And Just Like That…It’s Au Revoir
Tags: chanel, France, Karl Lagerfeld, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Paris, Prada, Valentino
Are you ready for spring?Â I’m certainly not (hello boots and tights!), but it’s been a great romp down the runway the past few weeks, and the culmination of the Paris shows leaves this fashionista to believe that we have much to look forward to six months from now.Â The big names came out to play in the last few days, and I’m left reeling by the beauty of it all.Â Here’s the best of the rest…
If your exposure to Louis Vuitton consists mainly of Monogram handbags and steamer trunks, then you might not recognize the sharp lines of the venerable house’s S/S 2011 looks.Â The runway reminded me of the reflective surface found in Memoirs of a Geisha‘s Snow Dance scene, and the aesthetic was, fittingly, Asian inspired.Â I am loving this dress: the contrast of the two halves, the shape-shifting cutouts, the fluidity of the flowing fabric.Â The bright secondary colors have an 80s feel without being too retro.Â I could slip this look on for just about anything.
Prada’s kid sister didn’t disappoint.Â Miu Miu‘s silhouettes were strong and vibrantly patterned.Â While Prada was stripe-y, Miu Miu was shiny, andÂ I personally love the innovative use of neon at the latter.Â Sure, few women might think they could pull off lime green satin festooned with a torso-spanning star without looking like an extra from some 50′s-era sci-fi B movie.Â But I think this look proves them long.Â From the modest neckline to the figure-flattering pleats, this is actually a quite reserved garment in many ways.Â It’s just so irresistibly fun and different, though, and I think it will inspire many a knock-off for spring.
If you’ve never seen Valentino: The Last Emperor, I highly recommend it.Â The documentary offers a fascinating, frustrating, and funny look at the world of high fashion, through the eyes of a tanned Italian and his minion.Valentino Garavani built an empire (hence the title of the film) over the course of nearly half a century of work in the industry.Â And though the number of their collections for the venerable house can still only be counted on one hand, Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri – the current designers behind Valentine – continue to prove themselves worthy of the label with a strong showing of breathtakingly beautiful dresses and separates.Â This one reminds me of the vintage Swiss Dot frocks women of my mom’s generation loved as young women, combined with a sophisticated hemline and color palette that appeals gals of my age.Â This dress belongs in a freshly mowed meadow just as much as the Met.Â Looks like the empire is still going strong.
What else can be said about Karl Lagerfeld that hasn’t already been written?Â The man continues to work utter magic at Chanel, with each of the past few seasons’ shows topping the previous one.Â Subject of an equally fascinating examination on film – BBC Storyville’s The House of Chanel – shows no signs of slowing down as THE show to see in Paris.Â The signature boxy tweed suit is taken to new heights with exaggerated blazers and micro shorts, while the signature Chanel carnelia is referenced in oversized floral prints on peasant dresses.Â The fundamentals are all there…they just manage to be different and new and exciting with every subsequent ensemble.Â It was hard to pick a favorite – 88 looks passed through the Grand Palais – but I keep returning to this blouse and skirt combination.Â The modified sailor collar, boxy blouse, exquisite pleats, and tone-on-tone pattern detailÂ are – to my eyes – a 21st-century update on what a young Coco must have worn in her fledgling clothing store.Â It’s self referential andÂ futuristic all at once, and it’s just the kind of thing that keeps Chanel on the must-have list of every burgeoning style maker.Â What a great way to bid adieu to Paris.