Phoebe Philo's latest showing for the French label will have women clamouring for the strong yet clean lines that have followed on from the fall shows. Minimalism was definitely the key trend, with the designer wanting to 'clean it up,' saying her aim was to make the collection 'strong and powerful.' Mission accomplished. The collection epitomised the contemporary woman; sharp tailoring paired with leather-everything; from the not-so-predictable jackets and capes to skirts, tops, dresses and shorts. Crisp whites and midnight blues perforated the neutral palette, which will ensure this collection packs a staying punch with the power-players.
Sticking to her 'what women want' aesthetic in a way that would've made Mel Gibson proud, saw Stella emerge from her boyfriend-blazer cocoon with the return of the waistlines. McCartney has always been one to focus on chic wearability as opposed to the showy artiness some designers can't get away from, and this aspect of her design is sure to please her clientele (and attract new ones) for many years to come. The blazers didn't disappear completely (thankfully!) but they were taken in a new- more shapely tailored- direction. Expertly placed ruffles were played down with pleats and belted waists, while also adorning bust and hemlines of print and flare-heavy skirts and dresses. As a cohesive collection, one can see how the woman McCartney designs for could easily move from day to night, office to weekend. Her chicly tailored separates enable wardrobe versatility; an aspect that couldn't have arrived during a more convenient summer.
With a mainly monochromal palette, Riccardo Tisci is another who's nailed the combination of geometric shapes and soft drapes. The program notes alluded to a roman theme; and while the toga-esque lines were a highlight, the Catholic inspired priest hats were not! The overall look was all clean-lined and refreshingly simple, and each piece had the sort of detail and craftsmanship you'd expect from one of the biggest names in Parisian couture. The handful of sheer, lightly draped dresses often complete with beaded shoulder accents were cleverly juxtaposed with the resounding strength in other silhouettes, creating a collection which will heavily - and successfully- target the edgy youth market.
Karl Lagerfeld also focused on accentuated waistlines paired with rising hemlines- a feature that also showed up in his collection for Chanel. This time around we saw a much more playful version of the label- in both the show and the clothes. Karl's current obsession, Lily Allen, kept the country theme rolling along, whilst the models waltzed (and in some cases, rolled) down the runway amongst bales of hay- whilst wearing clogs! Let's hope this part of Paris doesn't translate off-runway anytime soon. Lanvin's overt embellishment, whilst showing disregard for the recession, was a resounding favourite for the fashion-sweet tooths, while everything at Balmain will continue to be quick sellers, and feature on many a fashionable celebrity I'm sure. With the doom and gloom of winter behind us, this summer will shape up (quite literally) to be a buyer-blowout.