Many of the shows seem to look beyone the Fall 2010 season. The harsh minimalists (Owens and Pugh) have gotten more romantic - softer shapes, incorporation of lightter colors, more dresses. I feel that Paris has much more substance than Milan: romantic details, less tailoring and industrial, and classic. It is less about "sexy" and "hot" mini dresses, that have no inspiration other than those words; more about reviving classics or mastering minimalism.
RICK OWENS. The Flinstones, perhaps? Whatever it was, it was a good collection. Not my favorite Rick collection but a really good step forward. The standard black minimalist dress has been done too many times and the elements of grey, caveman-y accents, and rich pumpkin details helped to break away from that mildly boring old dress. I really, for the most part, liked all of the shapes. For example, the rounded, hard hoods and the vest with really high collars. The only part of the collection that I did not like were the oddly-placed scarves that looked like and over-used sleeping bag. It looked like Owens was trying to make a [failed] attempt at the amazing "Lumps and Bumps" Comme collection of the 90's. What he showed us with these "sleeping bags" is: there is a fine line between futuristic minimalism and awkward pointlessness.
DIOR. Over that past view seasons (including couture) I have been disappointed with the collections that John Galliano has been whipping up. No doubt, he is a genius and he shows that wonderfully with his own label, but with Dior, he needs to step it up a little bit. The continuations from season-to-season are really quite boring. First, it was that whole lingerie thing that went from couture fall 2009 into spring/summer 2010. Then, including this season, equestrian. I know that Mr.Galliano is no lazy man but (pretty much) copying a collection comes off as that. I think that the Dior legacy has gotten to his head too much and it really leaves no room for creativity. I really know that I should not be comparing last year's and this year's collection but last year's was so darn good!
BALENCIAGA. Nicolas Ghesquiere has a strong vision and to tell you the truth it does not really change. But, this season, he seemed to step out of his comfort zone, just a tad. What I call the Ghesquire Shape would be: Big, puffy, Volumous (in a very simple way) on the top and a skinny pant on the bottom. Of course, this element was there in this collection but a little more relaxed. He said that the concept was taking everyday objects and turning them into fine pieces. The result? Wonderfully puffy skirts, and jackets in unidentifiable fabrics. My favorites were the icy pastel knits, that looked like an upgraded version of the spring 2010 collection. Also, I really loved the asymmetric shirts made of what looked to be super-cool Métro maps or a modern art museum map. This collection really expresses the future. It proves that he is an artist, and that these pieces could easily be in a modern art museum. Well done, a step in the right direction.
NINA RICCI. This season is the second collection that Peter Copping has done for Nina Ricci. I loved the work of Theyskens but I think that the Ricci label feels that Copping will keep the old, classic, Frenchness in this label. This collection showed the strengths of Copping to embody that Ricci girl. First of all, he incorporated the roses that, if I'm not mistaken, are so Ricci. The collection was very modern but looked back to film noir and a goody girl. I loved the clean, classic shapes paired with girly colors...and where does the femme fatale come in? The unsewn seems, a genius way to show a little skin and create and edge. It will be interesting to see what comes in the future.
BALMAIN. I cannot give really any compliments on any of Decarnin's collections other than he may be the only person that can squeeze so much inspiration from the 80's. The usual words describe the collection: glitzy, gold, short, flashy, sexy. But, with a a twist. Yes, a twist! Would you belive? Decarin managed to incorporate carpet bag patterns, which were really not all that bad. Also, the suit worn by Carmen Kass did not have a skinny pant and it could actually suit somone of 30. I thought that it was quite elegant and I think it had been one of my favorite suits on the fall runways (there's been a lot of them) so far.
More from Paris within the next few days. Enjoy your night, and share your thoughts on what collections you liked and others you did not.
Runway photos via style.com