Paris Fashion Week: Chanel, Giambattista Valli, Shiatzy Chen and Esteban Cortazar knock it out of the park in spring/summer 2019
TWO MOST SURPRISING MOMENTS
- It's not that we're jaded, but a jaw-dropping set is pretty much expected at this point when one goes to a Chanel runway show. The maison has only consistently outdone itself with each passing season; Google Chanel rocket ship, Chanel grocery store, Chanel rainforest and Chanel casino. And those are just the core seasonal presentations, the more impressive cruise sets notwithstanding. So our surprise this time came not from the actual beach Chanel transported into Grand Palais (as crazy and wonderful as it was), but from fashion folk's willingness to ruin their precious shoes on the wet sand for a stellar OOTD. But then again, anything for the 'gram right?
- Of all the venues in which we've been so privileged to watch a show in the spring/summer 2019 season - Chanel's indoor ocean, Hermès' outdoor nirvana at Hippodrome, Celine's Hôtel des Invalides "nightclub", Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood's underground garage - Giambattista Valli's left us most perplexed. Surely the exhibition center at Palais des Congrès, just an escalator ride away from the shopping floor of Les Boutiques Du Palais, is far from fitting for the maison's runway collection presentation.
FOUR TRENDIEST ACCESSORIES
- Diet Prada moment: Chanel's C-H-A-N-E-L gold chain necklaces and belts looks rather similar in style to Moschino's versions from fall/winter 2014, albeit hyper glamourised. Still, we love them (and Moschino's just the same) as they evoke completely different emotions, especially Chanel's diamond danglers. Adding to that pre-order list.
- Sun damage is no joke. We — and Chanel — take our protective measures very seriously, as evidence by our endorsement of the double-brimmed straw cap offering coverage and ventilation simultaneously. By the way, it says CHA on the front and NEL on the back. Luxury fashion must be sartorially minded from all angles.
- Wearing a precious stone pendant alone can give off dowdy mother-of-the-year vibes. Giambattista Valli attempts (and succeeds) the obliteration of the stereotype by piling on stones of different colours and sizes atop each other then matching them with a separate pendant drop to make a new kind of all-ages statement piece.
- Another necklace trend we spotted hung low and heavy. Esteban Cortazar's drop necklace with acetate pendant, graphic as they are, have the appearance of softness thanks to the thin strip of white leather harness holding on across the chest. Styling tip: bag wise, carry a top handle on your palms or shrug on a mini crossbody that sits right above the accessory.
SEVEN FAVOURITE LOOKS
- Chanel look #23: Where there is a beach there are bound to be nautical themes. Aside from the stripes — which is a given — Karl Lagerfeld put function in his fantastic fashion, by way of clips that bring together two quilted crossbody bags (a design feature mostly reserved for nylon drawstring gym bags) and anchor-shaped hooks to hold those logo slippers with acetate heels when you want to feel the sand between your toes. Frills on hems ensure that we don't forge into sporty territory.
- Chanel look #48: Big on branding this spring/summer 2019 season, Karl Lagerfeld put Chanel's monopoly of the camellia flower on proud display in more than a couple looks, then followed it up with a spelling lesson of the brand name for those who are unfamiliar with the iconic symbol. Even without all that logomania, on it's own, the nude smock crop top and skirt plus the tall straw hat give us major reincarnated Audrey Hepburn vibes. We got the good kind of chills.
- Giambattista Valli look #4: Bridal boudoir sounds really tacky, like a cheap amateur collegiate photoshoot, so we're opting for a different kind of vocabulary for this stunner of a ruffled LWD in silk and lace, which we can imagine consumed more hours of needlework (by hand of course) than we can count with our fingers, particularly the weaving of the bodice. We're taking it upon ourselves to name it "le petit séduction".
- Giambattista Valli look #38: Andreas Kronthaler and Vivienne Westwood aren't the only designers swept away by amour this season. As John Lennon's 'Love' enveloped the room, Giambattista Valli's romance came in look after look, by way of blooming floral dresses with high-low skirts, complete with a bow cinching the waist for a babydoll effect. This love, one can't help but deduce, is the puppy kind.
- Shiatzy Chen look #8: The Chinese designer checked into fantasyland of moving mahjong tiles and jade rabbits running around pomegranate trees. This dreamlike state not only manifests on her delicate prints on the bomber vest here but also on her youthful silhouette. Observe the delightful mandarin collar in lace, and the shorts with smocked itty bitty shorts, the grown up version of little girls' underwear of yore. That's a throwback we haven't yet seen at fashion week.
- Esteban Cortazar look #1: It's a blazer! It's a blouse! It's a... frankly we're not too sure how to categorize the hunter green opening piece at the Colombian designer's spring/summer 2019 show. What we're sure of, is that the asymmetrical cut, the slither of skin exposed at the shoulders, the unexpected colourway for spring, and the blush leather shorts peeking out from under, they all work menacingly well together.
- Esteban Cortazar look #5: Another thing we're not sure of was where everyone was on Monday night. 30 minutes after the lights were meant to dim, half the first and second row seats remained empty, a rare depressing sight at an Esteban Cortazar show. Still, we were taken by most looks, and particularly relished how the gauzy strong-sleeved sweater were cropped just so a satin balconette bra (Lovely and risqué! Also seen at Marni) could play peekaboo. Sleek trousers mandatory to keep the gossip at bay.
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