Paris Fashion Week: French Dressing at Chloé, Balmain’s Jungle, and More
Chloé Spring/Summer 2017
Clare Waight Keller was thinking about the fundamental tenet of French style—effortless chic. That meant beautiful flowing frocks, like a square-shaped collared number, or a pleated nautical-inspired dress that mimicked the colors of nautical flags. Little white summer dresses in laced and buttoned cotton were just the kind of thing you might spot seaside at Deauville or on l’Ile de Ré. But it wasn’t completely demure: A knotted knit dress or any of the ’70s floral prints will be sure to stand out as major fashion statements for women looking for a little more flair.
Rochas Spring/Summer 2017
Color, color, color! Designers are determined to brighten things up this season, and we can hardly blame them. Chez Rochas, Alessandro Dell’Acqua lifted his color palette from Erwin Blumenfeld, famed fashion photographer of the ’40s and ’50s. Specifically, Blumenfeld once photographed three women in colorful hats worn over brightly hued knit caps for the cover a 1944 issue of Vogue, which seems to be the specific reference for the marigold, lilac, moss green, and various blues. Come spring, you might want to give these beauties a twirl or two.
Vionnet Spring/Summer 2017
Goga Ashkenazi has been working hard to win over the fashion industry since her 2012 purchase of the lauded house of Madeleine Vionnet. It’s no small task to enter this insular world as an outsider—and try to revive a house known for reshaping the look of twentieth-century fashion. But Ashkenazi is no charlatan—this is a woman with an Oxford degree who has already founded and helmed an oil and gas conglomerate, after all. To that end, she is quick to thank her staff and give credit where credit is due. “This took 194 hours to make” was emblazoned on the hem of a coat, and the show closed with the house’s entire atelier taking a final runway bow. The result of all that toiling? Lovely printed dresses with beach scenes worn with roped sandals and beautiful examples of the plissé that became Madame Vionnet’s signature. Vionnet herself was a successful businesswoman and was known for treating her 1,200 atelier workers with respect by paying them fair wages and good working conditions. Looks like Ashkenazi has taken notes.
Balmain Spring/Summer 2017
Welcome to the jungle! Amazons ruled Olivier Rousteing’s runway—riffs on safari jackets and dresses with cargo pockets plus, caftan knits and tribal plate necklaces with fringe abounded. Gigi Hadid marched onto the runway in a slinky earthy copper jumpsuit with cut-outs to highlight every curve. Slits ran ultra-high to show off these leggy femme fatales. And mon dieu, there was enough snakeskin to give customers a heart attack—the look that sizzled the most was the floor-sweeping trench coat. That, my darlings, will be flying private! To complete Rousteing’s jungle, Kim Kardashian showed up in a barely-there mesh catsuit with some impressive second-skin underpinnings. (This fashion tribe is never one to miss a media moment.) The finale was a series of gold and silver lamé dresses, which you should expect to see pop up on a bunch of influencers in your IG feed any second now.
Carven Spring/Summer 2017
Babydoll punks! Alexis Martial and Adrien Caillaudaud know their audience, what the PYTs of today want is the looks of yesteryear, reserved and reworked. Sixties-style babydoll dresses in lavender came with belting details down the front, while a girly white mini dress was styled over transparent vinyl pants. In another iteration, a similar babydoll was worn with a black knit dickie covered in punk patches. Why not mix your dog collar necklaces with romantic lace, or your ’70s floral mini mixed with a streetwear-style tee? No need to get one’s hands dirty sifting through real vintage finds and putting together bargain looks if you’re a twentysomething member of the one percent.