The Biggest Trends from Paris Fashion Week

Retro, denim, and more retro.
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Retro, denim, and more retro.
A look from Louis Vuitton spring 2015. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

A look from Louis Vuitton spring 2015. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

It’s hard to call out individual trends from the Paris shows, mostly because they could all be rolled into one big idea: nostalgia. Designers, no matter their personal aesthetic or philosophy, seemed to be fondly looking to the past in order to move forward into the future. Unlike fall, when Nicolas Ghesquière set the fashion agenda for years to come, or last spring, when Phoebe Philo shifted the entire industry’s palette with her painterly primary-color story, Paris spring 2015 seemed to be about transforming old memories into new work. Does that mean fashion is at a standstill? Certainly not. But as we burn out on trends more and more quickly, thanks to a combination of constant visual stimulation and fast fashion, it’s nice to enjoy something familiar. 

Retro Florals

Florals for spring? How original! But truly, we haven’t seen retro daisies for a while. The vintage-wallpaper appeal of this season’s flowers were just the ugly-pretty thing the collections needed. Maison Martin Margiela’s were inspired by 1940s prints, and Saint Laurent’s offered that mod feeling Hedi Slimane is always after. 

That Late '60s, Early '70s Show

We can thank Nicolas Ghesquière for fashion's current mood. His fall 2014 Louis Vuitton show set the late sixties, early seventies mood for the spring season, where suede, autumnal colors and pointy, open-neck collars ruled. 

Runway Denim

Denim might be worn almost universally, but it’s still a utilitarian material that was co-opted by the counterculture and, eventually, the popular culture. It’s interesting to see so much of it on Paris’ runways, especially at a time when its status as the casual go-to is being questioned. (Yoga pants are the new Calvins, remember?) Maybe the Lululemon-ization of daywear is propelling denim upward, putting it on solid footing with the linens, wools and silks of the world. Both Stella McCartney and Chloe showed denim boiler suits, the ultimate working-class-meets-high-fashion statement. 

High Necklines

Raf Simons’ dressing gowns at Dior may have been the most unexpected look of the season, and lead the campaign to bring a high neckline to the forefront. Rochas' sheer black dress and Louis Vuitton’s white lace blouse made solid cases as well. 

Scarf Story 

Getting an American woman to wear a scarf — especially a thin one wrapped tightly around the neck, and only for decoration — is a near impossible feat. But in Europe, scarves are nearly as commonplace as necklaces, and chic women will certainly cotton to the sleek options offered everywhere from Paul & Joe to Saint Laurent. Very cosmopolitan.