Friday, March 11, 2011

Paris Fashion Week: Highlights and Disappointments

Ahhh....Paris. THE city. When I go there, I'm going to spend 99% of my time walking into boutiques and touching and smelling the clothes. That's it. The other 1% will be devoted to eating bread, cheese and pastries. I might visit the Lourve. We'll see. But back to the fashion...Paris Fashion week overwhelmed me with fabulosity so I'm not going to countdown my favorite collections. Instead, I'll go over the collections I feel deserve recognition and that my devoted readers should know about (about 20 total), then discuss some of the biggest disappointments from designers I usually adore (about 10 of those). 

Alexander McQueen - I predicted this would happen. I knew that once Sarah Burton took over Alexander McQueen, her first collection would be a tribute collection that would mimic his work and then following collections would take elements from his look but start to fade into Sarah's personal vision. I think what we're looking at now is that in-between stage. You can certainly see a lot of Lee in this collection, I mean she was his right-hand woman for years. We're also seeing some new elements that could be distinctly Sarah. I'm pleased. I think that she's doing an admirable job and although I still don't get the same high viewing the collection as I did when Lee was designing, I still would say that McQueen is one of the collections I look forward to most in Paris. 

Alexis Mabille - I'm sure my readers are sick of me talking about how "in" jewel tones are, but here we see the deep ruby tones again with a 70s twist. 

Azzaro - Classic, clean, black and white collection. Nothing spectacular or ground-breaking but well-made trendy clothes that are truly timeless.

Balmain - A few seasons ago, the military-inspired jeweled Balmain jacket was the it jacket and this fall, I think the metallic fitted blazer is the new it jacket. I'm certain that many fashionistas will be wearing some interpretation of one of the Balmain metallic jackets. I will be one of them. 

Chloe - Chloe is a label I plan on wearing heavily when I'm a grown up. Effortless sophistication.

Collette Dinnigan - I thought this collection was clever in the way it revamped the lace trend that's been dominating the fashion world these past few seasons. The white lace blouse with the sheer sleeves was one of my favorite ready-to-wear pieces in all of the Paris shows. Very striking and wearable.

Dior - Sigh.....This collection was bittersweet for me. First of all, it was stunning. All of it. Of course it was stunning, it was Dior, it was Galliano. I sincerely cannot imagine Dior without Galliano. Nobody understands couture quite like Galliano and even his ready to wear collections for Dior are full of drama and glamour. I, in no way, support Galliano's behavior but the man is undeniably a genius and the fashion world already lost a genius last year, I would hate to see it lose another. I hope after he gets the proper treatment in rehab, he makes a full-fledged return to the fashion world. I'm sure he won't be welcomed back at Dior, but at least he still has his namesake collection. As for the fate of Dior, I don't even want to think about it. It makes me sad. So let's not talk about it until we have to. Until then, Viva Galliano. 

Elie Saab - Mr. Saab is painfully predictable. Every collection has the same notes, the same stunning gowns, but I hope you're not interpreting this as a complaint because I adore all of it. By all means, please continue creating the same gorgeous gown 1000 different ways, because I will always adore your designs. 

Gareth Pugh - Gareth Pugh is my absolute favorite "goth chic" label. I'm obsessed with this collection in particular. The gold accents makes the catwalk look like a battlefield with fierce armored women ready to pillage your town. And let's talk make-up. I don't always comment on the make-up or styling unless it is remarkable and deserves discussion. The ladies on the runway had gold and blue patches attached to their skin to go with the warrior look of the collection. FABULOUS.  

Givenchy - I had a hard time deciding if I loved or hated this collection. I'm still not sure, but for now, let's say I love it. The black panther theme was a little ridiculous but it was also kind of awesome. 

Haider Ackermann - This was a collection that was equal parts hard and soft. Edgy yet feminine. Karl Lagerfeld has mentioned that he'd like Haider to take over Chanel after he retires and I'd have to say, I completely support that decision. But Lagerfeld isn't allowed to retire. Haider can take over Chanel after Karl  dies. And I don't think it's been confirmed yet if Lagerfeld is capable of dying so Haider might have to wait awhile. 

Jean Charles de Castelbajac - I had no idea this label existed until this season but it immediately caught my attention due to its tribute to one of my childhood favorites, 101 Dalmatians. The tan dress on the left with the puppy is freakin adorable and I kind of need it. 

John Galliano - Another stunning collection by Mr. Galliano. Ugh....I can't. I just can't.....

Lanvin - Beautiful dresses, but honestly my favorite thing about this collection was the jewelry. Over-sized jewelry, especially large chunky necklaces are definitely in this season and the large rose pendant on the last look I posted was particularly fabulous.

Louis Vuitton - Take notes, Miuccia Prada, this is how you make fish scale sequins look chic. I was quite impressed with Marc Jacob's ability to churn out not one, or two but 3 fabulous collections this season. Bravo. 

Miu Miu - Ok, so Miuccia isn't completely crazy because this collection rocks my world. There are some 80s inspired trends like the large broad shoulders juxtaposed with some feminine details like the bows and furs. Overall a cohesive and fun collection.

Mugler - So Gaga has been rocking a lot of Mugler recently and she's pals with one of the creative directors so it's not surprise Mother Monster made an appearance at the show. And by appearance, I mean she stole the catwalk. Oh, and I love all of the ridiculous over-the-top looks in this collection. I personally would never wear them, but that's why Lady Gaga exists. To wear the bizarre clothes we love but would never put on. 

Viktor and Rolf - The red fierce make up made the girls look like little devils but honestly I thought it distracted from the clothes which were fierce on their own. The black coat with the pinwheel sleeves was genius and the detail in the draping in the gunmetal dress was remarkable. 

Vivienne Westwood - Another strong collection for Ms. Westwood. The final few looks with the embellished sheer nude designs were my favorite pieces in the collection that made it truly stand out from the other Paris shows. Looove.  

Zac Posen - Thank God, Zac Posen finally got it right! His last few collections had been disappointing so I was thrilled when I saw Coco Rocha prance down the runway in the stunning floor length blue gown. Welcome back to my Fashion Gods list, Mr. Posen. 

Now on to the collections that made me weep.

Balenciaga - As if the ill-fitting skirts and dresses weren't bad enough, Ghesquiere had to add insult to injury by throwing fishnet over them. Excuse me, but when did you start getting inspiration from Hot Topic?!

Chanel - Karl Lagerfeld is on LSD. I'm just going to pretend like his bad judgment is secondary to drug abuse. Because clearly he has to be hallucinating if he thinks these clothes would look good on anyone. It's odd because his Fendi collection was on point. Maybe he just slips into dissociative fugue only when he designs for Chanel. Or, he's on drugs. 

Comme de Garcons - I'm not really sure what this collection is. It literally looks like someone took a bunch of left over material and balled it up into random piles and ran a sewing machine through it. 

Emanuel Ungaro - So a few seasons ago, Lindsay Lohan was part of the Emanuel Ungaro creative team and everyone hated the collection they sent down the runway. To be honest, I thought it was adorable. It was certainly more youthful and fun than previous collections but the critics tore it apart. But the critics liked this collection, so I no longer care what critics think about anything, because this is garbage. 

Giambattista Valli - Hmm...not sure where to begin. The yellow fur trimmed dress is pretty awful, but so is everything else in this collection. The theme of this collection is "awful". 

Jean Paul Gaultier - I see what JPG was trying to do. He was trying to make Granny chic hot. Unfortunately, it's not hot. It's not clever. It's not cool. It's just plain ugly. And no bonus points for using Andrej Pejic. I love that kid but it's not cool to just throw him in one of your hideous creations and try and win me over. Not gonna happen.

Stella McCartney - Stella is a hit or miss with me. Sometimes I enjoy her menswear for women look and sometimes I hate it. In this case, I hate it. It's simply not flattering. And what was going on with the white polka dots at the end of the show? It had nothing to do with the early part of the collection. I am not a fan of collections with no cohesive thread. Without something to tie the pieces together, it's no longer a collection but a random assortment of clothes. 

Valentino - I am officially sick of the two punk kids that took over Valentino. I want Mr. V back. Come out of retirement and make your gorgeous gowns again, please. 

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