We started talking about Paris fashion week yesterday and all the amazing things the French brought us for next fall. Now let’s proceed with the breakdown, shall we? Here are five other shows that made me love my job even more.
Stella McCartney’s collections are unfussy, elegant and youthful, without fail. There is always a very pragmatic feel to her clothes, which I suppose comes along with being a mother of four, and an incredibly stylish one at that. Her fall 2012 show appeared to be a hybrid of sporty and menswear-inspired clothes. It was simple in a good way, almost like she was out to reinterpret the classics. She basically makes clothes that women really want and can wear on a day-to-day basis, while still managing to bang out some stunning eveningwear (she presented that collection back in London).
I was definitely curious to see what Clare Waight Keller was going to do for her second collection at Chloé. While so many of her fellow designers looked to the dark side this fall, she explored a lighter facet of romance thanks to a soft palette of pretty pastels. The collection was a bit sporty and one of its main strengths clearly lied in the beautiful knit sweaters, an expertise she undoubtedly acquired during her years at Pringle of Scotland. It all comprised the gamine elements that made the Chloé house what it is today and miss Clare can really only go up from here, and surely she will, judging by what we’ve seen so far.
If your name is Haider Ackermann, the pressure of living up to your own genius must be excruciating – this man has set the bar so high up for himself, courtesy of every collection being lauded by critics, editors and real people alike. A favourite of Karl Lagerfeld AND Tilda Swinton (does one need anything more in life?!), he has a true knack for pairing jewel tones and making them shine even brighter. The colors he presented for fall 2012 were undeniably romantic and refined, as per usual, in the most beautiful autumn palette a woman could ever want to wear.
His clothes felt perhaps a little more commercial than what we are used to seeing from him (the trousers and coats, especially), but his deconstructed, wrap-around aesthetic wasn’t necessarily forgotten – seemingly the man can’t help himself in wanting to envelop the feminine shape in his vision of luxury. Everything was so well thought out, and this time around, the Haider Ackermann woman can have pieces for every occasion in her life.
What Sarah Burton has managed to do at Alexander McQueen since the man has left us is truly spectacular. Seeing his design sensibility being kept alive by his protégée is such a delight and the label continues to be a standout after some deemed it as doomed as its founder after his passing. It’s clear that Burton learned the ropes from her mentor: the tailoring in ever piece is nothing short of masterful. While the extravagance of every single item echoed on the catwalk, the styling was obviously for show and once dissected, these dresses would be killer on any daring actress for a red carpet appearance. Every McQueen show is like witnessing a fantasy – we’re all voyeurs peering into the designer’s head and what she had to offer us this time was beauty beyond words. The catwalk was like a progression, as the dresses kept augmenting in volume. It was a truly sublime vision, full of romance, extravagance and vulnerability.
Here’s prediction for you: next September when the show season starts, the street style photographers will see their fair share of Balenciaga fall 2012 comic book-looking sweaters. I can already picture all the bloggers – and editors – desperately trying to get their little paws on them. We’re used to seeing wacky stuff from Nicholas Ghesquière – he usually ventures into very futuristic territory, like the opposite of nostalgia – and this time his runway was all business, literally (it was set atop an office building tower), but almost felt kind of retro in both the shapes and color palette. There’s no denying it, the only thing you can always expect from Balenciaga is the unexpected.
Look out tomorrow for my final instalment of Paris fashion week, which will round out my fashion month coverage!
Want to read more about the fall 2012 collections?