Ah, Paris. J’adore tout! As Fashion Week for Autumn/Winter 2010-11 came to an end yesterday, we were left with lasting impressions of beauty and style from the Milan-Paris ready-to-wear season. The last collections to walk the runway came from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Alexander McQueen, Miu Miu, Elie Saab, Cerruti, Chloe, Thierry Mugler, and Valentino.
On a set that only Karl Lagerfeld could dream up, models paraded Chanel Fall 2010 looks amid a 265-ton iceberg he had imported from Sweden to the Grand Palais. In a nod to chic environmentalism, fake-fur coat and fake-fur-trimmed tweed clad models splashed through icy waters in yeti boots, woolly mammoth trousers, Inuit-style knits, and even eveningwear in fake fox, mixed with cream lace and tweed, and accessorized with ice-crystal jewelry. It was yet another fantastic spectacle from the genius of Lagerfeld’s imagination.
Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli took their girl-to-ultra-feminine places for Fall 2010, unlike their recent edgy sexy couture. Infused with a lighter, younger, and romantic attitude, Valentino favorites were displayed by way of chiffon- and silk-ruffled gowns and lace patchworked sheer blouses. Tiered spare white dress and khaki jackets with more ruffles and floral appliqués also made appearances. It seems Chiuri and Piccioli have found the balance between honoring the house codes of Valentino while continuing to push them forward into relevance.
Much like we saw in Milan with the Prada collection, Louis Vuitton returned to the sexy, lush, curvy woman, in a stark contrast to the minimalism seen in other shows. Laetitia Casta opened the Vuitton show bursting out of a corseted pinstriped gray sundress, as LV designer Marc Jacobs’ displayed a collection of Brigitte Bardot-inspired, full-skirted printed wool and chiffon dresses, set to the music of her classic film And God Created Woman. Of course, there were beautiful bags that the design house has become known for, such as the fantastic redos of the Vuitton Speedy, that partnered with the retro fit-and-flare silhouette clothing, pieces that will have fans of Mad Men fashion waiting in anticipation.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s “New Avengers” collection for the luxury house Hermès was complete with bowler hats, umbrellas, and leather, drawing on both English tailoring and masculine style. From silk taffeta and fringed mohair swelled dresses and skirts to the double-faced cashmere, leathers, and croc three-piece suits, Gaultier hit the luxury mark in this sultry collection that also saw the iconic Kelly bag revamped and miniaturized, sure to cause a fashion frenzy this Fall.
The last collection designed by Lee Alexander McQueen debuted with a presentation that paid solemn tribute to the late designer. Mohawked models draped in each of the 16-piece Byzantine-inspired collection marched across a gilded salon in the Hôtel de Clermont-Tonnerre. The designs were vivid, dramatic, and evocative, a underlying religious theme throughout displayed in sumptuous gold embroideries, silk jacquard woven patterns and in the stained glass jewelry that filled the necklines of sharply cut peplum-jackets and dresses. The final words in the show’s notes summed the collection best: “Each piece was unique, as was he.”
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Images Courtesy of WWD