Paris Fashion Week marks the last of the Autumn / Winter shows and it's very much the old adage; last but not least... As expected Paris, is always a site to be seen, and day 1 kicked off in spectacular style with Lady Gaga owning the Mugler runway. Our Fashion Director Alexandra Fullerton picks her favourites runway looks so far. Not to be missed...
Stepping away from their signature red carpet evening gowns, day time dressing was the look du jour at Valentino. Refined nude dresses, demure skirt suits and chic checked coats paraded down the runway alongside lace, a few ruffles and of course winter’s biggest (and least acknowledged) trend, fur.
Amidst strong rumours that McQueen is the designer of choice for Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, pure white dresses and coats were a strong focus at Sarah Burton’s autumn / winter collection. Embellishment was key with either fur, frayed edges and lots of organza adorning looks. Silhouettes were beautifully structured with cinched in waists and demure necklines.
The location, as always, was impressive with an erupting volcano in the background, and the clothes did not disappoint either. The collection took on a darker focus with coats and jackets taking on a shabby tattered chic look. Everything had a distressed feel but the look was still characteristically polished Chanel with a touch of attitude.
Lace, leather and fur: Emanuel Ungaro A/W 2011 is all about offsetting textures and plenty of vamped-up glamour. Short cocktail dresses in dark hues were prominent with sheer panelling a key design feature.
Stella’s signature tailoring was a big feature for her autumn / winter collection. Playing with masculine / feminine boundaries she moved her collection on with oversized sloping shoulders and volumised silhouettes. Strong brassy gold were loud accents to the neutral colour palette.
YVES SAINT LAURENT
Pattern was key at YSL with variations of checks, tweed and dogtooth making up the base of the collection. A monochrome colour palette muted down the patterns with a few bright pops of colour in the form of purple and royal blue. Spring / summer’s 1970’s vibe was transformed into an early sixties vibe with a few 70s design references.
Hannah MacGibbon’s new collection injected the 1970’s silhouette with luxurious snake print. Moving on from her signature camel colour palette, beautiful hues of jade green, mustard and burgundy were present and below the knee skirts and dresses were teamed with shirts buttoned up to the collar and high round neck jumpers.
High demure necklines, a mainly minimal colour palette (monochrome with a few injections of yellow, pink and red) and sleek graphic lines were the design mantra at Giambattista Valli.
Marred by the fact that creative director Christophe Decarnin was not in attendance (the rumours are he is being treated for depression or exhaustion) the Balmain show was nevertheless a super-cool tribute to David Bowie-era glam rock style (a key influence for Autumn) with looser silhouettes and sequined details rocking the catwalk.
Nicholas Ghesquiere’s collections for Balenciaga are always conceptually cool with a sense of drama. The designer played with proportion for a surrealist slant that was still devastatingly wearable. Miranda Kerr walked in the show having just given birth just two months ago and Orlando Bloom (her husband / boyfriend) sat next to Anna Wintour to watch her appearance.
The king of curve-hugging dresses created a collection of elegant, chic pieces – a signature he has become known for. The colour of the season, red, made an early appearance in Roland Mouret’s line-up while mustard and khaki also looked enticing and desirable. Fluid silhouettes and the new longer length skirt – either a below-the-knee pencil skirt or floor-skimming maxi – were also key.
One year ago this Turkish designer showed in London, but as a winner of the ANDAM fashion prize Hakaan has moved to Paris where he showed a collection that combined menswear with feminine fabrics. There was a mix of androgynous trouser suits (ticking the masculine / feminine trend) and ultra-sexy mini-dresses that look like an after-dark success story.
Dries Van Noten
Always known for his eclectic approach, Dries’ autumn collection was inspired by David Bowie and the Ballet Russes. There was a mix of print, texture and colour that, mixed with asymmetric cuts looked bohemian and quirky.
Sweeping silhouettes of gothic black segued into a section of bold Yves Klein Blue and a final selection of molten gold pieces. There were still Pugh’s signature sculptural shapes in the religion-inspired collection but the new movement and fluidity of the pieces were wearable and real.
In a collection that was inspired by the question, what is chic? Rochas designer Marco Zanini explored the fashion classics with simple trouser suits, immaculately cut coats and neat pencil skirts. These are real clothes that will make their way into your wardrobe this autumn.
Under the new creative direction of super-stylist Nicola Formichetti, the Mugler show was a Paris must-see. And with the rumours of an appearance by Lady Gaga the buzz about the show was mounting. The autumn collection was inspired by the details that Thierry Mugler made the house famous for in the Eighties (such as sharp black trouser suits, supersized shoulders and sheer bodysuits) and slick tailored shapes.