On the Runway

The Top 10 Trends From Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer '11

Check out our post-Paris spring runway report

The cropped leather jacket at Elie Saab; Photo by Anthea Simms

The flat shoe at Balenciaga; Photo by Anthea Simms

White wear at Hermès; Photo by Anthea Simms

Neon brights at Miu Miu; Photo by Anthea Simms

YSL-inspired clothes at Louis Vuitton; Photo by Anthea Simms

The mid-calf length skirt at Sona Rykiel; Photo by Anthea Simms

The white shirt at Akris; Photo by Anthea Simms

Rock ‘n Roll at Balmain; Photo by Anthea Simms

Feminine accents at Chanel; Photo by Anthea Simms

Menswear at Alexander MQueen; Photo by Anthea Simms

Paris can always be relied upon to turn the direction of a coming season’s fashion upside down or back to front. Not for spring 2011. Most of the major collections played it safe with simple minimalist designs or presentations that didn’t veer from the house’s mandate. Still, there were some spectacular shows that we’ll be presenting in FLARE next seasons.

#1 HE said
Menswear inspired tailoring – think structured jackets over slim or wide-leg trousers, white shirts, and sleeveless jackets. Where? Celine, Lanvin, Dries van Noten, Hermes and Stella McCartney.

#2 SHE said
A few key collections exploded with a wealth of ruffles, feathers, sequins and lace in pretty cocktail dresses, sweet suits and floor sweeping gowns. Where? Nina Ricci, Chanel and Emanuel Ungaro.

#3 Punk & Rock ‘n Roll
Street style popped up: Early 90s grunge – both with a polished touch – at at  Balenciaga with shiny giant houndstooth patterns, motorcycle jackets, cropped hair cuts and creeper-style flat brogues. At Balmain, the look was all Sid Vicious with slashed tees, skinny jeans and safety-pinned jackets. Jean Paul Gaultier took the American side by dressing models in Joan Jett black spiky wigs and ripped and fringed black leather and lace.

#4 White Shirts
The return of the white shirt came as a classic button down to an over-the-top wedding gown made from giant cuffs and collars. In the middle lay all kinds of great white tunics and shirts – detailed or spare – for ‘round the clock wear. Where? Viktor&Rolf, Giambattista Valli, Stella McCartney, Chloe, Celine … everywhere.

#5 The Mid-Calf Length
While there were a few minis and many knee-grazing styles, mid-calf length skirts dominated the runways. The topy style? A swish and flourish of pleats. Where? Lanvin, Stella McCartney, Miu Miu, Chanel, Chloe.

#6 Yves Saint Laurent
A designer’s vision often inspires others for several seasons. In recent years, Balmain and then Celine led the pack. This season, designers mined the classic archives of Yves Saint Laurent. Think Oriental accents, bold colour blocking, model diversity, peasant blouses. Where? Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Sonia Rykiel.

#7 Neon
While black and white are always a graphic choice, and powdery skin-tone makeup shades added a soft touch, shocks of neon popped up everywhere. At times, it was in small doses (a belt or neckline bow). At others, it lit up an entire look. Where? Lanvin, Miu Miu, Celine.

#8 White
At times it felt like drycleaners had sponsored the leading tone of the season. Most collections opened their shows with a pure white head-to-toe statement: a tough look that can slip into uniform dressing. Where? Celine, Chloe, Dries van Noten, Viktor & Rolf.

#9 The Top Shoe
For the past several years, the more outrageous the shoe with the highest heel possible sent models tumbling on the runway. For spring, many of those same designers chose flats – from Doc Martin style boots to ballet slippers. Where? Chloe, Giambattista Valli, Balenciaga, Chanel, Valentino, Lanvin.

#10 The Cropped Leather Jacket
Biker styles ruled the runways but others were pretty with rows of bias ruffles, zipped and wrapped, safety-pinned, or shown in python or metallics. Where? Valentino, Barbara Bui, Haider Ackerman, Jean Paul Gaultier, Miu Miu.

Other hits to remember: lace, the colour orange, jumpsuits, up-scale denim and printed silk day dresses