Paris Spring 2016

Au revoir, mon Paris, until next season.

The Parisian shows are a thing of the past and I have to say, the city of lights gave us a bit more sparkle this go-round. There were a few duds, but only because the collections were more than predictable, rather than serving goofiness (we’ll get to those turkeys in the “worst” list later).

So, here is my take on the best that Paris has to offer.

Agnovitch

Agnovitch

It might just be that I gravitate towards this kind of cutting, but I find the Agnovitch team refreshing in fashion right now. They have a definite point of view that fails to waiver, and because of this, their presentations are consistently different from the rest of the pack. This season was bit moodier than past, but delivered the same, smooth lines and angular distinction that we want from them. I have no idea who their customer is, but there will be plenty on the racks to choose from when they supplement their existing wardrobes.

Chloé

Chloe

WHAT? Why is a Chloé collection in my round up? Hmmm… let’s just go with it and move on. Yeah, with the installation of yet ANOTHER designer at the house, the collection FINALLY has a foothold on the right track. This collection brought us a brilliant blending of house traditions and refreshing takes on basic separates, all the while keeping its thumb firmly on the pulse of what a modern woman wants to wear. That’s not easy in design, so I’m giving credit where credit is due. I’m actually excited about the coming season at Chloé. Let’s hope they can keep this momentum up and deliver in future collections.

Dries Van NotenDries

Oh Dries, you little scamp! You know how to make me smile!
Don’t get me wrong, not every look in this collection worked, but I’ve always said the best collections have both hits AND misses. The cuts were often influenced by the 1940’s, and that throw-back styling played brilliantly off of his acid-bright prints and ethnic-influenced textiles. This, of course, is nothing new for Van Noten, but what sells the look is his mastery of it. In any other hands, the disparate elements of this collection would have floundered; however, Van Noten knows how to take disconnected thread and weave together and irresistible tapestry his customers are all to eager to wear.

Maison MargielaMaison Margiela

The blending of Galliano and Margiela is less like apples and cinnamon, and more like John Hurt and the face hugger from Alien. Whether or not he wants it, the face hugger is taking over and Hurt’s just along for the ride. John Galliano IS that face hugger. That creative, brilliant, genius face hugger. What does this mean for the house? Well kids, it means we’ll continue to receive collection like spring 2016 – a bizarre alamgmation of deconstructed beauty, couture and innovation, filtered through the eyes of one of fashions greatest mad scientists. Off-kilter, cluttered and unique… at this point I can’t tell if I’m describing the clothes or the man himself.

McQueen
McQueen

Perfectly wearable. Yup, I just typed that. This season Sara Burton delivered a collection so salable, I had to check the URL to make sure I was watching the correct designer. Every piece, even the stitched leather looks, could easily hang in a shop. Although, in all fairness, they won’t hang long because each exit on the runway was pure perfection and should sell in a heartbeat. She kept the house’s traditions alive all the while injecting a healthy dose of femininity into every look. Soft, pale colors were slashed with punches of oiled, black leather and intricate sheers over nude bodies.
Simply put, this collection was a hit.

ValentinoValentino

What the Hell, Valentino? Just when I was ready to write you guys off, you bust out brilliance. Yup, I said it, brilliant. They STILL need to move beyond that sloper bodice and A-line skirt cut they have glommed on to, but overall, this collection was beautiful. Heavily influenced by Africa (Val himself revisited the theme several times) the design duo churned out piece after piece of smartly crafted culture. I could live without the model’s cornrows, but past that, the collection was smooth in its delivery of what could have been a convoluted mess. The overall color mood was dark and somber, but within that, the variety of textures gave it a life and energy that only a skilled atelier, like Valentino’s, could handle.

WestwoodWestwood

Yeah, I know, it’s a guy in a dress, but hear me out. This season proved that Westwood’s vision is alive and well. The design team, with Dame Viv at the helm, took us on a romp through the archives of collections like Pagen and Coquette, with a clearly re-worked, modern sophistication. No one will ever accuse Westwood of playing it safe, but there seemed to be a clean comfort in revisiting the house’s heritage, even with the goofy showpieces. I know it’s silly to mention, but you could feel genuine emotion coming from some of the clothes. Not everyone will understand this season, but what makes it to the stores will definitely have her customers begging for more.

Coming soon, the season’s turkey list!

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