Kim Kardashian West may have left the country, but the shows went on as Paris Fashion Week continued Monday, and the spring trends came into sharper focus.
Stella's Girl Power
First thing in the morning, Stella McCartney jolted the fashion pack awake with a raucous model dance party on the runway underneath the gorgeous Baroque ceiling of the Palais Garnier.
Monday morning dance party @StellaMcCartney #pfw pic.twitter.com/w8MzpUvgFh
- @Booth (@Booth) October 3, 2016
McCartney used the new format show to communicate what she as a female designer, and her brand, are all about (sustainability and fun). She also crystallized several of the season's trends in the process, beginning with corsetry, which she managed to pull off in an entirely cool, wearable and modern way, by inlaying corset waists into cotton button-up shirts, worn tucked into paper bag-waist pants.
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If not those, then the feminized interpretations of blue-and-white men's striped shirts will be on many spring shopping lists. Darted into shirt dresses and contoured tops, these were no-brainer pieces, especially worn on the runway with flat non-leather sandals and cone heels.
This has been a season of strong sartorial messaging (see Dior's feminist statement), and McCartney put her anti-fur, anti-leather, pro-women feelings front and center like never before, printing them on deconstructed and reconstructed T-shirts and T-shirt dresses, boiler suits and parachute pants that read, "Thanks Girls," "One Love," "All is Love" and Animal Free."
Denim and swimsuits added to the loose, everyday vibe of the collection, which was grounded in fringed knits and jute sack dresses in all shades of khaki and cedar. McCartney ended on a high note with models dancing in formation in what was the perfect girl power Insta moment.
Silhouettes Get Supersized
At Sonia Rykiel, designer Julie de Libran showed large-proportioned mariniere striped tops, wide-legged jeans and billowing floral dresses. De Libran also crafted a love note to founder Rykiel, who died in August, in the letter sweaters that opened the show spelling out "Rykiel Forever."
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In the two years since she's taken over, De Libran has been working on building Rykiel into a lifestyle brand once again, laying down a foundation of accessories, including the fantastic new Le Baitard handbag, a drawstring shape in lattice-like leather.
"Uncontrived, with no time for snobbery or conceit," is how De Libran defined the Rykiel ethos in the show notes. That could also describe a lot of other collections this season. Everyone is trying to make fashion more friendly, casual and relatable, perhaps with an eye toward drawing in millennials, who aren't too interested in status symbols and seem all too happy to live in sneakers, flannel shirts and jeans.
Elevating The Everyday
What has suffered in this exercise is eveningwear, at least in the traditional sense. Full-blown red-carpet gowns have been few and far between in these ready-to-wear collections.
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Gigi Hadid closed the Giambattista Valli show in a racy, lacy gown with her bra and underwear exposed. But that was an exception. Even Elie Saab, who routinely dresses Hollywood's elite, had a more relaxed attitude to glamour in his collection presented Sunday, taking inspiration from disco, showing lots of starry-print jumpsuits, and pairing blingy baseball caps with nearly every look.
Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci took a more elemental approach to fashion, too, opening his Sunday night show with a trio of terrific looking geode-print dresses with built-in slips.
The body was the focus on lean trouser suits with sexy flared legs, and ginormous crystal geode pendant necklaces lending an air of the divine feminine. And how about those finale looks? Embroidered with crystal shards, they weren't just power suits, they were superpower suits.