Paris Fashion Week: Day 2 with Balenciaga, Balmain, Calla, and Nina Ricci

Lisa Tant 0

Nina Ricci Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Nina Ricci Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Balmain Set To Launch Diffusion Line

Photo by Anthea Simms

Balmain Set To Launch Diffusion Line

Photo by Anthea Simms

Balenciaga Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Balenciaga Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

UPDATE: 

Tucked away in a gallery of the Palais Royale, Canadian Calla Haynes is showing her third collection. Calla worked with Olivier Theyskens at one point and is now creating her own subtle prints in simple silhouettes. This year she was nominated for the prestigious ANDAM prize (won by Hakaan), and her collection is sold in the Room at The Bay. She’s a name that we’ll be keenly watching as her star rises. A reporter from WWD and Barney’s fashion director were there when I left so looks like she’s on her way!

Off to Nina Ricci where the vacant space was dressed in pink curtains – looked like a giant lingerie box and made the vast unfinished space feel intimate. Designer Peter Copping described his collection as “Coeur Joie”. It was like a Parisienne slumber party to me – sweet boudoir jackets, slip dresses, paperbag waist bloomers, pj pants and blouses in soft powdery pastels and embellished with lace, feathers, sequins and embroidery. Sounds too much? Not at all. In just over a year, Copping has turned Theyskens Goth view of Ricci and given it a strong compelling feminine look. When the going got soft, he turned up the volume with leather and cashmere, plus brighter hues including a luxe fuchsia and lemon yellow. Hair by(Guido Palau) was a simple bun while Pat McGrath added warm pink eyeshadow. There’s no denying that Copping’s a romantic – the perfect designer for a storied French house like Nina Ricci.

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UPDATE:

From rock to punk – Christoph Decarnin explored a different path of rebellion in his Balmain collection. While previous collections, which set off a military band jacket craze – took a page out of Michael Jackson’s playbook – his Spring collection stomped out with a Sex Pistols vibe. Ripped, shredded, sequinned and safety-pinned denim and leather jackets and vests were paired with skinny jeans and tiny shorts. Faded stars and stripes tees added an American flavour. It was a rare appearance for Daria who opened and closed the show. A big beauty hit? Carmen Kass’ new short blunt cut.

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I start my day with breakfast with Imran Amed, founder of the Business of Fashion, a terrific blog packed with invaluable news about the fashion industry. Imran is from Calgary but now lives in London. His Pioneers of Fashion series, live-streamed around the globe is excellent. He’ll be announcing his next guest soon.

After that, I head to the stunning Crillon Hotel where Nicholas Ghesquiere is presenting his innovative Balenciaga collection. The look is oversized houndstooth checks in patent fabrics paired with thick soled brogues and spiky cropped hair – futuristic but with a London street scene (Teddy Boys) feel. He continues his use of innovative fabrics with lacy python print, crisp white cottons, draped sequins, neoprene and leather. Cropped biker jackets, asymmetric sequinned dresses, slim skirts and and bloomer styled shorts. I love the variety of models – Stella Tennant rocks the short spiky hair cut while his other stars – Amber Valletta, Carolyn Murphy, a pregnant Miranda Kerr and surprise show-closer Gisele Bundchen all have sleek ponytails.

Next, I jump on the Metro and head to Galerie LJ for a preview of Erdem’s spring collection. I adore his mastery of prints and have my eye on a couple of his spring pieces. His florals have a techno edge that’s still romantic but not sugary. Bravo!

A quick bite of lunch – and switch to flats – before I go to the Grand Hotel for the Balmain show.  

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