Paris Fashion Week Spring 2011


Names that need no explanation and newbies that may have some staying power showed in Paris last week, closing out the Spring/Summer 2011 Fashion showings. This Spring season has made me so excited! Warning: you may be able to pick up multiple colors in a single outfit, leather is bountiful and don’t forget that a flower on your dress reminds you of spring—in case the weather doesn’t.

The ever classic Chanel was a beautiful show for the modern lady who lunches but also possesses a rocker side. The color palate roamed in the darker and basic end of the spectrum with black, white, blue, red, yellow, gold, pink, and peach. A few looks that caught my attention were classic tweed jackets twisted into a wrap look, chunky knits, flowing chiffon and a two year old walking the runway in a big black straw umbrella-style hat and thigh high leather boots (a la The Devil Wears Prada). The prerequisite chiffon and flowers were prevalent too but I want the boots and the umbrella—they can keep the kid.

Comme des Garçons is known for its cutting edge fashion sense and artistic interpretation of fashion. Their version of spring was 52 shades of gray and black, flipped wigs (literally) and a take on menswear that I appreciate but just didn’t see working commercially. Some pieces literally appeared to be two blazers sewn together or jackets turned upside down to fashion a skirt.

The final set of dresses featured two models walking side by side with a dress holding them together. Maybe the designer is suggesting you should you buy your dress with a similarly sized friend so you can walk down the street together? A recession friendly show: literally a buy one, get one free!  Or is it a buy one get two dresses free scenario? I’m not sure, but thanks for giving the consumer the option of getting more than one dress at a time.

Stella McCartney offered a 70s Californication theme for her show, by utilizing denim, camel and slinky sexy satin evening wear straight out of Studio 54, but updated for today’s stylish lady. While the denim outfits were very boxy and the camel clothes appeared mundane, the evening wear was what garnered my attention. With unforgiving satin making a comeback as the go-to, an elegant girl can be fashionable in the fabric but only with the right body shape.

Marithé + François Girbaud was nautical modern, with a laid back style that translates from the street to the club. Offering splashes of primary colors against neutral gray, beige, blacks and browns, the masculine nautical inspiration was feminized with crochet overlays and accents through pops of color in a whimsical display of rigid uniformed gear. Done before, yes. However, this version seems much more intriguing to purchase.

At Miu Miu, the graphic idea of spring was well played, but the placement of some of the flowers and stars left me wondering if they were highlighting certain female body parts.   Since the main color in the collection was black, primary colors, occasional accents of silver and gold and skinny belts balanced out the harshness of fashion’s favorite color.   I loved the dresses with a Jekyll and Hyde-esque one side pleat-one side straight that flowed with the design of each dress. Miu Miu shoes were to die for, as usual, with yellow and red accents detailing the well designed heels and sandals.

Hermès saved the day with the stylish wife of Zorro-inspired show, replete with wide brimmed circle hat that the famed equestrian vigilante wore in his movies. The color palate was neutral with white and black, but I was surprised to see darker browns and cognacs in a spring collection. The standout looks were a highwaisted pant, a suede jumpsuit/shortsuit (that I have no business with but want anyway), delicate leather necklace/harness, wide kimono belt, waist bag (that I guarantee already has a waiting list) and a belt that looked suspiciously like a whip. Madame Zorro would be proud.

Which piece was your favorite? Tell us in a comment below or tweet us at @ParlourMagazine!

Last 5 posts by Arlene aka Black Orchid