On the Runway

Paris Fashion Week: Day 8 With Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Miu Miu

Miu Miu Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Miu Miu Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Hermes Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Hermes Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

UPDATE: 

The last show of Paris Fashion Week took place in a tent in the middle of the Palais Royal. Miu Miu is one of my favourite collections – it’s young, quirky, always a little offbeat. This season, the theme was pleats and graphic patterns (starbursts to orchids) plus shots of neon. Colour blocking shaped many of the knee-length pleated dresses that were cinched with narrow neon belts and finished with Mary Jane shoes – high heels, thin straps and graphic neon patterns. (Loved the shoes!) Metallic gold and silver showed up in leather-like cropped jackets. Silk satin in bold tones made great wear-everywhere dresses. FLARE cover girl Dakota Fanning sat in front of me. She’s a sweet girl – actually a stunning young woman – and she told me how much she loved her cover story and photos. It was a fantastic way to end my Paris Fashion Week.

We’ll be back next season – March 3 to 9.

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UPDATE: 

WOW! What a show! I figured that Jean Paul Gaultier would go out with a bang – never a whimper – and that’s exactly what he did for his final collection for Hermés. (Christophe Lemaire, formerly with Lacoste, takes over next season.) My guess was that Gaultier would riff on the house’s equestrian heritage and he played it like a maestro. The floor of the Halle Freyssinet was dirt and wood chips. The curtains opened to reveal a dressage ring with seven horses and riders under massive chandeliers. While they performed complex routines, the models strode out in every sophisticated take on equestrian chic that you can imagine.
A South American gaucho flavour started with the flat-brimmed hats and extended to the flat riding boots. Standouts included suede jumpsuits, leather blazers and shorts, sheer flowing capes, and slinky jersey dresses all accessorized to Hermes’ legendary perfection. Straw and leather Birkins were worn with straw and leather wedge sandals, riding crops and wide leather corsets. The classic Hermès scarf was woven into braids hanging down the models backs.

It was a triumphant collection for Jean Paul Gaultier and one of the finest shows of the week.

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Dolls with giant Afros one season, Brigitte Bardot lookalikes the next – that’s how unpredictable Marc Jacobs can be with Louis Vuitton. Today’s show opened with red velvet curtains revealing three true-sized stuffed tigers. And what followed was a glamourous Oriental disco with plenty of Yves Saint Laurent touches – Asian details such as obi sashes, mandarin collars, frog closures and lacquered heels. Colours were blocked and bright. Jacobs used a diverse cast of models including a newly red headed Carmen Kass and a grey haired Kristen McMenamy who wore her tux trousers with a metallic zebra-painted torso – no blouse. Took me a second to figure that out. Zebra stripes took over from spring’s leopard print – on chiffon gowns to mid-calf length dresses.

Hair was lacquered back and rolled into a chignon around the nape of the neck. Eye shadow was vivid and shimmery while lips were glossy and dark red or magenta.

The all-important Louis Vuitton accessories? Tassled clutches, colour-blocked handbags, high heeled strappy sandals (no wedges). This collection was money in the bank for Vuitton – especially those LV logo lace pieces.