If you’re in the market for a new dress, there’s no place quite like Paris Fashion Week to let your eye wander and go for a bit of a mental shop. The catwalks this past week have offered up some seriously covetable options. Here are some of our favourites.
John Galliano Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris
Bill Gaytten went all Emma and Jane Austen on us last season for wonderful and renewed effect. This time around he went grungy but still kept it dainty, delicate, and light for streamer-strewn slip dresses that captured the body in beautiful bias cuts. They were timeless and had cross-customer appeal. It feels like, now, after some time finding his feet at the house he took over following its namesake’s departure, Gaytten has really got into a good groove – and really knows how to do a good dress.
Véronique Branquinho Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris
Nightdress-styles with frilled and lace bib-fronts, plunging pleated backs, and faded floral prints that had seemingly sat in the sun too long: this was a very pretty and delicate collection, girly but with antique finesse. It would be hard to pick just which one of her naïve and charming series of dresses to take home with you. And a special mention should go to the little booties, which on first glance looked like socks and shoes. Very sweet.
Leonard Paris Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris
Celebrating 60 years in fashion and what better way to do that than with a fresh pair of eyes in the shape of a new artistic director: Christine Phung. Previously a label prone to slipping under the radar, or not even quite being on it, in her hands you’re going to start taking note of those dresses. Her aim here was to make the brand 2016-relevant, so she went for a rummage in the archives, played around and made this print that print and tweaked it some more. She’s made a great start – but it’s all about those dresses.
Nina Ricci Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris
When you’re onto a good thing – don’t stop it. Guillaume Henry sent out a revised version of a certain ruby-dipped dress from last season in a stunning magenta incarnation this season. This is the dress.
Guy Laroche Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris
Pealing skirts to reveal torn iridescent panels, or gentle swathes caught across a neat silhouette – among the fourth collection of Adam Andrascik for Guy Laroche there were some especially great dresses to note. This one is our favourite.
Chloe Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris
The Chloe girl eases and breezes her way around life. And her style weapon of choice is the dress. There were no end of beautiful trapeze, babydoll, or shirt-riffing numbers here that wafted in pleats and ruffles, and stripes and rope-cord ties at the shoulder. This is what summer is all about.
Chanel Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris
When technology and fashion try to come together, often the output can be disappointing. Not when it comes to Chanel. The house took this as more of a loose concept for the setting and then delivered a signature dose of dresses that you’d forever have hang happily in your wardrobe – the bright shirt-style belted ones especially.
Dior Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris
In Maria Grazia Chiuri’s debut at the house, she – as expected – brought with her that trademark Valentino artisanal touch. After a series of fencing-inspired looks, she went into eveningwear territory with embroidered light gowns of florals and nature scenes. Expect to see these on a red carpet soon. More modern were those froufrou numbers with “Christian Dior” straps – very cool.
Valentino Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris
Having lost his partner in crime to the house of Dior, all eyes were equally on what that meant for Pierpaolo Piccioli, now sole creative director at Valentino. A new lease of life, as it would happen. This felt brighter and more agile, with young, serious shocks of colour and print to take it into new and exciting realms. Clearly we don’t have anything to worry about – other than which dress, in an ideal world, we’d have for ourselves.
And when it wasn’t about the dress:
There was an emphasis on pyjama dressing at Undercover, a louche and relaxed feel as the girls took old-school salon twirls to show off a semi scout-like sensibility with big rucksacks and gardening-style hats. Yohji Yamamoto, as always, is about doing black a million ways: tailoring typically deconstructed and complicated, strands lacing up arms; there were oversized dresses in white punctured by black and those, again in black, that took the idea of a dress and constructed it in tailoring silhouettes. Talbot Runhof went on a safari jaunt, the cheeky monkey on the invite later leaping onto dirndl skirts. Utility-safari, here we saw macs upturned into gowns – the mac has become something of a centrepiece in Paris with most collections exploring their virtues. Pockets at times went a little too crazy here, but there were some nice ideas and a solid execution. Equally bright and with – this time – an oversized pocket fascination was Alexis Mabille. Jewel-bright shades combined with something much sportier for this collection, which then also added in thick pleats, bold jewellery, and broderie anglaise elements. An edit was required.
It was in August this year that Sonia Rykiel, a legend of Paris fashion, sadly passed away. She the designer of such joie de vivre, the queen of knitwear. So it was fitting that in a poignant tribute at the Spring/Summer 2017 show of the house, it opened with a series of models in jumpers that each had a letter to eventually read out “Rykiel Forever” as they lined up together. And this was a true tribute of a collection, classic Rykiel re-imagined by Julie de Libran, who took over as creative director two years ago, and is doing a great job. And this collection felt like an especially fitting testament to that, embracing that whimsy and fun of Sixties and Seventies flare, trapeze shirts and dresses, billowing sleeves, wide-wide legs, ruffles and corsages, big shapes and breezy silhouettes – but all of which felt entirely right for now. There’s always been a playfulness inherent in Sonia Rykiel and, despite the sad times surrounding the collection reveal, this had plenty of that. Rykiel forever.