Paris is absolutely my favorite of the Fashion Weeks. There is just something about the city that makes the clothes more magical, more beautiful, more aspirational even. Below I have edited down some of my favorite collections of the Fall 2011 season. The rest will be posted shortly. For now please enjoy A-C.
Sarah Burton’s second collection for Alexander McQueen boasted some stunning gowns, fit for a Queen (hint Ms. Middleton). The fairly small collection was almost exclusively black and white, very Victorian and full of luxurious fur and structure.
Head designer of Balmain, Christophe Decarnin, has regretfully checked himself into a hospital due to depression, and did not work a lot on the line this season, but despite that the old world house pulled through and created a luxe tomboy ish line. I appreciated the departure from the safety pins and ripped tees, the sequin dresses and metallic fabrics are so fabulous.
Cacharel’s show was interesting, half was the beautiful flower design and the other half was the very simple neutral colored separates, both were equally wearable and modern.
Admittedly the Celine show this season was not as great as it was in the past, but the four looks above I found to be the exception. Fur is clearly not going anywhere (yay!) and for some reason I cannot get that pink suit out of my head.
Hannah MacGibbon didn’t get the best review of this season’s Chloe collection, there was too much snakeskin and not enough of her beautiful 70’s camel pieces that made the line so popular again. However, I really loved the leather pants and these new colors she is introducing for Fall.
Seeing that I am not a “tomboy” in the least (though you should have seen me in the 90’s) I wasn’t a huge fan of Chanel and all of the skirts over pants and boyish clothing. It was mainly black and dark colors, and I feel like only models can pull off the skirt/dress over pants look. But I did love some of the chiffon dresses and black jumpsuits, it is Chanel after all.
Day 4 PFW is all about the quirkiness factor. The designers who showed their Spring collections Saturday morning are known for extravagance and personal style. (Except for Cacharel which is Parisian simplicity in a brightly colored nutshell).
There were surprises in store for us. With designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and Viktor & Rolf, it is basically a given, but I don’t think anyone expected plus plus size singer Beth Ditto opening the JPG show. But she did, and also in the show were two other plus size models, Crystal Renn and Marquita Pring. Gaultier’s eccentric designs don’t really translate to me, but the craftsmanship and layering is quite impressive.
Cacharel and Sonia Rykiel are classic French designers, they both love bright pinks and oranges, colors which scream spring/summer and they take simple designs and make them fascinating.
Loewe, a predominantly leather goods company, has had a new British Creative Director, Stuart Vevers, since 2008 and I am absolutely in love with his new designs. The clothing that I was drawn to the most was made of leather, which makes sense because of the company’s history. He took simple pencil skirts and shift dresses and made them so luxurious by doing them in a soft leather or suede.
And then there is Viktor & Rolf. They are the masters of twisting and deforming clothing, but still making it beautiful. One of their signature moves is to add more collars or cuffs than necessary, and it was definitely not left out of this collection. The white (wedding?) dresses at the end were actually quite beautiful and not so avant garde that they couldn’t be worn.
Over all I am more a fan of Cacharel, Loewe, and Sonia Rykiel for their amazing colors and simpler designs, but fashion would be so boring without Mr. Gaultier and Viktor & Rolf.
Jean Paul Gaultier
Beth Ditto, lead singer of The Gossip
Beth Ditto closing the show with Gaultier
Viktor & Rolf