Paris Fashion Week: S/S 2009 Review - Part Two
Time for Part Two of our review of Paris Fashion Week. I feel like this particular fashion week is chock a block with great, must see shows. It's kind of overwhelming.
Here's a sampling:
Jean Paul Gaultier: Dance was the underlying theme of Jean Paul Gaultier's collection for next season. Models gracefully came down the runway in leotards with flowing fabric trailing behind them, hair pulled back and concealed under a cap, wearing high heels that resembled ballet slippers. The leotards gave way to chic 40's style suits and daywear - all a bit reserved by Gaultier standards. Thankfully, the evening wear spiced things up... in true Gaultier fashion. Each dress was better than the last - I highly recommend checking these out.
Givenchy: I'm not really sure what Riccardo Tisci was thinking. Well... I do know - "Western Bondage" was the theme of his collection for Givenchy. But something went dreadfully wrong halfway through the show. The first 20 or so pieces were fine, some even great. Then the denim appeared. Denim and leather chaps. I kid you not. He even showed leather leggings... so last season. The collection was all over the place. You must see it for yourself to believe it.
Christian Lacroix: Guests went back in time to the 80's, circa Desperately Seeking Susan, for Christian Lacroix's show. There were bows, lace, embroidery, tutu skirts and crimped hair. There was something for both the dedicated Lacroix followers and for new fans.
Dries Van Noten: Gone are the mismatched prints from seasons past. For s/s 2009, Dries Van Noten presented a simple, yet chic collection of extremely wearable pieces. The garments were elegant and beautiful. The collection mainly consisted of black and white but was interspersed with gorgeous blues, oranges and yellows.
Karl Lagerfeld: Karl showed a futuristic collection on Wednesday. There were asymmetric shapes, glove-like arm adornments and patent leather belts that spanned the whole lower back. The collection was mainly black and white but was interspersed with some brilliant blue pieces. It was a rather severe, yet chic assortment. It always baffles me how Karl Lagerfeld shows such diverse collections for Fendi, Chanel and his own line.
Yves Saint Laurent: Stefano Pilato was inspired by the Japanese for s/s 2009. Specifically, kimonos and fisherman's pants. Some of the pieces were beautifully chic, while others drooped and sagged and engulfed the wearer. I don't understand his obsession with the dropped crotch pant / short. It's dreadful. There were loads of shimmering fabrics in muted tones, even some sequins and sheers. There were several individual pieces that could do very well at the retail level... don't think the shorts are included in that category.
Stella McCartney: The vibrant and stunning backdrop at the Stella McCartney show was the perfect piece of artwork to show her predominantly pale clothing against. Opening the show with jumpsuits reminiscent of the 80's, Stella transitioned into a sexy and provocative series of garments that any woman would love to wear.
Giambattista Valli: I must share this collection with you only because of the gorgeous teacup dresses and skirts that were shown. The silhouettes were distinctly 1950's and perhaps a bit outdated, but pretty nonetheless. And if you haven't already picked up on this from my previous reviews, I'm kind of obsessed with ballgowns as of late.
Alexnander McQueen: Like Vivienne Westwood before him, Alexander McQueen revealed the conservationist in him with his pre and post industrialization collection for s/s 2009. McQueen is the master of detail, nothing is overlooked. This season, he played with prints: what looked like tree bark for his pre-industrial series, then a chaos of black and white for his post-industrial series. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with this season's show after the brilliance of last season.
Chanel: You can always spot Chanel a mile away. Karl Lagerfeld is so clever in that each piece retains the elegance and timelessness of Chanel, yet each is distinctly original in its own way. Bows, tweed, suits and chains. Dusty pinks, black and white. Sweeping dresses, gloves, bolero jackets. All such classic pieces that will span the ages. Karl Lagerfeld is nothing short of genius.
Chloe: The new designer at Chloe, Hannah MacGibbon presented a collection that was a bit drab and boring (with a couple of exceptions), truth be told. The colours were lacking lustre and the shapes were somewhat unattractive. I'm not really sure who exactly is keen on scalloped details - think stagasaurus. Let's hope she's just finding her feet and the next show will be better.
Hermes: The Hermes girl in Spring 2009 is heading West... the Wild West. Gaultier presented a collection that would do Billy the Kid proud. There were stetsons, fringes, boots and low slung belts. It was the cowboy done elegantly. You can't go wrong when you open your show with two supermodel favourites such as Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell. In addition to the fantastic clothes, the accessories were to die for - envelope clutches, suitcases and sunglasses - oh my.
Valentino: It's a bit sad that just as Alessandra Facchinetti seems to find her footing at Valentino, she is cast off. The collection she presented for S/S 2009 was heavenly. It was feminine and elegant, with beautiful colours and silhouettes. She showed shorts in casual wear and as evening wear. And I loved that she showed flat shoes with several outfits. It really was a beautiful collection.
John Galliano: John Galliano is a showman and will always be a showman. His collection was a nod to his home country of England with Royal Guard-esque red and black combinations and mumsy floral dresses. His colours and shapes were energetic and youthful. Like his collection for Dior, his own line will do extremely well at retail. I definitely recommend taking a look at his full show.
Paris was a wonderful wonderful stop on the fashion circuit. It was elegant, avant garde, eclectic, classic and chic. Probably the best collection of shows of all the stops, what with such masterminds as Gaultier, Galliano and Lagerfeld. Now we must wait another few months for the next round of shows.
Read our past reviews on the International Fashion Weeks at CIVILIZED SPICE:
Photos courtesy of Style.com