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Paris Fashion Week

Laura Weir

Theatrical flair ensured the spotlight shifted back to product after the Galliano row.

It was left to the designers on the Parisian catwalks to remind the market what fashion weeks are all about after the media circus that erupted following JohnGalliano’s alleged anti-semetic comments last week.

But they did so with aplomb, especially Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, who embraced a similar type of theatre and flamboyance for which Galliano’s shows are known, to ensure the fashion pack still got their thrills for autumn 11.

As the lights dimmed at the Louis Vuitton show, it was a vision of Parisian chic that Jacobs conjured up like a sartorial magician. Vintage elevators ascended onto the catwalk, bringing with them supermodels Naomi Campbell and the headline-grabbing Kate Moss, cigarette casually dangling from her hand (appropriately on National No Smoking Day). The models were dressed as kinky bell boys and naughty mistresses, as a glorious fetish aesthetic dominated.

And Jacobs wasn’t alone in creating a theatrical performance - Mugler creative director Nicola Formichetti put Lady Gaga on the catwalk, who bestrode the runway in sky-high platforms as her blonde pigtails tumbled down her shoulders.

Sarah Burton exhibited exhilarating skills in her second season in charge of design at Alexander McQueen with a romantic collection that would have looked at home on the set of Narnia. This was craftsmanship at its best, and the employment of daywear fabrics such as cashmere into evening dresses caught the eye.

Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent both impressed with womanly and wearable collections that explored the dainty side of design with an unpatronising interpretation of femininity.

White was also important across the collections, as were polka dots. Stella McCartney certainly cemented their place in the autumn 11 trend line-up.

Other trends to note were a Japanese inspiration at Stella McCartney, while at Haider Ackermann origami-like folds and pattern cutting were striking.

For more images and coverage from Paris, go to www.drapersonline.com/paris

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