I started thinking if I feel this way, like there is some great mystery I am missing out on say at the Chanel show (which I am still speechless over), how do other people feel? Specifically those who tend to make fun of or mock the enormous amount of time and energy that goes into this not only for the designers but also for the PR folks, the seamstresses, the photographers, the writers, the backers, all the way to the lighting techs. This could not sum it up more completely. I give you all a standing ovation for a season well done.
But let's get on to the shows and those feelings. I have 8 gabillion photos I've edited (all from nymag.com) saved in the most un-dynamic of ways: "love," "like," "um, maybe," and "not so much." As always, Paris offers a tidal wave of diversity in its collections. There is rarely, if ever, a dull moment (and even if there is, it's Paris so who cares?).
I think something happened. I think there might have been a cataclysmic shift in the race for my heart between John Galliano and Marc Jacobs. It's always been Galliano first, Jacobs second. But I think Marc's collection for Louis Vuitton might have been the ultimate undoing of my monotonous relationship with all things Galliano and therefore Dior. I know, I can't believe it either; it hurts more than just a little and I feel like such a traitor so I've come up with this hierarchy system that makes me feel a little less like I'm cheating:
John Galliano, G-d of all things couture
Marc Jacobs, G-d of all else
(I drew that lovely little crown myself, isn't it pretty? There was a shot of Galliano as King already out there...of course.)
As I said before, there's is always a little something lost in translation watching the shows from your computer via slideshow as opposed to being there live, but Marc's show for LV just about brought a tear to my eye. I can't imagine having been there, I probably would have wept.
And, yes, that is Elle McPherson on the right. To see the complete show (a frockpaper first), click here.
But then there is Dior, my absolute all time favorite fashion house. The Galliano brilliance is astonishing and consuming. The influence? Equestrian (remember Dior Couture) but I think I see a dash of Alice in Wonderland here (maybe because it's on the brain).
My third favorite came as a shock, not that I don't normally love the collections from this designer but never has their collection been in my top favorites. Elie Saab's show was just breathtakingly different from his show's of past. Always somewhat ethereal, this show took on an edgier seduction.
I think next we have to talk about Gareth Pugh who, rumor has it, may or may not be in line for succession to the McQueen throne. I can see why. I will take one of each, please.
In the spirit of education, I'm going to have to give the next spotlight to two designers whose names have not made it into my little blog here yet. I obviously missed a memo (or was entirely too in love with John and Marc, you know it could be a bit of both). Martin Grant and Andrew Gn. I love the sharp but still romantic and sexy sculptural separates of Martin Grant and the all over strength of Andrew Gn.
Yohji Yamamoto went to the sea for his inspiration. I am such a sucker for navy lately and, as always, for volume.
Chloe and Stella McCartney both showed sophisticated, clean lines. I love the simplicity of both of these collections, they are so elegant.
Finally, a collection from the "new" designers at Valentino that actually resembles the work of the Maestro himself. What a relief! I was beginning to worry that we had really seen the last of true Valentino influence. (Maybe all that bad press scared them into submission. Let's hope it lasts!)
And speaking of legends, the YSL collection did not disappoint either. (Ask me how jealous I am of those attending the YSL Retrospective at the Petit Palais in Paris? Very.) This collection was so well done (although I was not the biggest fan of the color pieces) and the modern twist on "le smoking suit" (middle image) is divine! I'm feeling a little bit Catholic now though.
I can't really use the word divine when speaking about anything Parisian without talking about Lanvin. Lanvin makes me salivate, to put it bluntly. I would probably take out a small army if it meant getting to the House of Lanvin. Or, in the very least, a Jeanne Lanvin doll in that deliciously yummy Lanvin blue box with black ribbon?? Anyone?? Please? It would match my bedroom oh so perfectly. No?
Moving on from the Lanvin obsession, and while we are on the subject of love, it was pure romance at Nina Ricci (which is quite the norm there). I will take one of each of these as well and could we please include the hair. Thank you. That is all.
And Kenzo, too, felt wildly romantic. I know this dress on the left would make me look somewhat like Mrs. Roper, but I'd still wear it. It's simply beautiful!
We all know I am a huge sucker for draping. I love to drape; it was the one time in fashion school when my evil sewing teacher actually didn't have anything negative to say to me (boy, was she a picnic). Draping is no easy feat but the impact is so worth the time. Roland Mouret has it down to art form, obviously.
I also love these two from Guy Laroche, draped beautifully with such strength of character but also with extreme femininity, a hard chord to hit.
Dries Van Noten also plays the femininity card quite well, mixing it with just enough of the masculine that what you get in the end is this very casual chic that rivals only that of an old Hollywood film star.
Oh, Paris, je t'aime.
More from Paris later in the day.