Best shows from PFW SS17 Day 6: Balenciaga, Céline, Valentino and Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci

Best shows from PFW SS17 Day 6: Balenciaga, Céline, Valentino and Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci

Paris fashion week

Text: Dora Aljoofri-Shrestha Andrea Sim

Demna Gvasalia purveys everyday luxury, Phoebe Philo reflects on human complexity, Pierpaolo Piccioli enters a new beginning at Valentino, and Riccardo Tisci does crystal healing at Givenchy

The collection: When a designer takes the quotidian and whips a 'high' fashion item out of it, more often than not it possesses a rakish allure. Just take Nicolas Ghesquière's viral 2012 Egyptofunk Iron Maiden graphic collection also at Balenciaga, and earlier last week, the preposterously mundane bits of John Galliano's Margiela madness. Given that Demna Gvasalia's fall 2016 market-stall bags sold out as soon as they, well, hit the market, spring's progression only made sense: Oversized utility vests (looks 18 & 19), cap-sleeved puffer gillets (looks 36 & 37), latex trousers (looks 21 & 32) not unlike the sort you'll find in a Captain America halloween costume pack and, of course, SS17's reissue of those coveted market bags (looks 18 & 19). Not only does it make sense, but it'll make sales as well — and technically, isn't that Gvasalia's superpower?

Worth the investment: Ever since the revival of the strapped heeled sandal — now an indispensible choice of footwear from style savants on the street to the crowds as evening events — Balenciaga's architectural version is bound for a home run next retail season. To cop a pair of the square-toed heels, get on the mailing list of e-tailers like Net-A-Porter and Matches Fashion, or stake out your nearest Balenciaga store. Pick your poison.

Buro loves: The raincoats, and the fact that this designer single-handedly transformed the perception of waterproof polyester from satorial poison into a covetable stylistic trope, beginning with the rise of Vetements. 

The installation: American artist, Dan Graham whose work Phoebe Philo encountered at the Dia Art Foundation in New York was the starting point of the collection. Graham's art installation — an S-shaped glass sculpture — was part of the set design. "I love the fact that this pavilion by Dan Graham, made up of readily available corporate materials [two-way glass], offers an opportunity to question our present day, highlighting the complexities and contradictions of everyday life. Social interaction, fantasy and life in general are the main driving forces in my work and Dan Graham's installation is therefore an interesting and powerful way for me to present my collection to the audience," explained Philo.

The collection:
"I want to show that our bodies are bound to the world, whether we like it or not..." was the quote by Graham that sat on every seat at the show. Céline's spring/summer 2017 collection was a reflection of precisely that. It was a presentation of a woman's wardrobe with an unusual twist — figuratively and literally speaking. Power suits were fluid yet exaggerated (looks 1, 15, 21 & 33); trousers were rolled up to reveal another layer of fabric from within (look 2 & 9); and dresses were ruched and draped like a cape (looks 17, 24, 26, 39 & 42). Look closely and you'll noticed elements of deconstruction — cut-outs, raw hems, and a lace corset sewn on to a dress but left unhooked at the back (look 14).

The accessories:
If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, the way to a woman's heart is through her accessories — Céline arm candy to be specific. Every season, Philo presents covetable bags that have Philophiles amassing an extensive collection. This SS17 was no different. From this morning's show at Balenciaga, it was evident that the supersized bag is the new proportion to take on come spring/summer. At Céline, there were oversized and extra long tote bags that were worn nonchalantly carried with one handle on the shoulder and the other left hanging or held in the hand like a massive shopping bag. Shoes were the other talking point. Toe-ring sandals and ankle boots were purposely worn mismatched in colour — either black on one side and white on the other (look 16) or white on the right and red on the left (look 42).

The collaboration: A noticeable trend this SS17 is the numerous artist collaborations seen on the runway and ready-to-wear. At Valentino, renowned British artist, Zandra Rhodes, reinterprets artwork from renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch such as The Garden of Earthly Delights that was printed on a leather jacket (look 49).

The collection:
As the saying goes: "When one journey ends, another one begins." Such is the case for Pierpaolo Piccioli who steers the Valentino ship solo from this season onwards without his long-time friend and partner-in-crime, Maria Grazia Chiuri. For fans of Piccioli and Chiuri's combined aesthetic, that familiar romance was still in the air. The sole creative director opened his new chapter with a fairytale beginning. A parade of princess gowns (the kind we've come to expect from every Valentino show) floated down the runway billowing as the models walked. Each beautifully crafted in tulle and lace with intricate embroidery. Occasionally, there were a few leather, exotic skin and silk dresses thrown into the mix. All in all, it was a collection focused on wearability and one that will have loyal Valentino customers buying into.

Those mini lipstick box holders slung across the body because every woman needs a bag specifically for that. And those sword earrings just because we are fans of Game of Thrones

The venue: Held at the Jardins des Plantes, it is the first time any brand has shown at the botanical garden in front of Paris's Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. Situated outdoors at the plaza, guests were given insulating space blankets to keep warm as Paris officially moves into autumn.

The collection:
Was Riccardo Tisci inspired by crystal rocks and stones this spring/summer? Apparently so from the first three looks that came down the mirrored runway. Vivid colours  took its place in the form of blocking through sheer racer back slips worn under tight knit dresss (looks 13, 14 & 15) as well as stripes and polka dots in rainbow hues. The seventies silhouette was favoured for trousers while zippers and oversized pockets (also spotted at Marni) on jackets and coats — mainly in black and brown — were every bit functional. Coats could be turned into cropped jackets when unzipped all the way or unzipped halfway for a peplum look.

Front row:
The same guests — Courtney Love, Frances Bean Cobain, Irina Shayk and Kim and Kourtney Kardashian — who attended the Buro Fashion Forward Initiative party just three days ago also made an appearance at the Givenchy show. Other guests who sat front row were Lara Stone, Nicola Peltz and her brother Will Peltz, and of course, everyone's favourite IT couple of the moment, Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik.

Related stories: 
The best street style from Paris Fashion Week SS17 
The best street style from Milan Fashion Week SS17 
The best street style from New York Fashion Week SS17
The best street style from London Fashion Week SS17
Best shows from Milan Fashion Week spring/summer 2017
Best shows from New York Fashion Week spring/summer 2017
Best shows from London Fashion Week spring/summer 2017

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See all shows from Paris fashion week spring/summer 2017