What We Saw in Paris This Weekend

Acne, Off White, Mugler, Vivienne Westwood: There was protest fashion, and fashion that should be protested.
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Acne, Off White, Mugler, Vivienne Westwood: There was protest fashion, and fashion that should be protested.
The opening look at Thierry Mugler's fall 2015 collection, designed by David Koma. Photo: Imaxtree

The opening look at Thierry Mugler's fall 2015 collection, designed by David Koma. Photo: Imaxtree

Bonjour, Paris! Our fall 2015 collection coverage is wrapping up in fashion's first city. For more of our Paris Fashion Week coverage, click here.

It was a busy weekend of shows, marking the halfway point of Paris Fashion Week. In addition to Dior, Isabel Marant, Comme des GarconsNina RicciKenzoCéline and Chloé — phew! — here's what we saw this weekend: 

Maiyet

Say what you will about the clothes: Maiyet's jewelry was the real star of Friday's show. The satin suiting stood out — and I loved the black and white loom dress that sort of resembled a wall hanging —  but it was the architectural gold cuffs and delicate V necklaces that were most wanted. Here's hoping the label develops that category even further. — Lauren Sherman

Acne Studios

There's something impressively inclusive about Acne. Sure, it's not the least expensive label on the rack. But Jonny Johansson has built a friendly brand that still manages to maintain an edge. Consider his bestselling Pistol boot: it's ubiquitous without feeling passé. This season, he played up that "come one, come all" feeling by hosting his runway show on the ground floor of the Centre Pompidou, which is enclosed by glass walls. That meant throngs of onlookers had nearly front-row access: a nice memory. 

As for what they were looking at? That was a little more difficult to decipher. One thing's for certain: the burlap and leather wrap skirts will be plucked from this conceptual collection and featured on the sales floor of Johansson's gorgeously designed stores. The cinched, laced-up coats will have a place, too. As for the gold-cluster nose ring? Messenger that to Rihanna, baby. — Lauren Sherman

Off White

Off White's designer, Virgil Abloh, is getting a lot of attention right now. He's one of the semifinalists for the LVMH Prize, and he also happens to be Kanye West's creative director. So the industry is watching his collections closely to see what he's truly capable of. 

So far, he's living up to the hype. This season, Abloh was thinking about protests in the '60s, and how that era connects to what's happening right now. (He mentioned the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.) That meant reworking styles from that era. For example, he made his own version of bell bottoms by splitting the front. Messages reminiscent of protest banners found themselves on coats, hoodies and a fitted shearling jacket. 

What sealed the deal for us, though, were the bags that he created with the lovely French brand laContrie. "Bags are very tricky to make, and I had this very specific idea in mind, so I just called them," Abloh explained. If all collaborations were so simple! — Margault Antonini

Talbot Runhof

A Cecil Beaton photograph of Mona Bismarck wearing a hooded cape coat coat was enough to trigger Johnny Talbot and Adrian Runhof's creative minds. For fall, they payed tribute to the late fashion icon by imagining the clothes that she would wear now. (They also staged their runway show at the cultural center she established before her passing in 1983.) Proportion play was the name of the game: the show opened with a white guipure-lace dress worn under a long coat, and featured oversized shirts, floor-length skirts and a breathtaking backless dress in black cashmere wool. There were a lot of slouchy pieces still elegant enough to wear to a cocktail party, thanks to the designers' use of sophisticated fabrics. Who wouldn't want to feel comfortable while sipping champagne? — Margault Antonini

Mugler

For his second Mugler collection, David Koma took his sexy mini dresses and suits to another level. Now more confident in his work and aesthetic, he decided to focus on technique. His models — from Jessica Stam to Georgia May Jagger — wore dresses embellished with eyelets or hand-stitched leather mini skirts. Koma loves anything asymmetrical, and his one-shoulder white top was perfect under Karlie Kloss's suit. The looks, inspired by artificial intelligence, were as futuristic as he had envisioned them to be. — Margault Antonini

Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood's totally out-there, all-over-the-place runway show, called "Unisex," was soundtracked by her husband/co-designer's punk band. Women wore trousers, men dresses. Following an appearance at the label's Red label show in London just two weeks earlier, Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth from "Game of Thrones") appeared in Paris wearing an oversized men's suit, while men proudly donned the designer's fitted women's jackets. It was an unlikely pairing in the true spirit of the house. Westwood was also eager to get the word out about Time to Act, the climate-change protests that were happening simultaneously in London. She managed to get those important messages across, even amidst all the chaos. — Margault Antonini

Perrin

Family-owned brand Perrin has been making luxurious bags and accessories since 1893 — the very talented Chloé Perrin is responsible for its current aesthetic. On Sunday, she welcomed us into her new Parisian shop to discuss her fall collection. There's a clutch with a glove-like compartment for your hand, and a circle bag connected to a gold cuff that's meant to be worn on your wrist. "It's a great way to not forget it in a cab," Perrin said. Made in materials ranging from sharkskin to lamb, with striking wood details, each bag has its very own purpose and distinctive style. We love her modern take on the lady bag, too.  — Margault Antonini