Kanye West and Kenzo {the eclectic collections of paris fashion week that i love}

While the Kanye West S/S 2012 collection was a mixed bag of reviews, I kind of loved it. It spoke to Kanye’s swag, and did not steer away from his taste. It was hip hop couture in my eyes. Next up is Kenzo. Definitely out there and not necessarily wearable, but eclectic and cool. With Humberto Leon and Carol Lim running the show (of Opening Ceremony), what could be wrong? The collection was vibrant and full of life. Paris Fashion Week, you’ve officially trumped New York.

 

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Christian Dior Spring 2011 Couture

Galliano’s interplay of light and shade was carried throughout the show with brilliant execution. As Galliano said himself, this collection was definitely “technically challenging.” The embroideries and intricately designed silhouettes were all equally ornate and structured. To be honest, I was not a fan of the garments themselves, but I’d be a fool not to respect the opulence and beauty of this collection. Pencil skirts were a staple of the collection, and were featured in the more casual looks. Voluminous dresses were the name of the game for his evening gowns. With Galliano, you always get a real show.

Valentino Spring 2011 Couture

Valentino’s Spring 2011 Couture collection was the true definition of simple elegance. The collection featured only neutral colors, with a splash of Valentino red on two garments. “If fashion is about today, then today it’s time to go back to elegance,” said Piaolo Piccioli, one of Valentino’s collaborators. The delicacy of this collection was unreal. From lace and bows to flowers and plissé, it was Valentino at it’s best. What I found most fabulous, was how even with such simple silhouettes, the models walked with attitude, and not a spec of innocence. The clothes, pulled back hair, and subtle makeup only fooled the eye. As Maria Grazia Chiuri, the co-designer of Valentino stated, “elegance is subversive.”

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2011 Couture

Yet another outrageous collection from Gaultier in the spirit of his upcoming exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA). The exhibition will launch on June 17 and will stay through October 2, it will be called The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. It will include 120 looks, mostly drawn from his previous collections. Sketches, photographs, stage costumes, film excerpts from runway shows, concerts and dance performances are expected. Gaultier’s couture show was mostly neutral, but also included many bright patterns and splashes of color. All models went down the runway with a different variation of a colored mohawk. I am not usually Gaultier’s biggest fan, but I do respect his bold choices and creativity.

Chanel Spring 2011 Couture

Of course Karl unveils another perfect Chanel collection. The collection epitomized delicate sparkle. As Lagerfeld said himself, “I was sick of all those Eiffel Towers, sick of all those violent colors.” The silhouettes were graceful, the chiffons were all built on a sequined legging. In addition, all of the models wore ballet flats down the runway. Lagerfeld’s use of a neutral pallet was refreshing and effective. But the collection still captured the essence of Chanel has a brand. It was timeless and innovative. My two favorite looks from the collection were: the structured pink dress with ruffled skirt and black bow (photographed above), and black jacket with white collar and sequined leggings (photographed below).