Saint Laurent runway shows have a reputation for dimly lit catwalks, blaring rock and roll music and the who’s who of the indie, music and acting crowd.
This season creative director Hedi Slimane turned this reputation on its head with a very exclusive, private presentation held at the Hôtel de Sénecterre on the rue de l’Université. Under Slimane’s creative vision, this 17th century building has undergone an eighteen month long renovation to become the new headquarters of his couture house and the site of what some have said will be his last show for Saint Laurent.
A select two dozen people were ushered into the new maison and to their own personalised engraved seats within various salons throughout the building. Once seated the presentation began with the voice of Bénédicte de Ginestous announcing the numbers of each look, a direct homage to Yves' haute couture shows of the past. Other than that, the presentation was silent, so as to ensure the audience were able to absorb every look that walked through the salons.
The collection presented - La Collection de Paris - was actually couture and not ready-to-wear. Slimane dedicated the entire collection to his studio and couture ateliers in Paris, Angers and Los Angeles and the collection that walked down the runway almost seemed like a love letter from Slimane to Saint Laurent.
The central theme of this season’s runway can only be described as 80’s glamour. Skin tight tailored pants and mini skirts, cinched waists, ruched leather, and extreme shoulder pads dominated the collection and gave an overall effect of luxurious, extravagant fashion glamour.
After seeing the presentation, we could not wait to see the couture pieces up close and in the flesh. The Saint Laurent showroom is held in the Grand Palais and no matter how many times you visit the showroom the high ceilings, natural light and unencumbered views of the Eiffel Tower take your breath away.
Photography is not allowed in the showroom however we were able to take a very sneaky shot of the RTW and Accessories showroom.
Our RTW selection this season included an incredibly chic mini dress with exaggerated shoulders that is the definition of a Little Black Dress. We have also re-ordered the classic Saint Laurent Sable Blazer in Black with White trim as seen here on actress Carey Mulligan. This style is a part of the Saint Laurent permanent collection and represents the classic aesthetic of Saint Laurent; simple, chic and timeless.
Another best-seller offered this season is the Jane Heels. We have re-ordered this style in both the 80mm and 110mm heel heights in classic matte black. We have also added new styles including the Babies Heels which are a fantastic open toe chunky heel with buckle detailing and a pair of Mary Janes heels featuring a swarovski-encrusted heel.
We also cannot get enough of the classic smooth leather shopping totes. These totes are simple but chic and are perfect to use as a work, everyday or even baby bag.
We have also ordered more of the classic grained leather Saint Laurent card holder wallets. This style is classified as Unisex and are perfect to fit into smaller bags or as gifts.
Ending our showroom visit with a bottle of Saint Laurent….
MOTHER OF PEARL
Founded in 2002 by fashion stylist Maia Norman, Mother of Pearl has developed on the London design scene as a modern, elegant, feminine collection that mixes Norman’s love of sports with luxurious fabrications and sophisticated silhouettes.
With the new creative director, Amy Powney taking over the brand in 2011, Mother of Pearl has become a creative force within the contemporary fashion scene.
One of the key signatures of Mother of Pearl is their ongoing collaborations with artists and the artistic community and their artistic seasonal inspirations.
For her Winter collection, Amy Powney based her collection on a photography study called The Living Room by Nick Waplington. This study documents the daily lives of two working class families living in a British council estate. From this inspiration Powney created a collection that interpreted and referenced the ruffles, checks, chintz’s and even wallpaper prints that featured in The Living Room.
Up close, the collection is beautifully cut and the fabrications are luxurious and reflect the sophisticated yet sporty Mother of Pearl aesthetic. Our selections include a chic ruffled rose printed mini dress, a pair of silk rose-printed tracksuit pants, and two blouses with sporty elasticised short sleeve cuffs.
We also love this long sleeve blouse that features one of the season’s signature prints - the Honey Rose Floral print. This particular blouse features ties at the elbows and flared sleeves.
Another favourite in our Mother of Pearl Winter selection is this knit jumper. This knit features a turtleneck and a textured and ruffle detail across the chest and is made of extremely soft merino wool.
One of the most recent additions to the Parlour X portfolio is Vita Kin. Established by Vita (above) in 2014 the brand creates traditional embroidered Ukrainian folk wear in luxurious hand loomed linen and cottons.
The brand has earned itself a dedicated and widespread following with fashion editors, bloggers, model and actresses rushing to own the blouses, tunics and maxi dresses that represent the core silhouettes of Vita Kin.
Each garment can take up to three weeks to create and the assembly of sleeves, collars, cuffs and the accompanying embroidery are completed by hand in their Kiev base. All of which are based upon centuries of traditional Ukrainian folk embroidery.
Our selection from the Winter collection focused on the classic open v-neck blouses and a new short dress/tunic style. These silhouettes will be available in denim blue, cream, beige, black and red with contrasting embroidery in bold yellow, burgundy, navy, red and orange.
Eva and Vita in the showroom!
Claire Waight Keller’s five-year tenure at Chloe has seen the french fashion house grow into a powerhouse within the fashion world. Keller has created a fashion brand adored the world over and the RTW, bags and shoes are coveted to the point of mass hysteria when a new style, colour or silhouette is launched.
With this in mind the Chloe shows are always attended by the fashion who’s who and this season we saw fashion editors, IT girls, bloggers and celebrities alike jostle to see the Winter collection.
This season Keller stumbled upon her inspiration by accident. Whilst researching motocross clothing she came upon the memoir of Anne-France Dautheville “Et, j’ai suave le vent” (And I followed the wind). Dautheville, a French journalist, was the first woman to motorcycle solo around the world in the 1970’s and it was this iconic figure in women’s history that Keller based her entire collection on.
Quoted backstage after the show Keller sought to convey Dautheville’s “amazing sense of adventure, daring and courage but also the curiosity of travelling. She had a boyish cool attitude but she also took these amazing dresses with her which she threw her sweaters and biker jackets over. I wanted to bring that 'lived-in' quality to the collection”.
The new Chloe attitude was present in every piece that walked down the runway. Models walked with a highwayman’s swagger in leather culottes and overalls, oversized knitted ponchos, belted leather biker jackets and motorcycle lace up boots. There were still key Chloe silhouettes in the collection however they were layered and re-worked to reflect the tougher attitude of Dautheville.
Keller commits to her seasonal inspirations and when we walk into the Chloe showroom the flower arrangements, imagery and lighting all complimented the world traveller aesthetic of the season.
It isn’t a Chloe collection without a fantastic selection of knitwear and jumpers. This particular story comes in three different styles, all featuring variations of embroidery in rich colours like bordeaux and cream. The silk scarves worn throughout the runway show and showroom are a fantastic addition to our order and will be available in black, navy and burgundy as seen on the model.
Our selections for this season touch on the key themes that Keller wanted to illustrate in her winter collection. We have ordered many different separates including a beautiful printed silk chiffon skirt in two different colours. The print featured on this skirt is an interpretation of the prints that Dautheville wore in the 1970’s. Another favourite piece is a cropped double breasted soft wool jacket with wide sleeves in black and blue grey.
Texture plays a massive role in the collection and many of the pieces look made to touch. There is a lot of knitwear throughout the collection and a buttersoft leather featured in many different silhouettes in a variety of colours. We were drawn to a sturdy washed denim and slinky crepe sable which we have chosen in the key skirt silhouette of the season.
The new bag of the season is called the Lexa and was the only bag featured in the runway show. It is a classic satchel bag in the style of the bags worn by Dautheville on her motorcycle trips across the globe.
The Lexa is available in two sizes; the small and medium and we loved the Black and Tan colour ways. The leather is soft and supple and the bag has a cross-body strap so that it can be worn easily.
This season the Faye Bag is offered in the classic Chloe colours; Black, Motty Grey and Classic Tobacco. However we have also ordered this bi-colour style in Navy leather and Tan suede. This colour combination will be available in both the medium and small size.
The Chloe Marcie bag will be available again in both the small and large size in great classic colours including Black, Navy, Cashmere Grey, Nut and iconic Tan.
We love these tassel style necklaces which were layered over one another in the runway show.
Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez are designers whose muse is firmly rooted in the art world. Many of their past season's inspirations have been artists and their work - their pre-fall collection called upon the work of Georgia O’Keefe - and their winter collection is no different.
McCollough and Hernandez looked at the processes of a range of 1960’s artists including Frank Stella, Robert Ryman and Richard Serra and their ideas about abstraction. This inspiration prompted the design duo to create layered silhouettes and abstract prints in a colour palette of black, cream, grey, navy and a pop of lemon yellow.
The Proenza team have just unveiled a brand new refurbished showroom in the 17th Arrondissment. Set over two levels the space is filled with natural light and the collection is set against bare white walls, natural hardwood floors and Proenza’s signature palm trees.
This season's collection is all about control and release and the most obvious representation of this is the lace-up detailing that features on many different pieces. One of our favourite pieces in the whole collection is this skirt which features an almost corset like lace up feature at the front that can be worn as tight or as loose as desired.
The lacing details features on every piece in our selection, a fantastic cohesive element in the collection. We have chosen a cropped knit and dress story that features lacing at the shoulders, and a long sleeve off the shoulder top with contrast lacing detail at the chest. Great statement separates!
Another favourite piece in our selection is this ribbed knit top which features in the runway show in both black and white. This style features a turtle neckline and the signature lacing detail at the front and shoulders with a chiffon underlay.
ROMANCE WAS BORN
Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales, the incredibly talented duo behind Australian label Romance Was Born, presented their latest collection in Paris and we were excited to see how far they have come as designers and the sophisticated and inspiring the collection they have produced.
This season’s core inspiration is Liberace and his album “Sincerely Yours”. The Romance team used Liberace as the “extravagant figurehead of the collection for Spring 2016 and his ostentatious style pulses at its shiny glitz heart”.
Sales and Plunkett collaborated with artist Sarah Contos who contributed to the intricate beading and embroidery on the collection. This dress is one of our favourite pieces and the design of the beading reflects the extravagant Liberace inspiration.
We also loved this black and white striped lace midi skirt!
Eva, Luke and Anna in front of the collection.
STAY TUNED FOR THE FINAL PART OF OUR WINTER 16 SHOWROOM BLOG!