Au revoir, Paris Fashion Week
“This is the best Chanel show I’ve seen in the five seasons I’ve been here. We should all just go home now!” said a Parisienne friend this morning at the Grand Palais. Indeed, Chanel knows how to put on a spectacle. Karl Lagerfeld had turned the space into a gallery opening, with 75 installations inspired by the codes and icons of the house (camelias, quilted bags, bottles of No. 5) scattered across both sides of the runway:
Of course the spring 2014 collection had a pop art bent. Starving artists (complete with Chanel quilted portfolios and well-worn backpacks) walked along side poppy graffiti prints. Buyers and gallerinas, with their cashmere sweaters askew and tied every which way, were a playful take on those archetypes:
Another house paying tribute to theme was Valentino. Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli looked to the opera for inspiration, with grand, opulent details (was that leather embroidery?) and lots of lace to build a wardrobe for the modern-day Maria Callas (Florence Welch comes to mind). Despite all the ornament, there was a serenity in the collection thanks, in part, to the duo’s signature girly, puritanical shapes:
French maids in Louis Vuitton-branded stockings and feather dusters greeted us at the label’s show yesterday. The message was clear: It was a cleaning of the house. (Marc Jacobs confirmed afterwards that it was indeed his last show for the label.) Inside, the sets were a collection of his greatest hits: The elevator from 2012’s Night Porter themed collection, the carousel from last spring; the escalators from from 2013’s checker-blocked show. All were painted black, fitting for a fashion funeral.
Spring 2014’s collection was similarly noir (just like his first for the house). Gauzy black tulle tunics darkened denim; exquisitely beaded and pleated perfectos, nipple-tasseled bodysuits and elaborate feathered mohawks echoed Jacobs’ goodbye in the show notes: “To the showgirl in all of us.”
Now that’s an exit.