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The 9 Most Critically Acclaimed Shows of Paris Fashion Week

Well, that's a wrap folks! Paris Fashion Week had even more exciting fashion action than usual, what with Marc Jacobs' knockout final collection for Louis Vuitton, and reviewers no longer hating on Saint Laurent. In case you need a quick refresher on all that went down, click through for a recap of each day's critics' pick for best-in-show.
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Well, that's a wrap folks! Paris Fashion Week had even more exciting fashion action than usual, what with Marc Jacobs' knockout final collection for Louis Vuitton, and reviewers no longer hating on Saint Laurent. In case you need a quick refresher on all that went down, here's a recap of each day's critics' pick for best-in-show.

Anthony Vaccarello Designer: Anthony Vaccarello

  • "Belgium's Anthony Vaccarello, known for his famously 'slit-up-to-there' dresses looked to swim suits for inspiration." [AFP]
  • "Next season Vaccarello might do well to tone it down a notch or three." [AP]
  • "'Today is brought to you by the letter V,' a rogue Elmo might say." [The Daily Mail]
  • " If there's a way to show off more upper thigh—outside of just sending the models out in bathing suits—no one else has come up with it." []
  • "Vaccarello sent out the skimpiest summer dresses, fashioned from the bonded jersey traditionally used for swimwear, on his admittedly ultra-honed, pool-side fabulous, va-va-voom cabine of glamazons." []
  • "Not that you go to Anthony Vaccarello for demure, but I like this suede mini dress!" []
  • "The sum of the parts was Versace-esque Eighties attitude." [WWD]

Dries Van Noten Designer: Dries Van Noten

  • "Perfectly imperfect and eccentric." [All The Rage/

    Los Angeles Times]

  • "Only at a Van Noten show can opulent gold hang from sportswear vest straps, peasant blouses meet luxurious colorful damasks, ethnic beading come alongside John Lennon-style shades, and flattened torsos jar with billowing multi-directional 3-D frills, and, still, all succeed and prompt whooping applause." [AP]
  • "Mostly the collection had the quality of gilded traditions." [The Cut/New York Magazine]
  • "Characteristically arresting though in parts a little staid (for Van Noten, at least)." [The Daily Beast]
  • "An array of ruffles." [Daily Front Row]
  • "The cerebral Belgian offered a masterclass in slouchy tailoring." [The Daily Mail]
  • "Against the deep, sonorous riffs of a solo performance from Radiohead’s bass player Colin Greenwood (commissioned specifically for the show), came a melody ranging from the pure and unadorned--untreated cottons and linens in slouchy trousers, long shorts, peasant shirts and jackets--to the highly decorative." []
  • "As the master of poetic layering and artful juxtaposition, Van Noten pushed his patchwork further with sculptural silhouettes and couture level fabrication." [Grazia Daily]
  • "The musical accompaniment was a very Dries Van Noten touch: eccentric but not silly, notable rather than fancy, it brought a masculine element into the very feminine space of a catwalk awash with Fortuny pleats and silk." [The Guardian]
  • "There were touches of opulence in gold lace and foliate embroideries reminiscent of Flemish masters--Dries is one too, in fact." [The Independent]
  • "Gilded frills cascaded down the sides of a raw cotton dress, as if a Plain Jane maid had magically been touched by Milady’s glamour." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "A tour de force of texture." [POPSUGAR Fashion]
  • "This wasn’t a story--it was a cacophony of ideas from a curious man, created for those who can afford the best, and care for artisanship and want to exceed any fashion trends." [Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal]
  • "The detail was extraordinary." []
  • "Van Noten merged all those influences into accordion-pleat skirts and the conceptual frills which wound their way around tops, skirts, and dresses. 'Ruffles on speed!' he joked backstage." []
  • "This was a collection made more for night time and set an agenda for a relaxed sophistication for the new season, something we can all welcome." [ UK]
  • "Spring was a mélange of disparate elements brought into clear, fabulous focus." [WWD]

Balenciaga Designer: Alexander Wang

  • "New York golden boy Alexander Wang on Thursday stamped his own 'footprint' on the fabled Balenciaga label, in one of Paris fashion week's most keenly anticipated shows." [AFP]
  • "The super-short, sexy dresses and skirts should appeal to the young celeb set and net the brand publicity on the red carpet, which is key to today's luxury brand-building game." [All The Rage/

    Los Angeles Times]

  • "For a moment Thursday morning, Paris let go of its burden of being the place where fashion is taken as seriously as religion. At Balenciaga, once the most somber of all houses, it felt as if the entire city heaved a sigh of relief and cracked the tiniest smile." [The Cut/New York Magazine]
  • "There was a sense of lightness that was just perfect for Spring." [The Daily Beast]
  • "Wang has made textile experimentation a mark of his brief Balenciaga tenure: it continued with intriguing papery fabrics, resembling pressed flowers, in short tops above trousers with hips spreading like the corolla of a flower." [The Independent]
  • "This just-right Balenciaga collection from Alexander Wang on Thursday was his second in the name of the cult couturier. And as an interpretation of what the American-based designer believes in--sportswear, lightness and youthful energy--it was well done." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "This marriage of 21st-century urban sass with mid-century couture classicism was a happy one." [The Guardian]
  • "As he demonstrated in his debut show in February, Mr. Wang is good at minimizing Balenciaga’s volumes to make them work for today." [The New York Times]
  • "For Balenciaga, Alexander Wang did luxe running shorts with matching tops. This is a new direction. A label that recently led fashion trends is now part of the trendy pack" [Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal]
  • "His idea of injecting ease into the house codes is a good one, and those chic evening pieces point to a viable way forward." []
  • "The leggy chic of some of the most abbreviated cape coats and the simplest of his variations on a black tuxedo have a direct contemporary appeal." []
  • "It’s fair to say that this collection continued in the same safe territory as the first. While finding his feet at the house, he’s clearly working within its tried and tested framework of Balenciaga ideas: sportswear reimagined in a luxury way, and vice versa." [ UK]
  • "Wang seemed to relax not only the collection’s dominant structure but also its archival homage, along the way striking a lovely balance between chic and ease." [WWD]

Christian Dior Designer: Raf Simons

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  • "Dior designer Raf Simons on Friday conjured up a tropical hanging garden." [AFP]
  • "A mixed bouquet." [All The Rage/

    Los Angeles Times]

  • "There were plenty of ingenious DNA subversions at work here and almost all of the 76 looks made a great statement." [AP]
  • "On the runway, with thousands of flowers hanging from the ceiling, the clothes were fanciful and feminine and steeped in the traditions of the house." [The Cut/New York Magazine]
  • "A dynamic collection." [The Daily Beast]
  • "Always light years ahead of his contemporaries, Simons turns trends into his own entirely." [Daily Front Row]
  • "If Simons has his way, the prom dress will stage a comeback next summer." [The Daily Mail]
  • "There were almost too many ideas--but that's a good problem." [The Daily Telegraph]
  • "A surreal pleasure garden." []
  • "The spring/summer season has so far been defined by a blend of the haute and the humble, of sportswear and couture all with a hefty dose of the spirit of street fashion thrown in. With all the above, Simons appeared to be in his element." [Grazia Daily]
  • "Simons is a romantic, and a clever one." [The Guardian]
  • "He is putting his art into Dior. And reaching perfection is a tough goal, as every gardener knows." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "The look was gorgeous, a combination of classically chic and subtly futuristic." [The New York Times]
  • "In the end this collection didn’t so much stir the soul but rather stimulated the intellect. It was a thinking woman’s collection and Simon’s gave her a lot to ponder." [NOWFASHION]
  • "The message was clear, but we'd like to add another word to the conversation: paradise!" [POPSUGAR Fashion]
  • "As the label did more than 50 years ago, Dior is defining the new New Look. Bravo to LVMH, who had the insight to snap Mr. Simons up." [Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal]
  • "The prefix trans- means, among other things, 'beyond' and 'changing thoroughly.' There's not much more you need to know about Raf Simons' show for Christian Dior today than that this was, according to his show notes, 'Trans Dior.'" []
  • "A collection that was jungle-dense with a mash-up of ideas." []
  • "Today--his third ready-to-wear outing for the house--felt like he's making his mark and possibly being allowed his head a little more within the constraints of a megabrand, such as they are." [ UK]
  • "The effect was current rather than retro, and accomplishing that transition is an essential part of Simons’ mandate." [WWD]

Comme Des Garçons Designer: Rei Kawakubo

  • "Models walked in outlandish outfits like the clowns of couture, dressed in designs inspired by what resembled a spider morphed into a black bumble bee or dresses with a skirt of ringlets resembling worms." [The Daily Beast]
  • "I don’t know what any of it meant, but the spectacle, as ever, was mesmerising. And the feeling--apart from what on earth will hang in Kawakubo’s Dover Street store in London come January--was exhilarating. Just don’t ask me why." []
  • "It was impossible to know what was behind this extraordinary collection for the 2014 season. The creations could not really be described as clothes, except that they made the wearers look noble and beautiful or even pretty, as in a single case of pink floral nursery patterns with a teddy bear protruding from the stomach." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "When the first look came out on the Comme des Garcons catwalk it was hard not to think back to designer Rei Kawakubo’s flat collection from two years ago. Then it was all about crafting clothing on a 2-D plan, this time the designer took it up one D and went full throttle into the world of 3-D design." [NOWFASHION]
  • "In a Paris show season full of designers testing their own limits and going against preconceived notions of themselves, it has been down to Rei Kawakubo to go the furthest of all. In today's Comme des Garçons collection of twenty-three looks, each accompanied by its own particular piece of music, she presented a series of objects that might be worn on the body." []
  • "Although she doesn’t blurt it out in words, she most certainly senses the imagination-depleting commercial atmosphere of the times. And her spring collection read as a big anarchic retort to the whole situation." []
  • "These were over-the-top creations, not clothes, but they were amazing with it - this becoming a spectacle, a punk moment signature of Comme des Garçons rebellion." [ UK]
  • "The show triggered countless other questions, rumblings, musings, as we expect of any Kawakubo extravaganza, and along with them, the raw, rare excitement that such uncertainty brings. Nearly four weeks into the season, that’s called fashion fabulous." [WWD]

Céline Designer: Phoebe Philo

    • "Evidence why Philo is one of the few true leaders in fashion today. This collection was not only a wildly creative visual statement, it was a direction forward--a new way to wear color and print." [All The Rage/

      Los Angeles Times]

    • "Pleats--a design feature seen on high rotation this Paris season--were used excessively." [AP]
    • "Philo's work is the real deal. In front of two of her three young children, who were over from London, watching in the front row with Philo's husband and parents, next to the rapper Kanye West, Philo again demonstrated how phenomenally good she is at bringing us what we want before we know what that is." [The Daily Telegraph]
    • "‘Just power, power to women,’ said Phoebe Philo when asked for the feeling that lay behind her awesome show." []
    • "It was as if Philo who, since she arrived at Céline has not put a foot wrong, had nailed each and every inspiration of the season, showing the world how to wear them, sometimes all in one exit, and still be the best dressed person in the room. Perfect." [Grazia Daily]
    • "Fashion's period of quietly elegant clothes is over. At the Céline show in Paris, designer Phoebe Philo sounded the klaxon for a new, loud and proud aesthetic which mixed art and street culture." [The Guardian]
    • "How could the designer of sleek clothes for the modern woman have turned into the artist of wild and almost tribal gestures, yet still seem to give women grace and dignity?" [International Herald Tribune]
    • "A bold, dynamic show that used vibrant primary colors, painterly brush stroke prints and a sporty silhouette to create clothing that popped with power." [NOWFASHION]
    • "It was a clever show, in more ways than one." [On The Runway/The New York Times]
    • "Exploring the label's sportier side, Phoebe Philo's vibrant collection exploded with high-contrast prints (on everything from slouchy coats to sneakers) and primary colors as far as the eye could see!" [POPSUGAR Fashion]
    • "This show was free, easy, and fun." []
    • "A very personal collection, and an ultra-sophisticated one." []
    • "To say that Céline ranks high on the covetability scale is an understatement, but today Philo sent out clothes to really live in, and that's not always a factor present at this house--for fear of crumpling those exacting lines. Philo is nothing if not a perfectionist." [ UK]
    • "The powerful Céline collection Philo showed on Sunday made a daring argument for overt, unfussy surface decoration." [WWD]

Saint Laurent Designer: Hedi Slimane

  • "Although the jury is still out on the designer's third ready-to-wear collection for the illustrious French fashion house, the skinny tailoring that made him a fashion super-star was in clear evidence." [AFP]
  • "It was as if Slimane were trying to channel Saint Laurent at his most subversive when he presented the 1971 'Vichy Chic' collection of 1940s-inspired garb that evoked strippers and drag queens." [All The Rage/

    Los Angeles Times]

  • "There was not much excitement to be had here. Slimane moved away from grunge into his very young-looking Eighties disco ball styles that riffed on glam rock, with ultra-tight micro minis, red lip prints and pink sequins." [AP]
  • "There is nothing blurred about Slimane's vision which will doubtless bring a younger customer to the label. She's the kind of girl who is just a little bit dirty and who at least some of us could be forgiven for secretly wanting to be." [Grazia Daily]
  • "The already well-established Slimane for Saint Laurent formula failed to shock. The audience left with much shoulder shrugging and muttering about styling taking precedence over new clothing ideas." [The Guardian]
  • "Continuing on his now well-trodden path, Hedi Slimane once again stayed in his comfort zone of designing a collection of clothing for rock and roll chicks, preferably coming from Los Angeles, who don’t give a flying you know what." [NOWFASHION]
  • "The mood at Mr. Slimane’s spring showing on Monday night was decidedly less hostile, both from the perspective of the audience and, it would appear, that of the designer, for the main reason that, by most accounts, the clothes are selling." [On The Runway/The New York Times]
  • "If there isn't already a waitlist for the tuxedo jacket by the end of the night, there should be--and we want to get on it." [POPSUGAR Fashion]
  • "Mr. Slimane makes adroit allusions to Yves Saint Laurent, the founder of the house, such as his version of the famous Le Smoking tuxedo this season, done as a skinny Slimane jumpsuit." [Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal]
  • "If Edie Campbell didn't already exist, Hedi Slimane would surely have redirected some Kering fundage to make her in a lab somewhere." []
  • "Hedi Slimane seemed to have had fun rifling through the YSL archives, and riffing on some random looks—like an East Village or Williamsburg hipster pulling pieces from a well-curated local vintage store to wear to a rave that night." []
  • "It seems there is no distracting Hedi Slimane and his steadfast approach down the rock ‘n roll route." [ UK]
  • "Not to go all high-horse artful, but is it fashion? Can something be considered real fashion if its sole purpose is to entice with the familiar rather than to challenge, at least a little?" [WWD]

Chanel Designer: Karl Lagerfeld

  • "Art met fashion on the Paris catwalk Tuesday as designer Karl Lagerfeld conjured up a vast modern art gallery full of Chanel-inspired works as the backdrop to his latest collection." [AFP]
  • "Lagerfeld's theme was topical all right." [All The Rage/

    Los Angeles Times]

  • "Karl Lagerfeld is a man of many talents: Not only is he Chanel's lauded designer, but also an industrious artist, a sensitive colorist and a gallery curator. At least, these were the hats he wore Tuesday at Chanel's glorious spring-summer 2014 show." [AP]
  • "Ultimately, as the models marched by one Chanel bedecked guest after another, one couldn’t help but admire Lagerfeld’s skill at artful commerce." [The Cut/New York Magazine]
  • "This felt like the designer’s most exuberant offering in recent memory." [The Daily Beast]
  • "This show was, of course, right on point." [Daily Front Row]
  • "Today's epically presented, highly entertaining Chanel show was about two things; showing off some really spectacular clothes, and (perhaps inadvertently) shining a disobliging light on the art market." [The Daily Telegraph]
  • "This was not only a Chanel fashion show, this was also a Chanel art exhibition--the size of London’s Frieze art fair." []
  • "In a season where references to fine art have been seen in fashion everywhere from Prada to Céline, leave it to Chanel, the world's wealthiest and most powerful fashion house, to flex its unrivalled muscle and drive the message home." [Grazia Daily]
  • "Every Paris fashion week, Chanel's show takes place in the Grand Palais, and this year Karl Lagerfeld took inspiration from the space, the home of art and culture." [The Guardian]
  • "For once, a word so often bandied about in the 21st century was relevant to this KL/Chanel moment: awesome." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "He did things in this superb Chanel collection, most of them fairly simple, that other designers should have considered, and which women would appreciate." [The New York Times]
  • "A masterpiece indeed!" [POPSUGAR Fashion]
  • "In an age in which the fashion world embraces art, and art embraces fashion, the question posed at the vibrant Chanel show might not be 'Is fashion art?' but 'Is art fashion?'" []
  • "It was a powerful, colourful fiesta of creativity infused with Lagerfeld humour." [ UK]
  • "Was it art? Stop it. Lagerfeld makes dresses and suits. Was it artful commerce? Do we have to ask?" [WWD]

Louis Vuitton Designer: Marc Jacobs

  • "Paris fashion gave Marc Jacobs a standing ovation Wednesday as news broke that the designer who transformed Louis Vuitton from 'stodgy luggage house' to global fashion giant is to leave." [AFP]
  • "Beauty for beauty's sake. The standing ovation was well-deserved." [All The Rage/

    Los Angeles Times]

  • "A spring-summer collection in name only." [AP]
  • "Despite bags being the impetus at Louis Vuitton, there were remarkably few featured in today’s show. The focus was very much on the end of an era, a sentiment that left many of us in a reflective mood." [The Daily Beast]
  • "He's moving on! ... The fashion funeral we witnessed today chez Vuitton told us that." [Daily Front Row]
  • "The entire spectacle was rife with subtext and symbols." [The Daily Telegraph]
  • "Exceptionally beautiful." []
  • "However simple that may seem--and the truth is it's how many people want to dress--the surface embellishment was anything but." [Grazia Daily]
  • "Louis Vuitton died 120 years ago, but the whole world knows his name. Now it is time for the world to hear more about the name Marc Jacobs." [The Guardian]
  • "The news of the departure of Marc Jacobs from Louis Vuitton overshadowed the final day of the Paris summer 2014 collections. But people in the audience were reminded of the designer’s exceptional skill at creating great fashion moments by this presentation, all in black, of showgirl clothes." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "As it happens, this was a sublime show of clothes, in large part because his feelings came through in the many plain, sensuous dresses etched with black lace and maybe, above all, in the amiable jeans, shown with lacy T-shirts and the decorative jackets." [The New York Times]
  • "This black on black show bodes the question, will the fashion world soon be in morning for the Louis Vuitton that once was?" [NOWFASHION]
  • "Naked save for a G-string and the Stephen Sprouse-designed LV logo scrawled all over her body, Edie Campbell made her runway circuit in handcuffs and chains. Among the many challenges that will face Jacobs' successor at Vuitton, when he or she is eventually named, will be living up to a fearless, fabulous moment like that." []
  • "That was exactly the term--great--for the extraordinary show he sent out in the Cour Carrée du Louvre tent in which he has given fashion people some of the most visceral and dramatic experiences witnessed in recent times. Actually, top that: It was astounding." []
  • "These were true Jacobs showgirls, not sentimental for a moment but allowing for just a little nostalgia as we wish Jacobs well on his way." [ UK]
  • "Marc Jacobs punctuated his brilliant tenure at Louis Vuitton, one that transformed the house from stodgy giant to fashion marvel with a dark-side-of-Busby-Berkeley extravaganza. It razzled, dazzled and captivated his audience." [WWD]

Miu Miu Designer: Miuccia Prada

  • "Quirky fun." [All The Rage/

    Los Angeles Times]

  • "Miuccia Prada softened her musings to produce a more wearable and feminine collection than last season’s intellectual tight foulards, polka dots and enormous handbags." [AP]
  • "Cute and cuddly." [The Daily Beast]
  • "The vibe was the swinging Sixties, but leave it to Miuccia to make it look particularly quirky and cool." [Daily Front Row]
  • "It was refreshing to see Miu Miu offer something different, but let’s call her a power girl, not power woman." []
  • "There were a lot to choose from. Ms. Prada, still with the band of colored Prada feathers in her hair, called the show 'classics of different genes.' That meant a whole lot of tailored coats, in sweet colors, slightly 1960s in cut and with cute images of cats, birds and fish." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "A vibrant, girl-grown-up Miu Miu show." [The New York Times]
  • "As Prada took her bow, Lena Dunham, front-row poster girl for gawky-chic, exclaimed, 'I want it, I want it, I want it!'" []
  • "In recent seasons Miuccia Prada has favoured a more grown up sensibility, but this afternoon it was back to joie de vivre." [ UK]
  • "The collection was a remix of Miuccia Prada standards, the Sixties/Seventies ugly-pretty ladies that have been a consistent touchstone in her canon, most recently for her spring 2012 retro pantsuit parade." [WWD]