Day 3 has been a busy one, more than making up for my slow start. After a sleepless night of insomnia – the jet lag gets you every time – I was off early to the RM Roland Mouret show. This was a strong collection for Mouret with graphically draped dresses and sharp skirt suits. It was a mostly black colour palette with hits of fuschia, lilac and blush. I especially loved the open back hoods attached to tight fitting jersey tops and dresses—one made of velvet. The collection felt very powerful rather than girlish. Christian Louboutin designed the beautiful nude coloured shoes and was present at the show. In a discreet corner in the show notes, Mouret bid farewell to his late friend Lee Alexander McQueen.
Afterwards I stopped by the presentation of resurrected French label Vionnet, at the old apartment of Jean Cocteau. This collection is utterly pretty and feminine with draped, twisted and bowed fabrics in blacks and nudes. Lace and patched fur on formal dresses added texture. One look that caught my eye was a velvet twisted bodice dress with openings. And Lilac fur jackets make the perfect evening cover up. I would love to see some Hollywood starlets wear these looks on the red carpet.
Next I was off to Dior where John Galliano showed a strong collection inspired by equestrian chic. Leather top hats and plaid pants were juxtaposed with sheer floral ruffled day dresses and signature embellished evening gowns. Loving the thigh-high boots and knit thigh-high tights, while bags of mongolian fur added a whimsical touch. The models, who are usually directed to act in most Galliano shows, smiled coyly at the photographers and had a little naughtiness in their step.
A quick trip across the River Seine to French chic darling Isabel Marant. Marant has become a go-to label for hip young things looking for Left Bank style. She continued with a tough chic aesthetic that was a little bit 60’s-meets-80’s glam. Graphic prints and blue and red cropped denim jeans were core pieces. (I can easily see these flying off store shelves.) There were striped glittery sweaters, metallic bomber shaped jackets in silver and gold lamé. And big shoulders were still prevalent on jackets and sweaters, as were leather biker pants. Sequined leggings recalled Iggy Pop, along with a striped fur coat. While big crystal drop earrings, wrap belts, fringe bags, and simple black pumps rounded off the accessories. It was refreshing to see fashion favourites Karmen Kass and Erin Wasson make rare appearances on the catwalk.
A quick wardrobe change and I’m off to Lanvin. This is one of the shows I’m most excited to see all week. Alber Elbaz seems to know inherently what a woman wants. Strong, powerful and sexy—this collection was combination of all three. With his signature draping and embellishment, Elbaz’s work seems to take a step forward in fashion. These clothes felt utterly modern in their graphic, structural silhouettes. Models, unified in sharp black wigs, came out in oversized coats with wide shoulders or statement-making fur. Dresses were sculpted with intricate draping and twists and techno beats on the soundtrack totally jived with the clothes’ futuristic tribal appeal. Necklaces were still a statement in graphic metal shapes with spikes, feathers, etc. But it was the adornment on some of the finale dresses that really took the collection to the next level—metal beading, feathers, et al. A cherished moment for most fashion folk is Elbaz’s endearing closing walk down the runway and this season was no exception. This show always ends on a high note and is certainly a highlight of the week.
Next door in a much colder warehouse space, the Martin Margiela team showed their first collection after acknowledging that the mysterious Mr. Margiela himself was no longer at the label. I thought this was one of the sharper more polished Margiela collections in a while. Of course old tricks like backless pants and exaggerated waists were present, but with those quirky signatures came very wearable knits, soft sheer skirts and cool jackets with structured sleeves that looked like wings. The red tuxedo version caught my eye.