Your one-stop catch up of all the news from the Paris Fashion Week catwalks, with all the news, views and key shows.
Miu Miu’s 1960s lido glamour
In the final show of the season, Miu Miu presented a collection which seemed inspired by a playfully glamorous 1960s lido. High waist Tropicana bikinis and floral one pieces, belted trench coats in fuzzy furs and bold primary patterns and perky striped shirtdresses were all topped with applique floral swimming caps – redolent of vintage synchronised swimmers.
The bold, contrasting prints were a highlight of the collection, with classic patterns such as stripes and polkadots deconstructed and twisted to create a modern, fresh approach to well-worn motifs. The bold, joyous colours of the collection were also a high point, with bold oranges, reds and blues appearing in vintage tinged hues which ensured they did not overwhelm when combined with such vast swathes of pattern.
Alongside the array of swimwear separates, the fuzzy dressing gown coats were also a key piece in the collection, as were the baby-doll, ruched bodices, which were both sweet and seductive – underpinned with a sense of playful glamour.
Racer-chic and power elegance at Louis Vuitton
Nicholas Ghesquiere’s Louis Vuitton collection this season exuded a sense of insouciance and elegance, paired with bold strokes of powerful femininity, nods to 1980s dressing and racer-girl chic.
Shapes were loose, draped and flowy – with off shoulder details and hip level cut outs. However, there was an underlying strength to the shapes preventing any sense of romanticism, puffed sleeves, clean fabrics and brassy metallic, colour block detailing imbuing the collection with a boldness that has now become signature for Ghesquiere’s Vuitton. Chequerboard monochrome patterning, boxy motorcycle jackets and pointed toe cowboy boots also continued the sports-grunge kind of racer-chic.
Sheers and suiting also played a key role in the collection, with deconstructed 1980s power suits appearing alongside bold sheer gowns.
Chanel does retro techno
Things took a turn for the technical at Chanel this season. Ever the showman, Karl Lagerfeld’s collection opened against a backdrop of supersized computer servers, with the first looks shown on models dressed to look like robots. Robots wearing classic Chanel tweed, of course.
Throughout the rest of the collection, less obvious hints of techno were the fluro prints and modern shapes of biker jackets and baseball caps. Within the collection there was a distinctly 1980s twist, the vintage style baseball caps and ruffle sleeved bomber jackets lending a retro vibe to the collection.
As ever, the Chanel boucle formed the core of the collection, but when paired with the fluorescent colours, unexpected accents and experimental shapes, Lagerfeld once again showed his talent for reinventing Chanel classics. The thick threads on the materials naturally lending themselves to the pixelated aesthetic suited to the collections tech nostalgia.
Items such as the boucle baseball caps look certain to become instant hits on street style stars, while lace slip dress detailing and bold colours also look set to influence trends in the mainstream market.
From military chic to disco glamour with Kenzo
From utilitarian dressing to disco chic – the Kenzo collection seemed to cater for every possible occasion this season, with a offer that while disparate in some ways, was tied together by a strong sense of 1980s power dressing glamour.
The show opened with a series of looks in cargo, camouflage and stiff denims. Jumpsuits, dresses, skirts and separates in harsh stiff fabrics created a feminine, yet bold silhouette, with power shoulders, midi-lengths and pockets featuring in numerous looks. Waterproof caping and coats added to the chic, military sense of utility.
From here the collection moved to heightened suiting, with leather, high shine trousers paired with ruffled shirts. High shine and shimmer added once more to the sense of 1980s power dressing with skirts and dresses presented with a lustrous sheen. Digital printed, high contrast photos became a print on some of the later items, creating a sense of casual drama through its almost fluorescent tones.
The final dresses of the collection, super-mini and adorned with supersized shimmering sequins, provided a playful close to the collection – redolent of late night dancing and disco-ball chic.
Poetic whimsy and warrior boldness at Alexander McQueen
Heritage whimsy with a dash of bold, brash sexuality characterised a darkly romantic collection from Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen this season. Flowing lace and studded leather were combined in an intricately detailed collection which simultaneously exuded a delicate sense of femininity, alongside a contrasting bold and powerful opposite.
Chiffon ruffles and delicately embroidered florals were juxtaposed with painted, steel-capped hobnail boots and metal studded leather bodices and bralets. The ultra-feminine clashed throughout with an industrial, almost Celtic-inspired military feel. Tartan suiting, leather ruffled dresses adorned with delicate florals, lacy, fragile pulled tops and dresses and sheer, lace detailed gowns were all highlights.
The final gowns in the show were however the real highlight. Inspired by iron grey, furious seas – gigantic, glistening waves cascaded over the dresses, which were accented at the base with tumultuous clouds of chiffon, creating a bold, intricate and beautifully fluid dress, in an incredibly dramatic finish.
Stella McCartney’s fierce volume for fiery women
Capacious volume, oversized shapes and sporty detailing were the key motifs in the Stella McCartney show this season, with a collection that focused on powerful, daring femininity.
Many of the shapes within the collection were inspired by fierce practicality, with hip-slung bum-bags, cavernous pockets and drawstring detailing appearing on many of the garments. Shirting and utilitarian colours formed the base of the collection, but were twisted and altered into puffed shouldered dresses, billowing wide trousers and scrunched, draped blanket dresses. There was a sense of ‘recycled’ to the materials, with patchwork stripe shirts, denims and unaligned patterning. Blankets were thrown over the shoulders in a relaxed, stylish appropriation of practicality.
Towards the end of the collection the colours and prints became far more digital, with neons and slogan prints splashed across brightly coloured dresses, leotards and trousers. The recurring ‘thanks girls’ motif enhanced the sense of powerful, uncompromised and carefree femininity through the collection, with the later pieces adding a sense of fun and youthfulness to the earlier, more business-like pieces.
Chic, vintage simplicity at Hermes
A classic sense of feminine minimalism was the dominant theme at Hermes this season, with classic shapes and muted colours creating a collection which felt paired back and calm in the midst of the dramatic collections elsewhere in Paris.
Shirts, jumpsuits and tailoring were key aspects of the collection, appearing in soft pinks and camel hues – high waisted trousers gave a sense of vintage glamour to the looks, which were punctuated by unexpected dashes of colour and leather separates.
Highlights included the sweeping, high waist cargo trousers and a rose pink cropped pair which were teamed with a co-ordinating pale pink shirt.
Balenciaga goes kinky
Designer of the moment and head of the Vetements collective Demna Gvasalia continued his makeover of fashion house Balenciaga with his second womenswear collection as creative director.
His spring range contrasted directional nods to couture with a more kinky undertone, shown most obviously via the pumped-up oversized square shoulders of wipe-clean leather coats, the skin-tight spandex legging boots and the hooded latex raincoats.
The square-shouldered jackets came in all forms, from belted trenches and tailored blazers through to cropped patch pocket versions with a military vibe and a directional rethink of an everyday Harrington.
Punchy pinks and a vibrant purple stood out among the bright and bold colour palette, alongside a mix of gaudy floral prints worn in random combinations.
The everyday quirks of Celine
There were more boxy shoulders at Céline, where Phoebe Philo offered pumped-up tailored jackets and straight suit trousers or kicky flares, layered over lighter fabrics that flowed out of sleeve cuffs and at the ankles.
More quirky updates gave this everyday wardrobe a Céline rethink, in the form of backward shirt dresses, or pieces with cutouts at the waist, such as a wide-lapelled check coat, or ruched and gathered dresses that formed flowy cape-like sleeves.
There were even mismatched shoes, worn in contrasting colours, and white dresses splashed with Yves Klein-like painted female forms.
A new day at Valentino
This was creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli’s first solo collection at the helm of Valentino, following the departure of his long-term design partner Maria Grazia Chiuri to Dior.
Many of the pair’s signatures were seen again for spring – beautifully demure floor-sweeping dresses in gorgeous delicate fabrics and feminine shades of pink, red and fuchsia that were as romantic as ever. They came ornately decorated, embroidered and printed with designs created in collaboration with British designer Zandra Rhodes that had a medieval inspiration – sword motifs in particular stood out.
What felt new was Valentino’s fresh daytime offering: shirts paired with flocked, flowy trousers, chopped up knitted jumpers, a brocade duster coat and various slouchy trenches.
A youthful new beginning at Christian Dior
One of the most anticipated of this season’s many designer debuts was former Valentino co-creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior, the first female designer to lead the French brand.
In a somewhat unexpected move, Chiuri opened her first collection with mannish, fencing-inspired quilted tops worn with cropped knee-length trousers in crisp white and bee-emblazoned flat sporty trainers. These nods to fencing continued with a number of quilted jackets and tops, buttoned and buckled over classic shirts and tailored trousers.
Chiuri’s signature dresses then appeared, all light and floaty tulle layers, romantically ruffled and tiered in long and maxi shapes. They came decorated with buzzing bee embellishments and beautiful embroideries lifted from tarot cards.
These stunning evening gowns were joined by plenty of daywear too, appealing to a younger shopper in a refreshing and youthful way. These included decorated knitwear, a classic trench coat and a range of slogan T-shirts, featuring phrases such as Dio(R)evolution and We Should All Be Feminist.
A retro palette at Givenchy
The forces of nature were said to be the inspiration for Ricardo Tisci’s latest offering at Givenchy, where colourful agate stone-print dresses layered over slips opened the show in rich reds, oranges and purples, trimmed in lingerie lace.
There was a retro psychedelia to some dresses, featuring polka dots and stripes in zany colours that were chopped up into contrasting panels across frilled dresses, while some casual button-up dresses with wide, pointy collars had a more casual air, panelled in wavy waves reminiscent of lava lamps.
The second half of the show featured Tisci’s signature sharp tailoring in oil-slick black. Some blazers were cut at the waist with decorative zips or with oversized patch pockets perched on hips.
Boyish elegance and naval theme at Chloé
There was a boyish edge to the usual girlish elegance of the Chloé girl this season. Delicate florals, pastel embellishment and bohemian ruffles remained strong themes within the collection, but slouchy masculine tailoring, darker tones and masculine, minimal outlines punctuated the sweetness of the collection.
Creative director Claire Waight Keller cross-referenced this pared-back femininity with a naval, military theme. Navy blue, white and red stripes were combined in flag-like patterns, while rope straps and motifs appeared throughout the collection, alongside high-waisted military trousers and girl scout shorts.
Some of the more classic Chloé shapes returned as 1970s florals and swirling ruffles on knife-pleat chiffon dresses and skirts, and babydolls. Off-the-shoulder peasant shirts, and lace overlay shirts and jumpsuits embodied the popular Chloé-girl delicacy, which is sure to sell well. However, for the season to come, things are looking distinctly more masculine.
Isabel Marant’s playful boho femininity
Floral boho chic has been the mainstay of Isabel Marant for several seasons, and the aesthetic continued for spring 17, with a feminine, relaxed elegance.
Delicate floral prints dominated the collection, in the form of ruffled dresses, micro-shorts and off-the-shoulder shirts that lent a Marant twist to many of the trends that have emerged from the international collections.
Jumpsuits and altered tailoring also appeared in the collection – adding an undertone of masculinity in the otherwise youthful, girlish show. Key pieces within the collection included the ruffle-shouldered dresses, oversized grey boiler suit and flowing silver trench coat, which was set over a psychedelic muted blue swimsuit.
High-voltage sensuality at Balmain
If there is one look Olivier Rousteing knows how to do well, it is amped-up, high-voltage, glamazon sexiness. And once again, his spring collection for Balmain was characterised with the now signature aesthetic that has been so successful for the brand.
Rousteing sent his classic bodycon shapes, metallics, cut-outs, stripes and sheers out on to the catwalk, this season in an array of jungle hues – from muted khaki to vibrant oranges pinks and reds, all overlayed with a lurex sparkle – adding yet another layer of glamour to the collection.
Alongside the bodycon shapes with deep-cut V-necks and thigh-high splits were several more flowing pieces, featuring capes and kimonos. These may not have been as overtly sexy as the bulk of the collection, but retained a sense of high-powered, bold femininity.
Without the supermodel physique of many of Balmain’s high-profile customers, much of the collection would be difficult to wear. But it must be said that the Balmain aesthetic has been highly influential under Rousteing’s reign, and while there were hints of a more relaxed silhouette, this collection is a continuation of a successful formula.
Rick Owens’ sculpted, feminine volume
Structural and textural experimentation paired with sculptural volume created a windswept softly elegant collection from Rick Owens this season. Known for his sometimes eccentric presentation, this collection seemed almost understated: its bunched tulle shoulder accents, sweeping maxi-dresses and floor-skimming, shaggy capes created a different kind of drama.
The palette was muted and neutral, shot through with pops of acid yellow – a colour also highlighted at Dries Van Noten. Twists of fabric and bunched detailing gave a modern accent to the minimalist pieces, which retained a sense of crisp, experimental femininity.
Highlights included the delicate, oversized cocoon coat, as well as scorched-looking capes, which were draped over dresses in the second half of the collection.
Bouchra Jarrar does Lanvin her way
Another debut in Paris on day two, with Bouchra Jarrar taking the helm at French fashion house Lanvin.
She kicked off her first collection with a display of her signatures rather than pandering to the Lanvin archive or offering an homage to its most recent creative director, Alber Elbez.
The opening look was Jarrar’s through and through - a sleek blazer jacket and matching louche trousers layered over a long and languorous silky striped pyjama shirt. This was joined by a cacophony of neat blazers and chic tailored trousers in various stripes, silhouettes and luxe fabrics.
There were more nods to the boudoir trend, with silky spaghetti strap slips and sheer lingerie-like dresses trimmed in lace. Other stand out dresses included floaty floral printed maxi styles and slinky draped designs that came with waterfall-like cowl necks.
Perfecto jackets were another key theme, sometimes cut sleeveless, decorated with contrasting floppy lapels or trimmed with plumes of feathers.
Heady darkness from Dries Van Noten
A heady darkness pervaded the spring collection from Dries Van Noten this season. With black forming the dominant base for most pieces in the show, the darkness was shot through with luxuriously bright florals, which added an exotic heat.
Metallic brocade fabrics, silks and chiffon overlays added to the sense of sensuality and drama in the clothes, and the pairing of intricate florals gave the garments a sense of sculptural artistry, as if replicating elegantly lacquered still life images in print.
While black was the dominant colour in the collection, acid bright yellow provided a sharp interlude to the darkness, while retaining the exotic tone of the collection. Shapes were incredibly varied, with elegant slip dresses alongside pyjama shorts, lace pencil skirts, boxy silk jackets and Victoriana ruffled dresses.
Maison Margiela’s deconstructed classics
Deconstruction has become a signature aesthetic for John Galliano’s time at Margiela. This season deconstructions of the classic trench coat were the lynchpin of the collection, with the shape reworked into pinafore dresses, coat linings becoming skirts and belts transformed into thin straps. Suiting also played a key role, with oversized shapes presented in heritage fabrics, synched at the waist with broad leather belts, paired with masculine shirts that barely skimmed the thigh.
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Alongside these classic, heritage fabrics came a more modern, sports inspired aesthetic, with bold colours and metallic paired together with towelling robe skirts and wetsuits repurposed as dresses. The combination of these colours and technical fabrics gave this portion of the collection a sense of 1990s futurism. This was enhanced by models accessorised with block colour headsets, Perspex goggles and latex hats.
Anthony Vaccarello’s debut at Saint Laurent
Anthony Vaccarello made his debut at the helm of French fashion house Saint Laurent on day one, stepping into the position vacated by Hedi Slimane earlier this year.
Vaccarello’s vampy collection was fully charged with his signature sexiness and an added dose of sultry 1980s swagger, all black leather, gold lamé and skimpy mini-dresses.
The designer’s starting point was an original 1982 Yves Saint Laurent pouf-shouldered dress. His leather interpretation opened the show as a belted, cinched-waist, plunging neckline, and mini-skirted wink to the past.
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There were more puffed-up sleeves that sang with retro glamour on bustier tops in leather, velvet and lace, sometimes with one sleeve or two. They were dressed down with casual light blue boyfriend jeans or raced up with more thigh-bearing mini-skirts.
Different takes on the tailored smoking suit also appeared: cut slim and cropped as a trouser suit, or a boxy shouldered and wide lapelled jacket worn as a dress.
Olivier Theyskens makes his return
Olivier Theyskens brought his eponymous brand back to Paris Fashion Week on day one, after stints at Rochas, Nina Ricci and Theory, as well as some years out of the industry.
There were elements of the Belgian designer’s signatures here. It focused on his gothy, buttoned-up sexiness and came sprinkled with his classic hook fastenings (see the opening leather mini-dress and its metal clasped front).
The silhouette was also Theyskens through and through – skinny bustiers with waists dropping low into A-line skirt shapes, or lean tailoring.
This was less romantic than previous offerings, but a fresh wearability anchored his return.