Best shows from PFW SS17 Day 7: Stella McCartney, Sacai, Hermès, Alexander Mcqueen and more
Paris Fashion Week
STELLA MCCARTNEY: ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
The atmosphere: Swopping out last spring's invigorating hues for pure fervour and galvanising energy by way of a dance, Stella McCartney's models gave Paris the perfect pick-me-up it needed — trooping out for the show's final "walk" in upbeat choreography. "I wanted the message to be love. I wanted it to be soulful, sometimes you have to spell it out," the designer explained on Instagram, signing off with a hug. In essence? #GoodVibesOnly and a true daughter of The Beatles, because, at the end of the day, All You Need is Love...
The collection: And spell it out she did. Known for opposing the use and consumption of leather and fur, catchphrases 'Thanks Girls', 'no leather' and 'no fur' were the focal point of the English designer's cut-and-sew tees (look 26), paper bag trousers (look 31), skin-tight bodysuits (looks 34 & 35) and lace dresses (looks 36, 37 & 39).
Saving the best for last: From a collection that commenced on an austere note parading the latest McCartney shapes — built in corsetry for that hourglass silhouette topped with leg-of-mutton sleeves which upped the constrast — the designer's build-up was nothing short of precise and dare we say, perfect. Like a good DJ knows how to manoeuvre the troughs and peaks of a tune to bring about that optimum burst of high, McCartney timed her message and dancing girls like a pro — an infectious vivacity that must've left even the most deadpanned of attendees smiling on the inside.
SACAI: POP ICONS
The inspiration: It may not have been obvious that Sacai's spring/summer 2017 collection was heavily influenced by the style of famous pop-culture icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and John Lennon — just to name a few. That's the beauty of Chitose Abe's work. Nothing is too literal except maybe for the Daniel Johnston 'Hi How Are You' t-shirt that Cobain wore to the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards (looks 15, 14 & 17).
The collection: Where do we even begin? Hands down our favourite collection at Paris Fashion Week so far, Abe continues to blow minds away with every passing season. Take your time to survey the first to last look, and you'll spot signature pieces iconic of each pop-culture legend she was inspired by. Looks 4 (that military band jacket) and 5 were her quirky (yet cool) spin on Jimi Hendrix's style. Look 6 was Jane Birkin's trench coat look given the Sacai treatment. But what truly captivated us was how the mishmash of fabrications (looks 19, 29, 35 & 43), details and the parachute silhouette came together so seamlessly. From pinstripes and shirtdresses to tartan and camo done in sheer or lace, there is a whole lot of something for everyone.
The accessories: Sacai bags made its debut this SS17. Available at Colette from today, the bags are designed by renowned British designer Katie Hillier, who also owns her own fashion label, Hillier Bartley together with long-time partner and friend, Luella Bartley. You may remember the duo as the creative director and ready-to-wear design director of Marc by Marc Jacobs before the brand collapsed.
GIAMBATTISTA VALLI: FASHION FLORIST
The collection: Giambattista Valli has grown synonymous with florals, and as with every season, it didn't take long for the designer to live up to his name. On look 2 cut with a flirty flounce hem; look 8 with a ruffled one-sided sheer dress; and look 20, spliced with geometrics and lace. Those, and pretty much everything else in between — a honeyed outing of blooms put together with his society clientele in mind.
Favourite look: That lace, pseudo Victorian blouse tucked into straight-leg trousers in working class grey — something for the lady who's not just straight-up feminine.
Worth the investment: The minimalist, ribboned sandal that completed many an outfit (looks 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and more), a versatile piece that'll elevate even the most varied style personalities.
HERMÈS: EASY BREEZY
The collection: Today at Hermès, the mood was relaxed with guests sipping champagne in the sun before entering the minimalistic white show space. That ease of summer continued on when models came strutting down the runway in the comfiest of summer apparel for both work and play. Silhouettes were classic yet modern and sophisticated. Think: Knit dresses, shirtdresses (in supple leather, of course), high-waisted trousers, and lots of shirts. From a brand that knows and values the finest leather, lambskin was carefully crafted into fringing (looks 40 & 41) and dresses smocked at the waist were executed in calfskin. Then there was that fringed horsehair Toupet bag (look 31). Simply exquisite.
Favourite look: The poplin broderie anglaise shirt in look 22 paired with high-waisted tuxedo trousers in satin, and accentuated with a natural beige belt. The open work motif of the shirt was inspired by the Cavalcadour fantôme scarf and done by hand.
Something you might have missed: Trousers came designed with extra large back pockets and a key ring where accessories were hung from. We can't stop thinking about hanging charms in our initials — a new way of personalising your clothes.
SONIA RYKIEL: GONE, BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN
A tribute: As the French designer's passing barely two months ago weighed down on the industry, it couldn't have been more onerous than for friends and family. Including the brand's creative director Julie de Libran. A way in which she bore that weight was to assure her audience that the house's dame will always be Sonia Rykiel: From the red-haired models to the iconic variegated stripes (looks 14 & 17) and that French-infused flirty femininity the late fashion pioneer stood for.
The collection: While it's hard to look at the collection without being reminded of Sonia at almost every turn, there are moments where you catch a glimpse of de Libran: In that top-stitch outer seamed with zippers just waiting to be deconstructed (look 11), the 'perforation' sewing on trousers (looks 3, 6, 9 & 13) and, that singular flowing, lace cape that suggests a darker chapter to come in de Libran's sunny French romance.
Favourite leitmotif: The frayed ties and ribbons left trailing on everything from sailor tops (look 1), tunics (look 6) and oversized knits (looks 8 & 13) to the zippered and grommetted outers (looks 11 & 27). Fabulously undone.
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: GOING UP NORTH
The inspiration: Scotland's Shetland, home to rolling greens, sea-foam capped blues, and thatched roofs... almost another world for today's city denizen.
The collection: Unsurprising it was, that Sarah Burton gave up her gothic and ethereal leanings in a few intances, where Fair Isle jumper dresses (looks 10 & 11) merged with kilted tartan suits (looks 13, 14 & 15). Bouncing back to her modus operandi soon enough, the designer evoked the good, bad and ugly of any romance in the floral embroidered leathers (looks 24 & 28), light appliquéd and ruffled dresses (looks 20, 25, 26 & 27), gothic sheer brassieres and suits (looks 30, 31 & 32), and her usual transluscent gowns saturated with embellishments — a Burton and McQueen signature that has yet to lose its awe-inducing appeal (looks 42 to 45).
On our wishlist: The host of hardware (yet another takeaway from Burton's Shetland expedition) the entire model lineup sported. Chrome shoulder dusters, chokers stacked with charms, studded leather bralets and belts — all very ball and chain in Burton fashion (looks 1, 4, 6 & 17).
EMPORIO ARMANI: ROAD TO INDIA
The collection: It seems like Mr Armani will never give up his blues, but in his first Emporio Armani show in 18 years, these staple hues came more dynamic than before — tinged with a wordly air. Its sheen, prints and tailoring a nod at the rich culture and history of India; where decorated elephants — commonly seen at Jaipur's Elephant Festival — dotted the Mandarin collared ensembles, a signature of Indian kurtas (looks 14 & 15). Silks were aplenty in billowing trousers with tuxedo lines of embroidery (look 29 & 50) and, of course, the design signature of saris where a contrasting banding or 'tail' is the outfit's focal point, manifested on blazer (look 6, 29 & 54) and trouser cuffs (looks 6 & 7) for Giorgio Amarni.
Something you might have missed: The storyteller in this designer. Seen in a series of patches à la look 41, make what you will of the gingko leaves, the Indian peafowl's plumage, and one decadent elephant.
Hey, boys: While Armani brought the rich embroidery and icons of India over for the ladies, the gents are hardly missing out: Those needlework floral slacks (look 67) are what the dandy should pick up in stores.
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