Arctic Chill: Chanel Autumn/Winter 2010/11

By Christine Suppes, Editor at Large

Fake fur gives me the creeps. To be balanced, so does all but vintage “real stuff”. And fake fur was the gist of Karl Lagerfeld’s prĂȘt-a-porter show at the Grand Palais. I knew we were in for some arctic chill when I had to drape a huge cashmere shawl over my Lesage embroidered frock---global warming I believe it is called, when Paris turns into Siberia in March. So Mr. Lagerfeld was already one up on us--the cover of the Chanel invitation was a Lagerfeld rendition of a polar bear, and the stage set was an arctic scene, complete with melting ice caps and two inches of water. This was the water in which the models jauntily walked, dragging their knee high fake fur boots, fake fur leggings (!) and seventies style fake fur pimp coats. The medium is the message, and Mr. Lagerfeld massages that message very well. He sneaked in several gorgeous embroidered couture looking dresses with matching coats and jackets. The white collection was particularly refined and chic. The swing coats were a delight. But it was the fake fur we will remember, and the models slogging around in the water. We’ll be seeing the look in Aspen no doubt, if Madoff has not wiped out all the fashionistas. Who else will spend five digit figures on caveman clothes?

Post script: I saw more than one buyer go labile after the show. Like a gorgeous party, the afterglow was a serious case of nerves. Will the clients be willing to fork over thousands of dollars for fake fur, even if Mr. Lagerfeld refers to it as “the chicest fake fur”? My crystal ball says probably.

Photos by Monica Feudi, 2010

From Paris with Love: Paris Fashion Week Coverage

by April Hall, Paris Correspondent

Tara Jarmon -

For fall, Tara Jarmon describes three bourgeoisie Parisienne identities which inspired the collection of updated classics: La Belle du Jour, Lady Chatterly, and Neuilly-Auteuil-Passy. With such muses, it is hardly surprising that the clothes included tweed and fur with school girl skirts and knee highs, and a pair of suede shorts. Each piece was beautifully crafted, albeit infringing on the territory of Ralph Lauren. In a small corner of the showroom, however, was rack of LBD's with feathers, ruching and much more promise.

Leonard Paris -

As one would expect, the Leonard runway was occupied this season by countless floral jersey dresses. The major difference for fall being that they were paired with thigh high suede boots. The same floral jersey was used for impossibly comfortable looking pairs of harem pants, and dresses were given some structure with shape-defining belts. If anything was innovative about this collection it was the new, metallic fabrics used to make the same dresses - especially its most standout striped dress.

Photo Courtesy of and Matteo Volta

Andrew Gn -

Once again, Andrew Gn's Ready-To-Wear collection proved to be just that -- ready to wear. The show featured plenty of feminine draping and ruching, with hints of military, and some older-style French ruffles and belt buckles. He kept strongly silhouetted jackets and short dresses modern with leather trim and cutouts. There was certainly no lack of signature embroidery either, and Gn displayed his mastery of the art of pairing the short dress with a great blazer or little fur jacket for fresh and flawless evening look.

Photo by Marcio Madeira, 2010

John Galliano Autumn/Winter 2010/11

By Christine Suppes
Editor at Large

When the best in a fashion show is saved for last, and the last meaning the appearance of the designer, this sometimes indicates a problem. The point is, we’re used to it by now and some of us are loving it. Galliano’s palette was somber—a lot of gray and beige, with over sized hats suited to Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter. The clothes are a crazy quilt of Victorian and psychedelic-- in other words, the hippie period in which Mr. Galliano was a child. Love them or hate them—I love them. The special effects were reserved until the end, when Mr. Galliano, swathed in even more fabric than his models, appeared on the silver sparkled runway, a buccaneer amidst fireworks and flames.

Post script: This show beats the daylights out of any Dior runway for the truly adventurous fashionista.

Photos by Marcio Madeira, 2010

Paris Fashion Week Fall 2010-2011

By April Hall, Paris Correspondent

Marithe & Francois Girbaud -
As spectators sat in a freezing cold warehouse, it was a welcome sight to witness models strut by in a fall/winter collection that actually looked warm. The first part of the show was featured both clever androgyny and ambiguity: menswear looks were worn by both men and women, and it was impossible to tell if some outfits were one or 2 or more pieces. The second portion involved coats resembling sleeping bags with hoods and large lapels. The designers also managed to put drawstrings in everything from boots to skirts to leather jackets, which is indicative of the overall fun ingenuity of the show.

Photo Courtesy of and Matteo Volta, 2010

Chapurin -
Through his recent fashion show, Igor Chapurin single-handily has assured all earth tone loving fashionistas that brown is in! Models sported thigh high legwarmers that matched luxurious sweaters in rich browns and blacks, while simple waist belts kept the silhouette svelte. Chapurin also played with colour, adding purple and teal to some of his looks. Leather pieces, such as cuffed shorts, added another dimension of not only style but warmth in this impressively cohesive collection.

Photo Courtesy of and Matteo Volta, 2010

Junko Shimada -
Colour colour colour! Just because it was a fall/winter collection did not mean the design duo behind Junko Shimada could not use colour. Red and magenta, and even neon yellow, shared the catwalk with polka dots and hearts to create a bright feeling for the winter months. Not a house known for its particularly practical shoes, models slowly and deliberately wobbled past fluorescent lights on impossibly high striped wedges. The main silhouettes included over sized knit sweater dresses and simple leather coat dresses, while the twisted long sleeved romper stole the show.

Photo Courtesy of and Matteo Volta, 2010
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac -
There is nothing quite like a Jean-Charles de Castelbajac show, and the fall/winter 2010 one did not disappoint. From the paparazzi swarm around Dita von Teese to the hipster electro-pop duo's performance to one of the models leading a dog around the catwalk, the shows entertainment value was upstaged only by the clothes themselves. The collection was inspired by Bambi in the medieval ages, and her visage was featured on many pieces, including an exquisite paillette dress. The designer also sent out looks that appeared to be crafted from middle age tapestries, in addition to dresses that could protect a gallant knight, and even a stained glass window inspired cardigan.

Photo Courtesy of and Matteo Volta, 2010

Paris Fashion Week: Valentino Fall 2010

March 9, 2010-Paris
by David Pedroza

Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri made an attempt to restore the reputation for the House of Valentino this season, after their not so widely acclaimed Haute Couture show in January. The duo tried to make Valentino cool for spring couture, and advert their clientele to a younger generation (yes, there is young clients, but none of them are teenagers!). For Fall 2010, the duo showed a fresh take on Valentino ready-to-wear, showing obvious references to Valentino, and making it their own. For instance scalloped, edged white dress, referenced from Valentino's shadow and white collections, tons of ruffles, flounces, tired-beaded pretty gowns, and of course Valentino Red to finish off, with a more youthful flounced gown. The collection was still young, but not too young, with pieces that will still draw older, more sophisticated, clientele. After seeing this, you would think why Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri haven't been doing this since the beginning, but this is a process for many young, new, designers, especially when they have to fill very large shoes!

Photos by Marcio Madeira, 2010

Alexander The Great: Alexander McQueen's Last Collection

March 10,2010-Paris
by David Pedroza

The Last collection of Alexander McQueen was stage at the opulent La Conciergerie, in Paris Yesterday. A 16 piece collection of haute couture worthy dresses were shown by private presentation, which gave a solemn, sad feeling, for the loss of this true Artist. This is the collection McQueen had been working on before his death, a collection of religion, Requiem, regal, and quintessentially McQueen. The work took inspiration from Byzantine art; woodcarver, Grinling Gibbons, whose work decorates St Paul’s Cathedral. The workmanship was haute couture, heavily beaded bullion gold on scarlet red, wings hand painted on a gown, and gowns made in rich royal silks. The final gown was a hand made, gold-leaf feathered frock coat with a tulle skirt covered in a cloud of gold embroidery, ending this spectacular show, from a designer who knew his craft and had a vision like no other. This collection is a collectors dream, and many people will hold this memory dear in their hearts forever.

Photos courtesy of Alexander McQueen

Paris Fashion Week: Giambattista Valli Fall 2010

Paris-March 8, 2010
by David Pedroza
Leave it to Giambattista Valli to give us something cute, sweet, and sexy for Fall 2010. He Incorporated inspirations from Courreges's mod skirts, Yves Saint Laurent's Chiffon baby doll dresses, and Millie Fleur of tiny ruffles on skirts and sheaths. Valli left behind his hyper, vibrant color story from spring 2010, to bring a softer, palette of cream, white, rose pink, and classic blacks. This collection is one of the best from this talented designer, always giving his clients what they want with out compromising his vision. The collection concentrated on texture, while some of the silhouettes where reminiscent of Cardin (a tweed suit with ruffles had a Chanel feeling to it). In my book, some of Valli's pieces are a must have for Fall 2010

Photos by Marcio Madeira, 2010

Paris Fashion Week: Viktor & Rolf and Givenchy Fall 2010

Paris ready-to-wear, by David Pedroza

Viktor & Rolf Fall 2010
Although Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren shows have been thought as spectacles by great showmen, for Fall 2010 they delivered a collection of not just wearable art, but real clothes. This collection had some beautifully tailored jackets and sexy black dresses. At times some of the pieces were extreme and in epic proportions,meant to be worn by those who are not faint at heart.

Givenchy Fall 2010
Riccardo Tisci, was thinking Ski resort for Fall 2010, but it came across more like Martin Margiela, avant-garde minimalism. This collection was kept tight with a black, white and red color palette, and was more about line and structure, compared his previous ready-to-wear collections for this famed Parisian house. Tisci did incorporate lace with sharp tailoring, proving that he can make serious clothes and not just a show.

Photos by Monica Feudi, 2010

Paris Fashion Week: Dior Fall 2010

March 5, 2010
Paris, by David Pedroza

Following his equestrian-themed couture collection, John Galliano showed a more wearable version for his ready-to-wear collection for Dior. Although, I personally loved the Dior couture show and one wouldn't think twice to acquire some of the ensembles, the Fall pret-a-porter was a more youthful and sexy way to wear eighteenth-century inspired jackets, and jodhpurs with pretty, light, chiffon dresses. the collection for Fall featured edgy and feminine leather coats and frilled skirts, followed by an evening line up of uber-sexy, delicate chiffon gowns, with delicate lace embroidery. So soft and pretty for Fall, one would defiantly need to invest in these dresses.

Photos by Monica Feudi, 2010

Paris Fashion Week: Balmain Fall 2010

March 4, 2010-Paris

Christophe Decarnin's vision for the house of Balmain is not Oscar de La Renta's Park Avenue Matron, or the original founder's Haute Parisian Society Glamour, but a rock-n-roll, rebellious 21st century woman. Taking inspiration in Louis XIV at Versailles, and Prince's Purple rain with silhouettes inspired by Balmain's 1970's couture pant suits and Cardin's space age. This collection was very close to being Tom Ford for Gucci, but yet Decarnin catered to his clientele, who asks for short, mini beaded dresses and sharp military jackets. keeping true to his vision, exclusiveness and great workmanship, Am sure this collection will do fine when it hits stores in this Fall. -David Pedroza

Photos by Marcio Madeira for, 2010