Paris, Je T'aime!

So yesterday saw the spectacular Paris Fashion Week to come to a close. Summer's collections are now out there and ready for the busy high-street design teams to adapt!
The Paris shows, as ever, did not disappoint! Minimalist and eclectic styles battled it out in the French capital as new collections oozing with glamour emerged. Here is my pick of the best shows from my all-out favourite fashion city! (more at

Viktor&Rolf never fail to churn out an absolutely splendid show. Always a spectacle and this season was no different. The show kicked off with sugary brights in clashing tones with casual tailoring and moved on to a monochrome spectacular with some really theatrical pieces. The show was a real event and the pair always add a touch of fun to their collections. Lovee! Stefano Pilati's latest collection at Yves Saint Laurent was all about glamour, glamour, glamour! The models were groomed to old-school perfection with flawless skin and vibrant lips. The collection was extremely pretty- all ruffles in expensive looking shades and some lovely fun details. Sheer fabrics was a really big thing which is definitely a trend. The aqua and navy colours are all over the shows so definitely worth investing!
Stella McCartney is definitely one of my favourite designers of all time with fashion made to flatter women in a feminine but directional way, this season added a touch of kitsch fun to this medley. The show kicked off with honey-skinned beauties in sharp nude suits and little denim pieces before moving to a nonchalant floaty array of dresses in ditsy florals and pretty shades. The show finished off with some pieces with a fruit pattern like this demure, yet sexy, silken dress. Another adorable look was an all black outfit paired with a boxy fruit print jacket. Really fun and really quirky- sure to make an appearance on a high street in no time! My pick, however, was definitely some of Stella's tailoring (which has always been her strength.)

Miu Miu's show was inspired by "a desire to be famous" showing how young girls look cool. It really was a mix of the decades with some pieces definitely based in 1960s style as well as some 1970s glam-rock looks. The colour range was absolutely mad with blinding reds and acid-bright yellows. The accessories were key for this collection with the most covetable neon heels I have seen yet- perfect with nudes! This collection is certainly one to 'get you noticed' (to be clichéd!)The Maison Martin Margiela show was something quite spectacular! Set in a fairy-lit tent on the Seine, the show was a little bit spooky while also totally revolutionary. The show really speaks for itself with some acid brights and pretty nudes, with the focus on these abstract proportions! The look was something really different (not exactly wearable but fun and unique) and will obviously be adapted for the shop rails making some fantastic pieces for investing!

Marc Jacobs' shows never fail to disappoint and his work at Louis Vuitton is really quite something. This season the look was far more eclectic with Marc quoted as saying (source: ) "The relation between boredom and camp taste cannot be overestimated". The show was an example of this- totally camp and almost garish, but the contrary of boring! The show had the most luscious colour palette with some really beautiful fabrics. As a result, the collection is quite something! Like Marc Jacobs' own show, it was heavily 1970s based just a little brighter with a circus feeling to it. The show finished with a sense of humour: animals were printed on jumpers and bold zebra prints adorned blouses and dresses. This is my favourite LV show for a while and a really fun look to adopt (coloured Zebra, anyone?)

Lanvin is one of the most luxurious French fashion names and Alber Elbaz's work is soon to make an appearance on the high street as the latest collaborator of H&M! This season the show was classically beautiful with amazing fabrics and drapings. The show tapped into a lot of trends with tribal prints, 70s shapes and neon brights but never did it look garish. The finale saw a group of five black models swathed in beautifully printed silk gowns which was absolutely stunning and totally original. I love, love, love this collection! (Can not wait for the Lanvin at H&M range!!)

Now if there is one name that should be on everyone's lips at the moment it is certainly Hakaan. The label create some of the most beautifully simple structured pieces and, if only I had the money, I would definitely be investing in one of this seasons little dresses for the most stunning party look (we can dream!). The show was based around a simple monochrome palette with a huge variety of big-name models. Modern-monochrome is a really hot trend for summer and Hakaan had it to a t. Scarily, crop-tops are back (see this black leather number) so best start the sit-ups now! My favourite piece of the collection was this white jumpsuit with the sheer detail: no doubt it would be near impossible to pull off, but if worn well it could be so striking!
Sheer, sheer, sheer. This was the mantra at Givenchy this season. The look was fuelled by sheer pieces like trousers and skirts which is really fresh and an interesting style. Animal print was everywhere (LOVE the dress featured above centre) from dresses to gilets. So invest in some of the more subtle monochrome leopard around this winter to carry through to summer! The beauty was key at Givenchy as well, messy plaits were everywhere with glossy dark lips. I absolutely loved this show for its sexy simplicity!
Gareth Pugh always strives to show with his collection and this season he moved even further away from convention by showcasing a film. He used just two models (one male, one female) in a minimal room to show his really striking pieces in the most stripped-down way possible. The collection highlights included hard black leathers (still around for summer so hold on to yours!), houndstooth prints (reminiscent of Alexander McQueen in previous seasons) and all out heavy metallics. These pieces were not totally wearable but I love how artistic Pugh's collections are and I love how he breaks barriers of the fashion industry.
Chloé was definitely the collection that I was anticipating most! I loved the 70s vibe of last season and this time the show was just so beautiful focussing on flattering a lady's femininity. Sheer chiffons in rich caramel and white shades were all over the place with edge supplied in the shape of leathers (shorts and shell tops- definitely invest now: tan is key!). The dresses were balletic with such elegant movement and I adore them! Another lovely thing about the show was the chic ballet flats replacing killer heels, definitely a fresh change.
Christophe Decarnin's latest collection at Balmain is really something. Grungyy and Americana, the show was typical Balmain with that rocker edge. The soundtrack was fittingly the Sex Pistols and the show consisted of sexy leather trousers with punchy, chained leather jackets and worn slouchy t-shirts with a burnt-out American flags on them. The palette was very much black or red, white and blue and though it sounds a touch cheesy- it was far from it. I adored the grunge look of the show with these flattering slouchy tees and ripped fishnets. The look is super stylish and really easy to adopt on the high-street. Start saving for a really statement biker or blazer to nail the Balmain Americana look!

For A/W 2011, Céline was the name on everyone's lips. The show this season much have been so much pressure on Pheobe Philo, having to live up to all this hype- but she succeeded once again in creating a typically French minimal-chic collection. Accented with geometric patterns, the show was really beautiful- simple shapes in delicious fabrics and colours. Every piece was cut to perfection with my favourite piece being this navy jumpsuit with zip-detail- minimal, elegant but modern. I love Philo's work at Céline.

Nicolas Ghesquiere always does fantastic shows at Balenciaga and S/S 2011 is fabulous. The collection combined his typical futurism with rockabilly style and was modelled on fashions finest (Stella Tennant, Freja Beha Erichsen and Gisele) . Dogtooth featured on cocoon coats, fluoros danced alongside black leather and sheer panels adorned shift dresses. The collection is lovely contrast with the floaty dresses abundant in summer- a futuristic style with iridescent sequins to "make everything look as though it had been in the rain" (Nicolas Ghesquiere). I loved the collection!
Since the tragic death of Alexander in February, Sarah Burton took on the great challenge of presenting the first McQueen collection. The show was peppered with great emotion as Burton recieved a standing ovation- it was made even sweeter by how beautiful the show was. The collection was just something else- it was my pick of all S/S 2011. The dresses were almost fairytale- a classic McQueen opulence with feathers and embellishment so delicate and glistening. These dresses are so fantastical and Alexander McQueen would certainly be proud to give them his name.

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