An hour had dragged by waiting for Lanvin to start and then I noticed a slow moving beetle-like crush moving down the runway toward me. In the midst of the fussing publicists and black suited guards was a tiny Janet Jackson. She sat in front of me and finally the show started.
Alber Elbaz is known for his luxe modern look at Lanvin – ragged seams, lush draping, major jewelry and vertiginous heels. This season, he stripped away a lot of the extras without losing his opulent feel. Many of the jersey dresses were spare save for zipper trimming and pleats. Most were accessorized with a simple wide leather belt – one had a leather harness – and either heels or flat sandals with metal ankle plates. Colours were putty-like save for a short burst of pleated neons half-way through the show. He turned up the volume with tile-like pailettes and embellishments at the end but, the finale was five stunning black models in deep leaf patterned tunics. After the model parade, Alber quietly stepped out of the shadows and took his bow to thunderous applause. Well done – simpler than usual but no less impactful.
After a quick break, I headed over to Yohji Yamamoto’s show in the Place Vendome. It’s a great venue. (I saw Nina Ricci there last night, and Haider Ackerman will transform the space again tomorrow morning.) Zac Posen was in the front row wearing dark glasses and a black fur jacket. Apparently Yohji had convinced Zac to show in Paris – which he did yesterday to mixed reviews – and now Zac was showing his support. An unlikely pairing: Zac all flouncy feathers, and Yohji a lover of funereal black with the occasional pop of colour. His parade of black dresses – distinguished by lacing, roping, fringe and draping – was finally punctuated with some neon patterns and his finale was a yellow tubed skirt that reminded me of a pool floatation device. I could have used one to get through the rain on the way back to the hotel.
Another day wrapped. More from Paris Fashion Week tomorrow.
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A deserted wharf and a runway decked out like a pier set the stage for a rollicking collection by John Galliano for Christian Dior. As usual, the first major show of Paris Fashion Week attracted a lot of craziness including the phalanx of bodyguards whom escorted Kate Moss to her front row seat. The last time I saw her in Paris, she was walking the runway! From the hype, I thought Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was arriving. Go figure!
Karlie Kloss kicked off the show in a white sailor hat and anorak. What followed was a solid collection of sailor looks – bib front trousers, pea coats – and then tropical patterned silk dresses worn with ankle tied espadrille-flavoured platforms. Being Dior, makeup artist Pat McGrath amped up the beauty with boldly hued eye makeup (fuchsia, orange, turquoise) paired with glossy red lips and fringed glossy locks – very Bettie Page. One of the highlights of every Dior show is the designer’s bow. Once the parade of girls has completely left the stage, the music abruptly changes and out comes John Galliano to pose and preen. This year, he took centre stage in fishtail braided pig tails and a sailor suit, and then walked the length of the runway before striking different poses at various angles for the photographers. Hilarious!
The rain started after Dior so it was a mad soggy rush to the Sixth to get to Isabel Marant’s show. Marant is the leader of “it” girl street style – printed tops, belts, skinny jeans, slouchy boots trimmed with chains. Trouble is, all of the fast fashion shops have taken over her bandwagon so it’s hard to justify watching her runway show when the same looks are available a few blocks away at the local H&M. Too bad because Marant has a knack for sexiness – of note for spring, her rugby dresses, wide-legged denims and wrap cropped jackets.
Next stop? One of my favourite collections – Lanvin by Alber Elbaz. I avoided watching the rehearsal since I didn’t want to ruin the surprise. I headed in when waiters started handing out flutes of champagne. More soon!
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A bright start to the morning for UK based designer Roland Mouret. After a few years when her could not use his own name – issues with a former backer – Mouret proudly took it back. He celebrated in front of a packed audience in the Westin’s grand ballroom (including Sting and wife Trudie Styler) with a softer Asian-influenced collection that highlighted kimono-like jackets, cropped trousers, silk crepe dresses with cape-type backs, and, of course, the stunning body-con dresses he’s known for. The freshest looks featured flat draping and longer mid-calf lengths.
Next it was over to the Palais de Tokyo for Issey Miyake’s spring collection. He challenged the audience to find “the ghost” in the clothing. For him it was through dip-dyed pleats and a fine mesh type fabric that took three years to develop. The section in the middle seemed to come from nowhere – voila! The ghost?! – with its raffia look straws and bold Indian prints. It was all classic Miyake though – distorted pleats, cropped jackets and calf-length trousers.
And now for something completely different – a close-up look at Roger Vivier’s shoe and handbag collection. Vivier is known for his flat buckled flats, and as usual, they came in a variety of textures and colours. My vote goes to the metallics.
I slipped over to the Park Hyatt to check out Canadian designer Jerome Rousseau’s footwear collection. Originally from Northern Quebec, he trained in London and now lives in LA where his sexy whimsical shoes have garnered a celebrity following. This season, he was inspired by the pop art colours and tribal patterns of Keith Haring’s collaborations with Grace Jones. Plus, Rousseau created some wavy stacked shoes for Tron, one of his favourite films that’s being remade this December. Star Olivia Wilde will be wearing them on the red carpet. I love them in the bold moire!