By Angelika Bolliger
We fashionistas find it hard to say no to new styles, new colours and new shapes, as if they were offering us a new lease on life. Perhaps they do, they will help us achieve certain goals, build up our confidence or just make us happy enough to spread the love.
Fashion has been around since the beginning of time often creating an over statement with very elaborate tailoring, leyering ,embellishment and fabric sometimes inflicting physical pain on the person wearing it.
It has always been a powerful tool to help define who you are. It can describe what your position is in society, your culture, your education, your financial status or even your spirit.
Dress for success is the motto!
Ok, let’s talk Paris.
La fame français, there is only one.
She is nonchalant, confident, strong, pure and beautiful.
Is it the clothes that make her or does she make the clothes? Whatever the case it is a wonderful union and Nicolas Ghesquiere, the artistic director of LV, has reminded us of its timelessness.
The models were flowing through the runway, wearing beautiful asymmetrical dresses with sharp cut outs in unusual places, making the collection look confident. We saw metallics, natural browns, navy, sheer lace and polka dotted dresses. There were blouses and 3/4 pencil trousers, all warn with tight fitting metallic, green, burgundy, black or snake print ankle boots for the “I am strong and I don’t care” look we so admire in the French. It was no new revelation, rather a mature collection representative of the quintessential French women – gorgeous tailoring, elegant colour pattern, classic but with a modern twist. I love collections that are not trying too hard to create the shock value and this one proves that Nicolas Ghesquiere is consistent in making beautiful, wearable, modern, chic clothes with a touch of rock’n’roll. This is why he has a big following within the stars and other fashion loving ladies.
A brand best known for it’s IT handbags has shown us a collection for the not so mainstream women. A women who does not want to be obviously sexy. She is more the intellectual type who likes to cover it up almost as a statement and an aphrodisiac. This years SS show was no different. Phoebe Philo changed the silhouette form the more structured military style to a more feminine, frumpy, oversized, back to front kind of way. We saw the classic colour palette; black, white, red, yellow, brown, grey etc. The shirts were oversized, the pants were worn over lace underpants, which were sticking out at the hem. We saw some 3/4 flared letter trousers and sheer pleated midi skirts. The collection was top heavy leaving the lightness to the bottom half of the silhouette. Some of the outfits were accompanied by large, oversized tote bags. Both collections, LV and Celine, showed us two different women yet sharing the same French secret of effortless style for the strong and modern women.
Anthony Vaccarello is the fashion rebel who loves to push the boundaries when it comes to how much flesh can be shown. This collection for Saint Laurent is even more provocative than the last, baring breasts and showing never-ending legs. Leather is a key fabric, tightly hugging the body in 80’s inspired mini dresses. Wide shoulders, deep v necklines, bustier tops, mini skirts and dresses.
A metallic gold, asymmetrical midi dress was seen flowing down the runway followed by edgy deconstructed leather mini dresses. Most of the sheer blouses were worn bearing breasts with not a hint of shame. Asymmetrical styles were back on the runway with one shoulder exaggerated out of proportion, inspired by the 80’s pop stars. The show stayed true to its previous seasons with the black masculine fitted suit, pointy pumps, short and fitted leather jackets and a bit of denim.
It was a signature collection for Anthony Vaccarello and the house of Saint Laurent. We may just have to adjust it a bit in order to wear it in public without getting arrested.
And now we meet the rest of the gang, the Isabel Marant women, the French label that has sold the French IT girl image internationally. She is young no matter what age she is, she is bohemian, worldly, easy going and sexy, in a fresh, French kind of way. We all want to be this girl. This SS collection was a continuation of the fall trend in lighter colours and fabrics. Pants cinched at the waist, ruffles on shirts, jackets and dresses, metallic shirts, flower dresses, cargo pants and more jackets. Cropped asymmetrical ruffle tops, the hit of the moment, worn with 3/4 ruffled pants made us dream of Capri and La dolce vita. We also saw a lot of top heavy tops dominating the silhouette, worn over 80’s inspired pants. The collection was light, fresh, sporty, ideal for us traveling girls. Easy to wear and easy to pack.
It was a highly anticipated show since the departure of Raf Simons and was the first time in the history of Dior that a women was appointed to carry on the legacy of the house, her name is Maria Grazia Chiuri, freshly arrived from Valentino. With only 6 weeks to prepare the collection, she certainly managed to make a statement. The ‘we should all be feminists” logo on the t-shirts and “Dior revolution” was a breath of fresh air. The collection was clean, contemporary, athletic and young drawing inspiration from the youth culture headed by Rihanna who was also present at the show. There were some classic Christian Dior pieces, however, reminiscent of the Dior we know and love like the tulle dresses and skirts. Chiuri gave them a new life by making them transparent worn over black underwear and accompanied by trainers and a leather jacket. We saw a lot of fencing outfits with padded vests and knee length pants, ready for a duel. The collection was white and black with a few pieces in bright red. Chiuri is a strong women with strong opinions and feistiness, I have no doubt she will always deliver a meaningful collection no matter what big fashion house she designs for.