Praising Paris

With another round of Paris collections wrapped, feted by fans and loyalists, and analyzed every which way by our crack fashion team, we bring you our picks of the fall season, in no particular order…

“Alber Elbaz’s user-friendly approach has the advantage of no-brainer prettiness and unconstrained proportions. That same mantra ran through the show, starting with zestful, colorful peplumed suits in what looked like neoprene…And the great ending section—i.e. a black lace minidress with blue elbow length gloves, a red coat and belt, and pink shoes—had an unmistakably offbeat, whimsical Christian Lacroix quality.”

Haider Ackermann
“Design talent aside, Haider is a master at setting an atmosphere that never fails to hit an emotional chord. While sometimes a little monastic, for fall he hit a more seasonal tone, choosing crooner Frank Sinatra and his song Autumn Leaves to connect us with his rich autumnal color sense.”

Rick Owens
“You can count on Rick Owens for first-rate showmanship. For fall, he transported his audience to a world of underground rituals. Two horizontal flames ignited the venue’s pitch-black backdrop as his models slinked down the vast runway with Zebra Katz’s hypnotic, naughty song Ima Read on the soundtrack.”

Alexander McQueen
“Alexander McQueen drew frequently from nature—both the dark and the light—for inspiration. Ultimately, he took a romantic view of darkness and man’s conflict with nature, a belief that man’s abuse of his environment would lead to a reversal of the evolutionary process…Sarah Burton presented a collection as complex, expertly crafted and three-dimensional as those of her mentor and predecessor.”

“Stefano Pilati struck a beautiful balance, embracing the season’s hardcore leather trend and highlighting some of the finer points of his tenure at the label…The mostly black color palette brought a somber note to the proceedings, but the standing ovation pretty much confirmed what we’ve all been thinking: that this had better not be the last we see from him.”

Comme des Garçons
“For the first look, Rei Kawakubo sent out a bright red felt coat that resembled a sandwich-board. It was as if the brightly wigged model was stitched between two felt pieces, front and back…Perhaps this was a comment on the way we observe fashion and everything else that goes on in the world, reducing it all to a two-dimensional image—or flat screen.”

Louis Vuitton
“Richness was the key word here, not only in the profusion of pieces incorporated into each look but also in the abundance of glittering, holographic brocades, all created in-house by Marc Jacobs’ design team…It was a kind of radical nostalgia; one can’t help feeling that Louis Vuitton, luggage-maker, would have approved.”

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