Viktor & Rolf
The theme was gym wear, with cycling shorts and track style striped sided track pants paired with sculpted asymmetric tops. The bigger and more colourful pieces were overshadowed in their aesthetic and simplicity by the whitest of white looks (the whitest white I’ve seen all Fashion Month). I also enjoyed seeing them play with sleeves (see the black gym top above). Definitely a case of less is more.
You come to expect a certain aesthetic from Dame Viv, but you can always count on her to throw in some new shapes and surprises. It started off all street urchin/hookerish, with the usual most controversial make up out of all the shows (heavily rouged cheeks and lipstick, smeared all over the face, like a very busy wench). The signature draping and rouching/squiggle prints and scrawls were paired with virginal white knee-high socks (the irony), lots of tying at the waist and interestingly upside down wicker baskets as hats. They were cool. Could you Adam and Eve it? There were palm leaves strategically placed on a standout nude bikini and some mens leggings. The handful of menswear looks peppered throughout were theatrical and unwearable, but perfect. The show finished with a stunning bridal gown and the model carrying half a tree. You wouldn’t want it any other way.
Jean Paul Gaultier
This was always going to be the highlight of Paris. JPG’s final ready to wear show, so he can concentrate on Haute Couture means that RTW week is going to be all the more boring without his presence. It was always going to be a walking retrospective, referencing the genius of the past mixed with whatever has caught his eye recently. The start was all about the amazing hats, 80s power dressing at its best, the half dress/half jacket (one of the central themes), black sheer tights and pinstripes (Miss Smoking). Don’t forget the white stilettos. Then the racing prints – red, white and blue, leg warmers, “Loco Logo” taking the mick out of the current logo madness in fashion. He paid homage to the fashion editors who have helped his stellar career (Emmanuel Alt, Grace Coddington, Carine Roitfeld and Suzy Menkes) with his version of their most famous looks complete with matching wigs.
He then proceeded to reinvent denim, pairing it with coloured tights for added effect, mobile phones and the inevitable selfies. Then we had the Beauty Queens (the show was the Election de Miss Jean Paul Gaultier 2015) – fabulous mature ladies accompanied by topless boys, all sashes and stature. Some great black statement pieces followed, with even more trompe l’oeil jackets. He couldn’t depart without a nod to the legendary corsetry before he stormed the finale with Mexican wrestling Miss Lucha Libre outfits, with a particularly brilliant hat with the eyes cut out to be worn over the face. Bravo, Enfant Terrible. Bravo et au revoir. You will be missed.
With major influences being skater culture, Paris and Japan, this collection was perfect in terms of wearability yet with just enough futuristic edge. Denim was reworked, with oversized jackets boasting large zipper ring pulls (these featured quite heavily), and lots of layering alongside broderie anglaise. I particularly liked the palazzo pants and the pinky rose print (see above bottom left). As expected the cut was contemporary and achingly cool. I think I’ll start with the new sweater…
Phoebe Philo certainly created some new shapes in her latest collection. There were cut outs, billowing pieces of fabric flowing behind utility shaped dresses, arm loops. There wasn’t much rhyme or reason to proceedings, but it didn’t really matter. I especially liked the turned up trousers, fringing at the bottom of dresses and padded jackets with a triple front panel. There was a departure from the norm with the floral prints at the end, however it all worked. Sometimes we don’t need definable themes.