Au Revoir Paris! Tuesday concluded that last of Fashion Weeks shows in the City of Lights, and every show had a strong message, and killer designs. My particular favorites from this rund were McQueen and Louis Vuitton (though Chanel did have a life-sized space shuttle launch out of the Grand Palais). And with this post, Fashion Month officially ends. See you in September (from Italy instead of New York!!) for Spring '18 shows!
The house of Givenchy was founded in 1952 by Hubert de Givenchy, who is a member of La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, et du Pret-a-Porter, and studied at Le École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He worked alongside Pierre Balmain and Christian Dior in thier youth, until eventually all founded thier own houses. In 1956, Givenchy was the second couturier to ever show a Ready-to-Wear collection, entitled: 'Givenchy University'. His closest and most noteworthy clients were Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Onassis Kennedy, Grace Kelly, and most of Europe's royalty and aristocracy. Givenchy was headed by Riccardo Tisci until Februrary 2017. A new Creative Director has not yet been chosen.
For the interim Fall collection, the Givenchy design team decided to pull looks from Tisci's past collections to present an ode, and amiable farewell to thier 10-year Creative Director. The looks were entirely in Red, the color of the season (no matter what Pantone says) and the collection was tastefully and artfully done. They even managed to creatively label each look at the year they were shown through dates printed on necklaces and sunglasses.
Hermes was originally founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermès, making high-quality harnesses and bridles for carriages. It wasn't until 1922 that the first handbags were introduced, and 1929, that the first couture collection was shown in Paris. the iconic scarves followed in 1937. Hermès has two iconic bags, the Kelly Bag (for Grace Kelly) and the Birkin Bag (for Jane Birkin). Patrick Thomas became CEO of Hermès is 2005, making him the first non-Hermès to head the company. Creative Direction is currently headed by Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski.
Vanhee-Cybulski has always tried to strike a balance between classic Parisian couture and the ebb-and-flow of modern trends. Hermès has always been a brand of timelessness and impeccable quality, so even though the designs were not necessarily fashion-forward or statement-making, they did make you want to touch and feel each garment, and gave an overall feel of classic sophistication, which is all Hermès has ever aimed to do. It should be noted, however, that Vanhee-Cybulski definitely added a level of tough-ness never seen at Hermès. Combat boots and chokers accessorized Parisian class, and it was a match made in heaven.
Lee Alexander McQueen was born in 1969 in Lewisham, London. He left school at 16 to become an apprentice on Savile Row, and eventually completed the MA course at Central Saint Martins. His entire 1992 graduation collection was bought by fashion stylist Isabella Blow, and it was her that propelled Alexander into stardom. He earned the title l'enfant terrible for his controversial and shock-tactic shows with titles like Highland Rape and Widows of Culloden. In 1996, he succeeded John Galliano at Givenchy until 2001, and continued to create some of his most controversial work, including is infamous VOSS show, up until his suicide in 2010. Sarah Burton took over as creative director following McQueen's death, she has continued his legacy, and designed Kate Middleton's wedding dress for her marriage to Prince William.
Burton has always had an affinity for nature and history, so to create her fall collection, she took her design team to Cornwall, England the southernmost part of the country to be inspired by the beautiful landscape and rich history of witchcraft and paganism that still runs through the land. the collection was a shimmering parade of delicate lace, intricate embroidery, witch-y symbols and flora e fauna motifs. Burton put her own name on the collection, while still holding true to Alexanders vision.
Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel was born in 1883 to a laundrywoman and a clothing peddeler, and after being orphaned at 12, grew up in a convent in France. She learned to sew at the convet, and after several stints at a stage career (which is where her nickname "Coco" came from) she delved into millinery, and eventually clothing, becoming more and more successful with each new category and storefront. She was registered as a couturière in 1919, and is best known for the invention of the Little Black Dress, freeing women from corsets, the 2.55 bag, and her iconic perfume. Chanel is currently headed by Karl Lagerfeld.
Karl always says he looks to the future, not the past, and for is Fall show, that is definitely what he did. The space-age Chanel squad strutted around a space-shuttle in shimmering lunar boots, weed tunics, and metallic stoles. There were constellations of Chanel pearls, and embellished headpeices that orbited each models hairline
Miu Miu was founded in 1993 by Miuccia Prada. Miu Miu was Miuccia's nickname from her family, and so when she decided to start a line targeted to a younger customer than Prada, she used it. Miu Miu is more colorful, playful, experimental, and fun than its parental brand, though Miuccia is head of both divisions.
Fashion Month hasnt been this political since the 1960's, and what is Miuccia Prada's response to that? In her opinion, "It’s about the madness of glamour, in front of an uncertain future”. Miuccia turned up the volume on her already colorful and playful collections. There were furs of every color, see-through plastic raincoats, voluminous skirts, and artful embroidery, all of which seemed to say go all out as an act of rebellion.
The French house was founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton making rectangular luggage that could easily be stacked on top of one another and had an unpickable lock. In 1896, the LV monogram canvas was created, and by 1959, the house was creating handbags. Louis Vuitton was named the most valuable luxury brand for six consecutive years, and has been headed by Nicolas Ghesquière since 2013.
Ghesquière's Fall collection was shown at none other than the Louvre in Paris. His collection was about breaking boundaries, and the multicultural demographics of the worlds most cosmopolitan cities. If not that, it was certainly a wardrobe for the residents of those cosmopolitan cities. Low-heeled boots of every shaft-height, long woolen or leather coats, and significantly paired-down evening dresses compared to his previous seasons. It's a collection for the modern urban woman of every age, ethnicity, and style.