As Paris draws to a close with a final blaze of glory from the spectacular shows at Chanel, Valentino and Louis Vuitton, so too does the frenzy of fashion month. And what a (9 day) week it’s been! Big headlines surround the final ready-to-wear show at Jean Paul Gaultier, and the sad news that Gaby Aghion, the 93 year old founder of Chloé, passed away – incidentally the day before the label was to show for the new season.
There were riots, and parties, street style galore and of course Kardashians and Wests a-plenty. But what from the whirlwind of shows will translate into commercial trends for Spring 2015? We’ve analysed the data from the week’s shows to reveal the key themes, garments, designer, prints and colors you must not miss.
1. Paris Tones
For many in Paris, the lack of color was most notable – there were all whites at Christophe Lemaire, Christian Dior, Issey Miyake, Chloé, Akris and Stella McCartney. This was gentle, virginal and fresh. Others ramped up the graphicism with their monochrome pairings – Givenchy’s stripes, Balenciaga’s sporty simplicity and Anthony Vaccarello’s text prints included.
Thankfully, Paris’s designers were not all purists and color seeped into the week via the olive green and khaki at Acne, Sonia Rykiel, Sacai and Céline and the traffic-stopping reds at Aganovich, Commes Des Garçons, Mugler and Nina Ricci. There was pink – bright at Olympia Le Tan, soft at Loewe and Chanel and salmon-toned at Balenciaga and Cedric Charlier. Navy had impact for Lanvin’s sea-journey story, and in the sports buzz at Viktor & Rolf. For the boldest of customers were the sunshine yellows at Issey Miyake and Akris, as well as the cyan hits from Emanuel Ungaro, Nina Ricci and Loewe.
2. Most Buzzed Designer
Karl Lagerfeld has the deft control of a puppeteer, courting the press and world of social media with the theatre of his shows. For Spring 2015, he did not disappoint, creating a fully realised ‘Boulevard Chanel’ inside the Grand Palais. The models took to the Parisian street, much like the student protests of 1986, and echoing the current Hong Kong riots in an almost too-timely fashion. It worked though, Lagerfeld beat off competition from Dior and Givenchy to become the week’s most talked-about designer online. (It’s interesting to note that even the Apple Watch’s pop-up at Colette did not attract more online mentions than Chanel’s show – some feat!)
Among Cara Delevingne’s battle cries, the “make fashion not war” placards and drama of the recreated street there were also clothes. Some were successful – those that echoed the military tone of the show, and world beyond it, in army green, with epaulettes on pretty white blouses and the chainmail dresses, and some were a little bonkers – the usual multi-colored tweed suits, this time with flared pants and styled with ties. But really, none of that matters, it’s the essence of this show that will sell – the new feminism, as defined so eloquently at the UN by Emma Watson, the ‘take it to the streets’ attitude being propelled across social media, and the way that being a part of a pack makes you feel – in today’s online, consumer world, this tribe mentally may not shift politics, but it will sell.
3. 70s Full House
Paris supporting the 1970s theme marks a full house of appearances across each city of fashion month. Retailers: this means you will want to reference the seventies for optimal commercial success in Spring 2015. Key looks included blouses beneath tank tops and striped knit cardigans at Dries Van Noten (not to mention the model’s love-in finale), the relaxed peasant vibes and pretty cotton dresses at Chloé, the flared trousers and contrast piping at Céline, and Saint Laurent’s patchworked suedes, disco friendly dresses, neck scarves and glittered platforms. Paul & Joe went full-pelt with their fringed tan leather bags, button-front denim midi skirts, crochet, bell bottoms, aviators and puff sleeves. Take your pick from disco glamour or Woodstock bohemian. Critical pieces for this theme are the flared pants (so often paired with tunics in Paris), some with turn-ups, others cut above the ankle, fringing as a detail in dresses, bags, tops and skirts, dungaree and all in one shapes and care-free peasant dresses (the floatier and more tiers, the better).