The creme de la creme of all Fashion Weeks is winding down in the reigning fashion capital of this world: Paris, France. With unseasonably hot weather stopping neither fashionistas nor designers from showcasing luxuriously warm fall fashion, the runways were full of immaculately designed outfits for fashion oglers galore. With bright colors, floral patterns, mixed fabrics and overall decadence making a noted return to Fall/Winter collections, the return of jaw-dropping, eye-catching trends made a glorious comeback, proving the era of fashion for the sake of fashion is here to stay. Here’s a rundown of the best, brightest, and most scandalous shows from Paris Fashion Week.
The name on everybody’s lips was undoubtedly Kanye, Kanye, Kanye. The lover of glitz and glam has been a front-row staple of fashion weeks the world over for the past couple years and when he revealed he would be not on the sidelines, but on the catwalk this season, it was the not-to-miss show.
We were all curious…would the decidedly catty industry accept another celebrity-cum-designer wannabe, or dismiss him as fast as Lindsay Lohan’s disastrous collection for Ungaro? That decision would be based on the clothes and the clothes alone. As we’ve seen with talented designing celebrities such as the Olsen twins and their high-end and critically acclaimed The Row line, the transition from flash to class can be made, but only with a stellar collection to match.
Unfortunately for Kanye, it seems his destiny is to remain rapping about clothes instead of sketching designs. The collection, named DW By Kanye West after his late mother Donna, was almost universally panned by critics.
It didn’t take an expert eye to see the poorly fitting, ridiculously low-cut dresses, strange-looking skintight band-aid outfits, body-hugging leather pants and massive amounts of non-cohesive fur amounted to an ill-designed collection we doubt even his biggest fans would dare don.
In typically overly verbose Kanye fashion, West delivered to the press an expletive-ridden speech about it being his first collection and to go easy on him. Perhaps Kanye should have taken his own advice he gave Lohan after her similarly horrid collection debuted: leave the designing to the designers.
On the opposite end of the spectrum was the Spring 2012 Alexander McQueen show. After the Duchess of Cambridge chose the design house to create her gorgeous wedding dress, the label has been front and center in the eye of the public. Since the tragic passing of McQueen himself last year, Sarah Burton is continuing the legacy of her predecessor in the most opulent and beautiful of ways.
This collection was no exception and, keeping with the almost otherworldly design aesthetic the house is known for, the lavish gowns were alien in their beauty. The sea was an obvious influence as models strutted down the runway wearing gowns with hundreds of complex ruffles mimicking coral and barnacles, and pearls. Color schemes followed suit varying from coral pinks to blush, silver, gold and cream.
Suits were far from the ordinary, trimmed in metallics with flared details, sultry cut-outs and embellished belts and subtle lace underlays. Tribute to classic McQueen design was not ignored by Burton and she managed to incorporate his legendary black spidery leather into several gowns while still keeping with majestic oceanic vibe.
Overall the collection was delicate, complex and still just dark enough to be recognized as McQueen from design and design alone. Well done, Sarah Burton, I am sure we will be seeing the metallic lush gowns on the most fashion-forward of starlets on the red carpet.
Finally, I wouldn’t be a true girly girl fashionista if I didn’t mention at least one unabashedly feminine collection…and no one does straight-up feminine quite like Valentino.
House designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli did not disappoint, delivering an elegant and dreamy show with classically womanly silhouettes and floral detailing. Lace overlays in reds, neutrals and even bright yellows were ethereally delicate, combined with nude undergarments or at times nothing at all.
Ladylike flared hemlines with intricate embroidery evoked a much softer woman than seen on the most of the runways this year. However, not to be totally predictable, Valentino also delivered a few welcome surprises such as minimalist silky dresses with no patterns or detailing, leaving us to focus on the lovely they draped the female body and a couple slick leather looks that enhanced an hourglass figure.
It was a collection for die-hard romantics and sophisticated women alike, and we’re sure we will be seeing a few of these feminine frocks on the red carpets alongside McQueen.
It was a season of spectacle in hype, celebrity and design. From bold colors, to edgy shapes, to ladylike dresses and more, we look forward to seeing these designs on our favorite celebrities, the red carpet and the fashionable streets of major capitals. Until the next round of international fashion weeks…stay luxe and warm, Fall Fashionistas!