Paris Fashion Week SS17

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Paris Fashion Week rarely disappoints, and this season was full of highly covetable, gorgeous, and wearable looks for next Spring. Paris-based designers are not really participating in the see-no, buy-now format, and I’m glad. I like having time to digest the many shows and looks and decide on what I’m feeling for the new season.

Left to right:

Jacquemus is always an original showing of interesting looks. I’m usually intrigued by what he’s bringing to the table. But this season I see the brand in a whole new way. I see originality among the shirting so many designers are doing right now. Oversize proportions balanced out by skinny bottoms and cinched waists. He’s always got some color blocking and geometry in his designs and this was reinforced by the square-toed shoes are giant hats. Both I loved. The styling was incredible.

Valentino hardly needs an introduction, and if you’re following along you know that the former design duo, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli split up so they could each helm a house. Piccioli was not necessarily a surprise at Valentino but everyone was curious how he would do on his own. I believe he loosened things up a bit, and if you can believe it, made the gowns even more romantic. I thought he was restrained enough in his generous use of color, which was a change from seasons before.

Rochas was another dose of color and femininity. Never lacking the latter, it was sweeter this time with layers of chiffon, silk, and tulle. Nothing over the top in terms of design, but a very pretty collection.

Sonia Rykiel passed away in August and this show was a celebration of her earliest work and symbolism around freedom in women’s clothing. This particular look is less Rykiel and more Julie de Libran, the current creative director, but is so pretty and summery, and the A-line shape of the top is so French – all themes Rykiel would have embraced.

Céline is one of my top favorite shows each season. And while I may only be able to slowly acquire a piece or two a season the message Phoebe Philo sends no matter her inspiration is that her clothes are for real women, with real lives. I always struggle with this because of the idea that fashion should be more of an illusion and less practical, more fantasy. But, it’s not that way for me. Philo went in a few directions this season – but all continue to push her strong sense of understanding exactly what women want.

This was really the only look I liked at the new YSL under Anthony Vaccarello. It’s going to take him a few seasons to develop the house he sees and cleanse Hedi Slimane of the walls. I liked the simplicity of the look and understated sexiness.

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Isabel Marant is always sporty, utilitarian, with hints of her Parisian femininity (Victorian this season), even as boyish as it may be. I am obsessed with hot pants in any variation. And these are just right to wander around in next Summer.

Off-White has become the hottest streetwear brand making a name for itself right now. And I think it’s because he’s looking at womenswear with authenticity and designing from there. I love how he mixes a blazer and track pants. Low-waisted, vintage jeans with a frilly top. I’m a sucker for good juxtaposition and Virgil Abloh is doing it for me in a really relevant way.

Chloé like Céline can almost never not show a good collection. It’s always rooted in the signatures of the Chloé brand. This collection felt particularly French with shorter hemlines in a babydoll style with sailor-like necklines, and a further nautical note with stripes and strategically placed buttons on tailored pants. Claire Wright Keller showed every look with a pair of (gorgeous) heels and insisted in interviews that after seasons of flats, the heel was back. I’m not sure about that, but TBD.

I always like Esteban Cortazar’s collections because I like him so much. Inspired by a trip to India with is mother he interpreted his signature sexiness into sportier ideas for Spring. The graphic, body-con dresses were my favorite.

I know I chose a muted look from a dramatic Dries van Noten show and I know he’s known for the wildly energetic prints and florals he always uses in his collection, he’s just as good at something quieter too. Dries is in a category of his own. He’s one of the few remaining independent designers showing at his level and still seems to enjoy his work.

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