The Paris Spring Couture runway shows are underway, and there is much to talk about. There were some immediate hits and, unfortunately, some major misses — and we haven’t even gotten through all the biggest fashion houses. But let’s discuss the collections that have already debuted, and be warned: there will be opinions throughout this post.
Let’s start with a good one: Giambattista Valli’s 34-look collection. Debuting just days ago, he never fails to impress with his beautifully draped fabrics and stunning silhouettes. Feathers and fringe take center stage, adorning gowns with precision and elegance. Florals appear to be a trend among designers this season, but Valli seems to have created one of the only collections that did the pattern in a tasteful, non-repulsive way. Not only does he use floral patterns, but he also manipulates the fabrics on his gowns to mimic the blossoms of flowers. The bright yellows, soft greens, and vibrant pinks bring innocent yet dazzling energy to the collection, and each gown seems to be better than the last. Thank you, Giambattista Valli, for creating something actually pleasing to the eye. You can find photos of the entire collection here.
The Givenchy show is an excellent example of beautiful silhouettes and fabrics, but a poor attempt at floral patterns. It’s unfortunate, really, because some of the pieces are truly beautiful, especially with their divergence from the typical spring color palette. But the near god-awful purple flowers copy and pasted onto the skirts of a handful of gowns just makes me sad. The print is tired and quite frankly something I could find in the Kohl’s women’s section. And then you have simply stunning pieces that feature bright, almost tie-dye prints that are draped and pleated elegantly, giving an Iris van Herpen vibe. It’s obvious that there is a level of inspiration behind this collection, giving a brighter and richer perspective on the spring season. Givenchy had a similar vision to Giambattista Valli in where they mimicked blossoming florals for a few of the necklines of their gowns. It’s pretty, and overall, they did a nice job. But please, for the love of God, leave the awful floral print in the past. (Photos of the entire collection here)
Speaking of Iris van Herpen, she absolutely came through this season with another incredible 21-look collection. Her previous collection went viral most notably for her talents of construction and pattern-making. It was something completely different from all of the other fashion houses, and the world was sure to take note. This season, she’s back with an understated and darker vision. She seems to be channeling the sea and sky with intricate prints featuring creatures from the deep sea and feather-like cuts. The movement of these pieces is mesmerizing, and Amy Verner from Vogue makes a good point: “Additional designs — each attesting to Van Herpen’s technical and artistic legerdemain — fluttered, flowed, and reverberated in step with the models who, themselves, swished around the central stage like marine animals.”
The collection may be more understated than her previous, but it still packs the same level of artistry, precision, and mastery of fabric and shape. She may be one of the best designers of our time, dare I say it. Do yourself a favor and experience the entire collection here.
I hate to bring this next collection up after such a beautiful one, but it has to be discussed. Chanel. What were they thinking? A blogger and fashion YouTuber I love, Luke Meagher a.k.a HauteLeMode tweeted, “I did just audibly laugh while trying to watch the Chanel show,” and I think that’s all I need to say about this collection. But since this is a review, I’ll try to articulate how I feel.
It’s terrible. The patterns, the silhouettes, the lack of inspiration, all of it. I mean, just take a look at the entirety of the collection. Next to the mastery of other fashion houses, this apparent “couture” is barely ready-to-wear. Why did they do an almost complete tartan, tulle, and tweed runway? Why the short hemlines? Why the sheer white tights with ankle socks? I have so many questions that unfortunately cannot be answered. Perhaps they switched up their trunks on accident and sent the wrong collection down the runway. Either way, these looks should not have seen the light of day. And what’s special about them? The jackets and skirts look like items I’ve seen on the Macy’s rack for decades now. And the belts with large buckles… can we please leave them in 2019? If you want to see the rest of this collection, click here.