With Paris Fashion Week drawing to a close, we’ve been filtering through the vast amounts of data the online conversation surrounding the event creates. Measuring the volume of people discussing key trends and shows and analysing whether they feel positive or negative towards them, gives us an unique insight into what consumers want next season. And it turns out Cher wasn’t Paris’s only trend, despite surprise front row appearances at Gareth Pugh, Balmain and Rick Owens and featuring on Lanvin’s soundtrack….
1. Paris’s Palette
Blues and reds have now emerged from all the cities as the two key colours for the AW 13/14 season. In Paris, blues came through in electric shades at Stella McCartney, John Galliano and Gareth Pugh and navy at Céline. Strong reds were seen in head-to-toe looks at Loewe and strong tones at Christian Dior and Giambattista Valli. Paris backed the pink tones seen in hints at other cities with greater gusto, with soft powder tones at Carven and jolting brights from Guy Laroche, Dries Van Noten and Lanvin. The colour shy have plenty of opportunity to succeed with monochrome tones – just take Alexander Wang’s lead at Balenciaga.
2. Most Talked-About Brand
Karl Lagerfeld‘s fashion wizardry bewitches yet again, having now ruled the Paris roost for five seasons. Be it the scale of the productions, the celeb front row or the look after look of covetable yet identifiably Chanel garments, this guy has got it going on. This season Karl gave us reworked pea coats, woollen skirt suits with space-age cuts, skater shapes, thigh high leather boots and coloured fur hats.
3. Key Shape: Cape
Capes have flapped at every city for AW 13/14 and Paris cemented the trend by reeling off its own version. These included a neat grey take at Akris, a pale pink satiny number from Rochas and a covetable electric blue wool from Chloé. With over 26,000 online mentions in a week, this trend will be hitting a high street near you come September.
4. Key Shape: White Shirt
Those Parisians, they’re so proper! And they work wonders with a style staple, creating sexy updates with seeming nonchalance. This season it was the turn of the white shirt, which we’ve seen in boxily cut, sporty versions in New York and London. In Paris, designers kept shapes classic; masculine, uniform and button-collared affairs at Chloé and Dries Van Noten. Throwing some fun into the mix were Viktor & Rolf with their drapery, whilst Guy Laroche threw in a pussy-bow.
5. Theme: Playful Proportions
In Paris, the oversized theme was allowed room to balloon, giving way to serious proportion play. Oozing luxury were the giant outerwear forms at Carven and Giambattista Valli. At Rochas and Lanvin, scale was worked into voluminous skirts with a 40s feel, but it was Stella McCartney who best referenced masculine cuts with her workwear tailoring enlarged to a level of sartorial wittiness.
6. Hemline: Mini
Here’s a six month warning; if Paris’s hemlines are to be believed (and consumer opinion votes ‘yes’) then legs are going to be on show this winter. Mini skirts and pelmet shapes were the hemline of the season, with dramatic lengths from H&M enough to make the most liberal of Dads ask “is that a skirt or a belt?” Saint Laurent‘s grunge collection was charged with a rebellious air befitting of the length and Emanuel Ungaro got pulses racing with leather fabrication and daring slashes to already minuscule hems!
7. Fabric: Sheer
Just when you thought it was the legs taking the rap in AW 13/14, the next trend to rear its head is sheer fabrics, leaving little to the imagination. Paris went potty for gauzy layers and see-through panels. Givenchy and Chloé both sent out polka-dotted sheers harking back to Stella McCartney AW11/12 – and why not? It sold well! Isabel Marant used sheers to create her brand of bohemian raunchiness, while there was nothing bo-ho in the raunch at Akris, who went for risqué evening reveals.
8. Theme: Retro Repeat
With huge growth in the vintage luxury market both on and offline, it’s no surprise that designers have been keeping an eye on consumer’s retrospective interests. While other fashion capitals this season have blended their mid-century references, blurring lines between 40s, 60s and 70s to create something worthy of a contemporary decade, designers in Paris kept their sourcing accurate. Paco Rabanne sent out a moddish 60s collection, with shift dresses, reflective surfaces, turtle necks and slim suits. Rochas and Lanvin‘s ladylike looks stepped straight out of the 40s, albeit with the colour dial turned up full.
9. Fabric: Coloured Fur & Leather
Bracing for a cold winter, designers across each of the international cities agree that AW 13/14 feels like leather and fur. In other cities, the leather has been patent, whereas here they were less brash, going for butter-soft options in a range of shades; see Loewe and Lanvin for the most sumptious offerings. Coloured furs were glamourous at Lanvin and high-impact fun at Kenzo. With 44% of consumer chatter about coloured fur being overtly positive, this will be a dramatic trend update for the new season and a sure hit.
10. Gone to Print
Bar a handful of designers, Paris on the most part ignored the leopard trend that’s been so strong elsewhere, opting instead for striking winter florals, photographic at Giambattista Valli and Givenchy. Stripes are never far from Paris’s radar, and updates were seen in Stella McCartney‘s masculine suiting, Akris’ punctuated linears and Kenzo’s quirky ribbon-like repeats. Lastly was that plaid that has been raking up so many admirers at each city, it added authenticity to the grunge rebellion at Saint Laurent and provided an unexpected reference for the square cut pieces at Céline.