Paris Fashion Week: 12 Things We've Learned So Far

Photo by AP Photo/Thibault Camus/Via Newscred

by Emily Cronin, Fashion features editor, Fashion Features Director and Kate Finnigan, The Daily Telegraph, September 30, 2016

1. Isabel Marant still loves a long-leg

Isabel Marant's show included a rare sighting of a swimsuit in these summer collections. Waists were key - cargo pants (seen also at Chloe) were high-waisted and almost every look was belted with big fabric obis or straps. Floral Indian block prints in rose pink, red and black smothered quilted jackets and frilly shirts and mini skirts (Marant does love a long leg) and a suit of ticking stripe silk dungarees and skirt was fun. Shirts came as they have almost  everywhere- with big puffed short sleeves.

2. Anyone for a leather cummerbund?

Feminine dress shapes - narrow of waist, voluminous of sleeve, long and dramatic in 'super-organic' fabrics, like calico, linen, patchwork, and upholstery trims gave a domestic mood to Loewe. Stand out accessories included leather cummerbunds, carpet bags and a calla lily bracelet. Pointy fairy tale boots were excellent. And because Jonathan Anderson likes to throw in a wacky thing or two, a comedy black bat necklace and a bag that proclaimed See U Later. 

3. Deep sea diver chic- it's a thing 

Paco Rabanne meets Jacques Cousteau in a galaxy far far away. Following on from Maison Margiela's sportif theme this was slick, sci-fi wear in a stark palette of white, black, silver and vivid sea blue featuring close hoods, hipster trousers (also seen at Courreges - your correspondent  is deeply concerned about these returning), slim silhouettes and short hems. Pretty unforgiving if you haven't been doing your lengths. And were they Paco Rabanne branded verruca socks? Jazzy.

4. Heels are back 

Those women who have got comfortable with the fashion industry's recent embrace of the flat shoe may need to put on a blister plaster before they read on: the high heel is back. 

So declared Clare Waight-Keller, the British creative director of Chloe after the French house's SS17 show in Paris this morning. The heel hasn't felt right for a while," said Waight-Keller, confirming what so many women have always thought... "but it does feel right now."  She said she had designed the high-waisted trousers that she included in the collection to taper in  at the ankle enabling the new 8cm heeled sandal from the collection to be fully appreciated. The revolution hasn't quite reached the front row yet (usually sevral steps ahead) as everyone is still schlepping around the shows in their Gucci loafers. Read the full Chloe  show review here.

5.  Know your references

Here's one for your reading list.  Paco Rabanne designer Julien Dossena opened his show with a t-shirt that read "FUTURESEX". As well as being a mildly provocative message, it's the title of the buzzed-about book by New Yorker writer Emily Witt. Someone's been reading his book reviews... Or, you know, revisiting Justin Timberlake's album by the same name.

6. Breaking news- Gigi Hadid is still the go-to big name model this season

You can always count on Olivier Rousteing at Balmain to deliver a star-studded front row (basically all the Kardashians) and an uber-model or two. The natural choice of star for this season was Gigi Hadid, signalling that her reign as the biggest name of fashion will continue into Paris. 

More from Paris Fashion Week

7. The chrysanthemum is fashion’s new favourite flower

If catwalk sets are a competition then Dries Van Noten will be hard to beat in Paris. For his Spring 2017 collection he installed 22 stunning botanical sculptures frozen in blocks of ice by the Japanese artist Azuma Makoto, whom Van Noten has worked with previously. The blocks crackled atmospherically as they melted onto the catwalk providing the sole soundtrack for the opening of the show.

It was apt because Van Noten had planted flowers all over his clothes. A sculptural chrysanthemum motif in orange, yellow and blue appeared as outsized prints or within Chinoiserie in a luxurious and masterly collection that was inspired by both Japanese Geta and Edwardian dress. Black was the base for almost everything and the acid colours loomed out of it like Dutch still life paintings.

8. Those frilly shirts you’re into have a shelf life

Edwardiana and Belle Époque are already strong influences on the Paris catwalks - seen at Jacquemus and Dries Van Noten. At the latter high frilled collars, jet-embellished fine knits and voluminous sleeved shirts worked beautifully when styled with simple cargo shorts and mid-length waisted skirts.

All of which leaves us thinking that Alexa Chung wasn’t wrong when she put pie-crust collared shirts into her first Archive collection for Marks & Spencer. For a right-for-now update just add a sweeping duster coat.  

9. You’ll also need a shiny patent coat

Coated black coats were one of the most wearable takeaway trends from Anthony Vaccarello’s sexy debut for Saint Laurent. Again, Alexa Chung is one step ahead. The patent trench coat she wore at London Fashion Week was from her second Archive collection with M&S, which lands in store on 1 November. We suggest you grab that coat when it comes out as it’s a trend that will see you through to next summer.

Alexa Chung wearing her black coated trench coat at London Fashion WeekCredit: Getty

10. Summer black is definitely sticking around

Good news for any of you who love summer but hate dressing for it. Black and white or off-white are featuring a lot on the Paris catwalks. Dries was an homage to black in some ways. Also, silky pyjama stripes at Lanvin and various variations on the tux as at YSL .

11. Bouchra Jarrar’s debut collection for Lanvin got mixed reviews

Things didn't flow particularly easily at Lanvin, where the new female designer Bouchra Jarrar is now in place after the departure of the much loved Alber Elbaz last year .

Jarrar revealed that she had reflected on the female body and notions of femininity and masculinity. Many have puzzled over these things before her but  sheer chiffon kilts and floating printed long dresses, didn't seem to add much to the debate. Much better the striped silk pyjama trousers, variations on the tux and bejewelled sandals.  

12. The most unexpected style inspiration so far? Those beaded seats loved by cab drivers

We’re not actually sure if designer Christophe Lemaire (ex Hermes) raided New York’s taxicabs. But he certainly made us reconsider their chicness with these brilliantly quirky bags.

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This article was written by Emily Cronin, Fashion features editor, Fashion Features Director and Kate Finnigan from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.