Thursday, March 1, 2012

Paris Fashion Week: Day 3

Balenciaga F/W 2012
Balmain F/W 2012

I always knew there was a reason that three's my lucky number...

Day 3 of fashion week seems to have been—in a word—amazing. Those privy to show attendance were served heaping portions of style staples—Balenciaga for breakfast, Balmain for a late lunch, and Rick Owens and Nina Ricci for dinner— while snacking on the likes of Anna Demeulemeester and Barbara Bui in between.

The Balenciaga and Balmain shows alone were enough to make me seriously consider foregoing purchasing shoes for the next 10 (or 20, or 30) years just to be able to buy one of the items featured in either collection. Balenciaga featured bright, bold solid colors spanning the color spectrum—red, pink, neon yellow, periwinkle, royal blue, royal purple, etc. etc.—which makes me think that the color-blocking trend of this past summer will be back again come fall. Not that I'm complaining. In addition, the Balenciaga show featured abstract metallic tiger and leopard prints, as well as tops with futuristic, sci-fi scenes. Suzy Menkes of the NY Times called it "Balenciaga's version of workplace clothes for the 21st century." Indeed, looking back through pictures of the show, the clothes are all quite practical. But also really, really cool. Just, you know, in a bright, metallic, animal-y, sci-fi print-y way.

On the other hand, Balmain was the rich, popular girl to Balenciaga's chic geek. The fashion house's F/W 2012 collection was apparently inspired by a fabergĂ© egg that Elizabeth Taylor received as a gift in the 80s from then-husband Richard Burton. The collection is exactly what you'd expect of something that was based off of an incredibly lavish gift lavished upon an incredibly lavish woman by her incredibly famous husband— in a word? It's lavish. And includes mini-dresses with lattice patterns of pearl and metallic, velvet pants, thick, gold waist belts, and leather.

Rick Owens' show, while sartorially beautiful, was overall a bit frightening in its aesthetics. The models, in shades of black and grey, walked the runway in face masks, while flames emanated from the wall behind them. It almost brought to mind, in terms of disturbance factor, Alexander McQueen's F/W 2009 show, though I don't think Owens' clothing is nearly as avante-garde or, quite frankly, interesting.

The Nina Ricci F/W 2012 collection is about as Parisian as you can get, with sheer, long skirts, lace insets in tops, and polka dot patterns and a color palette of mainly black, red, and pale pink.

On deck for tomorrow? Chalayan, Christian Dior, Isabel Marant, Sonia Rykiel, and, to top it all off, Lanvin. I can hardly wait.

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