Raf Simons would be the man who would take over from disgraced designer, John Galliano and for me this was a truly great collection as it moved the Dior brand on and took the label to new, fresh, Simons heights. The Belgian-born designer led the models out in sharp black suits and neck ties then proceeded on fabulously to floral ballgowns, tuxedo dresses, delicate strapless chiffon over causal shorts, neon green embroidery with layered black tulle, metallic sheen and veils; it was a contrasting, varied and wonderfully surprising collection. Raf Simons, you have started well.
Cool, calm and collected it certainly was over at Chanel. With wind turbines lining the catwalk it could have been seen as a demonstration against global warming, but then as Lagerfeld said after the show, “It’s more about the mood of the times, not something you have to translate”. Ah, panic over then. Usual Chanel chic resumed with the stunning strapless white pearl embroidered dress, a boxier-take on the much loved iconic suit, perspex wide brimmed hats, injections of fuchsia pink and navy and not forgetting that bag. When you have someone as good as Lagerfeld at Chanel, why change it?
Beekeeping has never seemed so alluring and with a collection like this, ‘Wow’ is the only adjective that springs to mind. While embracing the female form, with emphasis on the boob and hip, Sarah Burton somehow made honeycomb mesh the most exquisite texture I saw throughout PFW. Crinoline gowns, cropped trousers, tiered corsets, thigh length boots, an array of sunflowers and not forgetting the all important, beekeepers guard. It was so elegant, understatedly sexy and without doubt, in keeping with the McQueen brand of pushing boundaries forward. Absolutely amazing.
The shapes Riccardo Tisci drew on the runway at Givenchy were simply mesmerizing. From a palette of pale blue, white and black; it was femininity with a very structural form to it that was simply made for the modern day, ‘have it all’ woman. Asymmetric billowing sleeves, wavy necklines, layered suits beneath split trailing skirts and flouncy hemlines yet all established in a very conservative, unfussy way. “Sensual, purity and tough,” said Tisci after the show and we definitely cannot argue with that.
Paris, you outdid yourself. Again.
Sian @ FashionBite xx