Friday, March 11, 2016

Paris Is Over: Let's Talk About It

Paris Fashion Week is like the whipped cream they add on top of your sundae after multiple layers of chocolate sauce, 3 scoops, and maybe a few mixed nuts. In other words, it's the best part of fashion month and deserves to be savoured. For those of us who aren't running from show to show in the fashion capital (but studying for a math midterm), this savouring can be a challenge, but a necessary one that provides solace in times of high stress. Now, let's cease the chatter and talk Paris. We have some of our top designers in Paris who return every season with a mindblowing collection that never disappoints (regardless of numerous departures behind the scenes): Christian Dior (the powerful opener filled with equally powerful beauty looks to compliment some highly enviable outerwear), Chanel (the reinvention of tweed suits, romantic ruffles, and funky, yet elegant, equestrian hats), Giambattista Valli (the flirtatious mini dresses filled with ruffles and transparent accents), Balmain (glamour fit for the KardashaJenner in all of us), Givenchy (a hint of darkness for the rebel with a (fashion) cause), Valentino (the conservative brand that takes us back to the dark ages in a fresh and bright new way), Saint Laurent (the 80s throwback brand with major bad girl vibes), and Louis Vuitton (the grand conclusion that offers architecture in clothing that appeals to the structured woman in all of us). Some of the more under the radar brands include Kenzo (always offering some wild prints to tickle our fancy), Nina Ricci (presenting the powerful feminine figure with hourglass cuts), and Carven (offering wearable chic and effortless french fashions). There are many more I would mention if this weren't becoming a run-on list of fashion's top designers, but you get the gist. Paris is the motherload. Now, on to the reviews.

Dior always opens Paris Fashion Week with a bang. As you may (or may not) know, Raf Simons has left the building and the brand was forced to reinvent itself without losing his very valuable touch (there's a reason this is the first show and we don't want that to change). Though this was a challenge, the show still presented a memorable collection featuring classic outerwear the brand is known for, some bold print choices, a vast array off-the-shoulder looks, this season's latest trend. As for beauty, the models added a dark edge to their soft Dior outfits with some black lipstick and heavy ear accessories. The low buns kept it classic and simple, drawing attention to the sophisticated pieces that descended the runway. Whether an oversized double-breasted coat or a loose off-the-shoulder dress, the collection kept that effortless Parisian look alive while still adding some creative prints for extra flavour.

Every time I review the fashion month collections, there's always one that present a series of looks I would simply love to wear. It's not about the show or the art or the intricate detailing on each look. Rather, it's about my closet and personal taste in fashion. In Paris, the collection that offered exactly what I was looking for was Alexis Mabille. Don't be mistaken, this does not mean it was boring. That is downright offensive to myself and the designer. First of all, I learned how to tie a scarf in an elaborate and unusual way. I also learned how to simultaneously be blond and brunette and how to pull off very flashy flared pants (it's clear the skinny jean is dying and I may actually require this skill in future). Reasons I loved this collection? There were many statement accessories to capture my attention (including some big necklaces that stood out yet blended with the clothing in some strange way), there were plenty of ruffled necklines to make the little girl in me smile, and some pieces looked a little like haute pyjamas (which I'm quickly warming up to). Predominant colours? Pink and navy. It's evident, darkness and light played a huge role in this collection. Can I have all of it, please?

CHANEL (duh)
As much as I hate being predictable, I really do love Chanel. Karl's collection probably resurfaces a lot in my reports because frankly, he's a bit of a genius. This wasn't my favourite from the designer, but I love the layers and layers of pearls that complimented every single look and of course, the whimsical hats. I'm not quite sure whimsical is the word Karl would have used, but let's face it, they looked like a blend of equestrian and bike helmut. One notable accessory? (other than the hats) The rainboots! Who doesn't love a chic pair of rainboots for Fall to compliment your fuchsia Chanel skirt? It's clear, high heels are not part of the Chanel vocabulary and frankly, the heavy jewelry and tailored pink suits are feminine enough to make a stiletto highly unnecessary. After all, wasn't Mademoiselle Chanel all about the practicality? And nothing is more practical than a pair of knee-high rain boots (or even just your basic leather equestrian boot).

Another underrated brand at Paris Fashion Week? Carven. Perhaps it's the Doctor Jeckyll to my miss Hyde, but as much as I love a good bow and frill a la Chanel, Carven reinvigorates my masculine side and makes me want to wear bomber jackets and slouchy black pants. This entire collection was fit for the sexy tomboy who will rock a mini every now and then, but is in her element in a bright coloured bomber in her favourite sports team's colours (or maybe she just likes colour). Though my favourite looks were a tad girly (I must confess), a classic coat with a white fur collar and fitted purple mini dress, I couldn't help being drawn to a certain oversized sweater and cropped grey pants. Let's just say the tomboy in me woke up and yearned to add a little gamine twist to my ever so girly ruffles and lace. One thing to retain from all this? Shearling's the word for Fall 2016. So, spread it.

Elie Saab always feels predictable to me with the long lace embellished dresses fit for a red carpet starlet, but for once I can say that this collection felt entirely different. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of long gowns, but the lace was a little more black boudoir (a little less pastel pretty) and the cuts were slightly more sexy and flowy (a little less conservative). It was Elie Saab revamped for the girl who leaves the party in a biker jacket and doesn't hesitate to rock a floppy boho chic hat to her next black tie event. Some of my favourite looks included a flowy bohemian dress in a tie-dye print worn by none other than Kendall Jenner and a sparkling black mini dress worn with a very large hat I cannot stop obsessing over. It seems the designer is becoming a little more rock n' roll, a little less princess. Or perhaps a rock n' roll princess? Needless to say, I loved him even more for it. And also because there were so many ruffles.

Which collection was your favourite at Paris Fashion Week? Was it one of these or perhaps a unmentioned one like Balmain or Giambattista Valli? 

Ponder it,


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