Rather ghostly, but natural, matte, pale skin was the key look on Parisian runways this season. The rouge pout of this season gave way to undone lips, and the emphasis shifted to the gaze. The aesthetic for next winter chill is about eyes strongly defined with dark hues.
Some of the Parisian designers opted for a somber yet sophisticated look that was directly inspired from a modern, gothic influence.
A few others chose to play with color and well structured silhouettes, but there is no doubt that black is the predominant color with red and white as runner ups for fall and winter 2006/2007. As far as silhouette goes, tiny cinched waists, skinny pants, and clunky shoes are still quite popular. Some of the other trends of the season, include a touch of retro bordering between 40’s secretary suits and 80’s power suits or loose sweaters, puffed sleeves, velvet, and embellished fur, military cuts, and plaid are also au rendezvous.
My Parisian fashion week started rather majestically, with Dior’s defile, which was held at the impressively massive, and just as impressively cold Grand Palais. As a matter of fact it was so cold, that each seat was by a Dior shawl. Unfortunately, it only gave the attendees hope that they may for at least a few minutes be warm during the chilly presentation.
Surprisingly, Bon Jovi and other forgotten 90’s rock tunes gave rhythm to the stride of the Goth, rock and roll, long-haired biker chicks strolling down the runway. Long coats of distressed leather with goat hair embellished seams swept the floor, the models eyes were concealed by oversized shades, their hair clad by large bandanas, while their feet bore biker boots.
Among the bold rouge, black, white and metallic looks, were however a few hidden, and very wearable, feminine elements, such as pencil skirts beautiful, billowing shiffon dresses, and even a few references to Dior’s New Look jacket.
Giambattista Valli held his third show at the Musée de l'Homme, on March 3, after breaking away from the house of Ungaro in….
This season his inspiration came from the styles of Jazz musicians and singers such as Billy Holiday and the elegant outfits of showgirls of that era. Valli chose Naomi Campbel as his feature model and her appearance stirred much excitement among the looking crowd. The New Look proportions and influence were visible in the mid-calf-length skirts. Orange feathers were widely used to trim dress hems, camel cashmere jacket and coats looked lush and elegant. Overall the presentation was a polished and mature one. Not for those who fancy dressing down.
Sonia Rykiel stayed true to her lovely, lively yet independent look of a left bank Parisienne, and strayed from the trends of the moment. She let out smiling girls clad in black and navy voluminous ribbed turtleneck dresses and berets, sailor pants and pea coats. There were also feather decorated peach, beige and mauve silk and chiffon cocktail dress and baby doll furs.
The show was all about the finale however when Rykiel showed coquettish see-through black lace baby doll negliges and slipdresses while accompanied by a Colette Renard song that was highly suggestive and just as highly rare. Almost the entire audience was laughing in tears, I say almost, because unfortunately, the joke was lost on the non-french speaking portion of the crowd.
At Martin Margiela, a house known for very conceptual and unique shows, the inspiration this season came from car seats and home furnishing such as seventies leather chairs, slipcovers and curtains. These recycled utilitary objects were however made into very wearable , and perfectly tailored clothes, for which Margiela is famed for. The designer’s speciality is unidentifiable, elegant dressing, and this season’s show has proved it once again, regardless it’s seeming artistic interpretation.
Elie Saab’s inspiration for his second Parisian ready to wear collection came from Imperial Russia, and consequently featured the predominant colors of black, white and red, a new concept for the designer, known for bright colors. Saab showcased amazingly gorgeous Empire line dresses, military coats, embellished fur, puffed sleeves and velvet, all much of the moment. Saab’s persistant female conscious silhouette slightly evolved from ultra sexy to a more elegant and delicate aesthetic.
My last show was on March 5. It was Valentino, and I must say that the designer went all the way, making it a brash and extravagant presentation with an army of models, sky rising stairs at the end of the runway and loud, very loud music. Come to think of it, loud was not only the music. Among some of the beautifully tailored typically Valentino looks were the Basquiat inspired print dresses and jeans. This was a very unusual direction for the designer, and resembled something we would see on a Cavalli runway rather then at this classic house, but Valentino may have simply wanted a change. The rest of the show was typically stunning, with black as the sexy color of the moment and two toned black and white outfits that spoke directly to the designers usual customer.
The most memorable collections of the Fall/Winter 2006/2007 collections have to be attributed to Alexander McQueen and Nicolas Ghesquiere at Balenciaga. Both men showcased amazing and original collections that spelled out what modern chic is really all about. Ghesquiere’s unusually well rendered and modern interpretation of Cristobal Balenciaga’s classics was made up of rounded coats, short, checked tweed suits, and unforgettable evening dresses that palyed with amazing volumes and state of the art fabrics.
McQueen once again showed his genious and craft that seemed to be dormant during his last more straightforward collection. The finale was the cherry on the cake, with a hi-tech hologram projection of a dream like aparition of Kate Moss dancing in space, that appeared in an empty, glass pyramid. The model was dressed in a cloud like creation of white chiffon and was more beautiful, more poetic then ever, but she quickly shrunk into a small dot of white air and disappeared into thin air...
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