A Look Back at the Latest Paris Fasion Week

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Models wait backstage to be dressed before the show for the Fall/Winter 2014/15 Ready to Wear Collection by Russian designer Valentin Yudashkin during the Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, 4 Mars 2014. The presentation of the Women's collections runs from 25 February to 05 March. EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT --- Image by © ETIENNE LAURENT/epa/Corbis

From the 25th of February to the 5th of March, the creators presented their 2014/15 Autumn-Winter Collections for Paris Fashion Week. Although the primary function of the fashion shows is that of defining the trends on the horizon, Fashion Week is also an opportunity for every designer to display an artistic sense that extends well beyond the confines of couture itself; to the production and direction of articles presented. Relive the highlights of this unmissable rendezvous of fashion which attracted international celebrities and influential bloggers…

If the Chanel show had been a film, it would have taken the Oscar for best décor hands down. Karl Lagerfeld elicited some emotion from his prestigious audience by presenting his collection in the “Chanel Shopping Center”. Unrecognisable, the Grand Palais was decked out in the eye-catching colours of a supermarket, where the most basic of products on the shelf were given the Chanel treatment. Thus, the label’s models (including British supermodel Cara Delevingne) strutted their stuff, running shoes on their feet, in front of tins bearing the label “Le Jardin de Gabrielle” (Gabrielle’s Garden), mineral water labelled “Eau de Chanel”, tissue boxes labelled “Les Chagrins de Gabrielle” or even oils labelled “Cocolza”. The concept of this original serting was explained by Karl Lagerfeld himself in a few words to the journalists: “We did the art gallery the last time, which is a supermarket for the rich. Here, we did an actual supermarket.” Even if you’ll have a job finding the same products on the shelves of your normal supermarket, the thrust of the idea is, according to Lagerfeld, about “reflecting the everyday in the world of luxury” and the influence of pop art. The attending public were already in the spirit of things: Keira Knightley confides that she goes to the supermarket with her Chanel bag, while the signer Rihanna adopted the style of the show by arriving at the Chanel fitter in runners.

If the Chanel show was a success and stirred up numerous comments in the Twitter-sphere, another fun fact had quite and impact: Christened “Wintourgate”, a small incident that was a social faux-pas of sorts. During the Valentino exhibition, you could spot something that was seen as major protocol incident: Anna Wintour – chief editor of the American edition of Vogue and a global fashion icon – was photographed in the second row, even though everyone would have naturally expected her to be in the front row. An explanation was put forward by the American site Fashionista.com: Wintour simply gave her seat to her colleague Sarah Mower, who was to do a write-up of the show for Vogue…

Thankfully, the new trends were scrutinised with a less forensic eye than were the audiences. Amongst the notable favourites of the season are the winter-hoody dress from Dior, the cream leather overcoat from Chloé and the hourglass dress in leather embroidered with wool from Balenciaga.

Olympia Le-Tan also wowed the crowd with her theme of magic, where her super-prestigious outfits bursting with charm were presented.

The Louis Vuitton show adopted a refined and sophisticated neo-sixties line which marked a successful baptism of fire for the current designer Nicolas Ghesquière, who succeeded the illustrious Marc Jacobs at the creative heart of the super fashion house.

As for Balenciaga, it focused on supermodel Gisele Bündchen as the chief standard-bearer of the keynote collection of Alexander Wang for the season – a two-material top that was part-sweater, part satin blouse.

Jean Paul Gaultier, as original as always, offered his audience a ride in a space shuttle. The “ticket for space” which acted as in invitation to his show, opened the doors to a wardrobe of outfits that were sometimes classic but were more often futuristic and full of imagination, based on some very British inspirations.

Finally, amongst the celebrities that Fashion Week pulled along in its wake, some notable attendees were some of the rising stars of cinema, some fresh from receiving Oscars in America: Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o were at the Miu Miu show. On the fringes, there were many more familiar faces: Kanye West, Jessica Alba, Natalia Vodianova, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Clémence Poésy, Kate Moss and Catherine Deneuve, who attended with her daughter Chiara Mastroianni.

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