On The Runway

Spring/Summer 2012 Paris Fashion Week: Reviews of Dior, Lanvin, Roland Mouret, Sharon Wauchob and Yohji Yamamoto

Sweet couture at Christian Dior (all images courtesy of style.com).

Christian Dior

Good news is that the Dior show was much better than the messy couture collection back in January. Unfortunately for Bill Gaytten (the fellow who is helming the brand until a new successor is announced) Galliano is a hard act to follow and the show missed the theatrics and flamboyant styling of the past. However there were some lovely pieces although most of it was very safe, pretty and that dreaded fashion word, “commercial.” It still charmed Leighton Meester and Orlando Bloom watching gf Miranda Kerr in the front row.

It was about light couture as he played with the house’s signature codes. The bar jacket came with a wider cut neckline and was paired with modern shapes such as floaty gazar skirts and cigarette pants in sweet pastels and flashes of red. It was very summery thanks to colourful embroidered squares or confetti like prints on chiffon dresses. I really liked the eveningwear –  floaty sheer silk and chiffon dresses, some decorated with lace.

Sexy and fierce at Lanvin (above)


You can always trust Alber Elbaz to deliver something fierce and sexy and women love him because of that. He is one of the few designers that seem to know what modern women want to wear and this daywear-heavy collection featured urban separates such as a sleek sleeveless black top with shoulders raised (no 80s should pads, thank god), vests, fluid blazers that morphed into dresses, tapered trousers and a tight stretch pencil skirts with slits that exposed the right amount of flesh.

Things took on a darker note with abstract green snake prints that slithered their way across the torso and onto backs – some serpents were made from encrusted jewels. For his fans, he also sent out a series of floaty and sheer Grecian-style draped and pleated dresses in soft colours such as mint and yellow (some were sheer worn over big briefs). The accessories were to die for – chunky crosses, jewelled wing necklaces,  draped chains and metal box clutches. If this is Elbaz’s version of fashion in hell, I would happily never leave.

Sultry French girls at Roland Mouret (above)

Roland Mouret

Roland Mouret softened up this spring with a contemporary version of French prettiness that had all the women in the room smiling. It wasn’t sickly sweet though – there was still his body hugging hourglass dresses, this time with bra-style tops, detached hems and flouncy petal bottoms that added a girly touch. Instead of embellishments he went for subtle details like tulip appliqués and evil-eye cut-outs (the Greek inspiration that was also evident in the beautiful shades of blue). The separates were equally covetable especially the short draped tops.

Sheer colours at Sharon Wauchob (above)

Sharon Wauchob

While not many people will recognise Sharon Wauchob’s name, I am a huge fan of her work and always buy several pieces every season. She had an interesting feminine yet sporty take on spring and worked colours blocks on shiny silk organza which created a light look that still had an edge. I want the long tailored sleevesless coats and the gorgeous slip dresses that were made from beautiful lace and embellished with tufts of silk fringes that floated as the models walked down the runway.

Men’s tailoring with a romantic edge at Yohji Yamamoto (above)

Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji was also feeling the love and sent out a bride and groom at the end of his show, although I loved the groom’s tux more. Yohji is the king of deconstructed men’s wear so there was plenty of that with tuxedo jackets cut away at the waist and with long tails, crisp white shirts, a fraying grey tunic with black piping and rolled up trousers . The romance came in the form of French revolution inspired dresses with corsets, padded bustles and long full  skirts.

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