Paris In The Beginning….

It’s become universally known that Paris Fashion Week is no longer just about the last few days, plus Friday because of Dior. What you want to be doing is getting yourself here from the outset. Because the beginning of the week is rife with exciting new names and brands that are doing something different, this is where you’ll find those that compete with London for creativity and eccentricity – and here in Paris it comes with an added finesses and gloss because, well, it’s Paris. Of course, the huge draw card for booking that Eurostar earlier than usual or flying in direct from Milano was Saint Laurent which, now with Anthony Vaccarello at the helm, scooped up the spot of the designer’s former eponymous label – which he has since put on hold to focus on all things Saint Laurent. Who can blame him? – it’s a big job and this was an all-eyes-on kind of show. Three days in, though, and already there has been plenty to covet with innovative and absorbing presentation-style shows making for particular highlights. Here are some of those, and others, too.  

 

Aalto Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

Aalto 

Who doesn’t love a Moomins reference? Aalto brought back the cult children’s books – conceived by Finnish artist Tove Jansson – as prints for its Spring/Summer 2017 collection, one that had no end of great pieces in it: oversized jackets, casual tailoring, ruch-front dresses, and an overall Nineties sensibility that cleverly didn’t feel out of date in a time when that’s all anyone can think about. Colours were vivid, the collection sent out in blocks, with those Moomin prints bringing a cool burst of fantasy throughout; while prim shirts or band T-shirts were seemingly being turned into party dresses and blazers rethought with a denim jacket on top. We like it. 

 

Koché Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

Koché

It’s not just London that likes an urban show space or a good street-culture brand, Paris is pretty good at it too. And among the solid leaders of the pack is Koché, the still-new label from Christelle Kocher who before launching the brand last year held senior positions at the likes of Chloe, Sonia Rykiel, Bottega Veneta, and Dries Van Noten. That’s a great CV right there – if not suitably diverse in all the right ways, the key to nailing that mash-up street look well. Stomping down the escalators of the shopping mall at La Canopée came the models, Lindsey Wixson leading and lapping in the coolest fluffy-collared top and track pants. It was sort of sporty, sort of streetwear, sort of dressy, sort of everything, real and cool. The venue was perfect, an audience outside of fashion in on the action too – perfect for a brand anchored with a sense of reality and urbanity.   

 

Guy Laroche Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

Guy Laroche

Adam Andrascik, now four seasons in at storied house Guy Laroche, said backstage that he was thinking about women he knew in his life and the women that had been in the life of Guy Laroche when it came to his latest offering for the house. The result? Success. The designer has always said that Laroche’s own sense of what was relevant has been a strong reference point for him and here there was a combination of the relevant and wearable with the development of Andrascik’s own design signatures: jackets (he’s good at those) and strokes of deconstruction to rework trousers, skirts, and dresses which were attacked to cool effect with iridescent inserts. 

 

Saint Laurent Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

Saint Laurent

Those shoes. A “YSL” heel on the sexiest of black stilettos. How long do we expect the waiting list to be for those? Who will be wearing them first? Everyone was raving about these post-show, one which obviously has been the first talking point of Paris (there are quite a lot more left to go with Dior and Valentino’s first outings since their designer swaps). Vaccarello went leather and he went black; he went lace and he went short. It was tight and the point was sassy and sexy. Just like Hedi before him, it’ll be one of those shows, one of those collections, that will divide critics and consumers alike. Which is perhaps now something part of the Saint Laurent DNA. But despite reservations that some may have, one can’t help but feel this will still hit the high notes – it appealing to a more grown-up client than the festival or LA youth that had become so ingrained during the Hedi years. Is she brave enough to wear it though? 

 

Courrèges Fashion Show Ready-to-wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 Paris

 

Courrèges 

Among the Paris brands out there receiving a new lease on life is Courrèges, taken over creatively by Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant three seasons ago. They launched with a capsule of jackets and skirts, a concise message and a concise look. And they’ve gradually developed this, but slowly, slowly. Today’s collection opened with a series of cocoon dresses that were perhaps a clever take and homage to the brand’s heritage, that space-age feel, and which felt like they might continue in this vein. But a mix of ideas – from scuba-sport to sheer-panels and kilt skirts – came into the frame to make what was once quite a concise message rather mixed and confusing. But the jackets were great and a real strong point of this collection.

 

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