BALENCIAGA: DOUBLE LIFE
A new chapter: Delivered by the wunderkind who rocketed from zero to hero in the public eye in a mere six months or so, Demna Gvasalia sure had clout at the near century old Spanish house. The ringleader of the Paris-based design collective debuted with the grit of Vetements on the Balenciaga runway, albeit refined and polished, for acclimation's sake or for the man and founder himself, the late Cristóbal.
The collection: It doesn't matter that the Balenciaga woman will not take to the streets — Gvasalia is content with taking the streets to her. The result? A double life. Reputable and nondescript white-collar professional by day, and intriguing underground insider by night. Without the grungey razzmatazz of the Vetements show, the designer's tattered plaid surfaced as working-class checks (looks 1 & 5); the saloon thigh-high boots made an ultra-sleek cameo (looks 3 & 15); and the highbrow edition of his oversized shirts sported side slits and neater dartings (looks 18 & 21). Come nightfall, the patchworked florals (looks 29 & 31), cut-and-sew denim jackets (look 22), and structural windbreakers (looks 6 & 10) layered over glittery knits come out to play. Brilliant.
Buro loves: The sunglasses replete with matte, chunky chains (looks 8 & 9), an accessory we're prepared to see take over the sidewalks next season. Also, the styling of the outerwear. Channel Gvasalia's ingenuity by wearing your badass leathers half-zipped and pulled back (look 20) — it'll serve up more attitude than even Kristen Stewart can muster on her surliest day.
CÉLINE: CLASSICS WITH A TWIST
The collection: "Finding new possibilities and finding stillness in it": Those were the exact words Phoebe Philo used to describe Céline's fall/winter 2016 collection. What new possibilities were she talking about? It was a simple case of looking for brand new ways to approach fabrications. Volume and texture were the key words here. Silhouettes were elongated or fit and flared; proportions were boldly wide and extreme; and textiles were given three dimensional touches with pleating and ruching. It may seem like a quiet outing as compared to the seasons before, but look closer and one can see that this was a collection of recognisable Philo signatures executed with textural experimentation.
Buro loves: The oversized shirts with exaggarated cuffs worn with matching kick-flared trousers flopping with each step taken (looks 10, 12 & 31); and the minimalist sleeveless utilitarian coats made in garbadine (looks 3 & 5). We can already think of the endless styling options the coat renders in tropical climates.
Cold feet: Just for Philo, we would brave the cold to put on those covetable leather strapped sandals.
GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI: CALLING CLEOPATRA
The inspiration: Ancient Egypt, with its tales of immense wealth and not so much, callous sovereignty. Naturally, the Cleopatran infleunces led Riccardo Tisci's fall 2016 outing.
The collection: A microcosm of the high life, set in a time before Christ. The keywords? Gold and exotic. The luxurious hue commanded the parade of frill-necked dresses, screened with illustrations of the Eye of Horus and the evil eye. Snakeskin was in abundance, giving knee-high boots and coat dresses a beyond-luxe upgrade. But, it certainly felt like Tisci was unecessarily safe this season — even the standout metallic armour tops (looks 1, 2 & 42) and gilded boleros (looks 22 & 43) were at best a reincarnation of his graphic robots and infatuation with baroque.
Model moments: What would a Givenchy show be without Tisci's muse Mariacarla Boscono (look 16) and haunting beauties Bella Hadid (look 12) and Issa Lish (look 50)? In true Cleopatran spirit, most of the designer's line-up sported short, curly wigs or buzz cuts (look 34) — the queen's razor-sharp bangs is actually a myth, perpetuated by the silver screen.
For all coverage of Paris Fashion Week fall/winter 2016, click here.