Fashion notes: It’s a wrap from the runways of Paris, with love
With a string of highs and hardly any lows, Paris Fashion Week came to a close on Wednesday, marking an end to the international autumn/winter 2015 shows.
It’s always amusing to spot the inspiration behind a collection, and this was particularly relevant to Rochas and Manish Arora, the former showing some strong femininity and the latter exhibiting bizarre borderline-costume clothing. Rochas drew on Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, creating elegant pencil dresses beautified by sheer pleating at the busts, delicate pussy bows and bird motifs in black. Manish Arora, on the other hand, played on the Game of Thrones hype and made the series’ mantra “Winter is coming” his collection’s slogan. But the intense prints depicting owls, dragons, skulls and other mythical images gave off vibes that were more foreboding than fashionable.
In typical Chanel style, a kitschy statement clutch was delivered across the runway this season, taking the form of white dish plates embossed with the Chanel logo and “Brasserie Gabrielle”, the setting created for this special catwalk. But the most talked-about moment of the week by far was when the Zoolander duo Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson were reunited on the runway, blue steel and all, for the Valentino finale.
In terms of trends for next season, start saving up, because there are some statement staples you’ll want to include in your winter wardrobe – starting with a fur block coat. At Rochas, a grey tweed coat was given black fur pockets; at Giambattista Valli, a shorter length was shown in cream with pistachio green fur blocks. Elie Saab and John Galliano also played with fur accents in outerwear, and nearly every collection included a coat made purely of fur, be it faux or genuine.
When it comes to the colour wheel, the runways were electric, with plenty of cobalt blue and bright citrus hues. Beginning with Balmain’s vibrant laces, pinstripes and body-cons, through Tsumori Chisato’s quirky comic-book-inspired creations in bold reds and yellows, and culminating with a multicolour fur coat at Saint Laurent, a revitalised energy hit the Parisian runways. In the middle of basic and outlandishly extravagant lay Loewe’s autumn collection, where vivid tints were offset with relaxed shades of grey and beige, exemplifying an attitude that could be termed “contemporary cool”.
In all three fashion capitals, plaids, camel coats, maxi lengths, velvets, pinstripes, sheer fabrics, feather embellishments and mesh accents were consistently shown, comprising some of next season’s basic trends. In Paris, it was interesting to see how individual designers combined the whole lot in single collections. Maison Margiela showed camel maxi coats, plaid skirts, sheer lace dresses, net-like details and vintage floral embroidery on velvet garments, as well as a fur cape and cheetah-print jacket. Talk about an eyesore, especially when models’ make-up looks were better suited to a circus. At least the separates were appealing and wearable, unlike Comme des Garçons’ avant-garde zombie-bride garments, which could only be ready-to-wear if your name is Lady Gaga.
The most exciting trend was the tone-on-tone ensembles by Christian Dior, Elie Saab and Stella McCartney, among others, especially in silhouettes appearing to be slightly feminine adaptations of suit separates. In navy, khaki, burgundy, pastel and neutral – I’ll have one in each, please.