The best of Spring 2010 trends, straight from the runways of Paris
Nowhere in the world is fashion understood and created as exquisitely as it is in Paris. A devoted Francophile and fashion lover, twice a year I eagerly await the seasonal transition that signifies the start of another Fashion Month. New York is always thrilling, as it showcases our home designers like Marc Jacobs, DVF and Phillip Lim, and we get to feel the excitement of Fashion Week for the seven days it lives on this side of the ocean. Next is London, an affair speckled with designers I adore, like Burberry, Matthew Williamson and Roksanda Illincic, but ultimately, not something I live or die for. And then there’s Milan, where many of the iconic greats emerge: Dolce and Gabbana, Marni, Versace, Fendi – launching decadent Italian trends and producing some of the season’s most sought-after collections.
But then comes Paris. And suddenly, Karl Lagerfeld is presenting his Spring 2010 collection in a barnyard; Valentino is showing look after look of the most romantic, perfect dresses and blouses you could ever lay eyes on; Viktor and Rolf are engulfing their models in elaborately constructed displays of bubblegum-hued tulle couture; and Marc Jacobs is putting his own eclectic touch on Louis Vuitton, accessorizing every model in the show with giant afros. Year after illustrious year, Paris overflows with elaborate showmanship and exquisite designs.
This season, after having spent the past few dealing with the dredges of recession budgets, it was clear Parisian designers were ready to relinquish the chains of the economy and to throw back to the basics of couture design: styling women to feel confident, sexy, and unstoppably powerful. True to Parisian form, Spring 2010 is all about decadence, on every possible level.
Sheer: No longer the stuff of lingerie, sheer fabrics were all over the Paris runways. Sexy and elegant, the sheer look was showcased with exuberant versatility, and was used in the most unlikely of ways. Valentino’s stunning collection exalted the sheer trend, producing looks that were awash in the most delicate sheer blazers, and fairytale-inspired blouses paired with lacy sheer shorts. Vanessa Bruno showed her own approach to sheer, with leggings that were thigh-high, lacy and just barely covered the knees – adorable little kneepads that infused a playful sensuality into every look. Nina Ricci’s collection was resplendent with sheer layering – tiers of lace ruffles adorning the hems of dresses, or strung over a foundation of chiffon. Think of sheer as the new body-con gone fabric: feminine, seductive, and the ultimate display of confidence.
Ruffles: In Paris, ruffles of every shape and size were all over the collections, resulting in a grand sense of playful femininity that was seductive, yet confident in their oft oversized form. Constructed with the elegance of a couture sensibility, ruffles are the perfect way to inject a piece with high-fashion glamour. Giambattista Valli presented a gloriously adorned collection, dominated by hand-crafted embellishments, embroidery and sculpted ruffles. Valentino’s romantic, fairy-tale inspired collection will make you want to ensconce yourself in only his flowing, ruffled babydoll dresses for the entirety of the season. Whether you like your ruffles demure and soft, or voluminous and structured, there’s a ruffle for you in nearly every Parisian collection.
Sequins: Sequins reigned high this season, taking their place as Spring’s most fabulous embellishment. The deconstructed, shredded creations at Balmain were presented in glorious juxtaposition to their sequined bodices. Karl Lagerfeld embraced the glitzy trend by garnishing his adorable mini-dresses with an array of fish-scale sized sequins, which worked in stunning contrast to his very stark color palate. Although some may fear tackiness, Parisian designers have reinvented the sequin by using it to adorn powerful statement pieces, like blazers, or a punk-inspired mini-dress. Relinquish your fears, don a red lip, and throw back to some old school sequined glamour.
Structure: The beauty of a woman’s body is in the uniqueness of its shape. There was an evident appeal to structure this season, giving homage to the diverse shapes of the female form, accentuating aspects like the waist for beauty, and the shoulders for power. No Paris collection called attention to structure like Viktor and Rolf, who founded an entire collection on enormous tulle appendages. Their embellishments inspired structure within every aspect of the look: on the sleeves of blazers, the hips of a dress, the edge of a skirt, and, my favorite, across the front of a sequined blazer – structuring tulle to function like a massive, front-facing angel wing. For Balmain, 80s-inspired heavy shoulders are back. Although less intense than in seasons past, the structured shoulder still pulls focus to one of the body’s primary energy points, a look that inspires both power and confidence. Calling attention to form and structure encourages women to embrace the form they possess – a little bit of structure always does a body good.
Slouch: Be it wide-legged cropped pants, the boyfriend blazer, or a cache of glorious, flowing bohemian dresses, slouchy is the fit of the season. Pieces that drape and slouch flow and carry themselves with the body’s movement, like the slouchy cropped pant and jumpsuited wonders at Stella McCartney. Built from a sheer, neutral palate, the flowy fit to her runway pieces exuded effortless chic and undeniable cool. I feel much sexier when clothing is draped around me, rather than tightly wound around my torso, and the emergence of a draped, wider fit embraces the power of a woman’s gait, allowing you to indulge in more masculine looks without having to denounce your femininity.
Transcendent and resplendent, Parisian designers once again entranced the fashion world with a week of inimitable glory. Always challenging the industry’s boundaries with new perspectives, this year, Parisian designers ask that you embrace your sense of self – living your style beautifully and confidently. The best of the best, they’ve laid it out for you on the runway. Now all you have to do is go be fabulous.
Sheer: Valentino Spring 2010
Ruffles: Giambattista Valli Spring 2010
Sequins: Balmain Spring 2010
Structure: Viktor and Rolf Spring 2010
Slouch: Stella McCartney Spring 2010