Alexander Wang’s Balenciaga is becoming a laboratory of sorts. As he gets more confident with the Parisian house’s rules, Wang is slowly and assuredly experimenting with his own signature touches. Sport and structure – common themes in Wang’s oeuvre – surfaced here beautifully in open-weave knits, leather-bonded cable knits and some spiffy evening sweaters. The colour combos were so jarring that they were cool, and consider the last three looks in the show – the sharp, shapely trousers and knotted silk tops fused with sparkly shoulder shrugs – a brave new uniform for evening.
Ririmania at Balmain
The show ran about 45 minutes late because – as the paparazzi outside the Les Salons de L’Hotel de Ville could tell you – we were waiting for Rihanna. I couldn’t see her with my eyes – Instagram suggests she snuck in – but her image was so entrenched in the clothes, at times it seemed like the whole show was a preview of her latest tour costumes. (And I mean this in the best way possible.) The collection’s military-meets-warrior-meets-90s hip hop bent – think oversized jackets and leather cargo pants – was fused with Rihanna-flavour by way of cropped tops, peplums and an attitude you just can’t eff with.
Rochas’ witchy maximalism
Although I missed Alessandro Dell’Acqua’s inaugural show at Rochas, seeing (and touching!) the pieces up close more than made up for it. He wanted the collection to be darker, but still retain that fancy-lady-luxe that Madame Rochas instilled. Case in point: the witty embossed bats (she was obsessed with them) turned into shard and sparkle-adorned skirts and coats. The beading on the more elaborate pieces was masterful.
Garance Dore + Rifle paper co.
The crazy charming gamine Garance Dore has partnered with rad stationery purveyors Rifle Paper Co, turning the pretty illustrations she posts on her blog into greeting cards, calendars and notebooks (you know I can’t resist those). She launched the collection at Claus in the 1er, where between gulps of juice and tiny finger sandwiches, I embraced my inner luddite and lusted after all the pretty papery things she showed took me through (the calendar is a fave). They’ll be at Indigo across Canada and at Life of Makek in Toronto at the end of March.
Nina Ricci’s bedroom drama
With a stage that looked like a giant pink flocked headboard, Peter Copping, the man behind Nina Ricci, knew exactly what we all wanted to do on this wet Parisian day: Put on some slinky silk things and crawl into a warm bed. While the louche, loose trousers, cuddly knits and a dip of deep merlot pairings (monochromatics are trending for fall) were all dreamy and good, the group of lace dresses that closed the show were downright fantasy. If we all woke up like this, who’d stay in bed at all?