Paris Ready to Wear: Fall 2016

Au revoir, Paris.

Well, it was another sleeper in the city of lights. I mean, there were some good collections, but this place is starting to look more and more like New York with every passing model. I get that marketability sells clothes, but at one point, all the personality is left to circle the drain.

I’m not even going to bother with a turkey list this season, because the bad was just so completely mediocre.

Anyway, let’s focus on some highlights, shall we?

Elie Saab

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, when Saab goes dark, he gets good. Slinky, eclectic, rough and downright sexy, this collection hit all the high points of getting down. The message was in the mix as he switched up his usual pretty fabrics for edgier textures that skimmed over the body and revealed more than just workmanship. I don’t know if his clientele reacts to this the way I do, but dammit, if they want to work through a season that was lacking in eye-catching clothes, they are best to drop their spending cash on this label.

Miu Miu

As always, Miu Miu makes desirable clothes that, while out of most people’s budgets, is geared to a wider audience. Her diversity peaked this season when she chose to show her pieces on plus size models. Now, in the grand scheme of things, a size 6/8 really isn’t that “plus,” but for a Prada held line, it’s practically revolutionary. The looks worked on all the body styles, which is a testament to the Prada aesthetic, but within that, they models looked natural, almost complacent in their normalcy on the runway. I don’t want to get too deep here, but the question has to be asked, would diversity in shape give the collections that are lacking that spark, some interest? I duuno, but whatever the answer is, more designers could study this example and start taking notes.

Manish Arora

This season worked well for Arora. He chose a soft color story that hinged on denim. His modes win the diversity award, and above all else, there was live in every stitch. The collection had an ethnic air, as always, but there was a certain approachability to each look. Of course there were the usual nonsensical pieces that will never hit the stores, but for the most part, the line was stocked with bankable separates and looks that will appeal to a wide audience. Snaps for including designer Chantal Thomas and photographer Ellen Von Unworth in the model line up. The brought a charm to an already brilliant collection.

Christian Dior

I’m sorry, did I just type the words “Christian Dior” and not cringe? Umm, I think I did. Look, I’m this house’s most vocal critic and I’m not about to cut them any slack, especially when they drag their feet on finding a new head designer, but OMG there were too many good pieces in this collection to not at least tip my hat in their general direction. The coats were on point and echoed the cuts of the haute couture. In hand-stitched, saturnine finery, they failed, as marketable ready to wear, they succeed beyond belief. Beautiful updates of Dior’s heritage were evident in every stitch and the styling, although boring, was clean enough to get a pass. Now, if LVMH would just get off their asses and pick a designer already, my grief would be over, for now. Hey guys, I hear Gareth Pugh is free!

OK kiddos, that’s it for fashion month until the haute couture collection in July.
Believe me it’ll be here faster than you can realize.

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