This blog post will give you a behind the scenes look at my buying appointments in the Paris showrooms! BALENCIAGA The Balenciaga show was one of the most anticipated shows of the Autumn/Winter season as it was Alexander Wang’s first show for Balenciaga as Creative Director after the departure of Nicholas Ghesquiere’s last season. Wang’s vision for his first collection for Balenciaga was to go “back to the roots, identifying the codes of the house, and translating them into a functioning, full wardrobe". Jackets, trousers, blouses, and dresses came down the runway featuring many of Cristobel Balenciaga’s classic silhouettes. Wang added his own modern twist with marble prints featuring heavily throughout the collection and a colour spectrum of black white and grey. I took these shots during my Balenciaga buying appointment. The accessories this season also feature the marble prints that featured in the runway collection – also can be seen on Balenciaga’s classic bags and wallets. These are snaps I took of the showroom models wearing Balenciaga ready-to-wear pieces that Parlour X will be receiving next season. CARVEN Carven’s winter runway show was seen somewhat of a departure from Guillaume Henry’s previous French-prep aesthetic with zebra prints and the use of sheer fabrics in pastel hues of pink, blue and green starring in many of his pieces that came down the runway. However I felt that the classic Carven aesthetic was still present in the rounded coats, pinafores and knits that dominated the collection. Here is a shot from the Carven showroom of a line-book sketch of a few of the collection pieces. The above model snaps from the Carven buying appointment, is an example of the zebra prints and pastel hues of the runway show which featured throughout many of the pieces, including great skirts, knits and dresses. COMME DES GARCONS / COMME COMME DES GARCONS Rei Kawakubo showcased a spectacular collection for the AW13 Comme des Garcons runway show. Held in a converted metal workshop, Kawakubo presented what could be called a response to her SS13 ‘crushing’ collection with the juxtaposition of this collection which in the designer’s own words is a testament to the ‘infinity of tailoring’. Monochromatic hounds tooth and pinstripe featured in many of the intricately designed suits, however there were surprising bursts of coloured printed created by artist Daniel Michiels that kept the collection fun and bright, and of course very Comme des Garcons. These are pictures from inside the Comme des Garcons showroom of the runway pieces up close. Model shots that I also took inside the Comme des Garcons showroom of some of the pieces Parlour X will be receiving. Every season Comme des Garcons line Comme Comme holds an intimate presentation at the Comme Des Garcons headquarters in Place Vendome for a select few of which, I am amongst. These model shots show some of my selections from the Comme Comme showroom. This season many of the Comme Comme statement pieces have been continued in new fabrics and prints, including the signature peter pan collared shirts in gingham check and velvet respectively. EK THONGPRASERT Ek Thongprasert is a huge hit with Parlour X clients all over the world, every season. This season EK Thongprasert designs featured more angular embellishments and darker colour combinations compared with previous collections. ISABEL MARANT One of the most popular runway shows of every fashion season is the Isabel Marant show, and as usual for her many fans worldwide, she did not disappoint. Like many other designers this season, Marant’s AW13 collection was a slight departure from the past themes: the elaborate Hawaii-meets-Elvis-Cowboy aesthetic ,that dominated the past two show collections. This season we saw a more reserved and toned down Isabel Marant woman walk down the runway, with tonal embellished jackets, skirts and trousers in tones of black, cream and greys. JUNYA WATANABE
Junya Watanabe showcased another great runway show this season. Referencing many of his past collections, Junya this season focused on outerwear (as opposed to sportswear like his SS13 collection) with great leather jackets and coats. Like many of the shows this season, punk seemed to be an inspiration for Junya Watanabe, with plaid fabrics and zip panelling featuring through his collection in his jackets, trousers and blouses reflecting this formative influence from 1970’s London. Here I am in the Junya Watanabe showroom absolutely loving the plaid hats from this season’s collection. Snap shots I took of my model in selections from inside the Junya Watanabe showroom. KENZO Kenzo is a recent and very welcome edition to the Parlour X portfolio! This season’s collection introduced Kenzo’s new ‘EYE’ print which looks to be as popular as their signature Tiger print from past seasons. The collection – designed by Opening Ceremony designers – featured a warm colour palette interspersed with swatches of prints including polka dots and stripes. Shots taken from at the Kenzo showroom. I love the ‘EYE’ print that featured so heavily in many pieces I selected for next season – dresses, jumpers, trousers will all carry the new season print. Here is another shot from inside my Kenzo buying appointment. MARY KATRANTZOU
London-based designer Mary Katrantzou’s AW13 collection was distinctly darker this season than her previous season collections. Influenced by black and white impressionist photographic prints by Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz, Katrantzou presented many of her signature silhouettes with a darker and sharper edge. Colour, however was not entirely missing from the collection, with delicate screen prints of blossoming trees being scattered throughout the collection. Some close-up shots of sketches from the Line-book at the Mary Katrantzou buying appointment. Inside the Mary Katrantzou showroom I had the opportunity to see many of the runway prints on showroom models, up close and noticing the details in the prints and construction. PETER PILOTTO
This season, the London-based designer duo behind Peter Pilotto – Christopher de Vos and Peter Pilotto – presented exaggerated structural jackets, severely cut dresses and skirts and boxy cut blouses and shirts in aggressive tones of red, yellow and royal blue. Peter Pilotto’s signature 3D geometric prints were still present throughout the collection however many of the silhouettes this season were new to Peter Pilotto, making the collection fresh and innovative and one of my favourites of the season. RICK OWENS Rick Owens is always one of my favourite buying appointments. This season’s runway show theme was “Battle Scarred Heroism”, and as the models came down the runway you could see Rick Owens vision brought to life. Layered pieces, long flowing coats and tunics and shorts reflected the classic aesthetic of Rick Owens, but also showed the designer moving towards a new direction in regards to proportion and cut. Many classic Rick Owens’ pieces have been recreated this season – including his incredibly popular leather pants and the Robot Jacket. Oversized collars also feature heavily in this season’s collection, as well as the classic tee shirts and jersey pieces that Rick Owens has become synonomous with. Here is a shot of the Rick Owens runway show from the front row!SAINT LAURENT Along with Balenciaga, Saint Laurent was one of the most highly anticipated shows of the season as it was Hedi Slimane’s second show as the Creative Director of Saint Laurent and the follow up to his extremely popular SS13 show. The reviews were of course mixed when Slimane sent models down the runway channeling Courtney Love in Venice Beach California, in baby doll dresses, cardigans, fur coats, pinafores and ripped tights and biker boots. I actually did understand Slimane’s aesthetic and after seeing the runway show, I was looking forward to my buying appointment so I could see the garments up close. Here are some shots of the Saint Laurent showroom models wearing pieces from the AW13 collection. VALENTINO Lace detailing, beading and intricate pattern work all featured in this season’s Valentino collection. The AW13 runway show was one of the most beautifully presented shows of the season. Models draped in china blue, black and white lace came down the runway – white collars featured heavily in this season’s show as well as tailored A-line coats and of course Valentino red evening dresses. The Valentino showroom is always one of the most beautiful and elegant showrooms to attend at Paris Fashion Week. Next season Parlour X will be receiving the classic Valentino Rock Stud flats in the timeless black colour way but also in Valentino red and a striking royal blue colour! Here is a shot of some of the Valentino models inside the Valentino showroom and buying appointment – the amount of detail that each garment has is amazing!