Paris Couture Fashion Week Spring/Summer ’08
Joanne Molina, Senior Editor
In a just a week the inevitable long nights (and longer lines) and seasonal aesthetic of NY Fashion Week Fall/Winter â€˜08 will make the pleasures of Paris evaporate. So why not take time to linger a moment longer and be inspired by Chanel, Lacroix, Dior and Valentino â€” designers who will have inevitably captured we’ll desire eons ahead of the rest.
Dior: Only Galliano could blend the optimistic geometry of the ’60s with goth-inspired makeup and the elongated and heavily styled poses circa 1920 and land up with a beautiful moment that has something important to say. Indeed, one imagines that unraveling one of these gowns might leave the culprit with miles of heavily embellished fabric but each dress lies so beautifully on the bodice that it appears as light as a feather. And it’s this perfect balance between Bladerunner, the remnants of a Warhol Jackie O and the silhouette of an old Veuve Clicquot poster that indulges and inspires.
Valentino: So, sad and yet so very noble. Sometimes it’s hard to know when to say goodbye and per expectation Valentino bid farewell with a collection of 75 looks that showed the depth and dimension of his career. Everything from his signature red devil of a dress to the suits that created the sultry secretary icon to whimsical evening dresses that belied his affection for romance.
Chanel: Why do we love Karl Lagerfelld? Just one phrase: A larger than life constructed Chanel jacket on a circular moving stage. Indeed, this maestro stuck with a muted palette to create his collection aimed at the modern princess. Shell-inspired shades mingled with gray, black and white that recalled the days of Coco. And she too dared to ask what can be a stale question to be sure: should women long to be princesses (the question of being queen is somehow never at center stage), and if so is there shame in having the fantasy? It’s this question that Lagerfeld both definitively answers and oh so casually brushes off with his spring/summer ’08 collection. His princess is no virgin bride. She is a cosmopolitan at heart, donning ballet flats as her glass slippers instead of her mother’s heels. But lest onlookers try and put her in a box she embraces the pleasure of pastel but not without surrounding herself with draping black fabric that belies the mythology of a pristine past. Bravo to Lagerfeld embracing the charm Chanel’s past to maintain it’s place in the fashionable future. Indeed, this is one more example of why Chanel will never be a mere pumpkin at midnight.
LaCroix: There is something very noble about the celebration of pleasure â€” not frivolity, but that which pleases. And Christan Lacroix managed to create a collection that is truly Parisian at heart. It’s not the Paris often referred to in magazines; translation: shades of black and perhaps a scar. But au contraire. Parisian women are restrained but not boring and lacking in imagination. This collection speaks to the woman who is confident and unafraid of color, poise and the importance of traveling the world to experience the joys of the new, exotic and unexplored. She knows that at the end of the day (or a bottle of wine) life is about our affair with the pleasures of life.