Bonjour Paris! The crème de la crème of the shows this season.There's fashion week, and then there's Paris. After New York, London, and Milan, I find myself wondering, what is there left to see? And then Paris goes and blows the other cities out the water. It was incredibly difficult to narrow things down for this post, but we don't shy from a challenge, so here's our best of the best of Paris Autumn-Winter '15.
Paying little heed to the ruling trends of the catwalks, Dries van Noten quite typically created his own aesthetic, but definitely joined in with the wonderfully celebratory feeling that swept all of the fashion weeks this season. Lush fabrics; brocade, velvet, silks, contrasted boldly with military standards; khaki; combat trousers; and neat little jackets walked alongside sweeping ballgown skirts. It was a joyous celebration of colour, texture and form, perfect for brightening up any Winter's Day.
Key piece: a neat brocade jacket will add some pizzazz (yeah, I said it) to your Winter wardrobe.
Season after season, Celine provides us with cool-girl, no-fuss chic like no-one else. This collection was a lesson in understatement - mostly neutrals with the odd statement floral or Autumnal bright here and there, and everything worn in one of two sizes; slightly too big or vastly over-sized. Practical and bold giant leather totes were the accessory of choice.
Key piece: a neutral, over-sized jumper to throw on for off-duty cool.
From the bold, fresh monochrome, right through to the exquisite textiles inspired by Celia Birtwell and artists such as Gustav Klimt, Valentino was a symphony of triumphs. We may have thought everything that could have been done with lace has been done, but Valentino proved us wrong. A strong 60's aesthetic was re-interpreted with heavily embellished fabrics and super sharp cuts.
Key piece: bold, monochrome separates will ensure a confident look.
Since his arrival at Balmain, Olivier Rousteing has revitalised the brand, and proved again his life-giving powers with this extravagant collection. The 80's influence was obvious with strong shoulders, palazzo pants as wide as a Cheshire cat's smile, and bold, bright, even verging on brash colours. These colours - gold, fuchsia, violet, cobalt, tangerine - made Balmain stand out from the tough competition that Paris provides.
Key piece: palazzo pants so wide you could smuggle puppies underneath.
Karl is still king and the Chanel show was testament to that. Quite apart from the celebrity pull, and the specially-built Brasserie Gabrielle, the clothes were rather nice. The quintessential Chanel looks were made fresh yet again. Who knew the futuristic 80's power-dressing librarian was going to be your new favourite look? Karl did.
Key piece: get your outerwear game on with something long, grey and luxurious.
And now a bittersweet moment as I realise the craziness fashion month is over for another season *sigh*. So, if you're left wanting more, head to Vogue for all the photos from all the shows, or follow us on Instagram @RAJEdesign to keep us with our fashion antics and quite a lot of coffee-related activity.