And more of our favorite looks from outside the shows in Paris.
PARIS--Maybe Isabel Marant was inspired by the Pendleton-clad, 80s-cropped-leather-jacket-wearing Brooklyn girls who lust over her clothes this season. Because for fall 2011, Marant is all about the American Southwest. She sent out distressed Navajo print sweaters, patchwork denim work shirts with shearling-lined collars, fringed white leather tunic-style mini dresses and short-sleeved cuffed sweatshirt tops done in a brown feather print. And all of it was paired with thigh-high fringed white leather boots. There were uber-mini sparkly dresses, carried over from last season (which is good because I still want one) and loads of luxe white shearling and thick knits to close the show. So will Isabel Marant keep Brooklyn girls in feathers and fringe, in Navajo prints and oversized cropped jackets?
more It was hard not to notice the many fashion statements of Jimmy McMillan, founder and "CEO" of the Rent Is Too Damn High party, during last night'
Forget diamonds--shoes are a girl's best friend. The SS11 runways were full of new "best friends" for shoe addicts everywhere. From Alexander McQueen's and Rodarte's sculpted wedges to Calvin Klein's lucite and wood stilettos, there's something for every girl, even sneakers (from Giles and Yohji Yamamoto, of course)! Trying to pick a favorite may cost you hours, so why not just love them all? Click through to see the best of the best shoes from the Spring runways!
PARIS--Are you obsessed Prabal Gurung's Spring 2011 collection, but dream of some sparkle to accompany that form fitting cocktail dress? Never fear. It's Atelier Swarovski to the rescue. The crystal brand has commissioned five up-and-coming designers to create one-off jewelry collections for Spring 2011. The roster includes Mark Fast, Joseph Altuzarra, the aforementioned Gurung, LA-based costume designer Michael Kaplan, and jeweler Jenny Manik Mercian.
It was tough to pick just five girls from Paris Fashion Week's abundance of sartorial greatness, but we did our best. We have a hard time ever excluding Alexa Chung, who looked adorable at Miu Miu. Lou Doillon is a Paris fashion icon in her own right and did not disappoint at Chanel. Rachel Bilson looked lovely at Dior. Anja Rubik rocked long, flowy Chloé and Caroline Sieber got a head start on Spring's white trend at Valentino.
PARIS--Remember those incredible shoes on the Frank Tell Fall 2010 runway? Me too. They were designed by the Paris-based Raphael Young, who just opened up his first store in the city. (Right next to Mr. Louboutin on the Rue Jean-Jaques Rousseau, bien sur.) I stopped by the opening on Tuesday night, where Fall 2010's specimens were perched in box frames along the big wall in the main room. The back room was filled with Young's Spring 2011 offerings. And I must say, I was thrilled by them. From the seafoam green metallic heels to the red suede peep toes with a marble wedge, there's something for everyone in this collection. Click through to pick your favorite pair.
PARIS--Nine days. Over 90 collections. But only ten can be considered the best. Click through for our top picks. Au revior, Paris!
PARIS--Kenzo isn't a buzzy brand, at least in the United States, but it is an important one. On Tuesday night, I attended the the label's colorful 40th Anniversary show. It included looks from creative director Antonio Marras' Spring 2011 collection, as well as an homage to the brand's history, with a stage of models dressed up like Babushka dolls in pieces from the archive.
PARIS--Yesterday, Jean Paul Gaultier galloped away from Hermès in style. After seven years of loyal services, he announced last May that he was leaving. And last night, the whole fashion sphere gathered in the industrial space of La Halle Freyssinet to watch his final bow. The Spring 2011 collection accurately reflected the essence of the Gaultier-Hermès collaboration: bondage meets horseback riding, provocation meets tradition--and, as always, admirable tailoring, JP style
PARIS--It was the end of it all. And it was good. Miu Miu finished off Paris Fashion Week and global Fashion Month, and was the last show I'll see until February. (Unless, of course, some designers get extravagant for Pre-Fall....) It was young (see the starry prints and popsicle colors) it was forward (consider the boxy cut of the leather jackets) and it was pretty (appreciate the red satin dress). There was some '70s, some '40s. But above all, there was modernity.
Rumors swirl season upon season that Stefano Pilati is done at Yves Saint Laurent. Pilati replaced Tom Ford in the mid-aughts, and while some of his collections have been lauded, others have been slammed. What's more, Pilati is known for being a pain-in-the-rear. He's a party boy, and he doesn't like playing nice. Now the New York Post, via Fashion Wire Daily, reports that Spring 2011 might really, truly, be the end of the road for Pilati. But the collection was undeniably strong. And the shoes will certainly be a best-seller. So we think he still has more time. However, if Pilati is leaving, who will succeed him?
Louis Vuitton S 2011 Cheat Sheet:Sequins. Fringe. Chinoise. The Orient. Animal prints. The rainbow. More satin. 1970s. Black marble. PARIS--Another thing about Marc Jacobs: No season is the same. Sure, there are underlying themes that may move from spring to fall, or fall to spring, but in general, you have no idea what to expect when the first model steps onto the runway.
Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. PARIS--“I was really intrigued by this period of Japanese history called Sakoku. It was during the two centuries in the Edo period when the shogun closed the country to outsiders. This isolation enhances the notion of abstraction. The collection was not inspired or based on Japanese clothing, rather I was fascinated by the idea of abstract isolationism. These are silhouettes I have worked on for a long time,” designer Hussein Chalayan said after showing the 12 minutes film he made for his spring collection, titled "Sakoku." Mr. Chalayan has directed several films over the last decade, even a conceptual film with little clothes for Tribe Art Commission in late 2003 that was sponsored by the Honda Formula Racing team. That film featured an old female racer going through London and Istanbul in an aerodynamic pod. Screened against the white walls of a small art gallery tucked away in the 3rd arrondissement, the color film was shot against a black background. A single spotlight shone on model Juju, who wore the 37 looks in various poses: walking, standing, coming in and out of frames. At one point, three ninjas played with the silk pieces attached to her floral bustier dress.
PARIS--Look at the cult around Vogue or Purple: Magazines today are institutions, with their own admirers and followers. No wonder they're also becoming the life and soul of Parisian nightlife. Increasingly, brands are pairing up with hip publications to ensure a successful event. One day before the end of Paris Fashion Week, we put on our blue suede shoes and went out, wined and dined by various magazines.
Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. PARIS--In January 2009 at the historic lecture hall of the Sorbonne, newly-anointed designers Pier Paolo Piccoli and Maria Grazia Chuiri, personal protégés of Mr. Valentino, presented their spring Haute Couture collection. It was virtually immersed in the house codes and heritage, with little indication of their own voices. The road that Mr. Piccoli and Ms. Grazia Chuiri have traveled since at Valentino includes figuring out how to inject their own visions--drawn from their own experiences and observations--into clothes for a new generation. One of the most difficult jobs in fashion today is working at a once venerable institution currently in need of transformation. In a quiet showing at the Halle Freyssinet--where the industrial depot was momentarily outfitted with camel colored cotton benches--the designers clearly embraced the foundations of Valentino.
PARIS--My clearest image of Alexander McQueen, the brand, is the designer's Spring 2010 runway show, which I attended last fall in Paris on behalf of my former employer. I think I sat 3rd or 4th row--I still have blurry images of those hoof heels on my iPhone. It was the last proper show McQueen would live to see, and it was spectacular. Unearthly, Godly, serpentine: he offered us the most distinct digital prints, the most magnificently sculpted bodices. McQueen's final collection, which debuted last March, was more ornate. There were lots of reds and golds with headpieces and plenty of layers of fabric. As someone who grew up attending Russian Orthodox church services, there was something about the collection that reminded me of what the religion's strictest priests wear every day. This season, with McQueen's tragic passing in February 2010, his second-in-command Sarah Burton has taken over.
Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. PARIS--What is the designer Riccardo Tisci’s mission at Givenchy? Was he hired to create an entirely new brand, or does he have to incorporate some of the house’s heritage into his thinking? Should his collections have something to reminisce the past? Or is it his prime directive simply to follow his instincts and make fashionable clothes destined for those looking for a chic outfit and great shoes? In the five years since he took over the creative helm at Givenchy, I think it’s clear that Mr, Tisci is choosing to make it an ultra chic fashion brand, one that is respected among high society. And more importantly, a brand that also has street credibility. It’s critical for the designer to appeal to both ends of the spectrum. Too aristocratic and he will be accused of succumbing to the bourgeoisie Too street and they will say he doesn’t understand or fit into a French high fashion house.
PARIS--Caroline Seikaly has quite an interesting background. She studied at RISD, interned with Isaac Mizrahi, then moved to Paris to work with Christian Lacroix. In 1999, she began a seven-year-long career with Karl Lagerfeld. After leaving Lagerfeld, Seikaly launched her eponymous collection. The first piece she designed was her own wedding dress. Her Spring 2011 collection, which I saw yesterday in an airy studio at Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine, consists of mostly short, pastel cocktail frocks.
PARIS--If anyone can make me love Hawaiian prints, it's Vanessa Bruno. Her easy going, quietly sexy, undeniably French designs make women feel good. So when Bruno's Spring 2011 collection, which seemed to be inspired by Hawaii Five O, came down the runway, I wanted nearly every darn thing.
PARIS--Stefano Pilati's reign at Yves Saint Laurent can't be described as anything else but a roller coaster. Sometimes he's lauded, at other times mocked. In a season when other designers have been inspired by his master's Le Smoking suit, safari jackets, and other '70s styles, Pilati looked to the archives with flamenco dresses and perfect pants.