Friday, March 13, 2015

Paris: The City of Lights And Elaborate Headwear

Paris Fashion Week is the one week in the year that I look forward to most. It is also the most challenging to condense into five collections because almost all of my favorite designers are in Paris. From Hedi Slimane to Karl Lagerfeld to the dynamic duo at Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, these talented designers consistently go above and beyond my expectations. This season, Karl Lagerfeld took us to Cafe Gabrielle with models sipping tea in classic tweed suits. At Moncler Gamme Rouge, Giambattista Valli transported his audience to a riding show featuring models in riding caps and a finale of soldiers wearing head-to-toe red military suits and furry hats. Valentino was the star of the season due to a grand finale of Derek Zoolander and Hansel having a catwalk face-off. Keeping his trademark intact, Hedi Slimane was all about the dangerous bad girl who could care less about her reputation. McQueen was all about the wild hair and bondage inspired dresses and Giambattista Valli was infused with whimsical prints and girly frills. Though I was inspired by many of these collections, I chose five favorites to discuss today. However, I recommend it to everyone to check out all the shows on YouTube and It was definitely a week to remember.

Let's review.

Carven was revived this season by Artistic Director, Guillaume Henry, who offered a fresh take on the brand. The statement piece was a disc necklace featured on many looks as the standout accessory. The show began with a lace white blouse and wraparound lilac mini skirt to introduce a feminine collection with mod vibes. Another reason I loved it? It seemed like everything was catered to a petite frame. From the skintight high-waisted pants in every colour to the cropped jackets, this was a fantasy for short girls everywhere. Though the models walked in loafers for the most part, the pants offered the illusion of height that petite ladies can only dream of. Will I be converting to flats? Probably not. But this collection made it something to consider. 


What do you get when you combine 80s music, two of everyone's fashion heroes from the 90s, and 60s geometric prints? A Valentino blast from the past salad. This year, Valentino took a turn for the retro without taking us as far back in time as they usually do. The designers began their show with basic monochromatic looks with prison stripes as the dominant print. There were some bold printed dresses topped with elegant floor-length fur coats and of course, the traditional Valentino lace and sheer paneling. But the real shining moment was when Derek and Hansel from Zoolander hit the stage and became the biggest newsmakers at Paris Fashion Week. It was definitely a show to remember.


Moncler Gamme Rouge was fashion month's grand finale and Giambattista Valli made sure it was a memorable one. From the moment his first model surfaced out of the mist in riding gear, we knew this was going to be way more theatrical than we are used to from the designer. Though the theme was consistent throughout the show, there were still some standout pieces I am dying to wear. From the white furry skirt to the oh-so-chic plastic raincoat and some mini neck scarves, I was absolutely smitten with this collection. Once again, mini skirts were the bottom of choice topped with matching jackets in tweed prints. Red was the colour of the moment and we found out why at the grand finale when a line of soldiers clad in red suits and furry hats walked onto the runway to welcome back the models. This show reminded us all that Giambattista Valli is a force to be reckoned with along the lines of, dare I say it, Lagerfeld himself. By placing him at the very end, they proved that he's just as worth waiting for as the legendary Marc Jacobs. Not bad, Valli. Not bad at all.


Elie Saab may have finally gotten the memo that his collections look a little too much alike. Taking on a darker turn this season starting with his backdrop mimicking a dark forest, the designer went from floor-length lace dresses to black minis and military jumpsuits. The show began with earth tones to reflect his inspiration, a natural landscape in a dark atmosphere. Some colourful floral prints were introduced towards the middle of the show that may inspire some celebrities on the Red Carpet. Saab took an edgier route with leather and cutout dresses, but maintained a girly image with his flared cuts and some floor-length flowy looks. Though this was a new approach for the designer, there were still enough Red Carpet looks to satisfy an audience anticipating that particular style. He managed to keep it fresh without tarnishing his image. Well done, Elie Saab.


This year's Chanel show was an ode to the original designer, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel from the theme, Cafe Gabrielle, to the tweeds and pearls that dripped on the models. The best part? An ultra classy hairband with the double C's at the back of the head that nobody can stop talking about. This may have been my favorite Chanel collection in a very long time. Though I'm not usually one to be decked in head-to-toe tweed, these suits were gorgeous and unique, inviting me to explore the trend. Each one was entirely different, whether a monochrome look or with a touch of pink, and combined with the classic Chanel black and nude pump, it was nothing short of perfection. The Girl bag made its debut, a handbag in the shape of a buttoned cardigan that I hope to see on our favourite celebrities in the near future (*cough *cough Blake Lively). Let's not forget to mention the wide variety of interesting coats, whether a puffer that took puffy to another level, a cape, or a draped over the shoulders #forthesakeoffashion jacket, each one had its own personality to suit the wearer. With Cara's final twirl at the end and a small smile from Karl Lagerfeld, this show made everyone a little giddy and nothing has that effect quite like a Chanel runway.


Which show was your favourite this year?

Ponder it,



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