Aside from the usual fresh crop of trends, the big runway news from Paris seems to be who’s walking on them. Chanel just announced that Inès de la Fressange, one of Karl’s original muses from the eighties, will be making her grand return in Tuesday’s show, as well as appearing in the spring campaign. Balenciaga, meanwhile, caused a stir by opening its spring show with three punky, spiky haired unknowns, apparently street-cast by Nicolas’ team. The quirky line up also included some venerable greats, like Stella Tennant and Amber Valletta (both pushing forty), and a very pregnant Miranda Kerr. Finally, much ado was made of Zac Posen’s Paris debut, but mostly for his casting of Crystal Renn, the plus-size supe who’s becoming less super-sized with each appearance.
Some are heralding the new realistic casting as the beginning of a post-zero age, but that might be making shock waves out of ripples. Perhaps it’s simply a change of mood, and a mood for change, captured perfectly by Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. Twitter was beside itself with the grand finale, consisting of five black models in Alber’s exuberant creations and eliciting an instantaneous burst of applause. Seems fashion folk are always happy to see a new face on the runway.