I'm about half a day late on the deadline for all 'Let's look back and ponder' review, best of, and round-up posts. I'm supposed to be getting started on the 'Let's look forward to', predictions for the new year, crystal ball-type posts. Except I'm rubbish and can't actually pre-empt time. I also haven't quite let 2011 sink in yet and I'm unable to let go of /10 when writing dates, even if today's particular date notation is a ridiculously memorable one.
More importantly, in the whizz of last Paris Fashion Week descending into a blur that was never actually reflected upon, I forgot to properly thank backstage photographer Morgan O'Donovan for going through the Paris show rounds with me, putting valuable images to my text as well as providing a vivid backstage insight that breathes a different life into front-on-views and stony expressions of catwalk images. Sharing an apartment for fashion week, along with Streetpeeper's Phil Oh, we'd come back late each night exchanging metaphoric war stories – Phil about the battleground that is the Tulieries Garden where 150 streetstyle photographers descend upon one human subject, me with undeserved pithy cries of trying to make five shows, four appointments and evening events on time and Morgan with a deserved whinge about bullish security guards at backstage entrances, odd accreditation processes and the general macho one-upmanship present amongst front of house and backstage photographers.
It's all a collective momentary moan that is quickly forgotten though because *palm face*, it's our supposed profession/vocation and of course, we secretly love the scrum of it. Therefore it's on to the obligatory and now tardy 'Best of Paris' post that I very nearly omitted for fear of its predictability. On this blessed 1/1/11 though, when nothing much is going through my head except for "Wow…Channel 5 decided to show THAT cheapsville Titanic film?", I'm going to allow a 'Best Of' post to slip through.
To Phil and Morgan: More of the same come March, guys?
Dries Van Noten – It's exceedingly clever of stores to be selling the new Dries collection as per how it was shown on the catwalk – as in watercolour, floaty tops contrasted over a crisp white shirt. It tricks dumb-arses like me into thinking that a Dries crisp white shirt is superior to my existing perfectly-ok white shirts as well as coaxing me into buying the floaty feminine frippery piece that sits on top of it.
Rochas – !!Slinky PJ's meant for the outdoors alert!! Dolce & Gabbana's S/S 09 pyjama-filled collection has had a more varied trickle down effect that means this Rochas piece is causing the likes of Topshop to get in on the PJ action.
Damir Doma – I'm not quite sure yet as to what Doma's womenswear is all about as it has only been two seasons in but I do like these shades of neutrals in leather, suede and light wool textures that add weight and stability to a brights-filled season.
Ann Demeulemeester – There's nothing really NOT to consistently like about Demeulmeester's collections when she tweaks with her well-established codes so deftly. I loved this season's black and white abstractions that also worked with the assymetry of the clothes.
Rick Owens – I kept on thinking about Chinese Tang dynasty hairstyles when I saw the girls at Rick Owens. Except it was a beautifully pared back version, free of all the trinketry.
A.F. Vandevorst – It was an unexpected tact from the Belgian duo but I'm into any forms of modernised chainmail best seen in this blazer.
Calla – Woo! Print-based designer Calla Hayne's first proper presentation that contained five print stories all inspired by female artists and natural surfaces warped into mesmerising patterns.
Isabel Marant – Alright, I'm a little late onboard the Marant-lover train but I do think one of these quilted jackets which come in a few colours are just the ticket for what can be sketchy spring weather.
Lanvin – Like everyone else at the show, it was these parachute skirts swishing down the looooooong catwalk that slayed me into a lull that left us all surrounding Alber Elbaz with pathetic puppy dog eyes.
Haider Ackermann – The pre-collection seen at Pitti was a small indication of what was to come when his deconstructed obi knots and sumptuous swathes of fabric that oozed over the body were firmly cemented and toughened up in a way with zippered leather, something that Ackermann knows well. It was pure artistry seeing slippery satin positioned so perfectly on a body in Ackermann's seductive and fluid formations.
Tsumori Chisato – This deserves a separate post really seeing as not enough is said about Chisato's unwavering imagination that is boundless when you think of how many motifs appear in one collection. Notice how this girl out of the whole lot of photos here has broken into open toothy smile. That can't be wholly disconnected with Chisato's happiness-inducing clothes.
Loewe – I've loved Stuart Vevers' trajectory at Loewe, balancing the codes of this Spanish leather goods house as well as injecting varying levels of FUN into proceedings. This season, prim was gone and colour combos that shouldn't work but do were omnipresent.
Cacharel – Not a Liberty print in sight at the show but who the crap cares when cute shades, warped prints that look like floral ink blot patterns and shots of sunset neon colours are there to take the place of Cacharel's signature look.
I also love this pronounced v-neck where the knit is made into a chunky V.
John Galliano – I know for Galliano fans, every show has its magical moments but this one centred around 1920s con artist Maria Lani was especially pictoresque (picture frame…geddit…). Trend headlines? Probably not but then again that isn't really what Galliano is gunning for. I just know there were definite tingles felt at the Op√©ra Comique that day.
Givenchy – I think there may have been an overly dramatic quote of me used in a Style.com video about this show. Note to self: Don't speak to Tim Blanks when you KNOW you can't articulate yourself properly. I *think* I stand by what I said which was that there's something to be admired in being singular and strong in ideas which Givenchy was – leopard, leopard and more leopard as well as a zippered-up-and-across silhouette that revealed layers and different levels of opacity. Plus, my own late conversion to leopard print is nicely timed with this collection.
Chloe – I had to look at the pictures again and again to really figure out my like/dislike for this collection. Finally, I've decided that a balletic theme that has been THIS reduced does work along with Chloe's strong stable of leather goods which has some fine tissue box and camera clutches.
Stella McCartney – I recall a table vinyl that my mother used for summer barbeques bearing this sort of citrus print and I kind of like that there will be dresses and tops bearing reminders of that table cloth and that I need to get my 5-a-day intake.
Chanel – I have already banged on about the accessories but didn't catch these chainmail gloves as well as the burnt hole navy tweed which has me thinking whether a bored evening and a Bic lighter will produce some magic.
Jean Charles-de-Castelbajac – Felix the Cat lives on in this Nigerian-inspired fabric…
Alexander McQueen – Sarah Burton hailed a softer but no less dramatic mood at what will be a new era at McQueen. It's sort of childishly exciting to see how Burton responds to this flux and of course to be beady-eyed on Burton's collections, whilst never being able to forget what was it that made an Alexander McQueen collection extraordinary.
Wunderkind – More fruity prints. I spy a tomato, strawberry and some grapes in there along with florals that makes this another potential table vinyl print.
Louis Vuitton – Supposed to be busting out a more considered post about chinoiserie in general for S/S 11 but the New Year lull is preventing me.
Herm√®s – Adieu to Jean Paul Gaultier. I thought this was a sublime farewell collection and whilst I'm anticipating starker and less thematic collections from Christophe Lemaire, I'll miss the slick theatrics that Gaultier brought to the house.
(All photos by Morgan O'Donovan for Dazed Digital)