Paris Fashion Week kicks off

Thursday, 25 September 2014
There was long layering and tailoring at the Christophe Lemaire SS15 Paris catwalk this week. Monochromatic dressing saw crisp layers of summer fabrics in classic tailoring and long layers. New shirt treatments in the form of pull-over and capelet shapes were a refreshing update to the traditional button-front. Coats and dresses in trapeze silhouettes with fullness towards the bottom were some of the key pieces seen.

The Yang Li aesthetic is quickly becoming a go-to label to for luxe minimalist grunge. Li's latest presentation was set to the soundtrack of Lars Von Trier's 'Europa' and however unsettling the score, the clothes sent down the runway were modern yet romantic. Mixing chiffon with leather and denim added a warmth to Li's edge, as seen on a denim dress draped with chiffon, or sheet of fabric popping out from a tailored jacket's side seam. T-shirts printed with 'bore' and 'dom' are sure to be a commercial hit.

There is always an oasis of print at a Dries van Noten's presentation, and this season the Belgium designer was inspired by the East, with depictions in patchworks, florals and stripes. In terms of silhouette, there were soft trousers, oversized blazers, bomber jackets, tunics and lighter-than-air dresses with asymmetric hems. Watercolour florals and richly coloured stripes gave a romantic air to belted skirts and richly coloured brocade coats, a van Noten staple. Backstage the designer quipped: “It was not really a collection, just a lot of nice clothes in really nice fabrics. It's a girl who loves festivals – Glastonbury, Burning Man. She loves nature. She puts clothes together how she wants."

Rocha presented its second collection under new creative director Alessandro Dell'Acqua. The house, famous for its organic and ethereal dresses, took a new direction with Dell'Acqua with transparent floral embroidered evening shirts and skirts, some emblazoned with the letter R. It seemed an out-of-place logo for the brand that has been going for nearly a century and introduced the pocket skirt and midi coat. There were plenty of delicate dresses, though, worn with belted shirt jackets or lightweight tailoring.

Alexander Wang's catwalk could have been mistaken for a 90s dance hall, with a glass mirrored floor, dry ice and smoke billowing. Wang himself stated: "Opulence and embellishment - but I wanted to find my way of showing it." This he did with his signature sport aesthetic, like luxe mesh dresses in optic white, nude and black. Key looks included a sport shirt and skirt woven in mesh, a slim stretch dress, with ruching shaping the bodice into an "X" at the neck. As Vogue reported, the collection was very Wang, but perhaps less like the heritage of Balenciaga.

Images: PFW SS15

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