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Paris Fashion Week: Kicking off with Dries Van Noten and Balenciaga

The final spring 15 fashion week has started in Paris, with Dries Van Noten, Balenciaga and Rochas setting the tone.

There was a hippy, trippy mix and match of clashing colour, print and pattern at Dries Van Noten, with a slight nod to the season’s emerging Woodstock-style festival vibe but done in Van Noten’s typically sumptuous way. Foulards, florals, brocades and stripes combine and contrast in a muted, sombre palette, focusing on loose masculine pyjama shapes, long, silky, sheer layers and jacquard tops and dresses layered over trousers.

Alexander Wang delivered a mix of space-age style and sportswear shapes at Balenciaga, elevating simple silhouettes with subtle yet stunning embroidery and embellishment. Settling into his role at the French house, the American designer bought more of his signature street vibe this season, with tight athletic T-shirts and short shorts (very Wang) teamed with dramatic floor-skimming duster coats (typically Balenciaga), while simple knee length body-con dresses came cut and spliced with sheer sleeves, bare shoulders or casual polo shirt-like collars. A statement plastic mesh in varying scales came layered over tops, as peek-a-boo skirts or worked into full coats, all in monochrome black and white, soft pink and stone grey.

Delicate sheer and lace bought a peekaboo element to Rochas romantic spring outing, which was split between the light of white and cream, where floral prints and embellished bird motifs flew across pieces, contrasted with full black looks topped with gold. Smart collared shirts and tops were teamed with dramatic voluminous skirts, creating an odd masculine and feminine clash.

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