Paris Fashion Week AW11
Springtime Winter Chic
As the clattering of thousands of chunky platform heels starts to fade, and the street-style photographers’ flashbulbs begin to dim, the Parisienne streets are once again returned to it’s former state of fabulously nonchalant normality. The upcoming season however is not quite so normal, and the global warming after-effects from the current season have stormed the catwalks. Perhaps as an ode to the apparent ‘Greenhouse Effect’, typical Springtime trends have infused the Autumn Winter 2011 collections everywhere from Kenzo and Cacharel, to Valentino and McQueen.
Whether they’re muted and romantic a la Valentino or abstract and bold like Dries Van Noten, florals are the epitome of the juxtaposed Springtime Winter chic. Sophie Albou at Paul & Joe celebrated another Spring Summer 2011 trend, the Seventies, and used blooming blossoms to decorate flowing jumpsuits and pussybow blouses, and accessorized with huge fur collar coats and cinched-in waists. Kenzo’s latin American carnival saw flowers donning everything from flowing chiffon maxis to the model’s loosely-tied hair, whilst the aforementioned Valentino referenced Monet’s impressionist paintings, using a delicately muted watercolour palette on full length gowns and sheer chiffon blouses.
Clean and fresh white emphasised lean silhouettes at Yves Saint Laurent with slimline tuxedo jackets and cropped trousers, and climaxed with a maribou bubble jacket and wide palazzo pants, bringing the traditional snow queen into the modern day. The fairy tale aesthetic continued at Alexander McQueen where the ice queen cast her spell over the catwalk at La Conciergerie. Strong structured shoulders and fierce lace-up knee high boots were softened with feathers and pleats, and knee-length circle skirts boasted ruffles and embellishment, adding to Sarah Burton’s magically noble collection. Despite John Galliano’s tarnished reputation, the atmosphere at Christian Dior was also verging on the saintly, from the ruffled tafetta added to mini-babydoll dresses and the flowing sheer full length dresses, to the white coats showcased by the group of designers and workers from Galliano’s team for the final bow.
Sheer panelling and materials permeated the Parisienne catwalks, with panelling on dresses at Yves Saint Laurent, flowing maxi skirts and dresses at Paul & Joe and Kenzo, and light, floral blouses at Valentino. Covered up with sumptuous coloured stoles, luxurious feather jackets and belted furry gilets, designers made delicate sheer clothing desirable for the cold winter months
Text by Sian Levett, www.style-brief.co.uk
Photo credits: Style.com, Sian Levett.