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.
Because I am quite far behind on my fashion shows I have decided to condense the last few days into one final post. That means that these are the absolute stand out pieces from the final days of PFW.
There should also be a moment of silence for both Jean Paul Gaultier’s last Hermes collection and Sarah Burton’s first collection for Alexander McQueen. Let the changing of the guards commence.
Paul and Joe
Day 6 makes me wish I was in Paris even more than I usually do. Chloe, Stella McCartney, and Yves Saint Laurent are some of my all time favorite brands. I realize I say this with a lot of fashion houses, but this time I really mean it. I do.
However, I’ll be honest, these collections were not my favorites the designers have done, it is like Meryl Streep being in a romantic comedy, or Karl Lagerfeld designing a line for Target. The clothes are still absolutely amazing compared to everything else out there, but they aren’t up to the previous standards they have set in the past.
Yves Saint Laurent
They are absolutely everywhere. All over the internet, featured on the Vogue UK blog and Refinery 29. On the manicured hands of Tim Gunn and potentially pinned to the jackets of everyone at Fashion Week.
These are, of course, the fashion finger puppets, of which I hope to be a collector. They are adorable and quirky and actually match the likeness quite well.
Some of these puppets are sold individually, and others in sets like the ones created for the various Fashion Weeks. There is a New York group, London, Milan, and Paris group. Though they are a bit expensive, $120 for a set, they might be worth it when you have an insanely fashion knowledgeable child one day.
Karl Lagergeld, Boris Johnson, and Grace Coddington
New York Fashion Week, with Andre Leon Talley and Donna Karan
Paris Fashion Week, with Alber Elbaz and John Galianno
To see more of the fabulous creations, go to http://www.rubbishmagshop.com/.
I think it is time I devote a post to Karlie Kloss. This is mainly because she is everywhere. Opening runway shows, doing advertisements, being featured in editorials. And she is only 17. And grew up in Missouri. No big deal. She is also 6 feet tall.
Am I envious? Jealous of this doll faced girl traversing the globe wearing the most beautiful clothes imaginable? Well yes, maybe a little bit.
But I have to hand it to her, she’s good at what she does, she has an interesting look to her, and she is such a chameleon. One day she will look like a carefree teenager, 16 years old at best, and then a few hours later with a little mascara and some blush she is a Dior vixen twice her age.
Let’s examine some of her best magazine work, both ads and editorials:
Sonia Rykiel for H & M
Oscar de la Renta
And the runway:
Jean Paul Gaultier
Dolce and Gabbana
I really cannot believe I am about to say this, but the truth must come out. This is like the time when I said that I didn’t like Sarah Jessica Parker’s yellow Valentino dress at her movie premiere. This is something I do not do very often, but I cannot just ignore it.
The Chanel couture show. What happened? Where is the Karl Lagerfeld, I know and love? The man who gave us:
Mr. Lagerfeld has a habit of making me yearn and lust for his dresses, occasionally dreaming about them and their absolute stunning beauty. But this couture collection did not. I was completely and totally underwhelmed, upset even, at the lack of creativity and wonder. The pieces were pretty and obviously well made, but I do not want to think, “Oh, well isn’t that a nice jacket,” when seeing a show, I want to think, “What can I do to get my hands on it? Who do I need to distract to sneak backstage and rip it off the model?” And I did not feel this way about any of the pieces. And this is Chanel! One of the single greatest fashion houses in the world. There were a few that I liked and I have posted them below.
I understand that they are great pieces, that the clothing is wearable and cautious of the uncertain times that we live in. But I want to be transported from my quiet little sea side town, I want to forget about money, jobs, people, and the world frankly when I see a couture show.
I would really like to hear others opinions about the show, maybe I am way off base, but I have a feeling that I am not alone in this thinking. (Also, remember that Lagerfeld often does a lot of looks in his collections, I have picked the absolute best, there are over 30 looks not present here.)
There are about 4 things (out of 64 looks) that I loved. What happened Karl?
When I was in Middle School I remember countless assignments where I had to express what my goals in life were. I always found these tedious, because I knew what the teacher was expecting: a family, a nice job, a great house, etc. And while I did want these things I didn’t really think of them as goals, more as obligations of a sort.
So I would write that I wanted to win an Oscar or meet Karl Lagerfeld, have couture gowns and a penthouse apartment on 5th Ave. rather than a ranch style in the suburbs.
Over the years, of course my goals have changed, evolved, and grown and I have now found a new goal to add to my lengthy list. To be given the Fashion Icon Award by the CFDA (Council of the Fashion Designers of America). This year it was given to Iman, a well deserving model, entrepreneur and soon to be television host. In the past years the winners were Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Kidman and C.Z Guest. The award is not given out every year, so it is special when it is handed out. And how I would love to be on the receiving end of that.
It is given to women who appreciate fashion and have relationships with designers. They aren’t frightened of it, rather they embrace it whole heartedly and show off their style to the world.
Sarah Jessica Parker
And then hopefully, me.