Azzedine Alaïa showed his fall 2011 to a select group of editors earlier this week in Paris, nearly a week after Paris fashion week ended (because when you're a master like Alaïa, you do as you please). Alaïa prefers to work at his own pace and told WWD he thinks fashion's increasingly breakneck pace is "inhumane." The designer added that he thinks the intense pressure put upon designers to churn out collection after collections must have contributed to Galliano's demise. “It’s sad. He’s a friend...It's too much: too many collections; too much pressure.” he said. WWD has released four looks from his fall collection, which are unsurprisingly, gorgeous knit wonders. Take a look.
This deep side part appeared on all the classy runways in Paris. And the best news? Unlike some other ridiculous trends we've seen, it actually looks
While the gossip in Paris this season was loud and distracting, the beauty looks were soft (for the most part). As befits French sensibility, there was effortless hair, dewy makeup, and lots of very wearable looks. But that's not to say it was boring. Color was used judiciously, and the usual suspects gave us challenging looks. And for the record, the braid and blue eye trends continued throughout the Paris shows. Click through to see our favorite beauty looks from Paris Fall 2011.
News, drama, and rumors nearly overshadowed the clothes on the Paris runways. Nearly. Click through to see our ten favorite collections of the week.
The hair in Paris was big. Not 80s big, but sculptural and dramatic. Ann Demeulemeester and Junya Watanabe went tall and spiky. Haider Ackermann and Issey Miyake created haute aliens, while Yohji Yamamoto and Gaultier did beehives in rainbow and shades of grey. Walk under doorways at your own risk.
Who doesn't know Emmanuelle Alt? Even before her somewhat new role as Editor-in-Chief at Vogue Paris, she was making waves in the blogosphere as their Fashion Director. She's typically spotted in a Kate Lanphear-esque ensemble--jeans or leather pants, a simple shirt and some kind of awesome blazer or coat. Ms. Alt has certainly nailed her street style pose too, but being shot as many times as she is, who wouldn't develop a trademark stance?
PARIS--If Miuccia Prada had outfitted Madonna for her role as Mae Mordabito in A League of Their Own, it would look exactly like Miu Miu fall 2011, presented today at the Palais d’léna. Right down to the slightly-turned-to-the-side baseball caps, sporty wide set pointy collars over wool knits, and printed '40s day dresses. (It was a formative movie for me, ok?) Models hair was swept up at the sides in tortoise shell combs to match the '40s style dresses in floral or bird prints set against tans and muted corals. When Prada's baseball girl goes out swing dancing the '40s silhouettes stay the same, only the backs of dresses are open, the shoulders and waists are wrapped with mink, and prints are painted on in glitter and sequins. The League of Their Own analogy holds only from the ankles up. Because while Mae wore saddle shoes out dancing and rabble-rousing, the Miu Miu girl for fall wears glittering platform heels that everyone is gonna want.
Leave it to Marc Jacobs to put on the most lavish and possibly most expensive show of Paris fashion week for Louis Vuitton. The tent for the show at the Cour Carrée du Louvre was all in black and surrounded by big black balloons--a hint that something playful and naughty was to come. Inside a fleet of women dressed as chambermaids--white collars, black skirts, feather dusters--escorted editors and buyers to their seats and served coffee and champagne (whichever you prefer to start your day off with). The runway was more of a stage--a black glossy square with a set of three ornate old-fashioned cage elevators at the center. You can guess where this is going: models, all 67 of them (including Kate Moss, Raquel Zimmerman, Naomi Campbell and Amber Valletta), entered the runway from the elevators, which were operated, naturally, by uniformed older gentlemen who opened the door every time a model ascended.
Tweeters at Style.com said that they didn't want to "add to the Dior rumor mill" yesterday when they revealed that "people in Paris are asking, why has the Lanvin team been in tears all day?" But of course they did, and now everyone is wondering why Jason Wu was sitting front row at Lanvin. When asked by WWD, the young American designer simply said, "Mrs. Wang asked me." Mrs. Wang is the owner of the Lanvin fashion house. Whether or not this means anything is difficult to determine. So I'm going to put my common sense hat on for a moment. Common sense tells me that Riccardo Tisci is definitely, definitely the next Dior designer. Sources inside the house of Dior--sources whom I trust--have told me as much. But it's all just rumors, right? Even Derek Blasberg's "confirmation" is still just a rumor. We won't have a solid answer until LVMH releases an official statement.
Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. PARIS--It was not the transformation of the massive grounds of the Grand Palais, with black sand, volcanic rocks and remnants of smoke smoldering underneath the long wooden platform, running nearly the entire length of the exhibition hall built in 1900 for the Universal Exposition. It was not the wall-sized images of burnt trees etched onto ceiling-height Styrofoam boards, which made the rectangular hall feel like the inside of a deep crater. And surely it was not the amount of looks that came out, nearly 80, with models traversing the length of the wooden platform from both sides of the rooms when the light bridges were lowered. Instead, the most impressive and outstanding achievement at this morning’s Chanel show occurred when the models came out for the finale stood together with Mr. Karl Lagerfeld in the middle of the platform as the smoke intensified from underneath. Why? Because that moment illuminated how relevant he has made Chanel to the lives of women now. This was also the essence of the couture show in January, where the classic Chanel skirt suits, cleansed of surface decorations, were paired with stretch jeans, thus breaking the formality of a couture look. In this ready-to-wear show, the designer went further to propose easy and elegant clothes without the fussiness of looking like you were wearing, well, Chanel.
Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. Enclosed in the envelope with the invitation to the Comme des Garçons show last Saturday afternoon, which took place inside a small hall at the Hôtel de la Monnaie, was a small printed card. “Comme des Garçons will have extremely limited seating this season. This is Kawakubo’s design; please kindly understand that your regular seat will not be possible. Thank you.” And so it was: At the show, there were only two small bleachers and two rows of chairs, which formed a square for the models to traverse perpendicularly to and from one corner. At any Comme des Garçons show, it is always the fashion that matters, not the hierarchy. It was ironic that a note was sent to the few people invited asking them, in essence, to temporarily suspend their habits. By the time the sound of footsteps on the wooden bleachers ceased and the first model walked out in a long, shiny, black python print trench--without any back but instead tied together at the shoulder--the audience knew they were in for a fashion treat.
PARIS--“Haven’t we met before?” was the first thing Giles Deacon said to me as we chatted backstage after the show. I told him that yes, we had indeed met, but in far less glamorous circumstances, when I bartended in East London as a student, and pulled him a pint or two. “You must have made me lots of drinks then!” he said with a laugh. That sums up Giles Deacon in a sentence: unafraid to have a good time, whether in a crumby pub or at the Italian Embassy, where his second Ungaro show was held. The collection was definitely better suited to a cocktail at the embassy than a beer in a dive bar: Giles presented a fearlessly sexual woman--a playboy bunny at times, a dominatrix at others. Referring to Ungaro’s famous comment that he "dresses mistresses rather than wives," Deacon borrowed and condensed all codes of sexuality and taboo onto one catwalk.
Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. PARIS--Riccardo Tisci’s debut showing at Givenchy was in October 2005. His first few collections were widely criticized a lack of a single direction: This often resulted in his confusing shows and clothes. Consider Fall 2008’s reworked American western-wear, mixed with elements of goth and bondage. They may have been smart elements, but the mixture was hard to digest. Not so Sunday night in the main hall at the Palais de Tokyo, where he showed to a small audience.
PARIS--"Pretty" sounds like a reductive descriptor for Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli fall 2011 collection for Valentino, but it's apt. "Pretty" over gorgeous or stunning or any other hyperbolic adjective because the collection was restrained, delicate, feminine, and, well, pretty--right down to the flowers appliqued to the necklines of dresses. A twinkly soundtrack reflected the preciousness of the dresses (less so when an awful version of "Missing" by Everything But the Girl was mixed in).
PARIS--On Vanessa Bruno's fall runway at the Palais de Tokyo, it looked like models had run through clotheslines hung with fresh white linens, but, you know, stylishly. So that squares of cream and white were draped and smocked and twisted as tops and were pieced together as delicate skirts with rag-tag hemlines. Then sturdier, thicker fabrics more suitable for colder months emerged on brocade jackets with no lapels, fastened tight, and on chunky loosely woven knits (a la Rag & Bone) thrown over those drape-y delicate cream pieces. Bruno played with this contrast in texture throughout the collection--mixing lighter than air separates and dresses in a painterly leaf print with heavier jackets, nubby knits, and, my favorite, slouchy wool coats with collars done in fur and knits.
PARIS--In what will likely go down as one of the most drama-filled Paris fashion weeks, Chloe's Hannah MacGibbon could not escape the designer rumor mill. MacGibbon presented her fall collection for Chloe amidst rumblings that it would be her last for the brand. But this was no shrinking violet, meekly-shuffling-out-the-door kind of collection. Gone is the minimalist ballerina of last season. Chloe's fall girl is brash and emboldened with the spirit of the '70s, she struts in leather track suits and is not afraid to match snake print with snake print. I prefer the ballerina. But this collection should strike a chord with any lady looking to make a statement: hiss.
From the front row at Yves Saint Laurent, a video of the final walk. Click through for images.
Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. PARIS-Despite the male voice's slow reading of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud’s Ophélie--a Symbolist sonnet written when Mr. Rimbaud was 17 years old in three parts, describing the fictive lover of Shakepeare’s Hamlet who eventually succumbed to insanity and death by drowning in a river--over the soundtrack the Junya Watanabe show on Saturday morning, the designer’s fall collection is anything but soft poetry.
PARIS--There was a bit of Jackie O. in Giambattista Valli's Fall 2011 collection, presented today at the Couvent de Cordeliers--if only Jackie O. would dare to wear streaks of neon yellow across the bottom of her thick shift dresses, exaggerated peter pan collars, and skirts in shaggy fur. Maybe it was a collection better suited for her younger sister, Lee Radziwill, who attended the show.
PARIS--Often, a Yohji Yamamoto show is a serious discourse on the nature and the mechanics of fashion: cutting, draping, shapes and volumes. Sometimes it’s a complex illustration of fashion’s history. But at last night’s show, Mr. Yamamoto did none of that, even if there was a cage hoop skirt worn with a blood red wool and silk puffed sleeve coat, a red corset-wrapped dress, red hand-knit pantyhose, and red patent leather boots. A long-sleeved, sheer chiffon, black and white eye pattern dress with a slide slit was worn over a layer of black fishnet and black combat boots. A white leaf-printed dress in black sheer chiffon was worn over white stockings. A black velvet coat was paired with a silk corset top, lace bodysuit, and a cut-out cage skirt. The rigid, circular frames of the skirt highlighted the juxtaposition of the hard and soft elements of this highly erotic collection, based on the notion of how a woman wears lingerie. The hard-soft idea played out in the velvet fabric of a slit dress and a coat falling and draping over ridges of the cage skirt's skeleton. There were several outstanding large lapel wool overcoats toward the end of the show for customers at the stores, but great too was the red and black multiple-layered chiffon and tulle dress with a red bra--a look uncharacteristic of the designer’s signature.