Saturday, October 08, 2005

Paris Fashion Week! By far, my favorite, but there were definitely some surprises and some disappointments. Patrick Robinson for Paco Rabanne was a minor surprise. I knew he had done amazing things for Perry Ellis, so I knew he was talented. The surprise really came in the fact that he could bring around an old brand like Paco Rabanne. Viktor & Rolf was once again insane. Very pretty and wearable and still on the edge, but really a lot more toned down when you realized the models were just wearing the clothes twisted and shifted. They're trying to bank on their line, while still trying to maintain an avant-garde demeanor.
Alexander McQueen has also been trying to find the balance between bankability and fantastic design. Unfortunately, he stepped a little too close to the financial side of things this time. Last season's Hitchcock gals was a perfect example of heightened drama while still maintaining real sensibility. This season, however, Grecian goddesses just looked a little drab and worn in too many similar outfits that lacked the typical McQueen flair. He didn't even include any of the insane special-order gowns or bodysuits that I used to adore.
For shame...
Moving on, Dior was a stronger show than I've seen from John Galliano in a while. As a showman, Galliano overused drama in every aspect of his shows. Thankfully, he's been brought down to reality. The nude-and-black-lace atmosphere for the first half of his show was delicate, gorgeous, and very Kate Moss in Dior couture taken to the extreme. It really felt like he transferred his couture show ideas t his ready-to-wear, which is something few designers seem to do anymore.
Another couture master, Karl Lagerfeld, worked up a great show for Chanel. He grabbed hold of everything current and fresh and desirable in fashion this season, and slammed it with his personal flair to make even the obscure trend feel like a Chanel trademark. And he showed a slew of amazingly gorgeous keepers at the end - old-style party dresses brought to life with large flower appliques. Bravo! I'm not typically a Karl Lagerfeld obsessee (not since Haute Cotuure S/S 2002, where he showed my absolute favorite, most amazing collection EVER), but this was a strong show for sure.
Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere, right nearly my favorite designer for the past several seasons, showed a pretty damn good show too. He always brings together two of the most insane, obscure references and mixes them together into a beautiful concoction of body-hugging and body-hiding proportions. This season was no exception. The news came in his prints - all over his pants, jackets, and shirts. Slick, polished, and very Balenciaga nonetheless. A mix of Victorian romance and slick, modern architecture, he really just turned out the most unexpected clothes. Again. And you can still wear them to the office. Just genius.
Hussein Chalayan, another of my favorites, churned out a gorgeous show that was the perfect mix between fantasy and fantastic. Gorgeous club-inspired clothing, with the link made more obvious by the velvet ropes incorporated into the finale dresses. Amazing.
Giambattista Valli, for his eponymous line (finally!), sent out a hoard of prettiness and wearability. Soft dresses with gorgeous details. Everything just felt like something every 20-something city (or country) girl would just want to have in her closet.
Stay tuned for my Spring/Summer 2006 Top Ten List...

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