LANVIN. Elbaz has a strong vision of women and design. Classic shapes in muted colors are what he does best but the last two seasons his tribal elements are just so wonderful. Whether feathers or beads, he knows the way to make a simple cocktail dress the lust of any fashion-forward woman. This fall collection was a mixture of what he does best. The fabrics were simple, hard, and raw. For example, the first dress reminded me of an egg carton. The toughness was finished off with a with a feminine outline of feathers. I think that Lanvin has the best accesories. It reminds me of a utilty version of grandma's costume jewelry. I think that this collection could have had more color, though. Some of the shapes we had seen so many times by Elbaz and they could easily be mistaken for last year's collection. Many of the fabrics let the shapes "happen" on the body; this is amazing because you could line up millions of ladies with the same dress on, and it would still be a unique shape. A very strong collection overall.
ISSEY MIYAKE. I think amazing is and understatment for this collection. Amazing sequin pants and a top made out of circle scarves made me so happy. It brings that element of quirky Japanese Street Style mixed with a hidden elegance. I think that as amazing as the scarves were, to base a whole collection of them soon grew boring. I really did enjoy all of the colors but a collection does not have to be so comprehensive that it is all the same look. There were some exceptional looks that did not include scarves, too. It is always good to have a good, not-to-serious collection. Miyake is a master.
MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA. Even though the mysterious Margiela has left his label, this collection picked up the pieces and moved on as if he had not bailed on his label. The exceptionally tailored coats were perfect paired with the pants that looked as if there was just one leg. Something that I had not seen before were the pants and skirts made of silky material that looked as if they were floating up over the models as they walked. They were so clever. This collection makes me want to get a really structured coat and sit in a Paris café reading Vogue Paris -- that may not make sense but clothes give off odd feelings, sometimes.
A.F. VANDEFORST. This collection really had made me realize that muted colors are great mediums for expressing details. The all-beige looks were not in the least bit boring. I am so sick of hearing the whole "women as warriors" thing and this collection could have easily been put under that category. But, what, let's not get all fussy, Emma. How about...robot soldier goddesses? Okay, that could work. Anyway, the first couple of looks consited of all-beige, they were magical, they were strong. I found the bolts in the armor-like jackets secured the strength of the woman wearing these pieces. Later on in the collection, there were some really great jersey dresses that took on a romantic nomad feel. I think that the different array of shapes made for such and interesting mix of tribal women. The boots looked amazing and very well crafted. I think the pops of the color in the middle of the collection were like a little treat/break in between the beiges, greys and blacks.
Oh, and just to let you know: If Isee ONE MORE asymmetric-black-minimalist-jersey-dress I WILL scream, promise. How many times have those been done. That conversation will be for another time.
All runway photos via style.com