Louis Vuitton and Givenchy were full of frills that would appeal to those with fashionable fetishes. Marc Jacobs told journalists after the Louis Vuitton show, “”We were thinking about obsession, fetishism, and we thought about an old hotel, with its chambermaids and the affairs that go on there, the crimes and scandals. And we just wanted to reveal all the amazing creatures who passed through there.” He accomplished his goal with a series of hot pants and pin straight skirts, topped off with authoritative jackets and imperial captain’s hats. Model icons Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss walked the show, adding an extra dash of drama. Over at Givenchy, the fetish was more feline, with vampy bomber jackets and seductively shirt skirts playing alongside cat eyeglasses and caps with cat ears.
Miu Miu, Valentino, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Yves Saint Laurent all heeded the siren call of the 40’s, with looks steeped in retro nostalgia, uplifted by glamorous taste. A line up of ‘good girl’ pencil skirts, vibrant coats, and Peter Pan collar dresses constituted the Miu Miu show, where half down bouffants and cherry red lips channeled a bygone era. Valentino offered signature chiffon, ruffled looks, this time adding a few skirt suits and nipped waist A-line coats in demure forest green and navy. Jean Paul Gaultier went back in time—literally—offering silk pussy bow blouses and stuffy overcoats that were unapologetically granny chic (models wore each look with high gray beehives and side swept bouffants). And though Stefano Pilato referenced Yves Saint Laurent’s 1962 archive to inform the Fall/Winter 2011-2012 show, the silhouettes were decidedly more buttoned up: double breasted checked blazers in heavy wool were accented by a short contrasting check skirts and black knee high boots.
Capes were were on full display at Chanel and Lanvin, with Chanel offering versions in gray tweed and Lanvin in basic black. The increasingly classic outerwear piece was also seen at Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Chloe, and Christian Dior.
Of course Parisian shows aren’t always about underscoring what’s been seen and done before. Gareth Pugh, Manish Arora, Thierry Mugler, and Viktor & Rolf all fashioned collections seemingly made for post human android goddesses. Gareth Pugh proposed molded coats in gothic black, pieced together by sturdy strips of fabric, accessorized by long black leather gloves. Manish Arora stayed true to his quirky predilections with wonderfully patterned dresses uplifted by fringe, bulbous rosettes, and 3-D accouterments. With Lady Gaga’s stylist Nicola Formichetti at the helm of the Thierry Mugler show, of course audience members were treated to surprises. The show offered sinewy bra tops under sheer turtlenecks, along with patent leather form fitting skirts and peak shoulder dresses. And Viktor & Rolf took the cake with red-faced models sporting coats with high sculptural collars and jackets with pinwheel shaped fabric attached to each shoulder.
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