Review of Paris Fashion Week Part 1 by Jessica Simm!

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February 28th saw Paris kick off the fourth week of catwalk shows in which some of the world’s most exclusive designers showcased their latest creations. With Louis Vuitton, Valentino, John Galliano, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Balmain, Lanvin, Dior plus many more, putting on some of the seasons most memorable shows, I just had to dedicate two articles to the French fashion capital.

First to catch my attention was Balmain on the third day of shows with lots of heavy embellishment, velvet and boxy silhouettes to add a rock ‘n’ roll edge to the collection. A combination of mini and midi lengths featured throughout with boxy jackets providing extreme shapes on top of skinny/ bodycon pieces, a truly amazing collection.

The following afternoon saw Christian Dior with a classic and elegant range. Dior juxtaposed soft, silky fabrics with thick woollen pieces and fur. The colour scheme featured a combination of creams and nudes as well as a darker palette featuring black, greys and burgundy. A classic yet feminine collection from Dior featuring sophisticated daytime wear suited to the world’s finest fashionistas, as well as a number of amazing gowns, which will be sure to be making their way down the red carpet at some point in the near future.

The day was brought to a close by Lanvin who began their show with a number of bright and bold creations. The show was full of unique yet simple silhouettes with lots of sharp shoulder detailing and seasonal favourite peplums, making it easy to wear and a favourite for many. Following the attention-catching flashes of colour the collection moved to a much darker palette with a large number of black ensembles, before drawing to a close with lots of black lace detailing again over a brighter palette. With Jessica Alba, Pharrell Williams, Dita Von Teese and Tilda Swinton taking front row seats, the show was a true success as was made evident on art director of the brand Alber Elbaz’s face as he took to the runway to thank his audience with a huge grin on his face.

Next up was Victoria Beckham’s personal favourite Hermes. The French fashion house took to the catwalk on Sunday afternoon to showcase their collection with a new take on their usual theme of ‘understated luxury’. The garments proved rather masculine with an oversized trench coat, trilby hats and shirts with ties, many of the ensembles reminding me of a modern day scene from a Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin movie. A number of models then hit the runway in some printed, bohemian style pieces before coming to a close with some black velvet. A varied and versatile collection from Hermes, one which Christophe Lemaire should be extremely proud of.

It’s been a year since John Galliano was disgraced and dismissed from French fashion house Dior for his racist slurs at a group of Italian women in a Paris bar. After a hefty fine and a public apology, Galliano hit Paris fashion week this time around with only his own label, providing proof as to why he has been so successful throughout this industry for such a long time. With each of the models sporting bird hats providing a theatrical edge, the show started with Victorian style silhouettes and pussy bows on the top half but with Galliano’s modern day take on the bottom half, knicker shorts with knee/ thigh high socks. An extremely sexy take on the styles of the conservative Victorian woman, love it. The collection then moved towards more forty’s styles featuring pleats, frills and a few floor length numbers. As much as we all want to dislike Galliano, he sure does have a raw talent like no other.

To end the shows on Sunday evening was Galliano’s old label Givenchy with their equestrian themed autumn/ winter 2012 collection. Music royalty Kanye West, Alicia Keys and P Diddy along with models Laetitia Casta and Natalia Vodianova took front row seats to witness Givenchy’s latest creations. Each model was sporting either thigh high or knee high boots and rather sinister looking make-up. Lots of leather, pleats and mainly a colour scheme of red, black and different shades of camel made up the majority of the collection before ending with some silk babydoll dresses to brighten up the room slightly.

Tune in tomorrow for part 2 of Paris Fashion week! 


Follow Jessica on Twitter @Jessica_Simm and on her blog at

See more from Jessica Simm; Paris Fashion Part 2, Milan Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, Bafta & Grammy Awards Fashion, Manchester Spring Fashion Show & Fashion Trends 2012.

Check out some of the latest Manchester Street Style Fashion’s with The Mancunianist.

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