Now that the month-long block of consecutive international fashion show’s has come to an end, here’s a look at our favorites from Paris, the city of light and superior design(in our minds).
From Balenciaga’s thoroughly modern take on 60’s futurism to Limi Feu’s wearable avant-garde goods, there was plenty of high-style propositions for everyone.
Balenciaga (and above)
After 10 years of riveting, out-of-this-world collections season in & season out, Nicolas Ghesquiere was back with another astounding sci-fi take on 60’s futurism mashed with the rigor and depth of Cristobal Balenciaga’s couture minded trapeze shapes.
Paired with his sense of futurism, his continual references to the house’s heritage have made his latest collections enviable winners.
Opening with a selection of chic foamy color-blocked jackets that displayed Ghesquiere’s long running fascination with scuba garb, a section of bell shaped dresses followed with contrasting panels that moved on to separates with Basquiat style prints on them.
What made those tops and subsequent pants and shorts feel new were oversized contrasting flap pockets in the kind of advanced techno fabrics that have become a calling card for the house.
Closing the show was a parade of voluminous collaged trapeze dresses that featured archival prints and boasted a techie safari vibe topped with dramatic bell-shaped headpieces that were lifted from an iconic 60’s era Irving Penn image.
Which leads us to once again praise Ghesquiere for his high-arching vision and flawless execution for he is one of the only one’s out there making untouchable, icon-in-the-making fashion today.
While in the short amount of time Carven has come back on the scene it has successfully repositioned itself as a high-ranking commodity when it comes to ultra cute and ultra girlie confections brimming with a youthful ease, it has also packed a sigh-inducing punch via a street savvy cool and elegant unkemptness.
And although Spring 2012 didn’t really have any new or note worthy add ons, it did continue on with the kind of Parisian cool that’s won the label legions of fans in & out of the know.
Here, a realistic approach to fashion is the name of the game and who could complain about that when its done this well?
Bold optical printed separates mixed with completely universal dresses and crisp short suits were a major part of the story along with sweetheart cut-outs and a new update to the collar piece that was festooned with rhinestone ornamentation.
For bourgeois chic that’s slightly sweet, the beat goes on.
While it may be plainly obvious that the latest Celine outing owes a lot to the work of Miuccia Prada and Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, that does not detract from the success of Spring 2012.
Designer Phoebe Philo is a tastemaker in the truest sense of the word and as the old saying goes, “we’ll have what she’s having.”
Plays on volume added a sculptural affect to Philo’s clean & serene mantra for looks that proposed a voluminous bell shape with sleeves that were aerated to create a new glamorous edge.
Full fluid pants were treated with contrasting leather cuffs and the house’s signature color-blocked knits came in a surprisingly uplifting sporty red.
Above all, it was the wide range of jackets, from princess cuts to cropped and wrapped, that’ll really make their way up our shopping lists.
From Yohji Yamamoto’s daughter came what we could probably call the most wearable and translatable avant-garde minded collection we’ve seen in ages.
What made it work was a clear reserve and identifiable rockabilly reference as one could imagine each look feeling right on women of all ages/types, which is too often a rare occurrence with fashion’s “intellectual set.”
Continuing on with his retro minded sensibility for Rochas may have been intrinsic for designer Marco Zanini, but it was also a smart move considering the season’s 50’s fixation.
But that wasn’t the only thing Zanini got right here, he also managed to strike a chord with the sugary sweet pastels and foamy fabrications we’ve seen so often this time around.
He made them his own with his signature quirkiness and thoroughly modern fabrications that were undeniably fresh.
While the looks had an almost techno vibe emphasized by cool, comforting pastels, they also came in divine shapes and gentile proportions.
His full midi-length circle skirts and natty separates felt right on the money with their retro flair and obvious ode’s to French & Italian cinema heroines.
And that’s become one of Rochas’ major charms as of late. How do you do modern-day glamor that strikes a chord with the past while appearing prim, contemporary and glamorous in the most deluxe sense of the word without appearing ever so slightly nostalgic? You shop Rochas, simple as that! -Naveed Hussain
Can’t wait for Spring 2012? Looks from The Best Of paris fashion Designers in store now:
Original publish date: October 11, 2011