From the backstage to the catwalk to the front row and, of course, the after parties, Fall 2014 Paris Fashion Week gave fashion moguls the opportunity to relish in another fabulous week of performances and presentations by iconic designers. From Chanel’s Supermarché to Louis Vuitton’s Petite-Mallé, this week’s shows brought the newest styles of fall fashion to life. Many designers stayed true to the avant-garde yet classical feel of Paris fashion and set a new standard for the way in which fall fashion should be perceived. Below are our favorite collections of the week.
Alexander Wang’s knits were both innovative and magical in Balenciaga’s fall 2014 collection. Many were waxed with latex and bonded with leather which provided a unique touch. One of our favorite pieces included this gorgeous army green anorak which gave a three-dimensional look of a tire track. Additionally, other classic outerwear looks such as rain jackets and parkas were made from waxed, chunky knits. Contrastingly, other sweaters were embroidered with glass beads, rhinestones and pearls, creating a nice juxtaposition. The collection also featured belted coats with beaver fur panels and industrial-sized zippers down the arms. Overall, this appeared to be another successful collection for Wang as he tries to embody the spirit and legacy of the iconic Cristobal Balenciaga.
There is no holding back when it comes to Alber Elbaz and the Lanvin image that he has created over the years. His fall 2014 collection opened with fringed and ruffled looks giving the illusion of Elbaz’s methodical madness bursting at the seams. His unorthodox mindset was seen in the midnight satin skirts and dresses that draped to the floor, as well as in the marabou feathered headpieces that shadowed the models faces into darkness. An eerie gloom was cast over the entire collection as the color black was reinforced into the variety of silhouettes. Fur also made an appearance as it was draped over tweed suits. Evidently, Elbaz does not conform to trends, rather he makes his own.
Riccardo Tisci’s collection was a clash of the ages. The show started off with 40s-inspired sheer chiffon dresses printed with images of butterflies and animal prints. Yet for every ethereal frock, there was a modern, tailored suit punctuated with stripes of color. The tailoring featured a mint green overcoat, high-waist trousers featuring the Bauhaus-inspired banding on the pockets seen in his men’s collection, and the new cropped, boxy jacket. As the show progressed, the animal prints got bolder and more colorful – giving models a chance to walk on the wild side. The contrast of vintage and modern worked well for Tisci.
Karl Lagerfeld’s real-life supermarket was not filled with ordinary foods, but rather double C encrusted everything. “Fashion is a supermarket,” and there is no one prevailing direction anymore as Lagerfeld pointed out. His collection reflected this statement as a range of designs went down the catwalk. The show premiered a collection of footwear that somehow gave the classic tweed coats with curved sleeves a sporty feel. “Feeding” off the colors from the supermarket including broccoli, carrot, beetroot and corn, tweed coats covered vinyl pants representing trash bags. The complex weaves and embroideries puts Chanel at the top tier, but was the play on the supermarket too far?
The beast takes a rest, as beauty shines through in Sarah Burton’s collection. The notorious seven-inch heels and suffocating corsets were replaced with flat boots and sense of fairytale beauty. Virginal broderie anglaise dresses with star and moon cut-outs and double-puffed sleeves were accompanied with fur-trimmed dresses as the models strutted through the forest. The new look of McQueen walks a shaky line between couture and ready-to-wear, but we’re liking this juxtaposition of the beauty and the beast.
Nicolas Ghesquiere’s collection for Louis Vuitton was greatly anticipated after designing for Marc Jacobs for the past 14 years. Fashion enthusiasts of all types showed up out of curiosity including Jean Paul Gaultier. Leather proved to be the main statement, as patent leather trousers, leather flared skirts, and the ultimate crocodile overcoat bombarded the runway. An ode to the 60s and 70s with short skirts and vintage fabrics, Ghesquiere tried to thank Marc Jacobs and the legacy he brought to Louis Vuitton. The usual experimentation style of Ghesquiere was put to a minimal as he focused on the modern woman and her desire for formal yet casual looks.
As Paris Fashion Week comes to a close, the lavish and extraordinary designs for fall 2014 are in great anticipation and, once more, these designers proved that not even New York Fashion Week can compete with la mode Parisienne and all that it embodies.