A month of fashion draws to a close, as the Paris Fashion Week shows wrapped up in style this week. StyleNest report on the hottest trends and biggest names you’ll be wearing come Spring Summer 13.
New York, London and Milan showcased a wealth of style delights over the past month, but the city the fashion set wait with baited breath to see is Paris. From the superbrands such as Chanel to the labels that epitomise Parisian chic like Isabel Marant; here’s StyleNest’s roundup of the very best from Paris Fashion Week.
The hottest show ticket in town is without a doubt Chanel. Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld always impresses and delivers something new, fresh and exciting, yet quintessentially ‘Chanel’. This season was no exception as models took to the floor draped in gobstopper sized pearls (Mademoiselle Coco would be proud), those iconic Little Black Jackets and elegant, pure white column dresses. A shorter hemline, washed-out denim, oversized sleeves and a couple of magenta colour pops kept things young and playful, with a definite 60s vibe. There’s no doubt that Chanel are still the frontrunner of fashion.
This show season saw two of fashion’s powerhouses take on new design chiefs, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. Since Raf Simmons left Jil Sander and was announced as Creative Director of Dior back in April, the fashion industry has been on tender hooks. They needn’t have worried as Simmons’ first collection perfectly balanced the old with the new, respecting the elegant, feminine and classic style of the Dior fashion house and blending it with modernity and wearability. The collection kicked off with sophisticated black trousers suits, moving forward into bursts of pearly, mini ball gowns and culminating in neon, lace, laser-cut and iridescent dirndl skirts.
Iconic French fashion house, Yves Saint Laurent showed for the first time under the new name of simply, Saint Laurent, and under the creative vision of new designer Hedi Slimane. The collection was dark and moody with a rock ‘n’ roll vibe, as models strutted their stuff in black leather, tuxedo jackets, 70s shapes, the skinniest of jeans and the most oversized of trilbies. Think Hendrix meets Doherty, the collection was full of musical references and is one that is sure to divide the fashion critics this season.
Another collection to look back to iconic fashion decades past was Marc Jacobs’ graphic 60s vision at the Louis Vuitton show. Models came out, two by two down four towering escalators decked out in Mod inspired shapes and monochrome prints. Flashes of zesty lemon were juxtaposed with stark white, brown checkered prints and 60s swing coats. The collection was fun and flirty, the type of show that instantly brings a smile to your face.
Monochrome seemed to be the palette of choice amongst the French powerhouses as Celine and Chloe both showed confident collection in black and white. Chloe’s SS showcase was a little sporty with oversized sleeves and cropped proportions layered over one another. At times it was boyish with boxy shapes and tailored shorts, but a burst of ruffles on necklines and sleeves keep things just on the right side of feminine. Celine meanwhile, stuck to what they know best, an impeccably chic, sophisticated collection. Well-cut separates in a monochrome palette were layered over one another – a tunic over cropped pants or a cropped jacket over a silk dress. A hint of the palest pink added an unexpected girlish edge, whilst striking red shoes finished the looks off in sexy style.
Representing Paris’ effortless, Left Bank cool vibe were PFW regulars Isabel Marant, Carven, Vanessa Bruno and Roland Mouret. But it was France’s leading lady of the moment, Queen of Boho Chic, Isabel Marant who caught our eye. However this came as no surprise after her AW12 Western inspired collection has motivated near enough every high street store to replicate. This season, her collection is just as fun and frivolous, featuring Bermuda shorts, retro floral swimsuits and paisley print sundresses. Perhaps not her most exciting collection to date, but it sure did scream summer.
One brand experiencing a revival right now is Kenzo. Huge in the 90s, the brands spotlight has faded slightly over recent years but with a design mix-up and cult brand Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim at the brand’s design helm, it’s one to watch, or re-watch perhaps. The Kenzo DNA of safari chic, bold colour and print clashes was present in the most recent collection, nodding to the brand’s heritage, but given a modern, more youthful twist.
On to the Brits and some of our finest homegrown talent showed across The Channel. Stella McCartney’s love affair with sport sees no sign of waning as models were cocooned in sporting white oversized shirts, slouchy breathable fabrics and athletic relaxed tailoring. It wasn’t all tennis whites; fresh tangerine and grass green offered some bold colour pops, whilst Broderie Anglais and tea dress inspired frocks added a playful element.
Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen had one clear summer inspiration for her well-received collection – bees. Honeycomb shaped prints in textured gold made its way onto trousers suits belted with bee-adorned belts. The effect was beautiful, you could almost imagine it feeling and tasting like honey. The accessories stuck with the theme too – cage-like hats that came over the eyes looked as though they’d been borrowed from a beekeeper, albeit a very stylish one.
With such a jammed packed schedule running for over a week, not to mention the numerous presentations and off-schedule shows, Paris Fashion Week can be somewhat overwhelming. The fashion superstars from the likes of Chanel to Dior take centre stage each season, and it’s often easy for lesser-known brands to get lost in the spectacle of it all. One young brand that stuck out however was Sacai. Now in it’s third Paris season, the Japanese brand is certainly one-to-watch. There was something quite boyish and mischievous about the collection – buttoned-up collars were mixed with flirty skirts and rebellious parkas. A palette of school-inspired greys, whites and blues added subtle texture, whilst biker jackets were given a girly update in floral green with peplum frills. If you haven’t heard of Sacai just yet, we’re guessing it won’t be long until they’re one of the most sought after show tickets on the schedule.
Unlike London where the trends were easy to spot, be it cool spring blues or 60s sport luxe, the Paris shows marched more to the beat of their own drum. Given the fact so many global, iconic brands show in Paris, it’s no surprise. One thing that did stand out though was nostalgia, be it reference to 60s chic, 70s rock ‘n’ roll or an homage to the brand in question’s heritage. All in all, it was an impressive season and one that’ll make you remember just what it is about fashion and style you love so much.