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Paris Fashion Week

Marie Davies

As well as confirming some of spring 12’s key trends, Paris designers also brought an alternative palette into play and produced a wave of aquatic-themed pieces.

Paris signalled the end of the major spring 12 fashion weeks, and while the city’s designers rubber-stamped trends already seen in New York, London and Milan, they also pushed a scattering of different ones to the fore.

Fabric construction and techniques moved collections forward, shown in the most obvious sense when taking inspiration from aquatic life. Chanel and Givenchy recreated the appearance of coral, shells and algae, and even the movement of a jellyfish was echoed through fabric at Alexander McQueen. Although underwater influences featured in other fashion weeks, most notably at Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto and Versace, Paris established these as a top trend for spring 12.

Also confirmed in Paris was the sports luxe look, with mesh fabrics and utility details at Chloé, Stella McCartney and Hakaan. Boxy silhouettes such as strong shoulders and oversized jackets will also be key for the season – look to Balenciaga and Céline, which had their own take on this look.

Paris strengthened the season’s move towards a modern femininity, with chic 1950s and early 1960s silhouettes worked in tech fabrics to give them new life. There was also some playing with proportions, with bell-shaped dresses paraded at Louis Vuitton and sculpted-sleeved coats at Balenciaga and Céline.

Paris focused less on print than the other fashion weeks, and colour was much more diluted, with pale pastels and fondant shades, in addition to white, becoming more prevalent.

With the clashing of next year’s fashion dates still causing controversy in New York, London and Milan, at least the four major fashion cities are, for the large part, on the same page when it comes to spring 12 trends. 

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