Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012-Winter 2013 Highlights | Day 3 (Part 1)

Nicolas Ghesquière’s latest collection for Balenciaga was on ode to the office gal. Seriously, it was! The line-up of very wearable separates looked like they channeled the Nine to Five gals with high-waist skirts, blouses, little dresses. His fox jacket was so fresh and so versatile it may become one of his signature looks for the season.

Carven showed a quirky collection that, though it  looked somewhat pedestrian,  was actually constructed from very expensive materials; perhaps that is why the looks seemed more appealing to buyers than editors.   The designer, Guillaume Henry credited the great Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch’s masterpiece, The Garden of Earthly Delights, for his inspiration for this collection. He must see the world through a happy lens because the  surreal perversity of the painting was entirely missing here… this collection was filled with youth and optimism.

British teenage pop sensation Mika and his single “We Are Golden” may be to music what Manish Arora’s latest fall 2012 collection is to fashion – pure fun! The reason this collection works within its own  insanity is because Mr. Arora is a true professional who knows how to cut a suit and create a classic gown like the best of them. Yet he is completely comfortable and confident in doing  his own thing, listening  to his own drums. He’s also the man behind Paco Rabanne, which couldn’t be more different. So it’s not surprising that he uses his namesake label as an outlet. Look closely at the looks. Where is the fur? Where is the chiffon? Look closely!  He is a master painter in all materials.

For those who love polite fashion, Sharon Wauchob comes to the rescue. She does lovely dresses and  “investment” outerwear with enough modernity to please any connoisseur’s critical eye. This collection wasn’t a departure; she delivered pretty looks with enough innovative details to still titillate the senses. She played with visual asymmetry this season and kept the hemlines cropped clean. The asymmetry came in shifting focus from one side of the body to the next as with pleats on skirts/dresses and fur details on coats.

The Balmain of today is sadly not the Balmain of yesteryear. But it must be acknowledged that this collection, under the new tutelage of Olivier Rousteing, is a huge improvement from the Balmain of more recent seasons.   Not to be mean-spirited, but the Christophe Decarnin legacy needs to be forgotten altogether (and for good reasons). This particular collection showed immense improvements on all fronts from the cuts to embellishments, which are so dear to the Balmain heritage. The boxed-squared shoulders were even more angular than in previous collections, but when paired with flowy velvet pants, the look was fresh and chic.

We’ve only barely dipped our toe into the Paris Fashion parade…..stay with us for more!

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