In between seeing fashion shows every day during Fashion Week, I like to fit in re-see market visits – a chance to look at a collection up close. I used to make all of my clothes as a teenager so I’m fascinated by construction techniques and fabric. I see the best of the best here in Paris.
After the Celine show, I hopped on the Metro (by the far the most efficient way to get around Paris) and went to Pierre Hardy’s showroom. This talented footwear designer collaborates with Nicholas Ghesquiere on Balenciaga’s footwear, and most recently with The Gap. His spring collection was a mix of heels and flats – both selling equally well, I was told. I was particularly taken with a high-heeled shoe with silver and gold metallic bars that reached up and around the ankle. Hardy designed it as a tribute to Manhattan’s skyscrapers for his first American store opening in December.
My next stop was the Place Vendome for a re-see at Comme des Garcons, also home to the Tao and Junya Watanabe collections. Nicholas Mellamphy from the Room at the Bay was there – he’s one of the very few retailers in Canada to carry the collection. “Rei (Kawakubo) wanted to shake up fashion,” the French publicist told me as he showed me a jacket with two other complete jackets sewn to the back of the neck. “You can wear this so many different ways.” And it does require an imagination and pure love of fashion to appreciate the way Rei, Tao and Junya see clothing. At Comme des Garcons, jackets were meant to be worn tucked into each other, and pants featured full jackets (shoulders and sleeves attached) at the hem. Tao took a more romantic approach with shirred dresses and tiny sweaters with cut-away backs. One of my favourites was a new version of the pinstriped jacket, complete with a smocked back and bouncy shirred skirt to match. At Junya, striped dresses could be manipulated several different ways (back to front, sideways, you name it) and trench coats came with draped chiffon backs. Check out all of these collections on style.com – the effect was absolutely breathtaking.
Tonight’s a quiet night so I’ll be taking a break for dinner with friends. Monday starts with up with one of my favourite collections – Stella McCartney.
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A bright sunny day in Paris – very inspiring to start thinking about spring. First show is right by the Eiffel Tower – Akris, a popular collection sold at Holt Renfrew. The show opens with a perfectly cut white cotton dress and is followed by impeccable suits and dresses in leather, denim and cotton, plus a small group in a vivid oversized orchid print.
Instead of racing back across town for another show, I decide to relax and read by the Eiffel Tower before heading to Celine. It’s Sunday best in Paris – families are out for a stroll and the children are dressed beautifully. I see several tiny girls toddle by in belted camel trench coats. It’s not surprising that one of the best fashion floors at Printemps is for children!
British designer, Phoebe Philo, has put Celine back on the map as one of the most hotly anticipated (and copied) collections in the world. Today, she continued her clean minimalism with an opening set of crisp white tunics, trousers and capes, followed by simple leathers, denim and scarf patterns all in low-slung waist slouchy trousers and shirts. She added texture with a few tunics and jackets in a handloomed nubby carpet texture. Beauty focused on natural makeup with long hair pulled into messy ponytails. She kept her sought-after accessories to a minimum – I spotted a few rich toffee coloured leather envelope bags and nude-toned stilettos trimmed with silver accents.
The street style photographers have reached an even higher level of frenzy this season. Fashionistas dress to be snapped and the shooters swarm them like bees to honey – even their shutters sound like winged insects. Now they’re even shooting beauty – aiming their lens about 3 inches away from their subjects face.
I took the loooong Metro ride back into town to check out the Pierre Hardy shoe collection. Pictures to come!