Show reviews: Highlights from PFW fall/winter 2016 — Day 3

Show reviews: Highlights from PFW fall/winter 2016 — Day 3

Paris Fashion Week

Text: Dora Aljoofri-Shrestha Andrea Sim

Lanvin shows without Alber Elbaz, the Carven girl travels to the Himalayas, Olivier Rousteing presents his Balmain Barbies, Clare Waight Keller's Chloé woman traverses the globe, and Vetements continues to play by its own rules

The inspiration: French writer Anne-France Dautheville known for her appetite for adventure. Biking solo across three continents in the '70s, it was her tenacity and gutsy spirit that designer Clare Waight Keller looked to portray, capturing the intrepid Chloé woman through a wordly lens.  

The collection:
Keller's affinity for the bohemian '70s shines through every season, no matter her inspiration. The fall/winter edit proposed a travelling band of daredevils: Firstly, the resilient nomadic gypsies (looks 20, 25 & 31); Indiana — or should we say India — Jones, the whip-holding fearless voyager (look 7); and lastly, the speed demon unafraid to burn some rubber à la Dautheville (looks 4 & 22). Outerwear's aplenty and in line with Keller's fall 2016 narrative — the worn-in buttery leather and shearling pullover (look 5), rainbow-hued blanket (look 13), and modest fur coat — much resembling a flea market find rather than luxury fur — are our absolute favourites. Here's to #KeepingItReal.

Worth the investment:
Anything that comes in leather. Sure, the airy gypsy frocks are whimsically gorgeous, but that's every season for Keller going by her track record. A rare find from the designer however, would be the leathers that will have you itching for a racuous adventure in the desert. And that by our books, is what aspirational shopping really is.  

The inspiration: Artistic directors, Adrien Caillaudaud and Alexis Martial were inspired by Kathmandu, Nepal. Imagine this: The Carven girl takes a trip to the mystical Himalayan capital taking in the chaotic sights, sounds and psychedelic underground culture and returns back to the groove of her city life. She brings what she has experienced and incorporates it into her wardrobe. Think: Sherpa knits, mountaineering gear and a collection dipped into a kaleidoscopic colour palette — a subtle nod to the once fabled escapist city for the hippie contingent. 

I spy:
Shearling makes a return this season as the fur of choice — seen on coats, dresses, collars and belts (looks 5, 8, 12 and 21). However, if you're anti-fur, Carven's FW16 collection has got you covered — literally. Here are your options: A vinyl trench coat for the femme fatale (look 40); puffer and bomber jackets for the sporty (looks 38 & 43); and crochet blanket scarfs for the magpie (looks 7,9 & 42).   

Something you might have missed:
Sequin embellished crop toga bibs (looks 36 & 38) tied to the back with ribbons that you can take on and off as and when you feel the need to throw on some sparkle. Simply genius. 

Hair swap: It seemed like Olivier Rousteing had for some reason, given the directive to toy with the blondes and brunettes walking in his show. Gigi Hadid and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley took to the Balmain runway in brunette 'dos, while Kendall Jenner and Binx Walton made their appearance fair-haired with roots to boot. In light of the Snapchat face swap filter having blown up as of late, we can't help but wonder if this is the digitally savvy designer's apppropriation of social media in reality. 

The collection:
As always, Rousteing at Balmain is all about the proportions — and by that we mean presenting the contours of the body on a silver platter. The fall/winter collection opened with a uniform colour palette of blush pink (looks 3, 10 & 11), ice blue (looks 15 & 16), and silver grey (looks 1, 2 & 5), and wound down with a remix of the house's signature gilded opulence and stripes. First thought: Real-life Barbies. Nipped waists, hourglass corsets and long, lean gams encased in suede were the recurring tropes in the designer's fall 2016 outing. 

Buro loves:
That it was as if Rousteing's usual design code was thrown into a cotton candy machine for a sugar-coating in sweet pastels. The rich, dark opulence of Balmain remained, but not without a generous dash of whimsical icing on top of the cake. 

In the interim: It must be daunting — scary even — to design in place of a man who has established himself with the know-how of clothing the female body better than most females do. Chemena Kamali and Lucio Finale stepped up to the plate as the ringleaders this season, and brought to life a fall 2016 collection stitched together by the womenswear team. 

The set and location:
Held at the Lycée Carnot (a Secondary School) in Paris to a backdrop that was the palest of peach, this could be the maison sending its audience a message: That the fall/winter season was a learning journey for their people, while maintaining a clean slate — in comparison to Elbaz's fashion theatre last season — in wait for their next design successor. 

The collection:
A focus on texture and prints that served to empower women. Sharp cropped jackets (looks 26 & 42), power shoulders (looks 3 & 5) and body conscious silhouettes were presented in fluted hems (looks 1 & 30) — Lanvin may take notes from the gents, but only to repurpose it in a flattering and feminine form. Luxurious details came along in metallic plissé (look 38), Edwardian lace (look 44), and fur stoles draped nonchalantly over the shoulder (look 21).  

The brand: Headed by Demna Gvasalia, the now artistic director of Balenciaga set to show his first collection this Sunday, Vetements is the voice against the current of society. Conventions and traditions go out the window with this cult label — a few seasons in and Gvasalia has since drawn up a fashion map of his own and placed it in the hands of the industry. 

The collection:
A subversive offering driven by a handful of angst-ridden slogans (look 9). Proffering uniforms straight out of the school of Vetements, shirts were left untucked under jackets three sizes too large and neckties transformed into chokers (looks 3 & 4). But, what would the brand's collection be without a variation of their now famous hoodie? "May the bridges I burn light the way", was this season's choice tidbit on the garment (look 25). Gvasalia is ulitimately the Sid Vicious to our generation, but instead of pooling together pennies for pin-up glossy posters, expect to shell out north of a thousand dollars for Vetements' merchandise. 

Buro loves:
The styling — the epitome of rule breaking. Florals with jarring tattoo-printed boots? Sure. Exaggerated shoulders primed for the American football pitch? Why not. And, our personal favourite, the outerwear slung through a hoop attached to the belt (looks 6 & 7). The number of f*cks given? None.  

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