Olivier Rousteing's Balmain model army Olivier Rousteing's Balmain model army © Balmain/Facebook

Paris Fashion Week FW16: Review

Utmost elegance took Paris by storm for this season’s fashion week, but are you really surprised?

by 09 March 2016

There’s no competition when it comes to which city’s fashion week is the best. Paris is all about elegance, class and timelessness. Chiffon, corsets, ruffles and lace are typical for Parisian fashion but are reinvented and incorporated in different ways every season to maintain Paris’ elegance, yet keep people on their toes. Only the best of the best show their collections during Paris Fashion Week, so you know you’re in for a treat.

Chanel

chanel-collageChanel

After the Chanel airport, casino, supermarket and an iceberg shipped from Sweden, I’m sure you were expecting something like a Chanel resort, right? Wrong. Karl Lagerfeld brought it back to the basics with all-white floor to ceiling room with gold ballroom chairs. Every guest had a front row view of the show and tried to keep up with models left and right. Before runways, this technique was used to show collections to clients in couture houses. Of course, all of Chanel’s signatures made an appearance: tweed suits, lace and strands on top of strands of pearls. Boater hats with the brims turned under, as hideous as they sound, actually completed each look in a sophisticated and fashionable way. To make this collection stand out, Lagerfeld introduced bright, eccentric pinks and blues. Once again, Lagerfeld reassured us that he can be completely innovative each and every season. www.chanel.com

Related: Milan Fashion Week FW16: Review

Giambattista Valli

valli-collageGiambattista Valli

Giambattista Valli’s chiffon cocktail dresses gracefully strutted down the runway as they always do. Known for dressing the most important, sophisticated women in society, such as Amal Clooney, Valli created a collection every elegant women wants hanging in her closet. Each piece had a feminine flair to it and most were flourishing with floral embroidery or patterns. The high-collared necks added a unique aspect to the dresses. www.giambattistavalli.com

Related: London Fashion Week FW16: Review

Balmain

balmain-collageBalmain

Olivier Rousteing certainly stirred up some commotion for Paris Fashion week with his newest collection for Balmain. Between Kim Kardashian as his muse and inspiration for the collection and swapping Gigi and Kendall’s hair colors, social media platforms had a field day. But besides all of the celebrity involvement in the runway show, Rousteing designed a collection fit for a queen, drawing inspiration from the Palace of Versailles during the Rococo period. Corsets, tassels, ruffles, lace and pearls perfectly complemented an airy colour palette of pale pink, cream and soft grays and blues. The monochrome neutral outfits and padded bubble miniskirts emphasising a woman’s curves mirrored his famous muse’s closet. www.balmain.com

Related: New York Fashion Week FW16: review

Stella McCartney

stella-collageStella McCartney

Unlike many designers in high fashion, Stella McCartney is proud to say no animals were harmed in the making of her collections. And why should they be? McCartney put an amazing collection down the runway, filled with puffer jackets with free of feathers and cropped bomber jackets, skin-free. This was the season of puffer jackets but McCartney set herself apart from the crowd by embellishing hers, fit for eveningwear. www.stellamccartney.com

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Valentino

valentino-collageValentino

Technology has very much made an impact in the fashion world. Now with the see-now-buy-now concept, designers have made pieces from their runway shows available for customers to order immediately after the show. Valentino’s collection and show take a step back from chaos the fashion world is headed into and illustrates living in the moment and slowing down. Taking inspiration from the ballet, the collection included everything from warm-up outfits for the ballet studio to tulle skirts for the final performance. Monochrome turtle necks, footless tights, silk velvet and embroidered skirts made the collection utterly beautiful. www.valentino.com

Related: A film lover's guide to Paris

Christian Dior

dior-collageChristian Dior

People are still mourning Raf Simmon’s resignation from Dior, but that hasn’t stopped studio heads Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux from holding down the fort and producing beautiful collections as the search for a new creative director continues. Black suits, pencil skirts and jackets took over the runway at Dior. Off-the-shoulder ensembles were popular among a few designers and especially prominent in this collection with different fabrics and textures including beautiful fur pieces. Each look was highly polished, and sleek from the clothes, to the hair and make-up this was Dior opulence at its best. www.dior.com

Related: What to pack for Paris this spring

Hermès

hermes-collageHermès

When you think, epitome of French fashion, what comes to mind? Hermès, of course! Leather and suede are two materials creative director Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski repeatedly masters and she certainly didn’t fall short this season. Flowing floor-length skirts and dresses elegantly swept down the runway. A rich colour palette of maroon, olive green and mustard yellow made this collection warm and perfect for the bitter cold of winter. www.hermes.com

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Balenciaga

balenciaga-collageBalenciaga

Demna Gvasalia sent her first Balenciaga collection down the runway in Paris this season. Looking back at Cristobal Balenciaga’s archive, she pulled inspiration from the shapes used and created the statement red puffer jacket and many other designs that had volume and a unique shape to them. As in Lucie Meier and Serge Ruffieux’s collection for Dior, the off-the-shoulder jacket trend was displayed in Gvasalia’s show as well. www.balenciaga.com