We've barely recovered from the excitement of Milan Fashion Week, and it's already onto the next one, Paris Fashion Week. Running from 27 September to 5 October, the City of Lights plays host to some of world's best designers, as they present their collections for Spring 2012. These are a few of my favourites so far.
Designer Bill Gaytten lends his charm to Christian Dior, showing off an enchanting, ladylike collection for Spring 2012. Daywear in retro-modern shapes were kept to neutral shades of beige, black, white and grey. The only splash of vibrant colour came from a line of saffron red silk dresses. Models were enveloped in sensational sheer organza evening gowns, tickled with lace. A gracious, yet humble new beginning (post Galliano) for the 65 year old fashion house.
Russian artist Zina de Plagny was the inspiration behind Nina Ricci's romantic Spring range. Prints from the 30's and 40's were reconditioned to fit contemporary designs with a Parisian-chic twist. Midnight blue was a thematic hue that went from daywear to night. Stretch satin sheaths, slip dresses and lingerie-inspired ensembles set a sensual tone. Caged hats and extra large clutch bags accessorized the feminine outfits.
Dries van Noten
Dries van Noten's Spring 2012 range exhibited a relaxed glamour, governed by a variety of influences. The digital floral and cityscape prints pay tribute to English photographer James Reeves. The silhouettes go back to the 50's, with a trace of Spanish design. He placed peplum flounces on pants and bells on sleeves, an emerging trend for next season. Heavy black lace and broderie anglaise enhanced the basic black, navy and white palette. Models wore slicked back hair and strappy tie-up heels.
Rue du Mail
Designer Martine Sitbon told a tale of exotic travels for Rue du Mail's Spring 2012 presentation. She played around with proportions, from fitted skirts to generously cut Moroccan-style caftans. Sitbon was also bountiful in her choice of fabrics: cottons, georgette, knits, satin, plissé detailing, Chinese-inspired prints, tulle embroidery and smock-frocks. Mexican inspired patterns were seamed onto sheer dresses. Smudged smoky eyes and multi-strap platform sandals accompanied this eclectic collection.
Anne Valérie Hash
Anne Valérie Hash showcased modern designs in luscious tones of blue and a squeeze of orange zest. I love the originality in this collection; the twist-knot front trousers are something I haven't seen before. Two-tone tuxedo jackets were worn over silk slack-fit skinnies. Laid-back tailoring was an unmistakable feature throughout the tangy range.
I was two-minded about Roland Mouret's Spring offering. I wasn't fond of the evil eye insignia on some pieces, but I was impressed by the contoured cut-out silhouettes. Mouret is masterful at moulding fabric into figure enhancing dresses. His flattering designs were nipped in the waist by black grosgrain ribbon belts. Tulip motifs were tacked onto chartreuse, navy & scarlet fit-and-flair dresses. A prim and polished range, that ideally depicts covert sexiness.Balmain
I haven't met a Balmain collection I didn't like. This is the first offering from the label's dashing new designer Oliver Rousteing, which can be best described as rock-chick rolled in gold. The glitz and glamour of Vegas collided with Mexican design and Rodeo chic, seen in glittering high-waisted mini's, lightwash denim, tasseled sleeves, glossy leather suits and skirts, structured shoulders, metallic buckled belts and lavishly bejeweled tops. Hypnotic.