The final fashion week of the Spring Summer 16 season is underway in Paris. So here's a quick update on the key shows so far...
Clare Waight-Keller at Chloe has spent the last two seasons firmly camped in the '70's - and her influence has been felt all over the High Street. This season she has moved forward to the late '90's and rave culture (this Lovett Lady was a definite raver at this time and is already looking forward to this trickling down!). Long strands of beads and tassels hung at the necklines and full-length chiffon skirts were styled with old-school style tracksuit tops.
At Lanvin, Alber Elbaz, started off with lots of black and white daywear featuring balloon sleeves, flounces, ruffles and bows, before moving onto silk dresses and cocktail appropriate outfits in brighter hues.
Olivier Rousteing is going from strength to strength at the helm of Balmain, where he has been since 2011, he's still only 29 and has an army of It Girl fans from models such as Joan Smalls and Jourdan Dunn to the celebrity sort of Kardashians, Jenners and Hadids. Happily for us regular folk, he's the latest in a long and popular line-up to link in with H&M and produce a capsule collection for the brand which is due to launch next month. Last year Alexander Wang produced an entirely new sportswear range for them, but early indications show that Balmain may produce more of a "greatest hits" collection. Information is scarce currently so we'll make the most of looking at his Spring '16 collection which showed lots of embellishment on a super-clingy silhouette. Colours were toned down from last season and mainly contained neutrals - although Joan Smalls looked stunning in green suede. Ruffles and macrami looked strong and metal collars looked futuristic. Kendal Jenner and Gigi Hadid have both been seen out in looks from the catwalk already in Paris so we're happy to bet that a version will be making an appearance on a High Street near you next season...
Meanwhile, Stella McCartney showed lots of knitwear, which may seem a little odd for a Spring Summer collection but it looked light and lovely when layered up. Sportswear elements featured with jersey polo collars on dresses, and models wearing sporty slides or sandals with every look. Ribbon embroidery, stripes and mini pleats made up the detailing and accessories were kept to a minimum of over-sized sunglasses and a few bags.
In previous seasons Karl Lagerfeld has turned his venues into a supermarket and a cafe, this season he's gone for an airport in the Grand Palais, including check-in desks with Chanel-clad air hostesses, a baggage carousel and metal-perforated seats. Departure boards were printed onto silk scarves, clothes and back-packs, the soles of shoes lit-up like the sides of an airplane emergency exit walkway and necklaces were small silver airplanes. The collection was bold, audacious and very, very desirable.
Hmmm, what to say about Saint Laurent..? Hedi Slimane either knows his customer very well, or there was an element of wheeling out the same looking collection as previous seasons (or nearly a month in to the fashion shows am I just jaded from raking through all the photos to bring you the highlights..?) Anyway, there were more 90's looking items on show here but Slimane has gone for a Glastonbury vibe with bias cut dresses, sequins, fur coats, leather jackets and lots of wellington boots. It's a look made up of elements that many women will already own so will be easy to replicate on a budget. To top it off, all the models wore diamante tiaras.
We're nearly there!!
At Louis Vuitton Nicholas Ghesquiere created a show inspired by video games from Minecraft through to Tron: Legacy. Models wore moto style jackets with metal embroidered skirts and trousers printed with spacecrafts. Although it all looked spaceage; the fabrics were natural and the details traditional - combining to make a futuristic bohemia!
I think I may have a little girl-crush on Pheobe Philo who manages to come up with ideas every single season that I want to wear immediately at Celine. She went with lace-trimmed slip dresses, gorgeous long fluid jersey dresses and menswear tweeds cut into suiting. I want to be in her gang.
Sarah Burton at McQueen was inspired by 17th Century silk-weavers from Spitalfields, which also had nods to the family of the late designer himself. The models all looked like beautiful English Roses with pink cheeks and tousled hair. Dresses were pale pink and printed with florals and decorated with ruffles and tattered lace and topped with body chain and completed with painted clogs.
We wouldn't be doing our job properly if we didn't make mention of Vetements. It's a Paris-based anonymous collective made up of ex-members of the Margiela team and designed by its' previous designers - Georgian brothers Demna and Guram Gvasalia, along with 5 of their friends (so not actually that anonymous!) Anyway, it was all over Paris being worn by fashion editors, models and people on the street - so we know it's going to be influencial. But the bigger news is that Demna was announced as the new creative director at Balenciaga during the week after a relatively short tenure by Alexander Wang. Whatever you think it's definitely one to keep your eye on...