As fashion month rolls into it’s final destination, Paris, here’s all the shows, trends and FROWers you need to know about…
Stella's Upscale Singalong
It was as if Stella had woken up in the morning, looked at the weather and the rain-soaked fashion crowd (cursing because they couldn't wear their new bought-specially-for-fashion-week shoes) and thought, you know what, I'll give them something to cheer them up a bit. I'll give them George Michael! I'll give them models singing and dancing along to George Michael! That'll perk them up a bit. Which of course it did. Not that the pieces themselves needed any extra pep up. With long loose coats and parkas in plaids and tweeds, jump suits, a fantastic horse print (inspired by the classic British painter George Stubbs) and a colour pallette of camel, khaki and grey - this was Stella's take on the British country dressing. Think posh outerwear shop in Norfolk but with the designer's louche, modern vibe. CM
Running in Heels At Giambattista Valli
There was a deifinitive girlishness to the Valli show. Hello ruffles, lace, blossomy prints, a smattering of zingy, red cherries plus towering lace up boots. But it was the Nike leggings paired with frou frou jackets that everyone was talking about. These were clothes for girls who lead a trainers and heels life. You know the type. She's either partying or yoga-ing and nothing much in between. When they're not being chauffeured along the St Honore, they're running through The Jardins De Tuileries - you get the picture. Pretty, feminine and just sexy enough, when it comes to party dresses or the ladies who brunch, Valli knows exactly what that she wants. CM
Chanel's Supersonic Show
The glacial white Chanel rocket charging up into the roof of The Grand Palais in France said it all. If the global super brand that is Chanel, has already conquered the world, now they were going intergalactic, en route to the cosmos. This was THE big fashion moment the rained-on fash-pack were waiting for.
A deafening countdown, smoke raging from the sides of the rocket, models posing around the take off, David Bowies’s ’Ground Control to Major Tom’ as the booming soundtrack, and Karl looking more miniature than ever, striding around the edge of the rocket. You half expected that it really was going to take off and crash through the glass roof of the palais, taking Chanel into outer space.
If we’re going to talk clothes – which to be honest, were incredibly hard to concentrate on, with such a spectacle unfolding – there was serious sparkle to be had. Think spacey, gleaming quilted cloaks (tricky is an understatement). Most of the models had been bouffed by hair supremo Sam Mcknight and were sporting oversized embellished headbands with a 21st century Barberella mood about them.
There were definitely some winning pieces for every type of Chanel girl. The silver leather and shearling coat was pretty cool. The perfect Chanel tweed suit with silver thread running throughout, was clever and chic, but it was the glittering knee-length silver boots with the signature black Chanel toe, which have ‘instagram–me’ written all over them.
With Cara Delevingne, Skepta and Lily-Rose Depp on the FROW, AW17 was a supersonic Chanel show.
Off-kilter Elegance At Ellery
With its fishtail fluted sleeves, flamboyant tailoring, and exaggerated flared trousers, Australian designer Kym Ellery is a fashion editor favourite. At least two of the stylists we sat next to during the shows were wearing a little bit of Ellery. Lady-ish but not in the least bit boring, these are age defying pieces that are guaranteed to give your look a nonchalent edge. With a lurex coat here, a oversized collar there, exaggerated sleeves a go-go, not to mention the glorious boots with pink perpex heels inspired by lava lamps, if Rhianna, Olivia Palermo, Solange Knowles, Cate Blanchett and Elle Fanning are already fans, this collection is sure to broaden her celebrity network even wider. CM
Super Furry Miu Miu
'It's like being led into deep, furry purple cave' was the way one frow-goer described entering the showspace for the Miu Miu show. From the invite, to the chairs, the pillars, the walls, to the sweeping staircases which the models descended down, literally everything had been covered with lilac fun-fur. It was spectacularly original and extraordinarily effective especially as girl after girl trooped along the catwalk in different crazily compelling furry get-ups. Clashing prints, ginormous sunglasses, brilliant pastels, flares, jewels, knits - a glamourised, refreshed 70s that was even more pychadelic than the actual era itself. Want, want, want. CM
Night At The Museum at Louis Vuitton
This was the grand finale of Paris Fashion Week, held very dramatically in the pyramid dome of The Louvre gallery in Paris, a landmark many frowers admitted not actually being inside since their gap year. This was the first ever time the Louvre had been opened up for a show, might we, one editor wondered, be watching it under the eyes of the Mona Lisa? Instead the models strode confidently around the museum through 17th and 18th century sculptures and statues in cropped flares, chunky low-heeled boots, and most memorable of all shimmering silk slip dresses in pale blue, lemon and white. CM
Oliver Rousteing knows a thing or two about creating an Instagram moment and having Zayn Malik sit front row to watch his model girlfriend, Gigi Hadid, was a prime example of his command of social media. Opening the show in a T-shirt tucked into a sequin skirt with bum-grazing boots, Gigi set the tone for a wild foray back to the '70s. There were buckets of sequins, plenty of fringing and a healthy dose of zebra print, all tied neatly together with a waist belt or two. The trademark strong shoulder - that has almost single-handidly brought the brand back to notoriety - was softened for this season to the extent that it was barely visible. Kendall Jenner also got in on the action, lip ring and all (possibly inspired by her niece Penelope?) by closing the show in a look so aquatic she basically merged into a crocodile. This was, like the dress, a collection with considerable bite. JNS
Loewe: Anderson’s After Hours Attire
Jonthan Anderson, the creative visionary behind Loewe is a very complex character so it’s no surprise that his collection followed suit with many different dimensions. As we made our way to our seats in complete darkness with only spotlit pot plants for guidance, it was clear we were about to witness something special.
In parts the collection was all out sexy glamour, which seems highly apt given the dramatic music, and in others it moved into heavy layering. The off the shoulder puffball sleeved, floor-length gown with subtle polka dots marked a new direction for the designer, although it was industrialised by the oversized clutch for a real Anderson approach to afterhours attire. It didn’t stop there, for all the fisherman hats and leather separates there were sudden injections of real glamour - notably by a silver Lurex floor-length dress, and another silver number with a plunging neckline. This is glamour, but not as you know it. JNS
Off-White Gets Outdoorsy
This is how one should tackle the great outdoors come next winter, in contrasting checks across cropped boxy jackets, high waisted skirts with daring splits and over the knee heeled boots. But then again who needs practicality when you can have boob grazing denim jackets and daring sheer tops? JNS
Chloe's Seventies Swan Song
After taking an emotional bow after showing her final collection for Chloe, Claire Waight Keller leaves behind quite the legacy. Her hits for the house are numerous and many pieces from Keller’s seventies swan song will inevitability achieve ‘it’ status- most notably her star encrusted mini bags and boots. Away from the accessories, which are so integral to the brand’s popular appeal, there were mini dresses layered with paisley printed blouses and a suede and leather tessellated panelled ‘jogger’ two-piece, which brought new meaning to lux loungewear. There were accents of utility too with over blown jackets and mechanical jumpsuits, a shearling bomber that could double up as a teddy bear come nap time and Peter Pan collars which had a life of their own. To close the show ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’ blasted out and its safe to say whatever Keller’s next move is she won’t be working as a waitress in a cocktail bar. JNS
Dries Van Noten’s Rich Patchwork
To celebrate his 100th show, Dries Van Noten took Paris fashion week to the most eclectic of parties. With the cast of models featuring 54 girls ranging in ages, who have walked for him since 1993, it was quite the reunion not only for the likes of Amber Valletta and Cecilia Chancellor but also for 90’s metallic two pieces and off the shoulder fur jacket combos. A scrapbook of prints greeted the guests (serving up serious wallpaper goals)- a print representing each of his 100 collections- and the likes of Japanese kimono prints, paisleys and 1960s triangular prints were artfully clashed alongside one another on silk dresses and crafty coats. There was some light relief from the prints by the way of well jumbo cord trousers, oversized coats and an added dimension of denim. Closing the show with a tribe of models storming down the runway, the Dries Van Noten woman seemed to have more impact than ever. JNS
Rochas’ Right Royal Knees Up
Alessandro Dell’Acqua must, like us, be quite The Crown obsessive. His autumn/winter 2017 collection seemed as if it was designed purely for Princess Margaret at the height of her late 1950s beauty. Pink woollen high neck dresses which grazed their wearer just below the knee, black trapeze coats with pleasing pleated backs and the camel coat of dreams tied at the empire line, made for a very royal wardrobe. Away from the pageantry there were pastel day dresses adorned with delicate bows, sequin leafs and larger than life Peter Pan collars. However the jewel in this crown was the fringed sequin dress which will be beyond ideal for sashaying the night away. JNS
Jacquemus Gets Arty
Jacquemus’ approach to styling the French woman always seems so fresh and new even with the heavy historical influence. Last season he modernised Monet’s oversized hats for a new audience, and this season he recontextualised mid century couture. The power suit was there but appeared to be buttoned incorrectly to create a new shape, while hats referenced Picasso and Surrealism. Jacquemus’s foray into coats also showed real progress from the self-taught designer, and saw him putting his own stamp on the shape shifting theme for next season. JNS