Show reviews: Highlights from PFW fall/winter 2016 — Day 7

Show reviews: Highlights from PFW fall/winter 2016 — Day 7

Paris Fashion Week

Text: Dora Aljoofri-Shrestha Norman Tan Andrea Sim

Stella McCartney paraded tomboy signatures, Sacai was decisively rugged, Giambattista Valli flirted with florals, Hermès showcased a collection rich in execution, and Saint Laurent exhibited haute couture in lieu of ready-to-wear

The collection: Stella McCartney's fall/winter 2016 collection celebrated her design signatures with a sensual sense of humour and a tomboy edge. The effortless outing had plenty to offer, and for all kinds of occasions: Mannish tailoring in softly structured silhouettes for the working crowd (looks 12 and 29); lace slip dresses heightened with knife-pleating for cocktails and date nights (looks 3 and 11); tie-dye denim for weekend outings (looks 8 and 13); and slouchy knitwear for care-free lounging (looks 15 and 25). For eveningwear, luxurious touches such as metallic (look 37) and velvet (look 4o) were adopted to elevate each look. As for the sense of humour, swan motifs did the trick.

The soundtrack: Every season, editors and insiders look forward to Stella McCartney's upbeat runway tracks, and this outing was no different. The fashion industry was bopping their heads and tapping their feet to the debut of M.I.A's new single, Ola, exclusively released at the show.

Something you might have missed: An outspoken advocate for cruelty-free fashion, McCartney sent down puffer jackets that were feather free (looks 4, 19 and 32) and a cropped 'Skin Free Skin' bomber jacket (look 21).

The collection: Rugged. Not at first glance, but as always, Chitose Abe's aptitude for design lies in the draw to step up and take closer look. You'll find that the Sacai girl has turned her swagger on this season. There's a stomp in her gait as she goes about town kitted in wool-blend and puffer bomber jackets (looks 3 & 8), her smudged kohl-rimmed eyes and a no-nonsense top knot; a hint to tread carefully. Tulle, organza and lace — the ingredients to a whimsical outfit — by her books, are best worn unlined with fraying hems (looks 10 & 19). At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what she's decked out in. It's all about that badass attitude. 

Sacai slogan: Behind that tough girl exterior, lies a warm, sweet core that believes 'love will save the day'. But, she'll make you work for it — abstract interpretations of the phrase can be deciphered on looks 12 & 14.

Buro loves: The contrast of military insignia sprinkled on delicate, wispy pieces (looks 38 & 39). Because, that's really the FW16 Sacai girl in a summary. 

The collection: The Italian designer is ever true to the brand's persona. If Sacai fall 2016 could be compared to the fiery Vanessa Abrams from Gossip Girl, here we have the Serena van der Woodsens of the world. And, it doesn't hurt that Giambattista Valli himself counts the lithe and gorgeous Elena Perminova as a close friend and the brand's poster-girl. This season's appliquéd florals on his runway — the rule rather than the exception — came in monochrome pairings enlivened by the occasional primary colours (looks 4 & 10), cut in dainty ruffles and plissé (looks 14 & 31).

Favourite look: That achingly sweet Victorian gown (look 40). To die for.

Buro loves: The designer's brief flirtation with boyish tailoring. The understated boxy coat-dress (look 8) and shearling-collared bombers (looks 24 & 28) was a welcome contrast to the fall collection rich in detailing — here's looking forward to Valli changing things up in the seasons to come.

The collection: Artistic director, Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski was on a mission to showcase the house's expertise in materials through innovation and modernity. Materials were kept pure, but what elevated each look was its attention to detail and craftmanship. Think: Embroidery, herringbone patterns, studding and, of course, silk scarves. The looks might have appeared simple and minimalist to the naked eye, but were in fact different fabrications seamlessly and discreetly brought together to create a sophisticated and timeless collection of wardrobe classics.  

Something you might not have known: The palladium metallic studs that gave edge and attitude to feminine silhouettes were all meticulously placed by hand. 

Buro loves: Look 13 — A double-faced Shetland virgin wool and cashmere coat, high neck dress and high-waisted bermuda shorts, so perfectly layered together and simply accentuated with tobbaco coloured belt and boots.  

Rumour has it: That this will be Hedi Slimane's last show for Saint Laurent. And given the recent off-the-book decisions — relocating his FW16 men's show from Paris to Los Angeles to coincide with the Grammy Awards, and yesterday, showcasing haute couture in lieu of a women's FW16 ready-to-wear collection — the punters may just be right.

The location: Instead of the spacious Carreau du Temple in the Marais, Slimane opted for the stately Hôtel de Sénecterre, and cut the invite list to a curated 100 guests.  

Haute and handmade: Models walked down the spiral staircase in the newly renovated 17th century mansion — home to Saint Laurent's two new couture ateliers (one for dressmaking, the other for tailoring) — in 42 haute couture looks that reflected his signature punk-rock aesthetic. Statement shoulders dominated proceedings with micro-minis sporting ruffled peaks (looks 2, 22, 35 and 37); asymmetric cocktail dresses flaired with sequined or metallic shoulder accents (looks 27, 30, 32, 34 and 40); and strikingly, bulbous fur coats in electric primaries (looks 8 and 42). Very Lady Gaga mixed with the Bladerunner; especially with all the dark eye shadow, bright red lipstick, and metallic chokers routinely finishing off looks.

Favourite exit: That elegant all-black gown, with a sharp sweetheart neckline, paired with a sequined peak-shoulder blazer in look 38. Very classy, Mr Slimane. 

For all coverage of Paris Fashion Week fall/winter 2016, click here.