Palaces and history make me believe in dreams, and fundamentally in the fact that I was born in the wrong era.
With French palaces and their innate and opulent architecture at hand, it was almost impossible for me to focus on them as venues for runway shows at Paris Fashion Week (PFW). Caught guilty and giddy of staring at ceilings, I was transported to former eras as I tried to inhale what two legendary designers had to offer as contemporary style fashion on palatial floors.
The girls of John Galliano were fairly princessy, if not prom-like, almost all in sequined and pastel hued dresses. The difference was their mischief, with a heavy dose of sheer and lingerie showing through their chiffon dresses, beneath their unhinged cardigans, and under the drapes of their shawl jackets. Society kittens, bad girls, or good girls gone bad, it was all there. It was a mix of 50s glamour, with white and pastel lace dresses transitioning into lingerie style silks with lace bustiers and lining. There were also pink floral and embelished dresses with flares for a girly ball, as well as loose fit suits in pastel pinks and magenta hues with ruffled shirts. My favorite were the cardigans, one in canary green with embroidered florals, and the two favorites in white with bold animal print lapels, clearly my favorite print of all time. Perfection.
Stella McCartney offered a more classic tailored look, exploring British style and taming it down to a more casual and almost comfortable genre, quite in contrast to the palace setting. Volume was a key theme, evident from other shows too, with taffeta shirts with washed tees, over-dyed denim shirts with jogger-lookalikes, jersey tops and pants. The over-dyed denim jumpsuit and khaki one were quite safari-esque in their styles, with almost utilitarian jackets to match with toggles and massive pockets. Also spectacular were the African print inspired bright and bold pieces, which on closer looks had pop motifs of an electric fan and microphone! There were also unstructured dresses in black and white and red and blue, making for an evening outing, with one shouldered ruffled dresses, puffed sleeves and an 80s look on another, and ample asymmetric cuts on a third. Obviously I liked the sheer and crinkle cut leopard print skirt the best. It was a broad and variety-based collection, with several pieces that could be mixed and matched excessively.
I almost waltzed out into the Parisian nightlife with an inspiration for the unexpected and a lifelong memory of palatial wonder.