On The Runway

Bon Voyage Paris: Reviews of Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent

Sugary sweet at Louis Vuitton (above). All images courtesy of style.com.

Louis Vuitton

Just when the fashion world doubted Marc Jacobs’ ability to handle couture at Dior, he sent out a show-stopping collection to challenge any disbelievers. In true Vuitton style, his set was elaborate and featured an old fashion carousel in the middle of the Louvre courtyard with models draped on each of the horses, as pretty as a picture.

After last season’s S&M, he lightened up for spring with a sugary sweet collection that included couture worthy broderie anglais on rounded separates, some pieces covered with sheer organza in shades of green, yellow and orange. 3D floral appliqués brought dresses to life, as did laser cut-outs. I am not a fan of Vuitton bags but even I was lusting after the see-through and laser-cut cage bags.

Sexy yet restrained at Valentino (above).

Valentino

While I have the utmost respect for Valentino Garavani, I am loving the chic yet relevant look his successors Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri are creating for the brand. Rather than focusing on frou frou dresses for Princesses who lunch, their modern vision is more akin to Florence Welch than Kate Middleton (and thank god!).

There was lace yes, but it was never sweet. Instead it came on black and white dresses or loose separates made from paper thin leather or cotton for a fresh look. And while there were some gorgeous gowns, I preferred the sexy and restrained cocktail dresses with high necklines and below the knee skirts painted with flowers or made from stiff lace. Even the colour combinations were modern – sheer nude punctuated with yellow, black or neon pink embroideries. And instead of heels the girls wore chic sandals – who can argue with that?

Couture tailoring at Yves Saint Laurent (above).

Yves Saint Laurent

I feel for Stefano Pilati. For the past few years the creative director of YSL has been the subject of vicious rumours (last week the IHT speculated that he was going to be replaced by Raf Simons at Jil Sander). Personally I have always been a fan of his clothes, which I think perfectly sum up the chic Parisian spirit Saint Laurent has always been known for, albeit with a more modern edge.

Hi spring show drew in the celebs (Salma Hayek, Kylie Minogue and Jared Leto – I know random) and you can see why.  Aside from the couture tailoring and controlled volumes (short sleeved blouses puffed out at the back while skin-tight skirts had flouncy hems), the colours were sublime – mint green, dove grey, rich burgundy and other jewel tones.  There was an earthy yet chic vibe in the floor length paisley skirts and white top combos, while the halter neck tops  and cigarette pants were super sexy. Don’t go anywhere Stefano!

Tomorrow: Top trends and must-have from the spring shows!

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