Held in the Palais Garnier, the Stella McCartney show regularly draws a star studded crowd every fashion week. This season singer MIA, Natalia Vodianova, Doutzen Kroes, Amber Valetta, Arizona Muse and Caroline de Maigret all sat front row to see McCartney debut her Winter 16 collection.
This season saw McCartney work with the house’s signature silhouettes and characteristics and create a collection based around soft tailoring, oversized knitwear and special details - this season it is ruffles - that McCartney has made a name for herself with.
Whilst McCartney is known for blurring the lines between masculine and feminine dressing, our selections this season embrace the more feminine aspects of her collection. We have chosen light cotton drop waist dresses and shirting that features the collection’s signature ruffles as well as a fabulous pair of cropped flared pants.
McCartney is also known as one of the most outspoken figures against animal cruelty in the fashion industry. With an incredibly successful faux-leather and faux fur accessories business, McCartney has incorporated her cause into her RTW and this season sent feather-free puffer jackets and skin-free leather bomber jackets down the runway.
Stella also makes a point every season to include a signature animal print so as to “ give some respect to the fellow creatures”. Past seasons we have had wild cats, horses and even the every-day house tabby feature in the collection and this season’s animal of choice is the swan. McCartney splashes her swan print over dresses, chunky knitwear, and pants. We have chosen to represent this signature print of the collection on Stella’s classic Eva silk shirt silhouette, an easy simple blouse that can be worn casually with Stella’s classic jogging trousers or dressed up.Mixed throughout the collection are evening outfits that show a sexier side to Stella than usual. Our favourite piece in this story is a plisse silk sable slip dress with delicate cut-outs at the chest and across the skirt in a beautiful deep forest green. This dress is one of the stand-out looks from the runway show and continues the trans-seasonal lingerie trend that is sweeping fashion right now.
As mentioned, Stella McCartney has created an incredibly successful accessories business that maintains McCartney’s strong sense of ethics regarding animal cruelty. Our accessories selections include these chic non-leather pouches that will come in gold, bronze and blue and Stella’s classic Binx loafers in a taupe leopard print and cracked silver faux leather.
CHRISTOPHER ESBERSupporting the Australian fashion industry and Australian designers is incredibly important to Parlour X. In collaborating with the best of Australia’s fashion on exclusive capsule collections we are able to offer our clients wholly unique Australian RTW pieces. Working with Christopher Esber and his team has been a collaborative process from the very beginning and we love working with Chris who has built a global reputation for precision tailoring and structured silhouettes that maintain his fluid aesthetic.
For his Winter 16 collection, Christopher Esber was inspired by his summer vacation spent in Brazil. Elements of Brazilian culture and landscape influence the collection as does the lively street colour of Rio de Janerio and the architecture he saw in Paraty.
The collection focuses on tailored silhouettes that maintain Esber’s feminine aesthetic and reflects the Brazilian inspiration. In particular, Esber creates a conceptual ‘leaf’ motif that appears on many key silhouettes in the collection. We are excited to see Parlour X’s khaki colour being continued in this season’s collection in what is fast becoming Esber’s signature heavy duty double crepe.
Our selections that are to be developed exclusively for Parlour X include a Structure pique story in a beautiful navy which will features across pencil and mini skirts, a chic contoured dress and a pair of effortless tailored cropped trousers.
We have also chosen the season’s signature Wave embroidery story which will feature on a trapeze dress and skirt for Parlour X. This is a bespoke fabric developed by Esber with an Italian mill and reflects both the incredible attention to detail and sophistication of the collection.
This pink jacquard drew our attention and we have developed three styles that this signature print will feature on; a long sleeve blouse, slit skirt and shell top. This is a fantastic pop of print and colour and a bold and unique choice for Esber’s collection.
Eva and Chris after viewing the collection together in Paris.
For the Valentino Winter 16 collection, Valentino’s creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli took inspiration from the modern dance movements and reference some of ballet’s finest dancers and choreographers including Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, and the Ballet Russe.
Piccolo and Chuiri seek to explore the modern ballet and dance movement, and at a deeper level how this inspiration translates into the idea of dance being the ultimate way in which to live in the moment. Chiuri spoke after the show about her view of what the collection sought to share with the audience “we want this show to be about living your moments, feeling each moment uniquely”.
At face value, the collection consists of a ballerina’s everday wardrobe; floaty silk dresses over footless tights, coats draped over maxi skirts, and tutus worn over leotards. The models walked the runway in a range of colours and looked as if they had just left a very Valentino ballet performance.
Piccioli and Chiuri’s mood board was hung in the dressing room backstage and displayed imagery that influenced the collection ranging from the early 1900’s to modern day ballet.
The collection features a large spectrum of luxurious fabrications; rich velvets, extravagant sequins and metres and metres of tulle. The colour palette of the collection is distinctly lighter than most Valentino winter collections, however there is a liberal use of black and navy hues in the outerwear that accompanied many looks down the runway.
Our selections from the Valentino Winter 16 collection includes classic Valentino cape style dresses and tops in pastel colours of the season Bamboo, a light mint colour, and Arctic, an icy grey blue. In Valentino’s iconic cady fabric these colours stand-out and represent the key colour stories in the collection. We have also chosen a chic strapless jumpsuit in this fabric in black.
Continuing with the ballet theme, we loved these lace up ballerina style boots which we have ordered in classic Valentino smooth black leather with poudre laces.
The Open Sneakers have been such a hit in-store that we have re-ordered this style again for the upcoming Winter season. We love the new dove grey, navy and metallic bronze options.
Launched in 1999, Maticevski is one of Australia’s most eminent and internationally acclaimed fashion brands. Parlour X has collaborated with Toni Maticevski and the Maticevski team for several seasons to create completely unique and individual collections that represent the glamour, innovation and artistry that is Maticevski.
For his Winter collection, Toni presents a collection full of exaggerated and signature silhouettes in an icy colour palette interposed with splashes of black, dove grey and a dark bordeaux. While Maticevski does not work in terms of specific points of reference for his collection, you could see his sophisticated direction in each piece and also in his use of techno and unconventional materials.
In the Maticevski showroom in Paris we were welcomed by one of the collection’s stand-out evening looks.
For Winter 16 we have collaborated with Maticevski to create several pieces exclusively for Parlour X. We love the wrap top and dress which as well as Ink Blue will also be available in crisp white and feature a shorter sleeve.
You can’t go past a Maticevski skirt silhouette and we love the Eminence silhouette, a fluted style in black with tonal bonding. We also love a pair of statement flared pants that we have customised to have cropped.Toni and Eva in the Maticevski showroom in the Marais.
COMME DES GARCONS
As one of the most theatrical and artistic fashion labels in the world, Comme des Garcons consistently presents fantastical and avant grade collections. Creative director and founder Rei Kawakubo is a fashion force and icon and every season creates collections where every garment shown is essentially a piece of art.
This season Kawakubo created her collection whilst “imagining punks in the 18th century, which was a time of so many revolutions”. The collection was filled with rose printed jacquards and brocades that would not look out of place at Versailles.
Velvet also featured throughout the collection in a beautifully rich red and intense black and featured on the more wearable pieces in the collection.
Inside the Comme des Garçon’s showroom the runway looks are displayed for buyers to see and touch the garments. You will never see more people dressed in Comme des Garcons than in this showroom!
Our selections included classic cotton shirting in navy, black and white with contrast embroidery at the bib, Comme’s signature gaberdine culottes and a velvet story which will be available in a skirt, pants, and oversized jacket in a deep red and classic black.
We also loved these culottes in an rich oriental jacquard that references many of the fabrications from the runway show.
This season’s Junya Watanabe collection is inspired by the designer’s own love for classical mathematics and geometry. The inspiration was made clear before the show even began with the invitation featuring mathematical equations and geometrical designs (albeit all in German). Watanabe is known for his fascination with this subject matter and although this fascination has often been translated in other collections, it is his Winter 16 offering that truly reflects his obsession with advanced math and geometry.
Watanabe has created a collection that consists of 3-D Laser cut origami structures in shades of black with splashes of pink, red and cobalt blue thrown into the mix. While past collections from Watanabe have hinted at his geometrical fascination, this collection declared it for the world to see with ponchos, head pieces and skirting constructed in 3D hexagons, squares and rectangles.
After the show, we were excited to see how the inspiration and very avant-garde inspiration would translate into a wearable collection. We were not disappointed and love our selections from the showroom.
Our selections include a beautifully cut and structured high neck blazer with a cinched waist and a trench-style cape with the same high neck silhouette. We have also chosen a fantastic double breasted oversized jacket that Junya has produced in previous seasons. This season he offers this style in neoprene and it is a perfect everyday jacket.
We also love this asymmetrical denim skirt with a plaid checked under skirt. Watanabe has been growing a name for himself with his denim separates and Watanabe lovers will love this style for its drape and classic Junya silhouette.
The detail and precision that goes into every piece from the runway collection is awe-inspiring. Being able to see these pieces up close is a rare opportunity and we love visiting the Junya Watanabe showroom to see this Japanese artistry in the flesh.
Founded in 2012 by Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci, Strateas Carlucci has become one of the most exciting and dynamic emerging Australian labels. The creative duo behind the label focus on construction and tailoring and have an aesthetic built on structure and minimalism. With our first collaboration with Strateus Carlucci in-store now, we were excited to see their Winter 16 collection and discuss our next collaboration.
Our selection for Winter 16 includes a leather story in this season’s signature harness top, a fantastic mini skirt and a boxy turtleneck top. We also love the stripe print that features throughout the collection and will receive this horizontal stripe in a classic shirt dress and boxy top. Finally we found an amazing black bark print jacquard fabric in the collection that will be available in the harness top and other silhouettes.
Eva with Peter and Mario-Luca in their Paris showroom.
Our final showroom appointment for the AW16 season is Balenciaga. Balenciaga’s parent company, Kerring, has just finished a 5 year renovation of the old Laennaec Hospital in the 7th arrondissement and it is here that Balenciaga now calls home.
Walking into the courtyard we were over-whelmend by the extensive grounds and classic French architecture of Balenciaga new headquarters.
The showroom itself is housed in what was originally the convent attached to the hospital and was built in the 1600’s. The building reflects its religious origins, it is built in the shape of a Christian cross and is the oldest building on the site.
While the courtyard was overwhelming, the interior of the showroom was awe inspiring. The walls are made of a smooth light beige sandstone and the furniture, tables and flooring all compliment the natural colour of the stone. With high ceilings, the space is surprisingly quiet and calm for a busy showroom and in the centre of the building is a meeting spot and when we entered new designer Demna Gvasalia was casually chatting with his team.
There is an openness and modern feel to the new showroom and we were excited to see the new creative direction of Balenciaga.
The 44 runway looks were displayed as you entered the showroom.
The Balenciaga show was this season’s most anticipated on the fashion schedule. With the appointment of Vestments’ Demna Gvasalia as the new Artistic Director, the fashion world has been abuzz to see the ‘new’ Balenciaga.
The show was held at a television studio in a room completely covered in grey sound-proofing material. As an introduction to the audience, a small card was left for each person explaining the inspiration and thought process behind the collection, “A reimagining of the work of Cristobal Balenciaga - a wardrobe of absolute contemporaneity and realism imbued with the attitude of his haute couture. A translation, not a reiteration. A new chapter.”
The translation was a good one. Demna had spent the previous 6 months immersing himself in the Balenciaga archives and from this research he created a collection that focused on the idea of “couture attitudes transforming a modern, utilitarian wardrobe”. These couture attitudes were presented in the form of exaggerated waistlines on jackets and coats, cocoon shapes in skirts and blouses, and jackets fastened in various ways to be worn off the shoulder or on.
The idea of fastening played a key role in our selection and we chose a sports jacket and denim jacket in this story that can be worn both off the shoulder or pulled up to be worn as a swing coat.
Also part of this same fastening story is this incredible leather jacket. Like the sports and denim jacket, this style can be worn two ways. In creating these styles, Gvasalia intended for the Balenciaga woman to be able to wear these garments in a variety of ways, and in doing so transforming perceptions of the same woman each time the garment is worn differently.
Alexander Wang’s collections for Balenciaga had been dominated by a black and white colour palette, so it was refreshing to see bursts of bright colours and patterns throughout the Winter collection. The patterns that featured on dresses and blouses had been pulled directly from the archives (some having never been used before) and meshed together in a distinctly Vehement-esque way. The key colours of the collection were pink, yellow, orange, lavender and indigo, which even translated to the floral displays in the showroom!
We loved this sleeveless blouse that featured a yellow paisley print that came directly from Balenciaga’s archives from thr 1950's.
This jacket is the perfect representation of Gvasalia’s couture theme for his winter collection. With exaggerated shoulders and a structured waistline, this jacket is meant to make the wearer have a classic “sylphlike couture pose - a profile of concave stomach, arched back and poised hips”. This style will be available in the two-button style shown above and also a tuxedo one-button jacket and coat.
The ‘new' Balenciaga extended to footwear and we loved these classic pumps with a slanted heel. Although they look daunting they are easy to wear and are an incredibly chic addition to Balenciaga’s footwear catalogue.
The jewellery selection this season was incredible. Earrings were oversized and gave statement a new meaning. We loved these huge safety pin earrings, available in both silver and gold, and also an entire story focused on different types of pins.
For his first Balenciaga bag, Gvasalia approached the design with his signature method of taking the ordinary till it becomes extraordinary. Our favourite bag this season is Gvasalia’s take on casual market bags, constructed in striped colour leather and available in a cross-body and shoulder style.
The new Balenciaga is a revelation and we cannot wait for the collection to arrive in July 2016!
Another fantastic buying trip over, looking forward to Resort SS17 in July!