Paris Fashion Week: S/S 2009 Review - Part One
Ahhh... Paris. One of my favourite cities in the world. This is the last stop on the S/S 2009 Fashion Week train, and it promises to be memorable - what with Dior, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and YSL presenting shows. Here are the good, bad and ugly:
Balmain: This is one fashion house that has made a very quick comeback. Forget Halston. Balmain is coming back from the grave on a mission. Christophe Decarnin has revived this brand so that it appeals to a new generation of fashion lovers. This collection cried the 80's, with sequined Sergeant Pepper-esque jackets, ripped acid wash jeans and structured shoulders. Girls around the world will be laying down daddy's credit card to get these items.
Gareth Pugh: Trust the talented Gareth Pugh to come up with the most out there collection as seen yet. A cross between Alice In Wonderland, Star Wars' Storm Troopers and London Goth kids, the collection certainly won't be seen in Harrods next season. It was more art show than fashion show and should be put in the Victoria and Albert. Mr. Pugh has some very creative and eccentric ideas though and his shows are always entertaining.
Nina Ricci: Olivier Theyskens showed a dreamy collection of fairy queens. His designs were flowing, transparent and light as air. Consisting mainly of dresses with the same silhouette of sweeping trains, the collection was a bit restrictive and best suited for the red carpet rather than real life. No trips to the local diner in these clothes.
Christian Dior: Labeled as "tribal chic" by John Galliano, the Dior collection for S/S 2009 consisted of flirty skirts and dresses, cinched waists, intricate python jackets and sexy bustiers. Opening the show with a series of black looks, Galliano slowly transitioned into a rainbow of dresses - some with abstract animal prints. He seemed to play it safe this season but let his true creative spirit free at the end of the presentation in the form of his evening dresses. The whole collection is definitely suited for retail.
Isabel Marant: Finally some casual clothes that can be worn on a Sunday stroll! Isabel Marant showed a collection that was perhaps inspired by middle America, maybe she had met a farmer's daughter or spent some time in the country sitting on tractors. There was patchwork, plaid, denim shorts, suede boots wrapped in chains, low slung belts and lacy, baby doll dresses. All very very wearable and will likely be snatched up by all kinds of city girls.
Vivienne Westwood: I have to say, not a fan of Ms. Westwood's collection for S/S 2009. It looked like she had gone down to the Salvation Army and picked through the bin of items that no one wants, cut them up and sewed or tied them together. This collection is not for the commercially inclined, but I suppose that Vivienne Westwood really is the anti-consumer. Her final dresses were what looked like draped bed sheets, there were dreadful prints that would never sell in a fabric store and plastic saran like sheets. Perhaps this was her expression of conservationism?
Balenciaga: Wow... I don't really know what else to say. It's not the good kind of wow, it's the bad kind of wow. I'm usually a big fan of Nicolas Ghesquiere but his presentation of futuristic and androgynous garments didn't do it for me. The mood was rather dark and dismal, even with the brightly coloured spotlights that changed colour as the models walked. The models looked ill and anorexic with sallow faces and skeletal features. There were some metallic dresses towards the end of the show that caught my eye but I definitely won't be rushing out to buy Balenciaga next season (not that my credit card allows me to... )
Ann Demeulemeester: I'm not usually a fan of this one, but Ann Demeulemeester's S/S 2009 show was actually rather good. The clothes were soft, draped and layered, and predominantly black and white with a burst of red mid-show. She showed several beautiful dresses that just skimmed the thigh - perfect dresses for movie premieres. Her show was much more commercial than season's past but each garment could still be recognized as an Ann Demeulemeester piece.
So far, Paris has produced a lot of oddities. Very avant garde. And is it just me, or are the models in Paris skinnier than in any of the other cities? Stayed tuned for part two of our Paris Fashion Week review...
Read our past reviews on the International Fashion Weeks at CIVILIZED SPICE:
Photos courtesy of Style.com and WWD