Chanel ironically transformed the Grand Palais into a haute supermarket. The products on view were “chanelized“, e.g.| olive oil was called La Gabrielle and cereals were Coco Flakes. Ordinary, mundane objects became, in this presentation, collector’s items. They were not on sale and could not leave the premises, which made them even more desirable. The collection drew attention for not showing the models in towering high heels but in sneakers, and for granting a very urban air to all the looks.
On the other hand, Elie Saab’s presentation was a very different matter. The label introduced, at the Jardin des Tuileries, a collection unmatched for its classicism and elegance. Burgundy and jewel tones dominated the color palette, which was inspired by the American painter Mark Rothko.
Filmmaker David Lynch was the inspiration for Kenzo. The designers wanted to capture the cinematic vision of the acclaimed director in their garments. The collection was informed by Lynch‘s surrealist style, and featured computer generated movie stills on iconoclastic designs.
Saint Laurent presented yet another youthful collection, in radical contrast to Yves’ vision. Although Hedi Silmane, the firm’s rebellious creative director, is also considered a visionary, he still surprises with the new audacious twists he has brought to the legendary brand, a far more commercial approach than his predecessors.
Rhianna’s arrival at the Lanvin fashion show was just one of the evening’s surprises. The combination of the famous singer´s presence and Albert Elbaz’s collection was electrifying. The designer’s gowns and jewelry in many shades of black turned the display into one of the most successful of the season.
Pop colors, harlequin prints and delicate butterflies drawn in very feminine dresses characterized the designs of Maria Grazia Chuiri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino. The luxurious richness of fabrics and the total irreverence to the mandates of the season left the audience wanting more from this almost miraculous presentation.
The new collection from Jean Paul Gaultier showed a vision of futuristic urban tribes, redrawing the Punk and Gothic aesthetics. The designer used technological materials and continued with his habit of including, in his presentations, models of all ages and races.
Undoubtedly, the most anticipated event of Paris Fashion Week was the Louis Vuitton fashion show, the first from new creative director Nicolas Ghesquière. His sincere words were printed on a letter placed on the seats of all the guests who participated in his debut: “Today is a new day. A big day. You’re about to witness my first fashion show for Louis Vuitton. Words cannot express exactly how I am feeling at this moment… Above all, immense joy at being here, in the knowledge that my stylistic expression is at one with the Louis Vuitton philosophy. The proud legacy. The inspiring history that looks to the future and to the world. The quest for authenticity and innovation. The desire for timelessness. Does not every designer ultimately seek to create something timeless? I salute the work of Marc Jacobs, whose legacy I wholeheartedly hope to honour. And I thank you for being here to share this moment with me. Thanks to all of you who have helped me to tell this new story and who make Louis Vuitton what it is, and specially to those who work with me. Thanks to everyone who is here on this day, this morning. Right now.” Nicolas, March 5th 2014.
The display has been an achievement of female ensembles and “A” silhouettes, with dresses and skirts combined with color blocked jackets, high waist trousers, knit sweaters, retro influences and ankle boots. A humble start that turned glorious on the catwalk. ■