Catwalks in the French capital took a fresh direction for autumn, displaying miniskirts, psychedelic patterning and bold animal prints.
- Images provided by Catwalking
French designers looked to bring back the old classic, animal prints, for autumn, covering everything from statement outerwear to separates. Leopard spots stood out as the preferred option, especially on cosy coats and jackets worked in fuzzy and furry textures. Elsewhere, snakeskin designs and tiger stripes also featured. Buyers should focus on toned-down colourations such as creams and greys to give this trend a wider appeal. A nod to the trend can also be achieved through animal-print linings and trims for less adventurous shoppers.
The dominant print and pattern trend saw designers push psychedelic takes on geometrics and abstract interpretations of repeats. Graphic stripes took an op art direction with groovy curves and spirals at Dries Van Noten and Acne. Others, such as Carven, Chanel and Kenzo, pushed off-kilter mix-and-matched patterns. Colour is key so choose prints in simple black, white and neutrals if your target shopper is less bold.
A perennial summer trend, floral motifs bloomed on the Paris catwalks for autumn 14. Giving them a more wintry feel, designers such as Dries Van Noten and Elie Saab produced pretty garden flowers on black or dark backgrounds for a moodier take on the romantic print style. Elsewhere, Valentino was among those that carried floral embroideries and embellishment on from spring 14.
While New York, London and Milan focused on longer lengths and fuller skirt shapes, designers in Paris pushed much shorter, miniskirt shapes. Although this thigh-skimming trend may be a difficult one to translate across the whole womenswear market, some designers pushed a new-look A-line short skirt, spotted at Louis Vuitton, Dior and Valentino.
This flirty take on the mini will be a high street winner and key party and eveningwear shape.
Mannish tailoring and androgynous dressing was seen at many shows this season, but Paris confirmed a focus on baggier, oversized trouser shapes. Slouchy wide legs in relaxed, elongated cuts created a floor-skimming, pooled effect.
Other designers such as Phoebe Philo at Céline took some trousers into a full-flared direction.
The baggier, more directional designs on show might not have widespread appeal, but a focus on wider legs and looser trouser shapes will be important for autumn.
Cropped to culotte
Another key trouser shape for next season is the cropped silhouette, ranging from ankle skimmers to calf-baring culottes, in various trouser styles. While difficult to pull off, the more trend-led culottes will appeal to the younger market, while a simple trouser design, such as plain wool or pared-back denim at the likes of Christophe Lemaire or Sonia Rykiel, will keep the style wearable and appeal to a wider set of shoppers.
Show of the week: Louis Vuitton
Former Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière stole the show on the final day in Paris, closing fashion month with his debut collection at Louis Vuitton, following the departure of creative director Marc Jacobs from the LVMH-owned business.
Ghesquière’s highly anticipated catwalk triumphed with a cool and understated collection of easy separates and statement dresses, balancing his signature fabric play with the luxury that Louis Vuitton is known for.