Day three of Paris Fashion Week kicked off at the Grand Palais with Chloé Thursday morning. Creative Director Clare Waight Keller is at the top of her game these days, so she felt no reason to reinvent the wheel this season, instead creating a free-flowing, gently colorful collection dedicated to an "excessively lived simplicity" — one "staying true, staying what we are, moving forward, every day."
All of it embodied easy dressing with a festival feel, from the opening number — a sporty navy and red pullover with a robin's egg blue floral maxi skirt — to the final, and strongest, look: a sweeping pleated chiffon halter dress in an eye-pleasing combination of salmon, cerulean, mint and lilac, its front embroidered in lines sloping from the rib cage. The sporty elements were a surprise: Track pants aren't part of Chloé's usual strain, but they underlined Keller's emphasis on ease and simplicity; so, too, did the lingerie-like camisoles and slip dresses, the frayed denim shorts and dresses, and luxe overalls. But it was the most traditionally Chloé looks that moved us: the aforementioned halter dress; delicate white eyelet and broderie anglaise separates; and a narrow white net dress covered in a rainbow of small flowers. — Lauren Indvik
Guillaume Henry is a tough act to follow, but designers Adrien Caillaudaud and Alexis Martial (who replaced Henry in March after he decamped for Nina Ricci) have proven they're up the task. They presented their second ready-to-wear collection for Carven on Thursday, which was easy and nautical in flavor: dresses and skirts with hemlines cut like portholes, stretch flared pants with crisp cotton shirting, silky but tailored pantsuits and short printed dresses with frothy hems. What we liked most were the knits: a lavender sweater wrapped in coral and acquatic life forms, and cheeky mesh versions that read "Kid Shark" and "Kid Waves." -Lauren Indvik
Vetements, the Paris-based label from Margiela-trained Royal Academy of Arts alums, has had buzz from the beginning: last season’s show had editors schlepping to a Parisian sex club for a 10 p.m. show. But on Thursday night, in a kitschy dining establishment in Chinatown, the buzz cemented into something that extended beyond industry intrigue, bubbling over from energy of the underground.
The designer brothers Demna and Goran Gvasalia presented a vision of deconstructed workwear and post-work suiting. The suiting got a neon pastel makeover (with hints of tie-up bodysuits peaking out the front), and tea flower-printed apron dresses arrived in massive proportions for men and women. Danger-orange sweatshirts, spelling "Antwerp" on the sleeves, felt like future street uniforms.
Like in the past, oversized tailoring (enlarged jackets, hugely boxy dresses) reigned supreme. And the feeling of raw, from-the-street energy — that this is more a cult and a life than anything based in trend — was alive and well. Speed metal was the soundtrack as the models — men and women, beautiful, harsh, and including Russian cult designer streetwear Gosha Rubchinskiy — stomped the runway in genderless thigh-high boots and argyle knits.
Kanye West sat front row. (Onlookers from the bar across the street cheered, "Kanye, president!" as he left.) Yes, Vetements was loud — if it’s not already on young people's radar already, it certainly will be now. —Ashley Simpson
Homepage photo: Imaxtree