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Paris Fashion Week SS18: Céline and Valentino

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Paris Fashion Week SS18: Céline and Valentino
Céline rolls in the mud and Valentine tries its hand at athleisure

CÉLINE: GIVE ME CHOCOLATES
The set: The usual show space at Tennis Club de Paris, enveloped by a white dome and lined with seats covered in colourful quilts, was cosier than ever. "We're going to steal them after the show right?" asked a Singaporean blogger. Tempting!

The collection: We're not in the habit of condoning thinking inside the box, but it's a happy occasion to make an exception for designer Phoebe Philo. She opened the Céline spring/summer 2018 show with a band of boxy jackets, each lovelier than the one before. The first, a linen piece in olive, tailored slim and long sans lapels, set the bar high. Philo made a case for mud brown in the next numbers with jackets cut way past shoulders, only slightly tapered around the waist to reveal gorgeous plisse skirts of varying widths. There's a pink one in there too — paired with a yellow skirt worn with a purple crochet bralette — that secured a spot on editorial pages the moment we laid eyes on it. Philo was loyal to her colour palette throughout, styling her tunic-length knit polo T-shirts (spotted at Marni in Milan as well) with sleeveless jackets, but it was the halter neck tent dresses with tassel hems that won points. When she decided to do real colour, she went all the way, as seen with the paint swathed turtle neck dress with organza fringes tulip skirt teasing the legs, and the black-red-white bias cut frock with leather farthingale to exaggerate the hip proportions. Also available in all black, of course.

Something you might have missed: It's not a successful Céline show without excellent bags. On top of our list are the XXL colourblock shopping totes and the pillow clutches. So cute.

VALENTINO: DREAM A LITTLE DREAM
The inspiration: The moon — Pierpaolo Piccioli considers it "a bright and mysterious planet, a spot from which to view the beauties of the earth from another angle" — and the quest in making the ordinary, extra-ordinary.

The collection: Like many of his friends in the business, the designer was always harassed with the question: What's next? This season, Piccioli had stars in his eyes. He said that he wanted to make the mundane special again — a dangerous occupation, because what haven't we seen before? As his creations came floating around his fern garden, we realize that change doesn't always mean reinventing the wheel. Change can be small. Minute. Like a speck of moon dust, like a drawstring parka with baby blue sequin sleeves, like athletic layering in lilac, like slim cargo pants with bedazzled kneepads and utility pockets, like trapeze dresses with multiple necklines... all design elements new to Valentino. Worry not, the signature embroideries have secured their rightful place in the house codes, as did the red party frocks — only here, the shapes are freer and the cuts have travelled far distances from their Vatican influences. For one, the standout bloodshot piece was not a pussybow Roman-esque dress but a baggy velvet jumpsuit in the happiest shade of red we've seen. And the best sequin numbers weren't completed with tulle skirts. No, they sported dipped armholes and necklines to reveal corduroy bralets. #Musthave

Try this: Tone-on-tone has been established as a major upcoming trend for spring/summer 2018. Stay ahead of the pack by mixing your own monochromatic outfits; just remember that there's more to the style than a coalition of blacks.

Catch up on all coverage from Paris Fashion Week spring/summer 2018

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