Paris fashion week: top trends for spring
Giambattista Valli, Viktor & Rolf and Chloé were just three of the brands that placed a heavy emphasis on metallic effect shoes. Shiny heels lifted outfits at the bottom, providing a little spring/summer shimmer, and interplayed well with the metallic elements sprinkled across other garments.
A soft touch
This season’s shows in Paris saw a softening down of what have at times been rather strict silhouettes. In her debut show at Céline three years ago, Phoebe Philo wowed the fashion world with a collection which pared back any unnecessary detailing. This revitalized minimalism has been the dominant trend in high fashion ever since, and while it has previously grown spikes at houses like Givenchy, it had resisted ruffles. This was the season that Céline balanced out the ascetic attitude and softened their lines a little. Similar trends were present at Balenciaga where there was a gypsy flounce to the bottom of dresses, and Chloé where Claire Waight Keller blew out shoulders with soft volumes.
At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton created extravagant beekeeping-inspired headpieces that riffed on the honeycomb patterning present in her trousers and across beehive tiered dresses. The often experimental Turkish-British designer Hussein Chalayan showed giant sun visors with green plastic screens, one of the more striking touches in a collection which was uncharacteristically simple in its wearability. In the great showdown of the week between Dior’s Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent, the contrast between the houses was stark. Dior kept things simple with light nets tied around models’ heads. Slimane, on the other hand, went all out. Each and every model was tucked away under a giant wide-brimmed hat.
Alexis Mabille provided plenty of purple and black gingham in his Paris runway show while there were solid chessboards of the house damier at Marc Jacobs’s Louis Vuitton show. The designer mutated the pattern into acid green, chartreuse and lemon yellow before he brought back the classic camel color. Meanwhile, at Dries Van Noten, models wore luxe-grunge checks and tartans in translucent tones, the patterns interwoven with metallic threads.
Giambattista Valli, Valentino, Gareth Pugh and Elie Saab all provided strong collections united by one theme, a sudden burst of crimson. As in Milan, designers showed a range of looks in white or pale tones, before releasing the color. It was a dramatic, and highly effective ruse, especially when combined with sheer or lace fabrics (as at Elie Saab).
Bold and graphic, this was camouflage that made you stand out rather than fade away. Chloé printed it across a few boxy blouses in fairly muted colors, but it was Felipe Oliveira Baptista who made it more extreme and exciting. The Portuguese designer, who also heads up Lacoste, covered his tailoring in patterns that mixed geometry with graffiti, and cut and pasted it into sharply patchworked dresses.
While this was even more predominant in New York, London, and Milan, snakeskin remained a big trend in Paris. Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Picciolisent two coats in quick succession down the runway — one a clear overcoat with studded seams, the following also clear, but striped with sumptuous sections of wild python.